Pet Digestive Problems

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When your pet faces a digestive problem, you want her to feel better as soon as possible. After all, you know that having an upset tummy is no fun. Treatments vary widely and depend on whether your pet’s digestive trouble is acute (temporary) or caused by a chronic disorder. Discover what could be causing your pet’s stomachache, the signs to watch for, and how to help your pet return to full health quickly.

Digestive Problems Your Pet Might Experience

Many digestive issues that pets face are the same as those that affect humans. Others are unique to dogs and cats. The most common problems your pet might experience include:

  • Dietary indiscretion: This is when your pet eats something she shouldn’t have, such as human food, garbage, or an inedible object.
  • Bacterial infection: Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli, and Clostridia can be contracted from eating bad food. These bacteria cause food poisoning, and they can pass from your pet to you.
  • Viruses: Parvovirus and Coronavirus, for example, spread through exposure to an infected dog’s feces.
  • Parasites and worms: Dogs and cats may contract worms from eating the feces of an infected animal.
  • Pancreatitis: This is caused by inflammation of a digestive gland, reaction to medications, or eating foods difficult for the pancreas to handle.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: IBD is a chronic illness with no known cause. It’s not curable, but therapy can make the condition manageable.
  • Hemorrhagic gastritis: Caused by infectious agents or an adverse reaction to certain medication, this chronic disease induces heavy vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

Signs Your Pet Has a Digestive Problem

Compared to other diseases, gastrointestinal distress is usually quite easy to recognize, even if you can’t diagnose the exact problem right away. Here are the most common signs your pet is struggling with a digestive problem:

  • Vomitingdog cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Excessive gassiness

What to Do About Digestive Problems in Pets

The treatment you pursue relies heavily on the cause. Here are tips for treating your pet’s digestive problems:

  • Let it run its course: Acute digestive disorders usually clear up on their own within a few days. Unfortunately, this means unpleasant diarrhea must run its course. In the meantime, provide your pet with plenty of fresh water so she doesn’t become dehydrated.
  • Change your pet’s diet: Depending on the cause, your vet may recommend a therapeutic pet food formulated for cats and dogs with digestive problems. This may be a permanent switch as part of your pet’s therapy for a chronic digestive condition, or it may be temporary to help your pet return to her usual healthy self. If instructed to do so, follow the vet’s advice for slowly reintroducing your pet’s regular food over the course of three to five days once the digestive trouble passes.
  • Start medication: Under the direction of a veterinarian, you may be able to administer prednisone or other medications to treat IBD and other chronic digestive disorders.
  • Go to the vet: If your pet starts vomiting uncontrollably or has diarrhea for more than a day or two, visit the vet right away. A number of potentially life-threatening problems can cause these symptoms, and veterinary care is the best way to ensure your pet’s digestive system doesn’t suffer permanent damage.

Contact Germantown Vet to Treat Your Pet’s Digestive Problems

If you have concerns about your pet’s digestive health, feel free to contact Germantown Vet Clinic and ask your questions. If you think your pet is having a gastrointestinal emergency, please call us right away at (240) 252-7467  to let us know you’re on your way to our vet clinic!

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