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My dog has diarrhea frequently. I take him to a dog park that has orange looking gravel/sand as a groundcover. He is ball obsessed and in short order the ball becomes covered in saliva and mud/gravel and he carries it around in his mouth. Some of the dogs paws seem to be irritated by it and I'm wondering if this may have something to do with his diarrhea?
 

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Possibly.

NOTE: READ ALL of what I am about to say or none of it. 1/2 information is worse than no information.

Another very plausible explanation could be that the sand could contain giardia, which is a very common and easily spread parasite. It is spread from one animal to the other via the feces and since it's in a dog park it wouldn't surprise me to find out that the sand there is loaded with it.

My advice would be to play with the ball on "clean ground", like on a beach or something, and to just take your dog to the park to play with other dogs.

Giardia is so common where I live due to the density of dogs that vets routinely test for it during a yearly "physical" (if you get one). There are even "home tests" you can do, which involve collecting a feces sample and sending it to a lab for checking. These might not be available everywhere.

Puppies and "senior" dogs are likely to get diarrhea from it. Dogs with fully developed immune systems can have it without showing symptoms.

The "standard" treatment where I live is called "Panacur" (marketing label for a drug called Fenbendazole). Vets here suggest treating your dog occasionally (frequency depends upon age). This drug doesn't seem to harm the dog but of course you need to consult a vet before giving your dog this drug.

Get your dog tested for this. If that's not what it is, then at least you have eliminated the possibility.
 
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