Archive for September, 2009
Dogs can get a tummy ache too. Only it is a bit more severe.
Gastroenteritis, which interestingly enough is the same term used for humans,
is associated with severe and rapid onset of vomiting and diarrhea. This can be
very severe in both humans and dogs, causing severe dehydration. Dehydration in
dogs can be fatal if not treated.
The cause is usually an over zealous eater. A dog will eat
about anything, and they will overeat if they like it. Sudden dietary changes
can also lead to problems. They may ingest a foreign material or spoiled food.
They can even eat medications that have been accidentally dropped into their
There are many medical conditions that can also lead to
acute vomiting and diarrhea such as pancreatitis, peritonitis, metabolic
disorders like diabetes, kidney and liver disease and bowel obstructions. Thus
you can certainly see the importance of having your veterinarian check your dog
if you should notice the vomiting and diarrhea.
Acute vomiting and diarrhea in dogs usually resolve quickly
and really do not require much to diagnose it, It will usually resolve in a day
or two if you are monitoring the intake. But if it persists for longer than a
couple days, or if you should notice blood in the stools or vomit, testing will
When you take your dog to the vet, go ahead and bring a
stool sample with you, It will speed things along. They also may check urine,
so if you are clever at catching a specimen, go ahead and bring that too. They
will draw some blood to check for anemia or infection or electrolyte imbalance.
They may even do abdominal x-rays or ultrasound. All of these will determine
either what the cause is or at least things that can be treated.
Of course treatment will include replacing lost fluids with
IV therapy and correcting electrolyte imbalance if necessary. The Veterinarian
can prescribe medication to control nausea and stop diarrhea, thus allowing the
dog to catch up a bit. You actually need to restrict the oral intake of your
dog, allowing the stomach and intestinal tract to heal while they are being
rehydrated. After 24 hours a bland diet and water can be reintroduced. If
tolerated, continue another couple days before returning to the normal diet the
dog was on before the symptoms began. If at any time vomiting or diarrhea
returns, go back to the bland diet, if they are not able to handle that either,
please return to your veterinarian.
Remember your dog depends on you for their very life. Make
it a good one. Help them when they need it. Be wise with your observations and
choices. Act quickly when you realize something has gone wrong. You and your dog will be long life companions.