Treating Your Dog’s Upset Stomach

A very common presenting complaint that Veterinarians see in dogs on a daily basis is gastrointestinal upset, presenting as vomiting, diarrhea, or both. If your pet is experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea, we always recommend that you call to make an appointment for your pet to be examined by one of our veterinarians.

Gastrointestinal upset can be caused by a variety of things. Sometimes our pets will eat something out of the ordinary, be it a food item, an object such as a toy, or something toxic. This can result in the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, and your pet may require immediate or even emergency treatment.

If your pet ingested a food item that is out of the ordinary, the veterinarian may prescribe medication to help relieve the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. However, in more serious cases, for example, if the veterinarian believes your pet may have ingested an object, they may take x-rays. Foreign objects in the GI tract can cause an obstruction, and your pet may even require surgery to relieve the obstruction.

A common cause of diarrhea in dogs is an abrupt diet change. If your pet’s diet is changed to a different brand or variety without slowly transitioning them, it can result in gastrointestinal upset. It is always recommended that when changing the diet, you mix the old food with the new food, gradually increasing the portion of the new food each day over the span of 1-2 weeks. If your pet is experiencing diarrhea as a result of an abrupt diet change, the veterinarian may prescribe a special prescription dog food that is bland and easily digestible or even medication as treatment.

Another common cause of diarrhea in dogs, especially those that are not on a monthly Heartworm Preventative (which also acts as a monthly intestinal dewormer) are GI parasites. This is also a common cause seen in puppies or newly adopted dogs. In order to diagnose GI parasites in your pet, your veterinarian will run a fecal test on a stool sample. The results of this test will help them choose an appropriate deworming medication for your dog.

So regardless of the cause, it is always recommended that if your dog is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, that you call to make an appointment to have your pet be examined.