Diarrhea in Prairie Dogs

PetMD Editorial
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Sep 14, 2010
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Gastrointestinal Problems in Prairie Dogs

Diarrhea often occurs as a manifestation of several conditions that may upset the prairie dog’s digestive system. These may range from dietary to infectious causes. Diarrhea needs to be treated promptly as it can lead to dehydration and even death when left untreated.

Symptoms

  • Loose stool
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Depression
  • Abdominal pain
  • Low body temperature

Causes

  • Bacteria, viruses, and parasites -- all of which can upset a prairie dog's digestive system
  • Overeating and rapid changes in the diet
  • Feeding an improperly balanced diet
  • Antibiotic use (which may cause an imbalance of bacteria, whereby the “good” bacteria is killed off)

Diagnosis

A diarrhea diagnosis is made by observing the clinical signs exhibited by the prairie dog. Examination of blood samples or feces samples may be necessary to find out any infectious cause. Your veterinarian may also want a complete dietary history of your prairie dog to rule out any possible dietary causes of diarrhea.

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