Diarrhea is the passage of loose, unformed stools. In most cases, there is an increased number of bowel movements. With normal bowel movements, food in the small intestine takes about 8 hours to get to the colon. During this time, the bulk of it is absorbed. Eighty percent of water is absorbed in the small bowel. The colon concentrates and stores the waste. At the end, a well- formed stool is evacuated.
Transit time in the intestinal tract can be speeded up for a variety of reasons. When food passes rapidly through the bowel, it is incompletely digested and arrives at the rectum in a liquid state. This results in a large, loose, unformed bowel movement. This mechanism accounts for the majority of acute diarrheas of short duration.
In attempting to narrow the search for the cause of a diarrhea, it is important to decide whether the ailment is located in the small intestine or colon. Begins by examining the color, consistency, odor and frequency of stools, as well as the condition of the dog: