Canines are susceptible to a range of human diseases, including diarrhea. If you’ve ever had diarrhea, you’ll have a first-hand experience of what your Yorkshire terrier is going through.
But, even if you don’t, we’re sure it’s heartbreaking to see your cute little Yorkie in such a sorry state. Want to help your furry friend feel better? Here’s what you can do to help.
What To Do If Your Yorkie Has Diarrhea
It breaks our hearts to see our canine friends in pain, so we’ll do whatever we can to help them get better. But what can you do to help your Yorkie beat the stool?
Identify the Type of Diarrhea
The first thing you want to do is determine the type of diarrhea affecting your Yorkie. Dogs are only susceptible to two types of diarrhea. So, it’s quite easy to understand the variant and severity of diarrhea afflicting your canine friend.
The standard type of diarrhea infection in dogs is acute diarrhea. This variant is characterized by the common symptom of diarrhea such as:
- Gas: Gas results from the fermentation of undigested food in the stomach. The animal may pass out the gas through belching or flatulence.
- Mucus: Mucus is a jelly-like substance in the intestine which keeps the colon moist and lubricated. A heavy bout of diarrhea can expel mucus along with stool from the intestine.
- Loss of Appetite/refusal to eat: Diarrhea can cause dogs to lose appetite or experience general lethargy. The animals become unresponsive and generally lack the strength or motivation to do anything.
- Dehydration: Due to the small frame of Yorkshire terriers, they quickly lose a significant amount of water when stooling. Also, their lack of appetite hinders them from replenishing lost fluid quickly. All of these ultimately result in dehydration.
- Fever: Fever increases body temperature due to the body trying to fight off an infection. A viral infection sometimes causes diarrhea, and the fever occurs as the body’s defense mechanisms combat the virus.
Acute diarrhea only lasts for a few days and a week at most. Any form of diarrhea that exceeds a week’s duration is classified as chronic diarrhea. This type of diarrhea has the same symptoms as acute diarrhea; however, the symptoms can be more severe. The symptoms can progress to the following;
- Blood in stool: If diarrhea goes on for an extended period, the animal may start passing blood with stool. The blood may appear bright red or dark red and will be painful for the animal.
- Weight loss: The dog will begin to lose weight due to excessive fluid loss, dehydration, and poor feeding. For a Yorkie, losing even a pound in weight is a huge cause for concern.
Identify the Cause of the Illness
When dealing with diarrhea, you can’t precisely tackle the illness; instead, you attend to the cause. The situation is the same for many other illnesses.
The treatments administered take care of the cause while the body heals itself. Therefore, when your Yorkie has diarrhea, you want to pay attention to the leading cause of the problem. Below are some of the possible causes of Yorkie diarrhea.
Stress can lead to many things in humans and animals alike; diarrhea is one of them. Generally, stress and fatigue affect the body organs’ abilities to function as they ought to. In small dogs such as Yorkies, it’s not rare to see stress messing up their digestive systems.
If you think stress is the problem, you want to find out what’s responsible for the stress. For example, most Yorkies experience stress when they change environments. They may find seeing new faces, new atmosphere and interacting with new individuals overwhelming. In this case, you want to follow a proper procedure for socializing the dog in the new environment.
Change of Diet / Overeating / Toxic Food
More often than not, your dog will be stooling because it ate; too much, something it shouldn’t eat, or something alien to its digestive system. Experts say diarrhea is a type of food-borne disease. Therefore, the chances are high that the dog got the problem through something it ate.
If you recently changed your Yorkshire terrier’s diet, then you have your most probable cause there. Dogs are also notorious for mouthing strange objects, so it’ll not be surprising if your dog mistakenly ingested a foreign item. The diarrhea is just the body’s way of rejecting whatever it ate.
Infection and Parasites
Viral infections are also common causes of diarrhea. The Parvovirus is particularly common among dogs, and it can irreparably harm Yorkies without proper treatment.
Parasites like hookworm, tapeworm, roundworm etc., can also get into your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. The activities of these parasites can result in diarrhea and related illnesses. Parasites can get into the body of your pets through any means. For example, the pups can get it while nursing or right from birth.
The best move? See a Vet for advice.
The treatment approach will depend heavily on the cause of the diarrhea infection. It’s always better to have the vets check the situation and suggest the best course of action. However, if you can’t get proper help quickly, you could do the following.
First of all, you may want to limit the dog’s food for a period between 12-24 hours. This process allows the stomach to rest and adequately digest or expel all items ingested by the dog. If the stooling were caused by food, this process would take care of the problem. Even if other medical conditions cause it, limiting its food intake will reduce the rate of stooling.
The next course of action is to ensure your Yorkie takes a lot of clean, cold water. Doing this will help to replenish lost fluids and prevent dehydration. Make sure to filter the water and frequently clean out their dish bowl. Any further contamination may aggravate the condition; therefore, you want to avoid it.
To aid with the Yorkie’s recovery, you can feed it bland or low-salt chicken broth. You can prepare the bland broth by boiling vegetables in water. However, you only need to serve the watery part of the concoction. You may also flavor the broth with naturally brewed soy sauce or nutritional yeast.
You may also try chamomile tea. Add two teaspoons of dried chamomile to two cups of boiled water. Filter the mixture to separate the leaves and add half a teaspoon of salt to it before serving it to the dog.
Once you notice that the stooling is becoming tolerable, you can feed the Yorkie solid food. However, you want to start with small pieces of boiled white chicken breast meat. You may serve this with plain bland white rice. Keep the Yorkie on this diet for a while to watch its recovery and reaction to solid food.
If the problem persists, you can try using activated charcoal (only bought from a Vet or a pet store like Chewy that also provides instructions). E.g. Mix half a tablespoon of activated charcoal with water to make a thin paste.
If the problem does not subside after this, you should get to the vets as soon as possible. Consulting your Vet first remains the safest and best option when health issues arise.
How to Prevent Yorkie Diarrhea
Prevention is always better than cure. Many times, it’s possible to avoid illnesses such as diarrhea for yourself and your furry friend. So how can you go about it?
- When changing your Yorkie’s diet, do it in a gradual process. A sudden dietary change can be overwhelming for the dog’s fragile digestive system.
- As much as possible, go for organic dog foods over GMO foods.
- Always take away items that the dog can mouth and mistakenly ingest. Also, make sure your dogs don’t drink from puddles as they can ingest parasites from such environments.
- Take your Yorkie to the vet regularly for a medical check-up.
For humans, an illness like diarrhea is something we can pass off for a couple of days, and we’ll be fine. However, losing blood and fluid to stooling can lead to dehydration for small dogs like the Yorkshire terrier.
The results can be fatal if you don’t act quickly. We hope the information above will be helpful when you need it.