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Diarrhoea in puppies and kittens: Causes and remedies

Diarrhoea in puppies and kittens is a very common problem that tends to resolve without complications.
However, it should be monitored carefully with the help of your veterinarian because diarrhoea is a symptom of an intestinal issue that may be more or less severe depending on the specific case and, especially in puppies and kittens can result in serious complications.
 

Likely causes of diarrhoea in puppies and kittens

 
When faced with a puppy or kitten suffering from diarrhoea, it’s important to know that the causes can be many and varied.
Some of the most common are:
 
  • Ingestion of a foreign body. Puppies and kittens can be very curious little creatures and they might swallow something they shouldn’t, such as poisonous plants and flowers, people food, small objects, or other. Be watchful of your little pets when they are a few months old; if you suspect it swallowed a foreign object, you need to take it to the veterinarian immediately.
 
  • Bad digestion or abrupt change in diet. When you decide to change your four-legged companions (young or adult) to a new food (even if premium in quality), you need to introduce it gradually, a little bit at a time, otherwise there is a risk of causing acute episodes of diarrhoea.
 
  • Stress. Our furry buddies suffer from stress just like us humans and big changes can cause stress and anxiety to the point of creating gastrointestinal problems. Moving, trips, vacations in unfamiliar places, and the arrival of a baby or another puppy or kitten are typical sources of stress.
 
  • Parasites. Puppies and kittens are prone to attack by parasites, such as roundworms (in particular, Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina), tapeworms (Dipylidium), and Strongylus hookworms (especially Ancylostoma sp.). Fortunately, these are easily treated with specific drugs prescribed by the vet after diagnosis.
 
  • Bacterial and viral infections. Chronic diarrhoea can be caused by Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Adenovirus and Parvovirus, to name a few, and serious complications may result if it goes untreated. Again, the care of the vet is crucial for the health of your little buddy in cases like these.
 

Diarrhoea in puppies and kittens: The role of diet

 
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, gastrointestinal problems are very frequent in puppies and kittens.
We looked at the most common causes but diet is also a common culprit behind diarrhoea issues.
For example, a parasitic infection almost always leads to episodes of diarrhoea but it happens gradually. The little pet first suffers from loose stools and gradual loss of weight before actually experiencing diarrhoeic faeces.
Instead, an episode of sudden or “acute” diarrhoea is most likely caused by a viral infection, eating something harmful or toxic, cold exposure or drinking contaminated water.
Diet, however, is and remains the most common cause of diarrhoea.
Encased meats (especially sausage and mortadella) and industrial frankfurters and burger meat patties are some examples of foods that easily trigger diarrhoea in dogs and cats. Feeding our four-legged companions people food is almost never a good idea!
Also, keep snacks to a minimum, especially snacks rich in cereals or animal meals of dubious origin.
Another important thing to consider is that episodes of chronic diarrhoea could be due to an allergy- or food intolerance-related issue (Link articolo Allergie e intolleranze alimentari nei cani e nei gatti). Here, the triggering factor would have to be identified together with your vet.
 

Remedies for diarrhoea in puppies and kittens

 
If your puppy or kitten is suffering from diarrhoea, you should know that remedies vary depending on the symptoms:
 
  1. If the little one is lethargic and has a fever, these are signs of a viral or bacterial infection and you need to get in touch with your vet right away.
 
  1. If the puppy or kitten has diarrhoea but it is its usual playful self, then it’s important to try to recall what it ate earlier that day or anything unusual it might have swallowed. That would be the cause in most cases. If the diarrhoea persists, we invite you once again to get in touch with a veterinarian.
 

Our advice to prevent diarrhoea in puppies

 
MONODiet All Size PUPPY rich in fish is a low-grain balanced and complete food with a single carbohydrate source designed for growing puppies and to reduce and prevent intolerance to ingredients and nutrients.
It is formulated with rice, a high biological value grain that helps digestion, and probiotics (MOS and FOS), which promote a well-balanced bacterial flora. Beet pulp stimulates intestinal peristalsis and improves the gut’s function and absorption capabilities. And glucosamine and fish oil, with a balanced Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio, support joint and cartilage health during the growing phase.
We recommend feeding your puppy this food in case of diarrhoea caused by food intolerance.
 
We hope this article on diarrhoea in puppies and kittens gave you a greater understanding about the problem and will help you take the right action quickly if your four-legged companion ever manifests this symptom.