The main causes of husky diarrhea usually relate to issues with food or infection.
In this article we’ll explore the 10 most common reasons for husky diarrhea and what you can do to both treat it and prevent it in the future.
Let’s get straight into it.
- 10 Main Causes Of Diarrhea In Huskies
- Helping Your Husky Cope With Diarrhea
- What Foods Can Huskies Eat When They Have Diarrhea?
- How To Prevent Diarrhea In The Future
- When To Contact A Veterinarian
10 Main Causes Of Diarrhea In Huskies
There are many causes of diarrhea in huskies, but they can be broken down into 10 categories.
- Diet changes
- Food allergies
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Dietary Indiscretion
- Organ dysfunction (pancreatitis, hepatitis, kidney disease)
1. Diet changes
Dietary changes are one of the most common causes of diarrhea. Huskies are tough pooches, but they can have sensitive stomachs. If you’ve recently changed their food, or begun giving them a new treat, this is probably the reason for the diarrhea.
When changing their food, begin giving them small portions of the new food, mixed with their old food. Gradually increase the amount of new food over a few days, until they are only eating the new food.
2. Food allergies
Food allergies are another common diarrhea trigger. Common food allergens include dairy, beef, chicken, eggs, soy, and wheat (source).
Signs of food allergies include diarrhea, vomiting, and itchy skin. They may also be hyper or lethargic.
3. Bacterial Infection
According to PetMD, bacterial infections can also cause diarrhea in huskies. These infections include E. coli, salmonella, and leptospirosis.
Huskies are usually resistant to these types of infections. Their digestive tract is designed to allow them to eat questionable foods, including dead animals.
However, their digestive system isn’t perfect, and they can pick up these bacteria, which will make them ill.
Young puppies and elderly huskies are at a higher risk than adults, but it can happen at any age.
In addition to diarrhea, they may experience vomiting, fever, dehydration, weight loss, and mucus in their stool.
4. Viral infection
Viral infections can also make your husky sick. This type of infection includes Parvo, distemper, and some coronaviruses.
Parvo and distemper can be prevented with vaccinations. These diseases can be fatal, even with veterinary treatment, so it’s important to stay up to date on vaccinations.
Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, fever, nasal and eye discharge, and abdominal pain.
5. Dietary Indiscretion
In simple terms, dietary indiscretion means that your husky has eaten something they shouldn’t have.
This includes eating garbage, spoiled food, foreign objects, and toxic substances.
The symptoms vary based on what they ate, and their reaction to it. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If they have eaten something toxic, they may experience confusion, tremors, abnormal bleeding, and collapse.
Parasites are organisms that live in your pooch’s digestive tract. They feed off of your husky’s nutrients.
A small number of parasites is unlikely to cause serious symptoms. However, if there are many of them, they can cause malnutrition and even death in rare cases.
Parasites can be treated with medication. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss.
Roundworms, hookworms, giardia, and whipworms are the most common dog parasites. Huskies can pick these up from contaminated food, soil and water.
Stress can also cause diarrhea in your husky. When they are stressed, the body directs blood flow away from the intestinal tract, to prepare for fight or flight. This makes digesting food more difficult.
The gut is closely connected with the brain. This is known as the gut-brain axis. When your pooch is stressed, the brain sends chemical signals to the gut.
This can cause stomach upset, including diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
IBS typically occurs because the intestinal muscles don’t contract properly. They can contract too much and cause diarrhea, or too little, which causes constipation. Your pooch may experience constipation, diarrhea, or alternate between both.
This type of diarrhea is typically very watery, with no solid form, according to PetMD. Your pooch may have a loss of appetite, vomiting, bloating, and stomach pain.
9. Organ dysfunction
Organ dysfunction is one of the most concerning causes of husky diarrhea. It can be caused by pancreatitis, hepatitis, or kidney disease.
Your husky may experience extreme stomach pain, jaundice, or changes in urination, along with diarrhea.
Pancreatitis can appear very quickly, but most types of organ dysfunction occur over time.
The last reason your husky may have diarrhea is trauma.
This can include physical trauma, like being hit by a car. It also includes bloat, which can cause the stomach to twist, which can be fatal. A bowel blockage is another cause, which can also be fatal.
Helping Your Husky Cope With Diarrhea
Mild diarrhea can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication and a bland diet. You should always contact your vet before giving your pooch any medication, and always use fasting as the first approach to diarrhea and change to a bland diet.
Immodium can treat diarrhea in dogs, just as it can in humans. However, you shouldn’t give your husky immodium if their system is trying to remove something harmful.
Avoid Immodium if:
- They have eaten a foreign object
- Have parasites
- Ingested something toxic
You can give your husky 1 mg of Immodium per 20 pounds of body weight (source). A 40 pound husky will take 2 mg, which is one Immodium pill. You may find it easier to opt for the liquid version for easy dosing.
You can repeat the dosage every 8-12 hours. Don’t give this medicine to your pooch for more than 48 hours.
Other Over the Counter Medications
Famotidine is also safe for dogs. This doesn’t help with diarrhea directly. Instead, it’s an antacid which can calm an acidic stomach.
You can give .5 mg per pound of body weight. This means that a 40 pound husky can take 10 to 20 mg twice a day.
If you’ve had diarrhea, you probably noticed that the best strategy was to avoid food initially. This gives the digestive tract time to settle, before it needs to actively digest food.
You can withhold food for 12 to 24 hours. Be sure they have fresh water available during this time.
What Foods Can Huskies Eat When They Have Diarrhea?
There are plenty of foods that can help ease diarrhea. You can give these foods after a period of fasting, or in small amounts instead of fasting.
Chicken And Rice
Chicken and rice is a great food for a husky with tummy troubles. It’s easily digestible, and provides nutrition. You’ll give them 2 parts cooked rice to 1 part boiled chicken.
For example, you can feed them 2/3 a cup of rice, and 1/3 cup of chicken.
Canned pumpkin can help relieve constipation or diarrhea, thanks to its easily digestible fiber content. Just give them 1 to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin 1 to 2 times a day.
You can give pumpkin by itself, or combine it with their food. Be sure to get plain pumpkin. Avoid pumpkin pie filling, which has ingredients that are harmful to dogs.
How To Prevent Diarrhea In The Future
There are a few things you can do to help prevent diarrhea.
These actions include:
- Make any dietary changes gradually.
- Vaccinate your pet against distemper and Parvo.
- Treat parasite infections if they occur
- Don’t allow your husky to eat garbage, dead animals, or foreign objects
- Regular visits to vet
When To Contact A Veterinarian
Some cases of diarrhea will resolve on their own with your support. However, diarrhea can be serious, so it’s important to know when you should contact your vet.
Your Gut Feeling
If you have a feeling something isn’t right, contact your vet.
Even if you can’t put your finger on why, there’s a good chance that you will have noticed something unusual that might need medical attention.
If your husky has diarrhea for longer than 48 to 72 hours, you’ll need to give the vet a call.
You should also call the vet if they have more than 3 episodes of diarrhea in a day, as this can lead to dehydration.
If your husky’s poop is black or tarry, you should seek veterinary care immediately.
You should also call the vet if you notice any blood in their diarrhea.
You should also give your vet a call if your husky has other symptoms. These symptoms can indicate an infection or another serious illness.
Your vet will discuss the symptoms, and let you know what to do next.
These symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Pale or tacky gums
- Weakness or loss of muscle control
- Severe lethargy
- Loss of consciousness
If your husky has a condition that makes them more susceptible to serious illness due to diarrhea, call your vet.
This includes being very young or elderly and underlying medical issues, including infection, cancer, and diabetes.
Do Huskies Have Sensitive Stomachs?
Huskies can have sensitive stomachs, which can cause them to get sick if they eat the wrong foods. They are prone to food allergies.
Can My Vet Treat My Husky’s Diarrhea?
Yes, your vet can treat your husky’s diarrhea. They may prescribe medications and perform tests to determine the cause.
If your husky is severely ill, your vet may provide IV fluids.