While everyone is enjoying their bowl of Sinigang na Hipon (sour shrimp soup) at lunch, a nasty smell pervaded your dining room. You followed the source through your nose. Aha! It was your pooch’s dung, ala-chocolate-syrup!

Before you throw up you must be wondering why your pet has a soft poop. It was fine last night.

Diarrhea is a change in one or more of the characteristics of bowel movement: more frequent pooping,  increased fluids in poop, and increased amount of poop. It is caused by two major categories of conditions: gastrointestinal diseases or non-gastrointestinal diseases (problems in other body parts or organs that cause diarrhea). Many diseases produce changes in the body that end up in diarrhea.

Diarrhea can also be classified according to its origin: small intestinal or upper intestines, and large intestinal or lower intestines. If your pet has diarrhea with black poop (cooked blood) which appears to have more poop than fluids, it comes from the upper intestines.  While if there is mucus, fresh blood, pain in pooping, it could come from the large intestine. Sometimes, both are involved.


Small Intestinal Diarrhea

More vomit, with soft to liquid poop that is brown to black in color

Diet changes


Protozoa (Amoeba-like creatures)

Garbage ingestion


Food allergy

Bacterial infection

Viral infection (Parvovirus, Coronavirus, Distemper virus)


HGE or Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (fresh red blood in vomit and as poop)

Acute Pancreatitis

Intestinal obstruction or blockage

Lactose intolerance

Bacterial overgrowth

Giardia (Amoeba-like creature)

Enteritis or inflammation of the intestine

Pancreatic disorder

Liver and gallbladder problem

Hyperthyroidism in cats

Large Intestinal Diarrhea

Less or no vomit, with watery and mucoid poop (may or may not have fresh red blood)

Diet changes


Spastic colitis (tummy cramps)

Bacterial overgrowth


Ulcers in colon




Foreign body obstruction or blockage (corn cob or mango seed)

Tritrichomonas in cats (a parasite)


Your vet will definitely recommend a fecalysis. No need to bring your pet’s poop during your visit as your vet has a means to collect poop from the “inside”. The fecalysis will help determine if your pet has lots of bacteria, worms, Giardia or undigested fats in the stool. The poop will also give your vet an idea if it came from the upper or lower intestines. From there, he or she could narrow down the list to help identify the problem and solve it.

But if your vet feels that there could be other problems, the following tests will be recommended:


“Just today, pet is fine”

If this is a “just today” problem, observe your pet for the next few hours. Provide unlimited dextrose powder in water (2 tablespoons in 250 mL of clean water). Do not force feed.

If you have a Pet Multivitamin paste, now is a good time to give a double dose.

Rechecking your pet’s last meal may give you an idea of food allergy if this happens everytime a certain food ingredient is given to your pet. Avoid it the next time and see if the condition does not repeat. If it does not, it may confirm food allergy.

If your pet has roundworms (spaghetti noodle-ish worms) or hookworms (pancit bihon-ish worms), know its weight and apply Advocate spot-on at the back of its neck if this is a cat. For dogs, you should apply on three points: neck, shoulder blades, and rump. Check that you are purchasing the right preparation by knowing if your pet’s weight falls within the weight range in the product, and you are purchasing a spot-on for dog for a dog. Buy a cat spot-on for a cat. This is usually an over the counter vet drug, so you do not need a prescription. Be sure your pet is dry and will not take a bath three days after application. The drug is easily washed by water so avoid getting the areas wet. Cats may drool for an hour if they lick the product. Allow the product to dry with a heatless blower. Repeat the application, once every 30 days, all year round.

“Just today BUT pet is NOT fine”

Performing a first aid may be insufficient. Too much diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Prolonged dehydration can lead to shock. Shock leads to death. Rush to your nearest vet so your pet may be diagnosed and managed through IV fluids and medications.

“Has been going on for days"

Performing a first aid may be insufficient to provide a quick fix to a long term problem. Tests are needed to be done to identify the problem. It will cost you, but it will help improve your pet’s quality of life.


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