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Gastroenteritis in dogs
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Gastroenteritis in dogs

Gastroenteritis is one of the most common health problems affecting dogs

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What is Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is an irritation of the stomach and intestines. This can be caused by several reasons including scavenging, inflammatory bowel disease, parasites, bacteria, viruses and food intolerances. An obstruction in the digestive tract can also cause gastroenteritis.

What signs should I look out for?

The most common signs are vomiting, diarrhoea, flatulence, lethargy and weakness. If your dog has diarrhoea or is vomiting, they may become severely dehydrated, always get in touch with your vet as soon as possible if you see these signs. 

Gastroenteritis is common and normally clear up within a few days. However, some dogs may need long-term management because they have regular or permanent digestive problems. 

Your vet will want to determine the cause and will commonly ask if your dog has ingested any foreign objects or what their diet is and if there has been a change. 

Your vet may take a blood sample to perform a number of tests to check vital organ function, sugar levels and electrolyte levels to ensure your dog isn’t dehydrated. X-rays of the abdomen may also be required if a foreign body or obstruction is suspected. 

If your dog is dehydrated they may need to be hospitalised and be given fluids via a drip and medication to protect the stomach and to stop any vomiting.

Tips for owners:

There are a number of ways to prevent your dog from developing Gastroenteritis. You can keep them free of parasites with regular flea and worming treatment, also make sure their vaccinations are up to date.

Make sure you give your dog a healthy diet. Keep your dog away from the rubbish bin and other unfamiliar items, such as human food, and restrict your dog's contact with potentially sick dogs in public places, like the park and boarding facilities, will also protect them from becoming sick.

Consider taking out a pet health plan to cover regular essentials and check-ups with your vet. Also consider an insurance policy in case your dog develops a common condition such as gastroenteritis, so you can receive help covering the cost of any unexpected veterinary treatment they require. At Vets4Pets we recommend Petplan’s Covered For Life® insurance