Chronic diarrhoea is defined as diarrhoea that is present for longer than 2 weeks, or is episodic, or intermittent.
The diagnostic approach should include:
- Toxin or foreign body ingestion?
- Worming status.
- Travel history.
- Dietary history.
- Presence of signs in in-contact animals?
- Presence of systemic signs?
- Weight loss?
- Physical examination:
- Vital signs.
- Hydration status.
- Body condition score.
- Check oral mucous membranes (anaemia, jaundice).
- Check under tongue (for linear foreign body).
- Palpate abdomen (foreign body, mass, effusion, thickened or bunched intestines, pain, organomegaly).
- Rectal examination (mass, foreign body, melena).
- Ascites or peripheral oedema can be seen in protein-losing enteropathy (PLE).
- Skin signs can be present in cases of dietary sensitivity.
- Examine the rest of the dog to find signs of systemic disease.
To find out more on this topic, watch out for The Webinar Vet’s latest webinar on Chronic diarrhoea; a rational approach to investigation by James McMurrough BVSc CertAVP(SAM) CertAVP(VC) MRCVS on 25th April at 8.30 pm.
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