Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Diarrhea: overview

Contributor(s): Daniel Batchelor, Ed Hall

Introduction

Definition

  • Increased water content leading to changes in frequency, fluidity or volume of feces.
  • Mechanisms (often more than one present):
    • Increased secretion.
    • Reduced absorption.
    • Altered permeability.
    • Altered motility.

Clinical classification of diarrhea

Localizing diarrhea to small or large bowel

  • Small intestinal diarrhea:
    • Mild increase in frequency (2-3 times per day).
    • Large volume of stool.
    • Color changes may occur.
    • Weight loss may occur.
    • There may be changed blood (melena) or steatorrhea.
  • Large intestinal diarrhea:
    • Increased frequency (> 3 times per day).
    • Mucus often present.
    • Fresh blood often present.
    • Associated with urgency and straining.
    • No weight loss unless severe disease or food withheld.
      Follow the diagnostic tree for Large Bowel Diarrhea Large Bowel Diarrhea.

Acute diarrhea

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Chronic diarrhea

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Therapeutic trials

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMedResource and PubMed.
  • Unterer S, Strohmeyer K, Kruse B D, Sauter-Louis C, Hartmann K (2011) Treatment of aseptic dogs with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis with amoxicillin/clavulanic acid: a prospective blinded study. J Vet Intern Med 25,973-979 PubMed.
  • Washabau R J, Day M J, Willard M D, Hall E J, Jergens A E, Mansell J, Minami T, Bilzer T W (2010) Endoscopic, biopsy, and histopathologic guidelines for the evaluation of gastrointestinal inflammation in companion animals. J Vet Intern Med 24, 10-26 PubMed.
  • Mandigers P J, Biourge V, van den Ingh T S, Ankringa N, German A J (2010) A randomized, open-label, positively-controlled field trial of a hydrolyzed protein diet in dogs with chronic small bowel enteropathy. J Vet Intern Med 24, 1350-1357 PubMed.
  • Allenspach K, Wieland B, Grone A, Gaschen F (2007) Chronic enteropathies in dogs: evaluation of risk factors for negative outcome. J Vet Intern Med 21, 700-708.

Other sources of information

  • Hall E J, German A J (2010) Diseases of the small intestine. In: Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 7th ed., edited by Ettinger S J, Feldman E C, St Louis, Saunders, pp1526-1572.
  • Allenspach K (2010) Diseases of the large intestine. In: Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 7th ed., edited by Ettinger S J, Feldman E C, St Louis, Saunders, pp 1573-1594.


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