Symptoms of Diarrhea in Your Dog or Cat

Symptoms of Diarrhea in Your Dog or Cat
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vet verified PetCareRx Staff Veterinarian DVM

Knowing more about your dog's or cat's diarrhea can help you determine how serious the underlying cause might be.

Diarrhea can occur in a range of colors, and can last for a short period of time or occur for several weeks or months. Get a sense of what to expect if your pet experiences diarrhea, and which symptoms are a warning sign that you should bring your cat or dog to the vet.


Your cat or dog’s diarrhea may appear yellow, green, black, red, or light-colored in appearance. Red or black diarrhea is often a sign of serious health concerns -- if you spot those colors, consult your vet immediately. In terms of texture, diarrhea can be a foamy or watery consistency.


When pets have diarrhea, it generally does not occur just once -- expect that your pet’s bowel movements will be more frequent. Milder cases of diarrhea will occur for just a day or so. If your pet’s diarrhea lasts for several days, or if the bouts occur frequently over several months, there is a greater cause for concern and something may need to be adjusted in your pet’s food. Parasites, infections, and diseases can cause recurring diarrhea.

Other Associated Symptoms

When you pet has diarrhea, you may also notice other symptoms of an upset stomach. Your cat or dog might have audible rumblings in their tummy, have gas, be flatulent, or experience difficulty expelling stools, including straining. All of these symptoms are fairly commonplace. More troublesome symptoms include fever, a prolonged decreased appetite, extreme lethargy, or vomiting; pets with these symptoms often need veterinary treatment, as it can signal a larger problem.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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Enteritis (Diarrhea)

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