What To Do When Your Shih Tzu Has Diarrhea


Your Shih Tzu might be the cutest thing on the planet, but not when she has diarrhea.

Suddenly, being a pup parent becomes less of a joy and more of an "Ewww" when your precious pup is experiencing some intestinal misfortune, especially when it ends up all over your floor.

Of course, clean-up aside, when your dog has diarrhea, it isn't enjoyable for her either, and she can feel pretty miserable.

If your Shih Tzu has diarrhea, there are a few things you can give her to help ease her tummy and reduce the frequency of her bathroom breaks.

Some good food options for a dog with diarrhea are boiled chicken without the skin, plain white rice, yogurt, canned pumpkin, and cottage cheese, just to name a few.

Basically, bland foods that are easy for your pup to eat are the best options to soothe her tummy.

When your dog has an upset stomach, it's best to feed her bland, easily digestible foods until she recovers.

Depending on what is causing your pup's diarrhea, hopefully, it will resolve within a couple of days.

If it persists or worsens, then you should have your Shih Tzu checked out by your vet immediately to determine what is going on with your canine pal.

Keep reading to understand why your dog from gets diarrhea, and how to prevent it from happening often.

Why Do Shih Tzu Get Diarrhea?

Dogs can get diarrhea for several reasons, and not all of them are serious.

Sometimes, your pup may have just eaten something that upset their stomach, and their body is merely trying to get rid of the offending item.

Acute diarrhea can be caused by ingesting a foreign object, a stomach virus, or parasites in the body such as hookworms, whipworms, or roundworms.

If your dog is on monthly parasite prevention and shows no other symptoms, then most likely, their diarrhea results from some bad bacteria in the gut or a taste of something that didn't agree with their, for example, a quick dig through the garbage.

Dogs can also experience diarrhea if they are stressed, for example, a new home or a change in routine. If this is the case, work with your dog to resolve the root issue, whether working on separation anxiety or giving him time to adjust to the new environment or schedule.

Also, a change in diet may cause intestinal upset; so if you change your dog's food, it is important to do it over several days by mixing the new food in with the old food and gradually removing the old food from their diet.

Chronic diarrhea is another matter.

If your pup's diarrhea lasts for a few weeks, then it is chronic, and your vet will need to run a series of tests, including a fecal exam and possible bloodwork, to try and determine the cause.

There are many possibilities of what it could be, ranging from simple to more serious.

Sometimes, a change in diet and medication will fix the problem.

Other times further testing, such as an ultrasound of the gut, may be necessary to see if there are more factors at play.

Regardless of the cause, you will need to consult with your vet sooner rather than later if your Shih Tzu has diarrhea for more than a few days.

Doing so will help resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

What Foods Are Best for a Shih Tzu with Diarrhea?

When your Shih Tzu has diarrhea, she will need to take a break from her regular dog food for several days; it's time to make her some special dishes.

Basically, bland foods that are easy for your pup to digest are the best choices when she has diarrhea.

Some of the foods that are good to give your Shih Tzu may seem obvious, while others might surprise you.

Here are a few foods that are good options to help your pup get the nutrition and sustenance that she needs while staying gentle on her tummy:

  • Cooked chicken, without the skin
  • Cooked plain white rice
  • Mashed boiled potatoes
  • Mashed sweet potatoes
  • Canned pumpkin (make sure it is not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Banana
  • Plain yogurt
  • Plain oatmeal
  • Boiled eggs
  • Mashed cooked carrots
  • Unsweetened applesauce

In addition to these foods, you might also want to consider giving your dog a probiotic.

Your vet can prescribe one or recommend a good over-the-counter option.

Probiotics help replenish good bacteria in the gut and bring things back into balance.

Do not give your dog any kind of human diarrhea medication, such as Immodium, unless you are told to do so by your vet.

What If Diarrhea Doesn't Improve?

Hopefully, your pup's diarrhea is only short-lived, and you will see improvements within a day or two.

Sometimes, your dog may only have one or two bouts of loose bowels, and then everything will be back to normal.

It's essential that you closely monitor your Shih Tzu's stool during this time to make sure things are moving in the right direction; if she still has diarrhea at the two-day mark, you need to make an appointment with your vet to rule out any significant issues.

You also need to be aware of any other symptoms, if any, that accompany diarrhea.

For example, vomiting, lethargy, or anything else out of the ordinary, would warrant a vet trip.

If your pup's diarrhea continues, another thing that you need to be wary of is dehydration.

Your dog is losing a lot of fluids every time she has diarrhea, and it is important to replace what is lost in a way that doesn't cause further stomach issues.

To keep your Shih Tzu hydrated while she has diarrhea, try the following:

  • Offer small amounts of water, don't let her drink too much at a time
  • Offer ice chips
  • Offer some diluted chicken broth to encourage your pup to drink
  • Mix a small amount of water into her food
  • Give your pup diluted, unflavored Pedialyte in small amounts - check with your vet for the recommended dose based on your dog's weight - this will help replenish electrolytes

Most of the time, a small bout of diarrhea is not something to stress about; just like humans, dogs can experience diarrhea, and it can be easily managed at home and resolve itself within a couple of days.

The best thing to do is keep your pup comfortable, provide a bland diet, ensure she stays hydrated, and make it easy for her to access her bathroom area.

If you are concerned or unsure about how she is doing, remember it's always best to play it safe and see your vet.

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Posted 12/4/2020

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