If you have determined that there is not a reason to bring your Shih Tzu to the veterinarian (please read all of the above information) treatment at home should begin immediately upon seeing signs of diarrhea.
1- The stomach, GI tract and intestines will need to rest for 24 hours.
If the diarrhea is moderate to severe, withhold food for 24 hours (however do give supplements as described below). If a Shih Tzu's diarrhea is slight, withholding food for the first 12 hours should be adequate.
During this time, allow your Shih Tzu to drink as much as he/she wishes. What to do if your Shih Tzu doesn't want to drink?
• Offer ice cubes as an alternative to drinking water from a bowl
• Dissolve a small low-salt chicken botulin cube into the water
During the time of fasting, offer a watered down supplemental electrolyte fluid such as Pedialyte. This should be a mixture of 1/2 water, 1/2 fluid.
2- Medication such as Pepto Bismol
is safe to give to dogs IF a dog is NOT pregnant, if a dog is NOT allergic to silicates AND with your vet's approval.
Your Shih Tzu will only need very small doses. The recommended dose is 1 teaspoon for a 5 pound dog; therefore a typical Tzu puppy will only need about 1 to 1/5 teaspoons and an adult Shih Tzu would need just about 2 teaspoons. It is given every 2 to 3 hours for up to 24 hours. Your vet may approve a slightly larger dose, so do check with him/her regarding this. This home treatment should be followed by an office visit.
3- You may need to change sleeping/ living arrangements.
In some cases, no matter how close you keep your dog to the door, there simply is not time to signal for the need to go outside and then be brought outdoors before the diarrhea is expelled. Therefore, know ahead of time that you will need to quickly come up with an alternative. Arranging indoor canine gates over linoleum, layered with pee pads will make clean up much easier.
4- While your Shih Tzu is not feeling well, limit play time
(let small children know that the dog needs to rest, etc.) and hold off on any walks until your Tzu is feeling better.
After the First 24 Hours
Keeping in mind that you will bring your Shih Tzu to the vet if the diarrhea does not improve after 24 hours, if treatment at home is working and the puppy or dog no longer has diarrhea, there should be a very gradual introduction to food.
For 2-4 days, a bland home cooked diet should be given. This can included: white breast chicken meat (boiled, no skin), white rice, cottage cheese, soft cooked pasta (plain, no butter, no sauce), and/or plain cooked oatmeal. Try a few different foods to see which ones your Shih Tzu prefers while he/she is recovering. Never force your Tzu to eat, it is best to offer very small amounts all throughout the day. Once your dog is back to normal, you can resume regular scheduled meals.