Dog Digestive Disorders
If your normally playful dog has started vomiting or acting lethargic lately, he might be experiencing digestive distress. Short-term problems may resolve themselves without help from a vet, but serious underlying conditions may require dietary changes and other treatments.
Your dog’s stomach and intestines comprise his gastrointestinal (GI) tract. All components of the digestive system must work together for your dog to absorb nutrients required for health and energy. A condition that reduces your dog’s ability to absorb nutrients or pass food through his digestive system is called a digestive disorder.
What Is a Digestive Disorder?
GI distress can cause your dog pain and lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and malnutrition. These issues, called digestive disorders, can cause long-term health problems, so it’s important to recognize them and seek treatment promptly to restore your dog’s health.
What Digestive Problems Affect Dogs?
Many types of digestive issues can affect dogs. While any breed may struggle with GI problems, great Danes, golden retrievers, German shepherds, and collies are particularly susceptible. We’ll conduct tests to determine the precise cause of your dog’s discomfort, which may include any of the following:
- Constipation and diarrhea can manifest as side effects of other digestive problems or show up independently.
- Acute gastroenteritis is the inflammation or infection of the GI tract. Fortunately, this condition is short-term.
- Colitis occurs when the membrane lining the colon becomes inflamed. This causes your dog to have frequent, painful diarrhea.
- Pancreatitis is the inflammation or infection of the pancreas.
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a condition caused by an enzyme deficiency, making it difficult for your dog to digest food properly.
- Small intestinal malabsorption is caused by inflammation of the small intestine, which impairs nutrient absorption.
What Causes Digestive Problems in Dogs?
One or more of the following problems could be causing your dog’s digestive problems:
- Body organ dysfunction
- Intestinal parasites
- Lack of digestive enzymes
- Insufficient fiber intake
- Eating rotten or high-fat human food
- Ingesting toxic plants
- Swallowing indigestible objects
- Food allergies or intolerances
- High stress
- Dietary changes
- Lack of exercise
Signs of Dog Digestive Problems
Watch for these symptoms of digestive distress in dogs:
- Frequent diarrhea
- Whining in pain while passing feces
- Vomiting and regurgitation
- Weakness and fatigue
Note: If your dog’s symptoms include vomiting or diarrhea, it’s probably making him dehydrated. Contact Germantown Vet right away if these symptoms persist longer than a day or two so your dog can begin treatment.
How to Treat Digestive Problems in Dogs
The most common digestive disorders in dogs are caused by external factors, such as eating rotten food or having his diet changed. These problems cause only temporary distress and clear up after a few days.
However, chronic conditions caused by underlying diseases or food allergies require long-term care. We’ll help you get started by first diagnosing your dog’s condition. Then if needed, we’ll recommend a special diet for your dog to support healthy intestinal function and prevent irritating your pup’s sensitive GI tract.
In the end, the goal of any treatment is to improve your dog’s quality of life by eliminating his symptoms. We’ll help create a long-term treatment plan, which may include keeping your dog on a prescription diet, monitoring his hydration level, and informing us if his symptoms return.
Visit Germantown Vet to Treat Your Dog’s Digestive Problems
If you have questions about your dog’s digestive health, please contact us today at 240-252-7467. Then, if you notice symptoms of GI distress, schedule an appointment for your dog by calling 240-252-7467 or contacting us online now!