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Diarrhea in Puppies and Kittens

Diarrhea in Puppies and Kittens

Diarrhea in puppies and kittens is a common issue. It is defined as loose stool caused by excess water in the feces. While diarrhea isn’t always a serious issue, it can become a life-threatening problem in young puppies and kittens. Learn about different causes of kitten and puppy diarrhea, different types of diarrhea, and how to prevent it.

Causes of Kitten and Puppy Diarrhea

Kitten and puppy diarrhea can be caused by a variety of issues including food allergies, infections, parasites, worms, anxiety, and disease. Curious puppies and kittens may also develop diarrhea from swallowing foreign objects. Learn more about the most common causes of Puppy Diarrhea and Kitten Diarrhea.

Chronic vs. Acute Diarrhea

Pets can have two different types of diarrhea—chronic and acute. Chronic diarrhea can last for months, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of the problem. Acute diarrhea occurs suddenly, but it can usually be resolved quickly with dietary modification or treatment for parasites/infection.

Most cases of kitten or puppy diarrhea are acute incidents, but there are certain times when loose stools are concerning. However, Thomas Labs recommends that you always consult your veterinarian if your pet has bloody diarrhea or shows other signs of illness, such as fever or weakness.

Types of Diarrhea in Puppies and Kittens

When it comes to pet diarrhea, it’s helpful to be able to distinguish between different types of diarrhea. You probably already know that there are two sections of the intestines—the large intestine and the small intestine. But did you know that different medical issues can actually cause diarrhea in different sections of the intestines?

Diarrhea from the small intestine is normally larger than normal and foul-smelling. On the other hand, large intestine diarrhea often causes pets to strain while defecating and produces a stool covered with mucus. Roundworms and whipworms are a good example when it comes to different types of diarrhea, as roundworms cause small intestine diarrhea and whipworms cause large intestine diarrhea.

Steps for Preventing Kitten & Puppy Diarrhea

Steps you can take to prevent diarrhea in puppies and kittens include making dietary changes gradually, making sure your pet doesn’t eat garbage, and easing anxiety the best you can. Additionally, you can give your puppy or kitten a probiotic, like Acidophilus Forte.

Healthy pets have good microorganisms in the gut, which help prevent disease-causing microorganisms from causing diarrhea and illness. Pet probiotics can help prevent occasional diarrhea in puppies and kittens by maintaining healthy bacteria in the intestines.

Digestive enzyme supplements can also help with diarrhea in puppies and kittens. Total Digest is a digestive enzyme and probiotic supplement developed to help with your pet’s digestion and nutrient absorption. This formula helps pets with occasional digestive upset, loose stools, bloating, and gas.

Preventing Dehydration During Diarrhea

Diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration in dogs and cats, which can become a life-threatening issue. For this reason, it's important to know the signs of dehydration and to ensure your puppy or kitten stays properly hydrated during episodes of diarrhea. Giving your pet an electrolyte supplement can help support hydration.

Thomas Pet developed HydrADE to help support hydration in puppies and kittens. This electrolyte replacement supplement helps support normal hydration and encourages water consumption in pets under stress or during times of fluid loss due to occasional diarrhea in dogs and cats, vomiting, or intense activity.

Taking steps to prevent diarrhea and quickly treating it is essential for the health of puppies and kittens. Having a dehydrated puppy or kitten is a serious issue, so acting quickly is key. Being familiar with the common signs of dehydration in dogs and cats will help you catch any potential issues before they get more serious.

If you’re ever unsure whether diarrhea in puppies and kittens is a serious issue, be sure to contact your veterinarian who will be able to diagnose the cause and help develop a treatment plan.


The materials and information provided on this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your veterinarian or other pet healthcare professional. Consult your own veterinarian if you have medical questions concerning diagnosis, treatment, therapy, or medical attention.

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