When to Consider Your Dog's Diarrhoea an Emergency

Every dog owner knows that diarrhoea is one of the most common afflictions dogs experience in their lives. Note that diarrhoea is considered more of a sign or symptom of different diseases rather than an illness on its own. Since the condition is related with a wide range of diseases—from bacteria and viruses to life-threatening illnesses—it is sometimes difficult to know where your dog's toilet trouble is coming from and whether you should be worried. Here are 3 ways to work out if your dog's diarrhoea is a sign of something urgent that requires an after-hours animal care service.

1. How long ago did it start?

Common diarrhoea can stem from many changes in your dog's lifestyle. Even something as small as a, seemingly insignificant, diet change can put your dog's intestines under agony. In these cases, diarrhoea usually lasts around 24 to 48 hours, and there are a lot of home remedies that can help your pet get better faster. But if the diarrhoea lasts for more than 4 to 5 days, it is crucial that you contact an animal care service as soon as possible.

2. What other symptoms are there?

Another important thing to look out for when your dog is experiencing diarrhoea is the other symptoms they're going through. Typically, if your pet is suffering from other signs of illness, the diarrhoea could indicate a more serious disease. Look for common symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, dehydration and fever. Other, rarer signs may also include abdominal pain, loss of energy and weakness. Since the illnesses that cause these symptoms can be serious emergencies, it's best to get your dog seen by a professional.

3. Is the diarrhoea itself unusual?

Often times, the nature of the diarrhoea itself can give a vet all they need to know to diagnose the cause of the condition. It may be gross, but stool characteristics you need to check for are colour, smell, how often it happens and the consistency. Getting a sample of fresh faecal matter to your vet can also speed up the diagnostic process.

Ultimately, while diarrhoea is usually uncomfortable yet harmless, every dog owner should keep in mind that signs and symptoms out of the ordinary could point to a serious health problem. If you have any doubts, make sure you contact a vet or an after-hours animal care service as soon as possible, no matter the time and the place.