Health Topics  >  Digestive  >  Diarrhea

What are signs your dog has diarrhea?

Dog diarrhea is characterized by abnormal loose stool, either very liquid or soft but formed. Some diarrhea can result in a change in color of the stool, making it tarry black or jam jelly red, or anywhere in between.

Sometimes people will only notice their dog straining to defecate (tenesmus), making it look like constipation but the underlying issue is actually soft abnormal stool.

Other symptoms often associated with diarrhea include:

  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite 
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Fever (this can be hard to tell without taking your dog’s temperature, but common signs include red eyes, lethargy/lack of energy and loss of appetite)
  • Abdominal pain (look for a change in posture, difficulty getting up when lying down and resisting being picked up or touched around the stomach and hind quarters)
  • Mucus or blood in the stool 
  • Scooting (dragging its bottom along the ground)
  • Straining when trying to poop (or showing signs of pain in more severe cases)