Got the Runs? Got the Runs? | Veterinarian in New Orleans, LA | The French Quarter Vet

Got the Runs? 

Diarrhea is commonly known as Colitis.


Acute Diarrhea or Colitis is the most common issue pet parents run into. And its no fun for anyone. Some reasons a pet may have acute colitis could be 1 or a combination of issues.

-stress-related colitis (common after parents are away, weather, change in schedule)

-dietary indiscretion-related colitis (usually involves pets who get in the trash or like to pick stuff up from the streets or someone giving them tablescraps, change of diet without transitioning). 

-Parasites, especially Giardia and whipworms, can also cause colitis and the pet may be tested for those to rule them out. 

-There are Clostridial organisms (Bacteria)  that normally live in the large intestine but they do not cause any trouble unless some stressful event or diet change allows them to overgrow.

What to try before coming to the Vet.

  1. We usually recommend to start out by not feeding your pet for 12 hours at the first signs of diarrhea. Fasting will allow the intestinal system to relax and minimize acid secretions that may irritate and inflame the intestinal lining. Always allow Fresh Water to be Available.

2. Offering A Bland Diet: You can either choose to cook at home, boiled chicken No seasoning, and some Plain White Rice. 

  • There are Veterinary Prescription Diets available if you do not want to cook or do not have the availability to. Purina EN Low Fat, GI Low Fat by Royal Canine, and i/D Low Fat by Hill's. You should start with wet food vs. the Dry. 
  • It is also a good Idea to begin Probiotics such as Purina’s Forti Flora for at least 7-10 days. 
  • You want to offer a small meatball size of food and wait 6-8 hours to see if the pet is tolerating the diet. You should do this for the next 3-4 days. Offer small amounts every couple hours.

 3. As the stools begin to form you’ll want to switch back to your pets normal diet, 

Never transition back to a regular diet rapidly. Transition back to the regular diet over a 1 week period. Start by adding 25% of the regular diet to 75% of the bland diet and feed that combination for 2 days. If stools continue to be firm then continue substituting the regular diet in 25% increments and feeding the combination in 2 day time intervals until the diet is 100% regular diet. Minimize treats for 1 week after moving the diet back to 100% regular diet.

In general, a few days of Bland Diet, Probiotics and medication (if needed) should resolve the problem and the pet should be back to normal. During recovery, it is common for the pet to have No Stool at all for a couple of days. This is normal and not a sign of constipation. 

If, however, the pet's diarrhea is not clearly improved in two to three days a Vet visit might be in order. 

***Any Vomiting occurring means a visit to the Vet to rule out Foreign Body Ingestion or Pancreatitis which could be life threatening. 


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  • "great first experience! I was visiting New Orleans on my way to Miami and needed to get my pup checked up and a prescription for Heartgard. They fit me in same day and were extremely accommodating. Scott Griffith was the vet that took care of us and he was informative, nice, and super helpful!"
    Shayne S. / New Orleans, LA