Canine gastroenteritis: veterinarian explains the characteristics, symptoms and treatment of the disease

 Canine gastroenteritis: veterinarian explains the characteristics, symptoms and treatment of the disease

Tracy Wilkins

A vomiting dog with diarrhea can be a symptom of many diseases that affect the dog's health: gastroenteritis in dogs is one of them. This pathology affects the entire lower digestive tract of the animal and can be caused by several factors, such as viruses, bacteria or even intoxication. This is a disease that causes the dog to vomit, diarrhea, lack of appetite and apathy. However, whendetected early, it can be easily treated. In some cases, it can even be prevented. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the dog with diarrhea and vomiting. To understand more about canine gastroenteritis, Patas da Casa talked to veterinarian Gabriela Tosin, specialized in pet nutrition. Come see what she told us!

What are the types of gastroenteritis in dogs?

Gastroenteritis in dogs is a disease that can present itself in several ways in the animal. Vomiting and diarrhea in dogs are the main characteristics of the pathology and usually happen together. However, in some cases of gastroenteritis, dogs may present only one of the symptoms in isolation. In general, there are two types of gastroenteritis in dogs: acute (which arises fromsudden and usually goes away on its own) or chronic (which can last from weeks to years and gets worse until treatment is given).

Understand how canine gastroenteritis develops in the dog's body

Among the diseases that affect the dog's digestive system, canine gastroenteritis affects the lower digestive tract. It causes an inflammation in the organs of the region, such as the stomach and intestines. Gastroenteritis in dogs hinders the proper absorption of food, resulting in the classic symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. The origin of gastroenteritis in dogs is varied, since any"The causes can be due to viruses, bacteria, parasites and inappropriate diets or foods," explains Gabriela. Among the most common causes of canine gastroenteritis are:

  • Viral infection (canine parvovirus, coronavirus, canine distemper, etc)
  • Bacterial infection
  • Parasitic infection
  • Intoxication
  • Eating spoiled or raw food
  • Food allergy
  • Intestinal obstruction

Gastroenteritis in dogs: vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite and bloody stools are some symptoms.

The symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs do not take long to appear in the animal after being infected or intoxicated: "Apathy, vomiting, diarrhea (with or without blood, with or without pus) abdominal pain, dehydration and febrile condition in some types", says Gabriela. In addition to the dog with diarrhea and vomiting, the animal can also become more depressed and lack of appetite, in addition to dehydrated, as a consequence of the disease.In canine gastroenteritis, the stools are usually soft, wet and dark in color. In some cases, blood can be found in the stools. Dogs with diarrhoea and frequent vomiting need rapid treatment to prevent dehydration. The most common symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs are:

  • Vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • Apathy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dehydration

What is hemorrhagic gastroenteritis in dogs and what are the risks?

Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis in dogs is the name given when there is the presence of blood in the stool. This happens when the inflammation reaches the mucosa of the organs in a more aggressive way, causing bleeding in the region. "It is a more serious type of gastroenteritis. It usually has a viral causative agent and there may be a risk of death ", explains the specialist. The causes of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis incan be the same as canine gastroenteritis without bleeding. However, the most common is caused by the parvovirus. This is one of the most serious types of the disease, due to its rapid evolution and high lethality rate. The dog with vomiting and diarrhea in these cases has stools mixed with bright red blood and a more gelatinous appearance. This disease mainly affects the elderly.Therefore, if you see a puppy with diarrhea and vomiting and notice the presence of blood in the stool, it is essential to take it to the veterinarian immediately.

See_also: Scabies in cats: what are the types of the disease caused by mites?

Does the dog's diet interfere with canine gastroenteritis?

One of the causes of canine gastroenteritis is the ingestion of contaminated food. Raw or poorly preserved food should never be offered to the pet. In addition, gastroenteritis in dogs damages the dog's entire intestinal tract and, therefore, a balanced diet is essential to prevent the onset or worsening of the disease. If your pet is already prone to acquiring problemsgastrointestinal care should be taken even more carefully.

For a dog vomiting and with diarrhea, it is important to avoid offering food for the next 24 hours. After that, feeding needs to be very regular so as not to force the animal's stomach. The most suitable are foods with low fat and more fiber. "Generally, as a nutritionist, I indicate diets with low residue and more digestible, lower in fats and fibers and that is fractionated 3or more times a day ", advises Gabriela. For animals with canine gastroenteritis, foods with more liquid in the composition are also usually great options, since they are lighter and help to combat dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. But remember not to make sudden changes in food. Always offer little by little so that the impact is not great and ends upfurther damaging your stomach.

How are canine gastroenteritis diagnosed and treated?

As gastroenteritis in dogs has a wide range of causes, it is often difficult to find the exact diagnosis. In some cases, it cannot even be determined. When we see the dog with vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as other symptoms of canine gastroenteritis, a trip to the vet becomes essential. To confirm the diagnosis of gastroenteritis in dogs, the professional takes into account the dog's condition.animal history, clinical signs, vaccination and deworming, and examinations.

The treatment and type of diagnosis of gastroenteritis in dogs will depend on what caused the disease. "In diarrhea due to parasites, we can identify it through stool tests. The use of dewormers and supportive treatment of the symptoms presented tend to be chosen. When it is due to infectious agents, we see through the clinical history, blood count, specific stool tests and the diagnosis of the disease.The treatment is supportive with electrolyte replacement, vomiting medication if present and for the agent in question, "explains Gabriela. "If it is due to dietary changes, with the clinical history itself we can already diagnose and adjust as necessary. In all cases, I indicate the use of probiotics to replace the affected microbiota ", he concludes.

In gastroenteritis in dogs caused by viruses, bacteria or poisoning, treatment is sufficient to cure it. When the cause is inflammatory, veterinary follow-up is necessary for the rest of your life. Therefore, administering medicine for dogs with diarrhea and vomiting without a doctor's prescription is something that cannot be done under any circumstances. Only a professional will know how to indicate what should be applied in each case.

Is it possible to prevent gastroenteritis in dogs?

The best way to avoid gastroenteritis in dogs is to keep the vaccination card up to date and take care with food. "In general, providing an adequate diet, dewormers when necessary, vaccination as indicated by the veterinarian, keeping the pet away from fecal material, garbage and providing good quality water are among the most indicated preventive measures", explains Gabriela. Parvovirosis,one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis in dogs, can be prevented by vaccination alone.

See_also: Weimaraner puppy: 10 behavioral characteristics of the dog breed

Tracy Wilkins

Jeremy Cruz is a passionate animal lover and dedicated pet parent. With a background in veterinary medicine, Jeremy has spent years working alongside veterinarians, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in caring for dogs and cats. His genuine love for animals and commitment to their well-being led him to create the blog Everything you need to know about dogs and cats, where he shares expert advice from veterinarians, owners, and respected experts in the field, including Tracy Wilkins. By combining his expertise in veterinary medicine with insights from other respected professionals, Jeremy aims to provide a comprehensive resource for pet owners, helping them understand and address their beloved pets' needs. Whether it's training tips, health advice, or simply spreading awareness about animal welfare, Jeremy's blog has become a go-to source for pet enthusiasts seeking reliable and compassionate information. Through his writing, Jeremy hopes to inspire others to become more responsible pet owners and create a world where all animals receive the love, care, and respect they deserve.