Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs and Cats

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Causes of dog and cats diarrhea :

Diarrhea refers to feces containing excessive water. Fecal mucus is principally caused by large bowel disorders. The best approach to the assessment of dogs and cats with diarrhea is to first distinguish acute from chronic problems.

Acute diarrhea is usually caused by diet, parasites, or infectious diseases. Dietary problems are often detected by history; parasites by history and fecal examinations; and infectious diseases by history (evidence of contagion or exposure) and the exclusion of other causes. If acute diarrhea in dogs and cats becomes severe or persistent, additional diagnostic tests are recommended. The approach used is similar to that adopted for the assessment of animals with chronic diarrhea.

Dogs and cats with chronic diarrhea should first be examined for evidence of parasites; multiple fecal examinations looking for nematodes, Giardia, and Tritrichomonas are indicated. Next it should be determined whether the diarrhea is small or large intestinal in origin. Failure to lose weight almost always indicates the presence of large bowl disease; weight loss usually indicates the presence of small bowl disease (pythiosis, histoplasmosis, malignancy). Animals with weight loss resulting from large bowl disease usually have obvious signs of colonic involvement (fecal mucus, marked tenesmus, hematochezia).

Causes of acute diarrhea in dogs and cats:

DIET:
Intolerance/Allergy
Poor-quality food
Rapid dietary change (especially in puppies and kittens)
Bacterial food poisoning

PARASITES:
Helminths
Protozoa
Giardia
Tritrichomonas
Coccidia

INFECTIOUS CAUSES:
Viral causes:
Parvovirus (Feline, Canine)
Coronavirus (Feline, Canine)
Feline leukemia virus

Bacterial causes:
Salmonella
Clostridium perfringens
Verotoxin-producing E. coli
Campylobacter jejuni
Yersinia enterocolitica
Salmon poisoning
Various other bacteria

OTHER CAUSES:
Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
Intussusception
Irritable bowel syndrome
Ingestion of toxins
Garbage can intoxication (spoiled foods)
Chemicals
Heavy metals
Various drugs (antibiotics, antineoplastics, anthelmintics, anti-inflammatories, digitalis, lactulose)
Acute pancreatitis

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