Enteritis should not be an intimidating term, all it means is "the inflammation of the small intestine." Should your dog get a bout enteritis you will know for sure as your dog or puppy will start exhibiting the typical signs of an upset tummy.
When the small intestine is affected by inflammation, your dog will very likely have diarrhea. Diarrhea alone is not a very worrisome symptom, however when it presents itself under the form of frequent liquid squirts, it can mean trouble especially in small puppies.
The main concern with such diarrhea is dehydration which can quickly become life threatening should the dog or puppy lose more fluids than what he is able to retain.
A dehydrated dog will exhibit typical symptoms such as a loss of elasticity of the skin, dry, tacky gums and sticky saliva. An easy way to determine the level of dehydration is by lifting up a pinch of skin from the shoulder blades or the back. The skin should promptly spring back into place. Should it delay a few seconds, the dog is dehydrated, and should it stay lifted, severe dehydration is taking place.
A dehydrated dog will need immediate fluid replacement either by oral administration of electrolytes, or better, by fluids administered under the skin or through an IV. Any dog presenting with signs of dehydration should be seen by a vet promptly so to allow adequate fluid replacement and treatment of the underlying cause. At home, electrolyte solutions such as plain Pedialyte or Gatorade may be tried in slightly mild cases only.
Many times enteritis is due to bacteria. Puppies and dogs that like to get into the garbage and eat spoiled foods are the most frequent victims of bacterial enteritis.
Common bacteria known to cause enteritis are as follows:[adinserter block="4"]
- Campylobactor Jejuni/or Coli
- Clostridium Perfringens
- Salmon poisoning
This bacterial condition seems to occur when dogs are fed food or water where one or more of the 2000 types of salmonella bacteria are thriving on. Some pig ears sold at pet stores have been found in the past to harbor this type of bacteria.
Raw foods like raw chicken or simply rotten food may be contaminated as well. Affected dogs are often those with a weakened immune system, Should salmonella be suspected, owners should practice thorough hand washing as it can be transmitted to humans as well. Dogs affected by salmonellosis develop the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea with or without blood
- Gurgling stomach sounds
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Weight loss
Many times all it takes is a 12 to 24 hour fast to allow the dog's intestinal tract to recover. A dog diarrhea bland diet of boiled rice with some chunks of skinless boiled chicken without bones can help ease the inflamed intestines.
Regular food should be gradually re-introduced once stools are better formed. It would be unwise to give medications that prevent diarrhea as the harmful bacteria would be trapped inside rather than expelled out with the diarrhea.
Mild to severe cases in adult dogs or young puppies may require hospitalization and fluid replacement by the vet and/or medications to sooth the intestines.
[adinserter block="5"]These bacteria are known to cause copious diarrhea in dogs especially in puppies. This bacteria can be normally found in the intestinal flora of healthy dogs.
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Because puppies have lower immune systems and because they dehydrate faster, it's recommended to have puppies seen by a veterinarian, especially when there is severe diarrhea.
Dogs get infected by ingesting contaminated water, spoiled foods or contaminated feces. Common symptoms include:
- Watery diarrhea
- Bloody diarrhea
- Mucous in diarrhea
Young puppies will need re-hydration from your vet. Oral electrolyte solutions will be administered orally and/or sub Q fluids or IV fluids will be given. Adult dogs or puppies that are not exhibiting severe symptoms may be fasted for 12 to 24 hours and then fed a bland diet of boiled chicken and boiled skinless rice, until firm stools appear. Then, the regular diet can be gradually re-introduced.
As usual, it's best not to give medications that prevent diarrhea as it will not allow the bacteria to be properly expelled which can slow down the healing time. Some vets may prescribe antibiotics.
When the diarrhea is chronic, intermittent or persistent and more than one animal living in the same area is affected, Clostridium may be a culprit. It appears that stressful events or ingesting contaminated food may cause these bacteria to become active. Common symptoms include:
- Persistent diarrhea
- Bloody diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
Young puppies will need re-hydration from your vet. Oral electrolyte solutions will be administered orally and/or sub Q fluids or IV fluids will be given. Adult dogs or puppies that are not exhibiting severe symptoms may be fasted for 12-24 hours and then fed a bland diet of boiled chicken and boiled skinless rice, until firm stools appear. Then the regular diet can be gradually re-introduced.
As usual, it is best not to give medication that prevent diarrhea as it will not allow the bacteria to be properly expelled which will slow down the healing time. A vet should be seen promptly if the diarrhea gets worse or other symptoms arise. Antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, erythromycin, tylosin or flagyl may be prescribed.
This condition has nothing to do with salmonella, it is actually about the actual salmon fish. Salmon feed on snails that carry the culprit bacteria. The dog eats the raw salmon and therefore, gets salmon poisoning. Symptoms arise after a few days, usually 5 to 7 days following the salmon consumption. Common symptoms include:[adinserter block="4"]
- Bloody diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen lymph nodes
This condition can be fatal within 7 to 10 days. Intravenous tetracycline, IV fluids and blood transfusions to replace blood loss from diarrhea are treatments of choice. This condition is often confused with Parvo virus.
Because the symptoms can be severe, home treatments are generally discouraged. Never feed raw salmon to dogs. Rather cook it or at least freeze it for a good 24 hours.
These are some of the most common causes of bacterial enteritis in dogs. While mild cases may be treated at home by fasting, providing a bland diet and replacing lost electrolytes, should your dog become lethargic, weak, and act not like its normal self, a veterinarian must be seen promptly.
Many times, antibiotics, fluid therapy and supportive care are essential to allow the dog a fast and uneventful recovery. Please do not hesitate to have your dog seen, as in some cases, these conditions can progress quickly and even prove fatal at times.