My dog ​​poops hard and then soft - Causes and solutions

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When a dog defecates hard and then soft, it can indicate that he is suffering from a case of small intestine diarrhea. This type of diarrhea can be caused by various pathologies or infections in dogs and can seriously affect their nutritional status and health, by interfering with the proper absorption of nutrients from their diet.

Due to this, if the triggering cause is not controlled and treated, our dog will get progressively worse. The diagnosis should include various types of tests to find the cause and provide specific and general therapy in each case. Keep reading this AnimalWised article to learn more about small intestine diarrhea in dogs and to know Why does your dog poop hard and then soft.

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  1. What can indicate that my dog ​​defecates hard and soft?
  2. Causes of why my dog ​​defecates hard and then soft
  3. Symptoms of small intestine diarrhea in the dog
  4. Diagnosis of small intestine diarrhea in dogs
  5. Canine Small Bowel Diarrhea Treatment

What can indicate that my dog ​​defecates hard and soft?

When a dog defecates first hard and then soft, it can indicate that it presents small bowel diarrhea. Because the first part of the stool is firm and hard and then soft stools appear, which can be confusing for the caregiver.

A normal dog's stool should be moist, firm, and with a slight odor. If the dog follows a diet with a high amount of fiber, the stool will be more voluminous, as if it has a disease known as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

The consistency of the stool depends on the absorption of water in the intestine, which in turn depends on how you are. Certain pathologies alter the osmolarity and the capacity of retention of water appearing the diarrhea; or on the contrary, there is a high absorption of water and the stool becomes dry and hard, being difficult to expel, causing constipation or constipation..

If the dog has diarrhea can explain the question why my dog ​​defecates many times, since in this case the feces pass through the intestinal transit containing excessive water, which increases its fluidity, volume or frequency of defecation. Diarrhea in dogs can be classified as small intestine and large intestine diarrhea.

Characteristics of small intestine diarrhea

Small bowel diarrhea is characterized by:

  • Rare tenesmus (difficulty) and urge to defecate.
  • Daily frequency of defecation 2-3 times higher than normal.
  • Increased volume.
  • There is usually no mucus.
  • There is usually no fresh blood, but it is digested (mane).
  • Sometimes vomiting appears.
  • Weightloss.

Characteristics of large bowel diarrhea

In large intestine diarrhea appears:

  • Tenesmus.
  • Daily frequency of defecation greater than 3 times normal.
  • Urgency to defecate.
  • Mucus.
  • Fresh blood.
  • Rare vomiting and weight loss.

Causes of why my dog ​​defecates hard and then soft

Among the causes that can cause small bowel diarrhea in a dog and that defecates hard first and then diarrheal stools, are the following:

  • Infectious enteritis (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Giardia, other internal parasites, Histoplasma, Phycomycosis).
  • Bacterial overgrowth.
  • Renal disease.
  • Liver disease.
  • Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's disease).
  • Food hypersensitivity.
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  • Protein-losing enteropathy.
  • Intestinal obstruction.
  • Intestinal intussusception.
  • Foreign bodies in the intestine.
  • Intestinal tumors (lymphosarcoma, adenocarcinoma, fibrosarcoma, leiomyoma).
  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.
  • Lymphangiectasia.
  • Rectal polyps.
  • Feeding change.

The large bowel diarrhea It occurs when there is alteration or diseases from the large intestine, such as:

  • Parasitic or bacterial infections.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Perineal disease.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Neoplasms (lymphosarcoma).
  • Colonic histoplasmosis.

Symptoms of small intestine diarrhea in the dog

When diarrhea appears in the small intestine, in addition to loose stools, the following usually appear in the dog Clinical signs:

  • Lack of growth in puppies.
  • Weightloss.
  • Anorexy.
  • Gurgling.
  • Flatulence.
  • Abdominal discomfort.
  • Ascites.
  • Edema.
  • Melena (digested blood).
  • Dehydration.
  • Malabsorption.
  • Poor digestion.
  • Nutritional deficiencies.
  • Bad hair appearance, matte, dull.
  • Vomiting.
  • Increased frequency of defecation.
  • Fever.
  • Lethargy.

Generally, when a dog is affected by small bowel diarrhea is worse than if it is in the large intestine, It won't affect your appetite or nutrient absorption as much, so you won't lose as much weight. Sometimes they can have diarrhea of ​​the small and large intestines if both are affected, such as cases of bacterial or parasitic infections, inflammatory bowel disease, lymphosarcoma or intestinal histoplasmosis. In addition, the clinical signs will give us a clue to other problems:

  • Weightloss: the lack of nutrients and weight loss indicates intestinal malabsorption due to different pathologies of which we have named.
  • Vomiting and pain- Vomiting and abdominal pain indicate intestinal inflammation or obstruction.
  • Blood in the stool- Blood in the stool indicates inflammatory, erosive or ulcerative diseases of the intestine.
  • Infectious enteritis: When diarrhea is from infectious enteritis, fresh blood and abdominal pain are added to vomiting and small bowel diarrhea.
  • Pica and coprophagia: In cases of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and chronic intestinal diseases, pica and coprophagia (they eat things that are not food and feces) can be observed. Polyphagia is also common in exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
  • Anorexia and loss of appetite: anorexia and loss of appetite usually occur with tumors, inflammations or obstructive processes of the intestine.
  • Edema and ascites: edema and ascites is due to an enteropathy (loss of protein).

Diagnosis of small intestine diarrhea in dogs

The diagnosis should include numerous tests to make a good differential diagnosis with the diseases that can cause a dog to defecate hard and soft. It should start with a hemogram and a blood chemistry, to assess if there is:

  • Anemia from blood loss.
  • Low white blood cells as an indication of an infectious process.
  • Low lymphocytes as a possible indication of lymphangiectasia.
  • Azotemia, if there is kidney disease.
  • Alteration in liver enzymes, if there is liver disease.
  • Eosinophilia (increased eosinophils) in parasitosis, hypoadrenocorticism, or eosinophilic enteritis.
  • TLI (Trypsinogen-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 will be performed in these cases:

  • Stool culture- If there is a suspicion of bacterial infection, a culture of the dog's feces should be done and see if they grow.
  • Parasitological techniques: To look for parasites, parasitological techniques are carried out, such as flotation of feces, to look for parasite eggs under the 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.
  • Biopsy: if after performing the ultrasound an inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal tumor are suspected, a sample should be taken by biopsy and sent to the laboratory for histopathology to indicate what it is..
  • 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, confirming the diagnosis.

Canine Small Bowel Diarrhea Treatment

Once the diagnosis of why the dog is defecating hard and then soft has been established, symptomatic and specific therapy should be applied..

Symptomatic treatment

Symptomatic therapy is based on correcting nutritional and electrolyte imbalances with fluid therapy, especially important is potassium.

Antidiarrheal drugs will be used to stop diarrhea, but should not be used in case of infectious diarrhea, as these microorganisms need to be expelled. In these cases, the aantibiotics, antiparasitics, or antifungals necessary according to the case.

Specific treatment

Depending on what disease causes this symptomatology in dogs, a different specific or medical treatment will be used:

  • Chemotherapy: in case of intestinal tumors, chemotherapy and / or surgical resection should be used.
  • Diet and medications: in inflammatory bowel disease, a combination of diet, metronidazole and immunosuppressants such as prednisone, azathioprine or cyclosporine should be used depending on severity.
  • Vitamins: in the event of vitamin B12 or folate deficiencies, they should be supplemented.
  • Surgery: obstructions, intussusceptions or foreign bodies must be operated.
  • Treat the disease: if there is kidney, liver or hypoadrenocorticism disease, specific treatment for the disease in question should be performed.
  • Enzymes: If exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is demonstrated, pancreatic enzymes and a digestible diet should be administered.

This article is merely informative, at we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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