When small intestine diarrhea in dogs causes a dog to have firm stool followed by loose stool, it is a symptom of disease. This disease is one which affects the gastrointestinal tract, but there are various causes which can lead this to happen:
Infectious enteritis (caused by various bacteria and intestinal parasites including Campylobacter, Giardia, Histoplasma and Phycomycosis)
Large intestine diarrhea occurs when there is disturbance or diseases from the large intestine, such as:
Parasitic or bacterial infections
Inflammatory bowel disease
Irritable bowel syndrome
Diagnosis of small intestine diarrhea in dogs
The diagnosis should include numerous tests to make a differential diagnosis. This is important due to the high number of potential diseases which cause a dogs poop to start solid and then go soft. A veterinarian will likely start with a hemogram and a blood chemistry to assess whether there is:
Anemia from blood loss
Low leukocytes which indicate an infection
Low lymphocytes which indicate lymphangiectasia
Azotemia (occurs with kidney disease)
Alteration in liver enzymes (in liver disease)
Eosinophilia (increased eosinophils) in parasitosis, hypoadrenocorticism or eosinophilic enteritis
TLI (Trypsin-Like Immunoreactivity) less than 2.5 µg/L indicates exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
If there is a deficiency of vitamin B12 (alteration in the jejunum) or folate (alteration in the ileum)
In addition, the following tests may be performed in cases of diarrhea:
Stool culture: if there is a suspicion of bacterial infection, a culture of the dogs stool should be taken and tested to see if it proliferates.
Parasitological tests: looking for parasites, parasitological tests are carried out, such as flotation of the feces, to search the parasite eggs under a microscope.
Abdominal ultrasound: if tumors, obstructions, foreign bodies or inflammatory bowel disease are suspected, an abdominal ultrasound should be performed to look for characteristic changes. These tests are particularly important if the dogs belly is hard.
Biopsy: if after performing the ultrasound both inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal tumor are suspected, a sample should be taken by biopsy and sent to the laboratory so that they can indicate what it is by histopathology.
Hypoallergenic diet: in cases indicative of an adverse reaction to food, a hypoallergenic or novel protein diet should be given and then return to the previous diet and see if the symptoms return. If this occurs, it confirms the diagnosis.
Soft Dog Poop: An Overview
Soft stool in general is defined as feces that are not fully formed, or that is soft in consistency and cannot be easily picked up. Soft stool—which sometimes looks like soft-serve ice cream in consistency—can progress to diarrhea, which can be serious, says Dr. Ashley Rossman of Glen Oak Dog and Cat Hospital in Glenview, Illinois.