Samples, Samples, Samples...
If you have a worry about something that your animal is excreting, then it would make sense to get a sample of this, wouldn't it? Yes, it would. If your dog has diarrhoea, however, we don't need a bag of poo brought in to us! Stool samples can be very useful in working out the cause of a chronic case of diarrhoea but in dogs which have only had diarrhoea for a short time, testing a sample would, in the vast majority of cases, be an unnecessary expense.
That said, it is useful to know the nature of what is being produced. Colour, volume, number of times per day and the presence or absence of blood and mucus are all useful things that can help your vet make a diagnosis.
If your dog has diarrhoea, but seems to be bright and healthy and is eating normally, try feeding a bland diet little and often to give the gastrointestinal system a chance to recover. Good choices for foods include chicken or white fish with rice or pasta. If the diarrhoea continues for longer than 24h, contact the vet. If your dog appears dull, is straining while trying to pass a stool, or has sickness as well as diarrhoea, do not hesitate to phone the vet.
Urinary tract diseases such as cystitis are common in dogs. Things that you could notice when your dog has an infection will include frequent urination, occasionally accompanied by straining. The first sign that many owners will notice may be that the dog has an out of character accident in the house or in their bed. If this happens, it is important to contact your vet as there are a number of other conditions that can present with the same symptoms.
If your dog is showing any signs of urinary incontinence, a urine sample is a very easy way to work out what is going on. If you are coming in for a problem of this nature, collect a sample in a clean bowl bring it to us in a suitable container for your vet to check. We can provide urine collection tubes if you come in to see us.