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What is kaolin and what effect does it have on dogs?

German shepherd dog sitting on the grass advice

Kaolin can be used to help firm up the poo in some cases of diarrhoea in your dog.

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For certain types of diarrhoea, kaolin can be something very useful that a vet may recommend for your pet.

By Dr. Liz Barton MA, VetMB, MRCVS

Updated on the 20/11/2020, 22:28

Kaolin is a natural or synthetic soft, earthy, pale, silicate mineral. It is usually supplied as a clay powder or suspension for the treatment of diarrhoea. It is a natural binding agent, or adsorbent, that helps to firm up the faeces – and can be useful for dogs.

Can I give my dog kaolin?

Kaolin should only be given under veterinary supervision for a limited period. It is not appropriate to give in certain types of diarrhoea that may be due to infection or are very severe. It can predispose to constipation and reduce the absorption of other medications. Where kaolin is advised, it can be given on its own, as a paste or added to food.

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What are the benefits of kaolin in dogs?

The main benefit of kaolin is the binding of toxins and water, firming up the faeces in dogs with loose stools or diarrhoea. By reducing the speed of passage through the gut, it helps with the absorption of nutrients and water, which are important to heal the gut. It can help to reduce the quantity of diarrhoea and improve the consistency of the faeces, which in turn reduces the risk of dehydration.

How does kaolin help dogs with diarrhoea?

Kaolin is a binding agent used to help treat non-specific diarrhoea in dogs and also cats. It is often used in combination with other ingredients in formulations typically including probiotics and pectin. It’s usually only recommended for a few days and should not be used in certain types of diarrhoea, including some gut infections.

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How does kaolin work?

Kaolin is an adsorbent, which means it binds to things. It can bind to toxins and bacteria in the gut, and can help loose faecal material bind together.

What can kaolin be used for with dogs?

Kaolin can be used to help firm up the faeces in cases of mild to moderate, non-infectious diarrhoea in dogs and cats. It has other uses in addition to helping pets with diarrhoea; it can also be used to mop up pollutants in industrial waste water, and also has uses in the cosmetics industry.

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What does kaolin do for the skin?

Kaolin helps to cleanse and exfoliate dead skin cells and debris from the surface, and is an ingredient in some human face masks and cleansers. It can provide temporary relief by calming the skin when applied as a paste to areas of irritation, such as stings or bites.

What is another name for kaolin?

Kaolin may be known as China clay, or by its mineral group as aluminium silicate clay. There are many different trade names of products containing kaolin.

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What should I ask a vet about kaolin?

If your dog or cat has diarrhoea, you can ask a vet whether they think kaolin would be helpful. Often the vet may prescribe medication that includes kaolin as part of a multi-therapy paste. If your pet is taking other types of medication, it is worth checking with the vet that the absorption of these will not be affected by the kaolin. The vet is only likely to recommend kaolin for a short period of time and you should check if you should keep giving it to your dog or cat once the diarrhoea has resolved.

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