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Diarrhea Caused by Giardia and Clostridium Perfringens EnterotoxicosisGastrointestinal symptoms can be either acute or chronic with signs in chronic cases lasting up to 5 months. Most dogs with acute clostridial enterotoxemia exhibit signs of large bowel diarrhea, as enterotoxin damages the distal small intestine and proximal colon. Fecal mucus, fresh blood, scant stools, tenesrnus and increased frequency of defecation are characteristic. Some dogs may have only mucoid stools while others may present with clinical signs of small bowel diarrhea characterized by large volumes of watery stool. The duration of an acute episode is approximately 3-5 days. Chronic disease may fluctuate occurring every few weeks and lasting for several days. Vomiting may or may not be present and fever is seldom observed.
Enterotoxemia has been identified with con- current diseases such as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis syndrome (HGE), parvovirus enteritis, giardiasis and other causes of inflammatory bowel disease. Such concurrent disease, as well as dietary changes and stress may all predispose to the condition.
[ April 01, 2005, 07:07 PM: Message edited by: Toughynutter ]Over the last 11 years Clostridium perfringens enterotoxicosis (CPE) has emerged as a frequently recognized cause of chronic intermittent diarrhea in dogs. Although it is likely a less common cause of diarrhea in cats it is still diagnosed frequently enough that it should be considered in the diagnosis of diarrhea in cats as well. This is not a new disease. Frequent use of the definitive test (enterotoxin assay) for this disorder has revealed that CPE is seen relatively commonly in clinical practice and that CPE is a disorder that should be considered in any dog or cat with intermittent or chronic persistent diarrhea.
...The most common clinical signs are chronic intermittent or persistent diarrhea. In some animals acute diarrhea is the primary sign. In fact, some of the cases of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE syndrome), characterized by acute bloody diarrhea and an increased packed cell volume that most practitioners have seen over the years, may have been due to CPE. Many animals exhibit signs of large bowel diarrhea, but small bowel signs may be seen as well. In some cases signs may be seen for only a day or two at a time, with persistent recurrences on a weekly, monthly, or on a less frequent basis. Stressful events or diet changes may incite flare-ups of clinical signs. In other cases C. perfringens enterotoxicosis is one of several problems that an animal may have concurrently and diarrhea may be persistent.