My Pregnant Dog Has Diarrhea! Should I Be Concerned?

When your dog is pregnant, you are constantly worried and concerned with all of the issues that your female dog might face and the risks that she can be exposed to. You would want to ensure the safety of the mother herself in addition to her growing puppies. For that reason, dog owners may easily stress about minor issues and factors during their dog’s pregnancy, where they would always want to make sure that everything is in order. 

can dogs sense when something is wr...
can dogs sense when something is wrong with their owner

During pregnancy, the physiological state of your pet is in continuous change because other living things are growing inside her body. These pups will then share their mother’s resources to grow and develop. This issue can sometimes place the fetus’s health over the mother’s, leading to some uncomfortable situations that your dog can face. 

These developing puppies are getting all of their nutritional needs from their mother’s body and diet. Meaning that the nutrition that your female dog receives is divided into several parts where the pups will take whatever they need from the nutritional supply, even if it does not favor their mother’s health. This places the mother dog in a weak position where she will be more prone to discomfort, lethargy, diarrhea, and other pathological effects.

Can Pregnancy in Dogs Cause Diarrhea?

It is absolutely normal and expected for your pregnant dog to have diarrhea. Pregnancy involves the formation of a new creature in your dog’s body, where this body isn’t familiar with this newly developing fetus. Therefore it may show some reactions which are not necessarily alarming signals, rather than just some events that occur during the gestation period.

Some female dogs, for example, may experience signs such as diarrhea and vomiting when they are in heat. Meaning that the hormonal fluctuation that they go through during this phase causes a disturbance in their normal physiology, thus leading to an upset gastrointestinal tract. Similarly, during pregnancy, your dog’s hormones are continuously shifting and changing, causing a more complicated effect on her physiological functions, thus leading to these kinds of reactions. 

In some rare cases, pregnant female dogs can have diarrhea due to a gastrointestinal infection. This can occur due to the decrease in immunity that appears at the beginning of pregnancy, where your dog will be more prone to diseases and infections. If you suspect such an issue with your pregnant dog, check for signs of fever or abdominal pain, and consult your specialized veterinarian. 

Why Does My Pregnant Dog Have Diarrhea?

As we discussed before, pregnancy develops a foreign “creature” in your dog’s body, which can easily disturb her physiological functions. This is primarily because of the hormonal fluctuations where your dog’s body is not adapted to the increase of some hormones such as progesterone and relaxin. Additionally, the growth of the puppies can easily exert pressure on your dog’s intestinal system and the urinary tract. 

Firstly, the hormonal system shift that your pregnant dog goes through is like no other. This is because the increased hormonal secretion occurs due to the presence of the placenta, which secretes excessive amounts of some hormones in order to maintain the pregnancy. For this reason, your dog’s body has never experienced this kind of hormonal increase, so it might react negatively to it. 

Additionally, the enlargement of the uterus that starts with the beginning of pregnancy can easily compress the intestinal system and lead to an upset gastrointestinal tract. And as the puppies grow even more, there will be a continuous increase in pressure on your dog’s abdominal organs. Therefore, your pregnant dog will mainly experience diarrhea during pregnancy, not indicating any pathological or infectious problem. 

Do Pregnant Dogs Get Diarrhea Before Going Into Labor?

Generally, female dogs show various signs before going into labor, each of which is triggered by a specific physiological change in the body. Therefore, the changes in your dog’s body before birth will force the body to show indications of labor. So if you suspect that your dog is on the verge of giving birth, it is very likely they will experience diarrhea before they go into labor. 

Before birth, certain hormonal changes occur in your dog’s body, meaning that the hormone that maintains the pregnancy suddenly drops to induce labor. The values of this hormone, progesterone, will decrease before birth, causing an uncomfortable hormonal change in the blood, which will lead to diarrhea and possible vomiting. Therefore, if you notice some diarrhea along with discomfort, restlessness, and continuous licking of genitals, your dog might be going into labor. 

Additionally, there is another physiological change that causes diarrhea before birth. And that’s the continuous, strong uterine contractions that intend to push the puppies outside. These strong uterine contractions highly affect the gastrointestinal system and disturb their normal functioning, thus causing negative symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. To eliminate this issue for pregnant or non-pregnant dogs, you can use our recommended anti-diarrhea liquid for dogs to ease out these kinds of uncomfortable situations. 

Why Might a Pregnant Dog Have a Diarrhea with Blood?

Unfortunately, bloody diarrhea is not a typical occurrence in pregnant dogs. It shows that there is a pathological reason that is causing a malfunction in your dog’s intestinal tract. Diarrhea with blood in it could be caused by several issues that are not pleasing to hear. So if your pregnant dog experiences bloody diarrhea, get her immediate medical attention. 

While diarrhea in pregnant dogs can be a common issue, bloody diarrhea is definitely not. Various pathological agents are capable of causing this kind of bleeding in your dog’s internal organs. These include bacterial infections, viral diseases, or even the swallowing of foreign objects. Your dog might sometimes swallow the weirdest things, which can consist of plastic material, foam balls, or even aluminum cans!

For example, if your dog has bloody diarrhea due to a bacterial infection like salmonella, enteritis may occur. Enteritis means the inflammation of the intestines, which in severe cases can cause damage to the intestinal wall, thus showing blood in the stools. Additionally, suppose your dog ever swallowed a foreign object. In that case, this can easily cause a perforation in the intestinal tract, also leading to abnormal bleeding. 

What Should I Do if My Pregnant Dog Has Diarrhea with Blood?

As we mentioned before, bloody diarrhea in pregnant and non-pregnant dogs is not a good indicator. Therefore, if you notice blood in your pregnant dog’s stools, contact your veterinarian immediately to perform some tests to ensure everything is in order. And if you are not able to get in contact with your vet directly, here are some tips you can follow to take a preparatory course of action. 

The first thing you want to do is to make sure that your dog hasn’t swallowed any metal or plastic objects. Look for bits or pieces of any possibly eaten objects like a highlighter pen or check if there are any signs of chewing on such material. These kinds of items are capable of harming both your dog’s health as well as her babies’; therefore, you will really want to make sure that your dog hasn’t eaten anything harmful. 

If this option is out of the way, then our second suspicion is a bacterial infection in the intestines, which can be detected by performing specific tests that your vet recommends. If your veterinarian actually identifies an infection, you will have to administer the correct treatment precisely as the specialized vet told you to. This is because any alteration that you make to the treatment system can doubtlessly affect the health of your dog’s babies. 

What Can I Give a Pregnant Dog for Diarrhea? 

Medications or treatments for pregnant dogs should always be administered carefully, as some medications can pass through the umbilical cord and damage the growing puppies. There are always certain specific medications that your veterinarian recommends that are suitable for your pregnant dog, which will not harm the babies. Your specialist would most likely prescribe a vet’s preferred anti-diarrhea liquid for dogs, which will be very helpful with your pregnant dog’s issue. 

Additionally, if you want your dog’s gastrointestinal health to be stable during pregnancy, try to conduct a healthy, sustainable, and nutritional diet that will minimize your dog’s intestinal problems. This includes following specific criteria while giving your dog her meals and making sure to administer the correct types and amounts of food. This will highly improve the functioning and performance of the gastrointestinal tract, and it will facilitate the digestion and excretion of food. 

This diet will mainly be composed of plain foods that will soothe your dog’s upset stomach. You will give your pregnant dog some boiled chicken, rice, and veggies, none of which contain any spices or oils. This plain diet will slowly and gradually improve your dog’s intestinal health, which will eventually eliminate diarrhea. 

Can a Pregnant Dog Having Diarrhea Be a Bad Sign?

As previously mentioned, diarrhea in pregnant dogs can be expected and non-concerning, where diarrhea is just the bodies’ reaction to the changes occurring during pregnancy. On the other hand, if some other infection-related symptoms accompany diarrhea, then it could actually be a bad sign. Harmful infection symptoms may include fever, lethargy, decreased appetite, and bloody diarrhea. 

So generally, if your pregnant dog starts to show signs of abnormal stools, don’t panic; it is most likely that it’s occurring due to gestation. The sudden fluctuation in hormones and abdominal growth are the usual causes of diarrhea in pregnant dogs. And depending on your dog’s general health status, this diarrhea may disappear after a few weeks from the beginning of pregnancy, or it might go on for a while. 

On the other hand, if you notice some abnormal signs and signals of disease, this is an indication that something is wrong. If you see any severe vomiting problems, bloody or mucosal diarrhea, fever, or weakness, you can detect this issue. If any of these signs are detected, chances are your dog is infected and needs immediate medical attention.

Conclusion

After all, diarrhea during a dog’s pregnancy is a prevalent issue that some supplements and medications can eliminate. Just be sure to conduct a proper, healthy, and nutritional diet for your dog, keep her away from any harmful objects and substances, and everything else will fall into order. And if any unfortunate signals appear on your pregnant dog, take her to the veterinarian and make sure that she gets proper medical help and treatment.