If your Boxer experiences sudden diarrhea, it’s crucial to understand the reasons behind it and how to provide assistance. This article covers the common causes of diarrhea in boxers and offers the most effective and safe remedies.
Table of Contents
7 Reasons Why Boxers Get Diarrhea
Below are the seven most common reasons why your Boxer might get diarrhea. The reasons below account for nearly all instances of diarrhea.
Boxers can get diarrhea from eating foul or rotten foods, a change of kibble, stress and anxiety, bacterial infections, parasites, heatstroke, medications, or underlying health issues.
1. Digestive upset
Digestive upset accounts for most bouts of diarrhea. Anything from eating rotten or foul food, toxic ingredients, or receiving table scraps can cause your Boxer to experience diarrhea.
While we think our table scraps are okay for dogs, they really aren’t! And even if scraps in the past haven’t caused issues, it doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.
Anything you boxer eats outside of their regular diet can potentially cause diarrhea (even regular dog treats).
2. Switch of diet, kibbles, or treats
If diarrhea shortly proceeds a change of diet, kibble, or treats, then you likely have your answer already. Any kind of transition must be done very slowly, otherwise, diarrhea is the likely result.
Sometimes, the new diet/kibble will actually work out well, but if it’s introduced too quickly diarrhea can happen easily. In other cases, it could be that the new diet/kibble isn’t actually good for your boxer and it causes diarrhea anyway.
By making a slow transition you reduce the chances of diarrhea happening (unless it really is going to happen anyway). It’s always advised to phase out old diets into new ones gradually over 1-2 weeks.
3. Stress & anxiety
Unfortunately for our canine companions, stress and anxiety can affect them in very similar ways as it does us. General stress can be caused by a wide range of things including a lack of exercise, mental stimulation, being left alone too long, or simply not receiving enough of your attention…
Ultimately, any level of stress or anxiety can lead to a myriad of health issues, and believe it or not, diarrhea is one of them.
As stress or anxiety can be caused by so many different things it’s necessary to step back and consider your boxer’s overall routine, life, and recent events up to now. This may help you pinpoint a potential cause of new stress
Intestinal parasites are another well-known cause of diarrhea, granted, this is much rarer than the causes given above.
Intestinal parasites can happen if your boxer ingests an infected flea, or the eggs in contaminated soil or feces. It’s also common for mothers to pass on parasites to the puppies (this is why deworming is crucial).
If your boxer does in fact have parasites, you might notice visible worms or blood in the diarrhea. Additional symptoms include vomiting, a lack of appetite and energy, weight loss, abdominal pain, and discomfort.
5. Bacterial infections
Bacterial infections can happen relatively easily but are another less common cause of diarrhea overall.
On a day-to-day basis, our boxers interact with many surfaces and items that are covered in bacteria. Everything from their own food bowls to toys, their own bed, and a plethora of unknown items while out on walks.
Sometimes bacteria can develop and actually make your boxer sick if he interacts or ingest it. This usually results in obvious symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, appetite changes, and abdominal pain. If something doesn’t seem right with your boxer, seek veterinary help.
6. Heatstroke & dehydration
Heatstroke and dehydration are other common causes of diarrhea during summer. Dehydration typically happens way before heatstroke, but both can happen quickly and unexpectedly.
The problem with dehydration is that it can be both the cause and the result of diarrhea, which creates a nasty cycle. Because of this, dehydration must be avoided at all costs.
7. Medication & underlying health issues
If your boxer is currently taking medication for any specific issue, then this could be what’s causing the diarrhea. If your boxer is on medication, it’s advised to speak to your veterinarian about this.
We must also acknowledge the fact that diarrhea is a common symptom of a wide range of health issues. Due to this, it’s important to be ready to visit your veterinarian if the diarrhea does not improve quickly or you witness additional symptoms alongside the diarrhea.
Popular read: What temperature is too cold for a boxer?
When To Visit a Vet
The official advice from veterinarians is to seek their help if diarrhea doesn’t improve after the first 24 hours of trying to alleviate symptoms.
If diarrhea is accompanied by additional symptoms, or your boxer is a puppy or senior, then you should consult with your veterinarian right away.
Ultimately, there is no wrong moment to call your veterinarian (other than too late), so if you are unsure or worried, don’t hesitate to call.
4 Ways To Help Your Boxer With Diarrhea
Let’s run through the four common methods of helping dogs with diarrhea. In most cases, these will be the exact same steps your veterinarian will suggest.
1. Short fast (24 hours)
Most vets will recommend withholding food for 24 hours to allow the stomach and digestive system to rest and recover. Please note that this is only suitable for healthy adults (2-8 years). Puppies, seniors, or those with underlying health issues should not fast.
Fasting allows the system to recover quickly and effectively. In most cases this alone will see a vast improvement in your boxer’s stool consistency. This is the ideal step before moving on to a bland food diet.
2. Bland food diet
Fasting should be done first by all those that qualify. If your boxer cannot fast, then the first step will be to follow a bland food diet.
The bland food diet consists of plain boiled chicken breast with plain boiled white rice. Some like to include other ingredients but in my experience, it’s best to stick to the basics.
This kind of diet works well as it continues to provide essential nutrients without stressing the digestive system. These two foods are incredibly easy to digest, and will not disrupt your boxer’s recovery.
The usual plan of action is to provide 3 small meals of this per day. Most vets will recommend continuing with this diet until diarrhea stops. After, slowly reintroduce their old diet.
With fasting and bland foods, probiotics might not even be necessary, but it’s another step before resorting to medication.
Probiotics can be given alongside bland food diets and will help restore balance and strength in the stomach. As diarrhea is mostly gut-related, probiotics usually help a lot.
Always check which kind of probiotics you are buying and if in doubt, ask your veterinarian for a recommended brand.
Antidiarrheal medication will likely be prescribed if your boxer is struggling to overcome diarrhea with the methods above.
In some cases, depending on the health of your boxer, a veterinarian might resort to antidiarrheal medication right away.
Pro-Pectalin is an antidiarrheal medication that you can often buy over the counter. Despite its wide availability, it’s always best to speak to your veterinarian first before giving your dog any kind of medication.
Preventing Diarrhea In Boxers
While we can’t prevent all instances of diarrhea, the vast majority of cases can be avoided with several good habits and practices. Let’s run through them below.
- Avoid giving table scraps or human food
- Change kibbles/diets/treats slowly over 1-2 weeks
- Make all trashcans completely unaccessable
- Avoid leaving food on the side
- Keep an eye on what your boxer sniffs and licks on walks
- Avoid letting him rummage through bushes on walks
- Avoid letting him play with unvaccinated dogs
- Keep on tops of health check ups
- Reduce stress and anxiety where possible (being left alone)
- Ensure your boxer’s daily requirements are met
- Wash toys, food bowls, and bed regularly
If these healthy habits are followed, diarrhea will rarely ever happen.
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