Most cases of diarrhea and vomiting in dogs are easy to explain and will resolve themselves quickly. Sometimes they can mean that your dog is experiencing something more serious. So how can you tell?
Read on to find out when you should take your dog to the vet for treatment if they are suffering from either of these unpleasant symptoms.
Signs of Sickness
Behavior to look out for is when your dog wretches or heaves from the stomach but is not being physically sick. They’ll often do this to help relieve their feelings of sickness. Here are some other clues that your dog is feeling unwell with a stomach issue:
- Eating smaller quantities or refusing food
- Swallowing or licking excessively and drooling
- Eating grass to make themselves sick
Common Causes of Vomiting and Diarrhea
When dogs eat too quickly, they’ll ingest a significant amount of air. This can cause their stomachs to expand and that can lead to vomiting. They may also not give themselves sufficient time to digest their food before strenuous exercise.
When dogs travel in a vehicle for a long time, they can suffer from motion sickness. That can also lead to vomiting.
Most dogs have a habit of scavenging. They’ll often eat something they shouldn’t and that can lead to diarrhea.
Ingestion of a toxic substance from a poisonous plant or flower can cause them to vomit or experience diarrhea. It’s important to keep a close eye out for signs of distress in case they accidentally swallow something harmful.
A change of diet can also have a similar effect. Other causes of vomiting and diarrhea include:
- Allergies to certain food types
- Infections such as parvovirus and canine distemper
- Eating treats or human foods that are toxic to their health
- An inflammation of the stomach or gastroenteritis linked to stomach ulcers
- Heatstroke, dehydration, or stress
Dogs can on occasion vomit bile, which is foam-like and yellow in color. This can happen when their stomach is empty.
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If your dog appears otherwise bright but has a stomach issue, follow these tips:
- Give them small quantities of white meat such as fish or boiled chicken
- Mix a little rice with the plain white meats instead of their regular foods
- Encourage your dog to drink plenty of water
- Dilute a little stock in water to encourage an intake of fluids
When to Seek Treatment
If your dog’s diarrhea persists for more than two days, you should take your pet to the vet. When your dog is old or a puppy, or if they suffer from an underlying health condition, do not hesitate to contact your vet immediately.
Puppies have a tendency to pick up infections that can cause diarrhea. They can become quickly dehydrated. You should also always seek the immediate help of a vet when a dog of any age is suffering from diarrhea or vomiting along with symptoms like these:
- Vomiting on several occasions
- Blood or something unusual in their feces
Depending on the cause of the issue, your vet may occasionally prescribe antibiotics. Other treatments like kaolin, a clay mineral, may also help. Your pet may need further medication or tests too.
Vomiting in dogs can also happen because of something more serious. Along with diarrhea, it could be due to a medical condition such as:
- Kidney disease
- Addison’s disease
- Pyometra (womb infection)
- Lyme disease from a black-legged tick bite that transmits harmful bacteria
- A bladder or intestinal obstruction
- Various cancers
- Disease caused by an inflamed bowel
Keeping Your Dog Healthy
You’ll never be able to prevent all the causes of diarrhea and vomiting. Ensuring that your dog sticks to a healthy diet is going to help. Be conscious of what human food you give your dog and do so in moderation. The wrong type or amount of human food can cause serious problems like pancreatitis or an inflamed digestive gland.
Dogs will show an interest in almost any type of food you offer them. You should never feed your dog chewing gum or chocolate as these can be extremely poisonous to them.
Eating bones can cause bowel irritation. This can be due to chewed-up fragments that can lead to gastrointestinal upsets and blockages.
Always ensure your garden is free of any kind of poisonous plants. Try to stop your dog from scavenging by keeping garbage secure. If necessary, use a muzzle when walking your dog outdoors.
You should also make sure that your dog’s worming is up to date by keeping detailed records.
When in Doubt Always Seek the Help of a Vet
Most of the time diarrhea and vomiting in dogs will not be serious. Sometimes the line between normal and worrying symptoms can be indistinct. When you’re unsure, it is also best to err on the side of caution and contact your vet.
If your dog is sick and you need reassurance, contact us now for immediate online access to a qualified vet. For further peace of mind, we can offer straightforward, hassle-free, pet insurance for your dog and other pets.