Vomiting and diarrhoea are common reasons for pet owners to seek veterinary attention. The causes of vomiting and diarrhoea in pets are numerous and can be serious or relatively mild.
Because there can be a number of possible causes of vomiting and diarrhoea in pets tests are often needed to determine the cause and therefore the treatment required. Significant vomiting and diarrhoea quickly leads to dehydration which can be life threatening – regardless of the underlying cause.
Vomiting and diarrhoea can be related to a primary gastrointestinal problem. The most common reason is ‘dietary indiscretion’ which is when pets (especially dogs) eat or scavenge foods that they don’t usually eat. This can cause inflammation of the digestive tract and subsequent vomiting and diarrhoea.
Any change in pet food needs to be done slowly to avoid a sudden change in the population of the microbiome of the gut (called dysbiosis) that can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea.
In severe cases, dysbiosis can lead to inflammation of the colon – called colitis, which often leads to bloody diarrhoea.
Parasites can also cause vomiting and diarrhoea. For adult dogs and cats we recommend deworming medication be given every three months. Puppies and kittens need more frequent treatments as they are more at risk of carrying parasites. In addition to worms, protozoal infections, bacteria and viruses can also cause gastrointestinal disease in pets, similar to humans.
Vomiting and diarrhoea can also be secondary to other health problems. Liver and/ or kidney disease can affect the digestive tract secondarily and cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) sometimes follows ingestion of a very fatty mean and can cause life threatening illness. Dogs and cats with pancreatitis often have abdominal pain and vomiting.
A thorough physical examination by one of our vets, blood tests and stool analysis are often used to determine the cause of vomiting and diarrhoea in pets and to determine the best treatment.
If your pet is a little ‘green around the gills’ make an appointment with one of our team.
Sydney Animal Hospitals Kellyville 8883 0533 or Norwest 8883 0411 www.sydneyanimalhospitals.com.au