Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis is a disease where the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines) becomes inflamed.

CAUSES:

  • Ingestion: spoiled food orforeign objects
  • Infections: bacterial, viral or fungal
  • Certain medications: corticosteroids, anti-cancer drugs, antibiotics
  • Diseases: pancreatitis, liver disease, kidney disease

SIGNS:

  • Vomiting: foamy, with yellow bile and blood
  • Diarrhea: in large amounts a few times a day
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Gagging after eating or drinking
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever

DIAGNOSIS:

Many cases of vomiting and diarrhea resolve quickly and easily. If thesigns continue for more than one day, or if there is blood in the diarrhea or vomit, bring your dog to your veterinarian. Some tests performed may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine test
  • Stool examination
  • X-rays or ultrasound of the abdomen
  • Tests for pancreatitis

TREATMENT:

The goals of treatment are to renew lost fluid and to give the gastrointestinal tract a rest. Your veterinarian will do a few things:

  • Rehydration: orally or through IV
  • Diet: your dog will not be allowed any food, and you will gradually introduce water and easily-digestible food
  • Drugs: to stop the vomiting and diarrhea
  • Antibiotics: if the cause is a bacterial infection

PREVENTION:

To prevent gastroenteritis, youshould:

  • Keep your dog on a healthy diet
  • Keep a clean environment to avoid infection
  • Be careful that they don’t swallow non-edible objects
  • Bring them for routine de-worming

PROGNOSIS:

Most dogs with gastroenteritis will recover quickly with rehydration.

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