If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase, "my German Shepherd has diarrhea", well, I might not be rich but I would certainly be pretty well off. And then that problem leads to a lot of questions about what might have caused this condition in the first place. And believe me, a lot of people wonder why this happens to their GSDs.
First of all, it is good to know that this is a common situation and can be caused typically because of various things: like something they ate, stress/anxiety, allergies or maybe even a contaminated water source. There could be other factors too such as changing their diet way too fast, worms or maybe even a condition such as IBD, IBS or even EPI.
Now that "my German Shepherd has diarrhea" you need to decide what your course of action is needed to stop it and to see if you can figure out what caused it in the first place. If you suspect it is due to something they ate (but shouldn't have) then a good course of action is often to take food away from your dog for about 12 to 24 hours.
For one thing, this fasting helps to clear the "bad thing" out of your dogs system. Remember though, to provide plenty of fresh, clean water at all times. After the mini fast has finished then feed your German Shepherd plain white cooked rice with bland, boiled chicken - adding this back into your dogs diet will be the transition it needs to help get it back on its regular food.
Don't try and rush your dog back to its old/regular food too fast but continue to feed it the rice/chicken mixture for several days. Each meal add in a little more of it's regular food until you completely transition it back to it's regular diet. I would start out with maybe a small handful or so of regular food added to the rice mixture and then add a little more each meal until you are feeding the dog only its regular food. Give yourself about a week to make the transition.
If you want to find out what the cause of the diarrhea may be I would certainly encourage you to at least take a stool sample to your veterinarian to have them run a fecal test on it. At least that way you can immediately know if it is caused by parasites such as worms for example. And if so, this can also help you in deciding what you may need to get for your dog to heal your dog, get rid of the parasites and get past the diarrhea stage.
Lastly I'll briefly discuss a few other conditions that can also cause the conditions "my German Shepherd has diarrhea". First of all is Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS). This is often caused by stress and anxiety. Next is IBD - Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It is also often confused with IBS. Irritable Bowel Syndrom is caused by actual inflammation of the large or small intestine. Colitis is another term you will often hear if your dog has inflammation of its colon or intestinal tract.
Lastly, is EPI. Also called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, EPI, is a condition where the pancreas does not produce enough of the enzymes that the German Shepherd needs to actually help it break down, digest and get all the nutrients that it needs from the food it eats. This is very common in the GSD but also terribly under diagnosed.
All in all, if you ever think to yourself, "my German Shepherd has diarrhea", then I would certainly figure out a plan to get that dog back to a normal healthy status as soon as possible. If your German Shepherd is playful, active with a good appetite then I wouldn't be terribly worried - yet. But if your GSD is lethargic, depressed and just not himself then I would be much more worried about what was causing the diarrhea.
Some use over the counter people medications with their dogs. A dose of something like Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate may be all that is needed to clear up the diarrhea. But in other cases something different all together will be needed. In a case like that I would definitely get the dog to the vet asap. And even if it is still fairly active, if you feel unsure of what to do then please don't hesitate to discuss it with your veterinarian. Your vet may ask you to bring the dog in, or he may just ask for a stool sample.
Either way, if you are thinking, "my German Shepherd has diarrhea" then you know something is off about your dog. Now it is up to you to find out what is causing the issue in the first place, how to treat it and how to stop the diarrhea that your GSD is now having. Good luck!
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Thank you for this web site. Very informative and well written. I
often advise my shepherd people to visit here for information. Again
Laura Page Warden
What a fabulous website!!! I really enjoyed reading about the history of the dogs. There is a ton of helpful information on here and defiantly something for every reader to enjoy!!!
Recently got a GSD again. Last time had GSD no internet etc. Cant believe how much info for free. Kenneth
I love and appreciate the helpful advice I found on your website!