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Puppy has diarrhea.

Species: Dog
Breed: Shih Tzue
Age: Less than 3 mon
Hi Dr. Marie. We just got a puppy and she has some diarrhea. We got her on Saturday and she ate well and is playing quite happily. She isn't vomiting at all. But, she has had diarrhea about 5 times today. What can I do to help her? She is such a cute little puppy and I don't want her to get sick!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there...sorry to hear that your little one is not well!

There are several possible reasons for a puppy to have diarrhea. First of all, it is possible that she has an upset digestive tract due to a change in food or even due to stress especially if she has recently come from her mom to your place. (Not that your place is stressful, but it is all new for her). If this is the case, it should be temporary. I don't usually recommend fasting puppies because their little systems are not good at handling dehydration, but you can try feeding just very small meals of cooked chicken and rice for a day or two to see how she does.

The next possibility is that she has some parasites. There are many different kinds of parasites. Your vet will be able to tell by doing some tests on a stool sample whether there are parasites there and which medicines would be the most effective. Some parasites like coccidia or giardia are not killed by routine deworming.

If she is really unwell, she could possibly have parvo virus which is quite serious. Parvo usually also causes vomiting. The treatment for parvo is intensive hospitalization and IV fluids. However, it sounds like Pixie is still feeling well and as there is no vomiting this really doesn't sound like parvo.

Hope that helps!
Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thanks Dr. Marie! That makes me feel better! If this is giardia or coccidia will it go away on its own? Could this still be parvo virus even though she is feeling ok? I had a dog die from parvo before and I am very scared of it!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome! Giardia and coccidia both require prescription medications in order to be cleared.

This really is unlikely to be parvo from what you have described. However, if the diarrhea gets really watery and has blood and if she starts to vomit then I would be more concerned.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.