Senior dogs can get sick very often. Usually, when a dog surpasses 8 years of age, he is exposed to many diseases due to the ageing process. An old dog is the term used to describe a dog that has reached seniority. However, the age of 8 is not common to every dog. Smaller breeds reach this point at about 10 years of age while big dogs are seniors at 5 or 7 years old. What is common to all is the frequency by which they can be affected by old dog diarrhoea. As a dog owner, you should know exactly how to deal with it to prevent permanent damage.
Causes of old diarrhoea
There are many different causes of old dog diarrhoea. If your dog is showing the symptoms of this disease, it is important to narrow it down to the exact cause in order to treat it properly. Here you have a list of the most common ones:
- Arthritis: this disease is very common in old dogs (especially those that are large and big). According to vets, spinal arthritis is the worst because it is painful and it can interfere with normal elimination of dog faeces. Furthermore, arthritis medication can irritate the stomach and cause old dog diarrhoea (due to ulcers in the stomach).
- Medication: old dogs are usually on a variety of medications and supplements that have the task of improving their quality of life. Unfortunately, some of this medication can indeed cause diarrhoea. Also, these can result in stomach ulcers which produce pain and loose stools. Most common examples of this are antibiotics which tend to kill ‘good bacteria’ in the intestines.
- Chronic illnesses: unfortunately, ageing can also cause a lot of chronic illnesses that are very harmful to your senior dog. Even though these illnesses can be managed, whenever your dog is off the wagon, it can be terrible. A common example is diabetes. If your dog has an insulin regime, he should be fine. But, if the regime is broken, it can result in rough cases of old dog diarrhoea.
- Geriatric vestibular syndrome: old dogs can suffer a sudden loss of balance along with a head tilt. This disease can cause old dog diarrhoea. Fortunately, it can be cured.
Symptoms of old dog diarrhoea
It is important to know your dog’s elimination routine. For example, your pet can have a one or two bowel movements a day. But, if he starts doing three, and you start to see loose stool, you know there is a problem. In the case of dogs with heavy coats, it is vital to check the rear and the tail because loose stools can be caught in the coat thus creating nasty sores.
If your dog has diarrhoea non-stop for 24 hours, he is definitely sick. Furthermore, if your pet’s loose stool has blood, it can point to a more serious condition. Lastly, if your dog vomits and he feels lethargic and weak, you can definitely know for sure that he is ill. When this happens, you should go to the vet immediately.
5 Home remedies for old dog diarrhoea
When your dog has occasional diarrhoea, you can treat it with some home remedies. Remember, before trying any of the following, fast your old dog for at least 24 hours so that his intestinal tract expels all the food. Then, as he recovers, you can try any of the following:
- B-complex vitamins: These help to stabilize electrolytes plus they nourish the lining of the intestinal tract. These vitamins also have probiotics that rebalance the gut flora. It works fast to relieve old dog diarrhoea.
- Bland diet: after your dog’s tummy has rested for 24 hours, you can try a bland diet to make it easier for him to digest the food. For example, you can cook ground turkey or white chicken meat with rice. You could also try lean ground meat with cooked oatmeal. Feed your dog 3 to 4 small meals a day for 2 days.
- Pumpkin: after you tried the bland diet, you can feed your dog with pumpkin puree. It is a great remedy for old dog diarrhoea and constipation.
- Carob: it is rich in B vitamins and minerals. Carob is very effective in calming down the stomach and diarrhoea.
- Cinnamon: this spice has a specific type of oil that has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Also, it has been used for many centuries to treat digestive issues like diarrhoea.
Preventing old dog diarrhoea
While it is impossible to always prevent diarrhoea, you can carry out a couple of measures to protect your dog. Among the best defences, you can find probiotics, enzymes, regular exercise, no stress at home and of course, no junk food!
Be sure to follow these pieces of advice when dealing with old dog diarrhoea. If diarrhoea turns out to be the symptom of something much worse, go to the vet at once!