Diarrhoea is a subject we at the vets discuss on a daily basis. So much so, we have no problem discussing potty talk over an evening meal or finding it cropping up within polite conversation. It just doesn’t faze us.
More importantly, it can reflect your pet’s health so it is essential we ask the questions and help them with this oh-so-common condition.
Clinically, we split the condition into ‘acute’ diarrhoea and ‘chronic’ diarrhoea to direct us to the best course of action or treatment. Acute diarrhoea is one which has suddenly occurred within the last few days. This tends to be pretty frequent and profuse diarrhoea and is often accompanied with sickness and vomiting. Chronic diarrhoea is not a term for a more significant diarrhoea, as the term is often mis-used, it is a term referring to a longer-standing and most commonly a less severe diarrhoea.
And the causes for each often fall into two fairly distinct causative lists, so forgive us when we ask endless questions about said poo!!
Acute diarrhoea may be found when your pet picks up a bug or parasite. It is a protective reflex by the body to help rid itself of the offending individual. A toxic substance may also cause the same, for example a small dose of chocolate (larger doses can be fatal!).
Chronic diarrhoea may still be a persistent, hardy bug but it can also be a sign of a more structural process affecting the gut wall or perhaps the body at large, or even the hormone system. Even if you pet has been on the same food since a puppy, dietary intolerances can crop up at any stage of life. This means chronic diarrhoea will often require further testing for us to rule in or out certain diseases and conditions.So, whilst as a species of professionals, we are a dirty lot and we do entertain potty talk daily, it is all in aid of getting to the ‘bottom’ of the problem for your pet!