Why you should never medicate your dog for diarrhoea without talking to your vet

Why you should never medicate your dog for diarrhoea without talking to your vet

Health & Safety

If your dog is suffering from a short, minor bout of diarrhoea that does not appear to be overly serious or protracted, often, the best course of action is to simply wait things out, as your dog will likely return to good health within a day. All dogs are prone to getting the runs from time to time, often because they have eaten something unsuitable or have picked up a very minor bug, and unless the diarrhoea is repeated, severe, or otherwise accompanied by serious symptoms, monitoring your dog is generally the best course of action.

When you have taken the decision to wait things out and not pop the dog along to the vet, or if you have spoken to your vet and they agree that the dog does not need to be seen unless they do not recover within a day on their own, many pet owners wonder if there is anything that they can do for their dog at home. Just as we will often pick up an over the counter remedy from a pharmacy rather than visiting the doctor, it is only natural to wonder if there is an alternative option for dogs!

This often involves Googling the condition itself, in this case canine diarrhoea, in order to find out if there are any remedies or medications that can be given at home to clear up the bout or lessen its severity. Google is of course, no substitute for veterinary advice, and while you cannot guarantee the veracity of comments and advice on Google, the internet is full of posts from people advising home remedies for diarrhoea, or telling stories of having given their dogs human diarrhoea remedies with great success.

This, in its turn, can embolden the average dog owner to try to medicate their dog at home using a product like Immodium or Loperamide, both of which are also commonly used in veterinary medicine to treat diarrhoea in dogs as well. However, the fact that some meds are prescribed for dogs on occasion should never be seen as a green light to administer them without veterinary advice, and there are several good reasons behind why you should never medicate a dog for diarrhoea without your vet’s go-ahead.

Diarrhoea may actually be necessary

If your dog is suffering from a bout of diarrhoea, this is because something has thrown the natural balance of the digestive system out of whack, and your dog’s body is mustering its natural defences to cure itself from the illness and rid itself of the problem.

If your dog has ingested something toxic, has eaten something that doesn’t agree with them or is otherwise processing something that is having a negative effect on them, the process of diarrhoea is the body’s natural method of ridding itself of the problem as quickly as possible, and generally, diarrhoea is both the physical manifestation of the problem and its cure.

Administering medicines that stop or curb diarrhoea interferes with this process, as it restricts or stops the body’s expulsion of the problematic element. By retaining the waste product within the body and stopping it from being expelled, medications can force the body to reabsorb the toxin, and potentially turn a short bout of diarrhoea into a more serious sickness or illness.

Medications can mask the condition

Often, you may not know what has caused your dog to get diarrhoea, and this can be important when it comes to treating or resolving the condition. Giving any form of medication that alters the way that the body reacts to a toxin or otherwise treats or changes the body’s responses can actually mask the problem, and even worsen it, causing the bout of diarrhoea to become more protracted or harder to diagnose and treat later on.

Your dog may be allergic to the medication, or it may interact with other meds

As with any medication or remedy given to a dog or a person, there is the potential that introducing the drug can generate an allergic reaction to the remedy, and you will then be faced with a multitude of symptoms and problems all tied up together.

If your dog is on any other medications, has any other health conditions or is fed a prescription diet, introducing any other natural or medical remedy into the mix is a complex process that should only be conducted by a veterinary professional.

This is one of the most important reasons why you should never give your dog medicines or supplements without talking to your vet first, even if they are apparently very mild or natural remedies that are widely used.

Dosing is an exact science

Getting the dosage of any medication correct is important, in order to treat the problem without exacerbating it or overdosing the pet. Without access to the type of knowledge and experience that vets have on dosing medications, as well as knowing the exact weight of your dog and how to calculate the dosage of a medication, you are highly unlikely to be able to administer the correct dosage at home on your own, and run the risk of overdosing your pet, causing problems of its own.



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