We had mentioned last week what are the most probable causes of diarrhoea. In attempting to zero in on the specific agent involved in the looseness of the bowel, we should take special notice of the colour, consistency, odour and frequency of the stool.


Yellow or greenish stool indicates bowel hypermotility. Black tarry stool indicates bleeding in the upper digestive tract.

Bloody stool – red blood or clots indicate lower bowel bleeding.

Pasty, light-coloured stool – indicates lack of bile (liver disease).

Large quantities of grey rancid-smelling stool – indicates inadequate digestion.


Watery stool – indicates extreme hypermotility and bowel wall irritation (toxins and severe infections).

Foamy stool – suggests a bacterial infection.

Greasy stool – often with oil on the hair around the anus – indicates malabsorption.


The more watery the stool, the greater the odour. Stool smelling like sour milk – suggests both hypermotility and malabsorption: for example, overfeeding, especially in puppies.

Putrid smelling – suggests an intestinal infection.

One cute kitten with a tiger stripe is waiting at the GSPCA for a good home.


Several motions in an hour, each with a lot of stool – suggests colitis (inflammation of the large bowel).

Three or four times a day, each large – suggests malabsorption or small bowel disorder.

Allow me to emphasize the fact that diarrhoea is a symptom and not the disease itself. It is therefore incumbent on both the owner of the pet together with the vet to ascertain the underlying cause and remove it. At the same time the vet cannot and will not allow the actual looseness of the bowel and the concomitant dehydration to continue. Actually, I should mention that a diarrhoea is nature’s own way of getting rid of and reducing the effect of the causal agent (eg bad bacteria in the bowels). Unfortunately, uncontrolled and unstoppable diarrhoea will kill the animal.

Dealing with this ailment will always entail openness and truthfulness. No one is going to be blamed. The important issue is the animal’s well being. The vet will need to know if the animal may have ingested a poison or whether the pet was dewormed lately or if it was fed some bad food. Forget any guilt feeling; just tell the truth. He/she might then be able to save the animal.

Please implement disease preventative measures (vaccinations, routine dewormings, monthly anti-heartworm medication, etc) and adopt-a-pet from the GSPCA’s Animal Clinic and Shelter at Robb Street and Orange Walk, if you have the wherewithal to care well for the animals.  Do not stray your unwanted pets, take them to the GSPCA’s Clinic and Shelter instead. If you do not wish your pet to have puppies or kittens, you may exploit the GSPCA’s free spay and neutering programme. If you see anyone being cruel to an animal, or if you need any technical information, please get in touch with the Clinic and Shelter by calling 226-4237.

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