Diarrhea in Prairie Dogs



It is important that your pet drink enough water. If your prairie dog will not voluntarily drink sufficient water, your veterinarian may provide additional fluids by injection as well as bismuth subsalicylate which is the active ingredient in some over-the-counter antidiarrheal medications.


Antibiotics may be used to treat infectious causes, but should only be used when absolutely necessary because their use can worsen the imbalance of bacteria in the digestive tract. To help remove any internal parasites your veterinarian will administer proper anthelminthic drugs. In cases of antibiotic-induced toxemia, your veterinarian may recommend giving Lactobacillus bacteria such as that con­tained in probiotics to help reestablish the natural balance of intestinal bacteria.


Living and Management


Dietary management is essential in treating diarrhea, especially when it comes to increasing the amount of fiber in the diet. One way to do this is by providing hay in addition to commercial prairie dog feed. Feeding your prairie dog plain yogurt with active cul­tures, or a commercial supplement called a probiotic with live cultures, may also help to restore the healthy balance of "good" bacteria in its digestive tract.




Diarrhea due to infectious causes can be prevented by keeping your prairie dog's feed and water bowls, bedding, and housing clean and sanitized. It is also important you add a sufficient amount of fiber in your pet’s diet to prevent diarrhea due to dietary causes. And promptly removing uneaten food may reduce the level of disease-causing organisms.