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Acute diarrhea can be caused by dietary indiscretion, infectious diseases, toxins, immunologic diseases, stress, and metabolic dysfunction. Acute diarrhea is not just unpleasant and inconvenient for owners, it is uncomfortable and potentially life-threatening for patients. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and/or acid-base imbalances. For milder cases, symptomatic outpatient therapy may be employed. Client education regarding treatment and nutritional support are key to client compliance and ultimately patient recovery. Patients hospitalized for acute diarrhea are provided treatment for the underlying cause while supportive care including intravenous fluid therapy, nutritional support, antiemetics, and gastric protectants are employed. It is during this time that effective and appropriate nursing care considerations are paramount to patient care and recovery.
BS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM)
Ken practices at Adobe Animal Hospital in California as an ICU and Blood Bank Manager. He is an active educator, lecturing internationally and providing practical instruction on-site and online, on topics including transfusion medicine, respiratory therapy, and critical care nursing. He serves on the board for VECCS, and as the NAVTA State Representative Committee chair, and is a graduate student in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery through the University of Missouri. Ken invites everyone to ask "Why?" to understand the "What" and "How" of our field, and to constantly pursue new limits as veterinary professionals.