Diarrhea in dogs can have many causes: stress, changes in diet, parasites, tumors and inflammation of the small and large intestine. While vets often prescribe medicines like antibiotics and corticosteroids, an amino acid called L-glutamine, which is a natural therapy, also can help cure diarrhea and ease the digestive tract.
A Natural Alternative
L-glutamine, derived from glutamic acid, is found in high-protein foods such as meat, fish, dairy products and beans. A deficiency in L-glutamine can affect the digestive tract, immune system and muscle cells. If a dog has diarrhea, as in the case of chronic inflammatory bowel disease, he may need an increase in L-glutamine to help replace cells that line the intestinal tract. Dogs who exercise a lot also may require L-glutamine to help replace muscle cells.
A Safe Supplement
A naturally occurring amino acid in the body, L-glutamine is considered to be a safe supplement for dogs when taken at recommended dosages. However, dogs who take anti-epilepsy drugs, which work by blocking glutamate stimulation in the brain, should not take L-glutamine, unless the dog is under the care of a veterinarian. For digestive issues, taking L-glutamine does not have an immediate affect, but gradually improves the condition during a period of weeks.
Debra Levy has been writing for more than 30 years. She has had fiction and nonfiction published in various literary journals. Levy holds an M.A. in English from Indiana University and an M.F.A. in creative writing/fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars.