Updated: Feb 28
There are a handful of meds we use when an anxious dog's poop turns watery, but you need to understand how everything works. Here's a primer. No worries, there is no quiz at the end.
Stress diarrhea is caused by emotional stress. Your dear pet is taking life way too seriously, which makes the intestines, especially the large colon, churn and pulse instead of mildly working in slow and rhythmic contractions. This excessive excitation of the bowels is not good because it decreases transit time, ie. fecal material is presented to the bung hole way too quickly.
In calmer times the ingesta takes on a wet porridge consistency as it is pushed from the small into the large intestines. The small intestines have done their job; they have pulled as much goodness from the stuff coming from the stomach as possible. Now it is time to send the oozy material to the colon, the large intestine, for packaging, readying this soft wet stuff for proper evacuation. It is the task of the colon to pull water from the forming feces moving the turd from its wet beginning to a semi-firm pliable, easy to slid out poop. This takes time, and a good nights sleep is often all that is necessary.
This is where stress mars the pretty fairy tale. Your pet's hyperactive nerves will not allow the colon muscles the rest it needs. The stress causes continual churning of the ingest, preventing adequate water resorption.
1. We need to calm your beloved down a few notches. We try to do that cerebrally with anti anxiety meds. That's why we recommend Soliquin, an herbal valium.
If gentle herbals don't help I try Clomicalm, a member of the dibenzazepine class of tricyclic antidepressants.
2. Moving from the brain, other common sense approaches include using metronidazole and azulfidine. Both exert an anti-inflammatory effect onto the intestines, so they slow down their hyperactive irritation the stress is causing.
3. We can put a cork in the butt by using an opioid drug. Opioids shut down the muscular movement in the colon . That's why heroin addicts are so terrible and constantly constipated. A drug called loperamide can be give orally to cause some slowdown in this manner. And although the opioid addiction possibility is present, it is very small. Still, opioid addicts have been known to try for a high by ingesting 50 or more loperamide at a setting.
4. Finally, increasing fiber in the diet slows transit time: add Metamucil, a tablespoon a day to the food, or buy high fiber food.