Distressed By Diarrhea Or Worms In Your Cat Or Dog?

Diarrhea is embarrassing!
I’m so embarrassed by the smell!

Almost anything can cause diarrhea in a family pet:

  • Parasites
  • Irritated digestive tract
  • New food
  • Spicy/sugary food
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Antibiotic use
  • Illness
  • Certain diseases

In many cases, you can treat mild diarrhea (and some parasites) at home. However, please provide vet care for any pet that has repeated bouts of diarrhea or diarrhea that is bloody. Runny diarrhea in young puppies is also a sign of Parvo, which is life-threatening. So, puppies with diarrhea need immediate treatment from their vet.

What medications are safe to give for diarrhea at home?


Probiotics are a supplement that contains colonies of healthy gut bacteria. Adding them to your pet’s food will help restore the natural balance of your pet’s gut. Probiotics also help with diarrhea caused by food changes or antibiotic therapy. Dogs and cats have different species of bacteria in their gut than humans (and each other). Consequently, they need species-specific probiotics. Purina FortiFlora is a well-trusted and effective probiotic for diarrhea for both cats and dogs.

Anti-diarrhea medications:

Kaolin and pectate have long been treatments for diarrhea. However, the popular medication “Kaopectate” has changed its formula over the years. It now contains an aspirin derivative, thus making it dangerous for use in cats and dogs. Luckily, other options are now available for pets:

Deworming medications:

Dewormers are specific medications that kill certain types of intestinal worms. The best way to diagnose an intestinal worm is to have your vet identify the ova in a stool sample and prescribe medication. But, there are some dewormers that are available over-the-counter for owners to purchase.

Hookworms and Roundworms:



  • Metronidazole – often used with fenbendazole to treat Giardia in dogs and cats. It may also be effective for treating bacterial diarrhea like E. coli overgrowth.


  • Sulfadimethoxine (Albon) – used mainly to treat Coccidia in puppies and kittens.

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