Gastroenteritis In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

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Gastroenteritis in dogs refers to an inflammation or irritation of the stomach and intestines. There are many possible causes, such as viruses, cancer, or simply ingesting something that disagrees with the digestive system.

The usual symptoms of gastroenteritis include vomiting and diarrhea, though a range of other digestion-related symptoms may also occur.

Because the causes are numerous, treatment can vary widely. In one case, it may be as simple as withholding food for a time, and in another case, it could be as invasive as surgery.

If you see the symptoms in your dog, you must consult your veterinarian so they can form a proper diagnosis and recommend treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for gastroenteritis in dogs.

Symptoms Of Gastroenteritis In Dogs

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Symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs typically include vomiting and diarrhea, and an examination of the feces or vomit can sometimes indicate the cause of the problem.

If there are foreign objects like bones, grass, or bits of non-food items, then your dog may have swallowed something disagreeable. If the vomit is dark, then it may indicate internal bleeding.

Dark, tarry feces can also indicate gastrointestinal bleeding. Watery diarrhea often means a problem with the colon, while blood in feces may mean a problem in the colorectal area.

Your vet can rely on samples and tests to determine the exact cause.

Here are a few other symptoms that accompany gastroenteritis:

  • Dehydration (from fluid loss due to diarrhea and vomiting)
  • Nausea
  • Foamy bile in vomit
  • Dry heaving or gagging, especially after eating or drinking
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Low-grade fever
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss (if the condition persists)

Causes Of Gastroenteritis In Dogs

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There are many possible causes of gastroenteritis in dogs. They range from simple dietary indiscretion to serious diseases. You should always consult your vet when your dog shows signs of illness so they can determine the cause.

Be ready to provide information about your dog’s diet, any medical conditions, symptoms, information about their vomit and feces, and anything else your vet might ask about further in relation to your dog’s health. This will help them find the underlying condition responsible for your dog’s medical issues.

Here are several possible causes of gastroenteritis in dogs:

  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Exposure to toxic or poisonous substances
  • Cancer or tumors
  • Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection of the gastrointestinal tract (including stomach flu)
  • Infections in other areas of the body (pneumonia, urinary tract infection, meningitis, etc.)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Addison’s disease

Treatments For Gastroenteritis In Dogs

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Treatments for gastroenteritis in dogs vary widely depending on the underlying cause of the inflammation or irritation of the stomach and intestines. In the case of dietary indiscretion, your vet may recommend withholding food for 24 to 48 hours.

Keeping your dog hydrated after loss of fluids due to diarrhea and vomiting is important. Depending on the severity of your dog’s dehydration, a vet may recommend intravenous fluids in order to replenish electrolytes and hydration.

For infections, your vet may prescribe medication and advise that you also monitor the situation closely at home, making sure that your dog only gets small amounts of bland food and plenty of water.

Some conditions, such as Addison’s disease or thyroid disorders, require long-term treatment and monitoring. Cancer may require chemotherapy or surgery. After forming a proper diagnosis, your vet can then recommend the correct course of treatment.

You must follow your vet’s instructions closely.

Has your dog ever suffered from gastroenteritis? What was the cause? How did you treat it? Let us know in the comments below!