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GI Upset in Dogs and Cats

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GI Upset in Dogs and Cats


Did you know that the most common symptoms seen in a small animal practice are vomiting and diarrhea, referred to as gastrointestinal upset?

Any disorder that blocks proper digestion of food or nutrient absorption is considered a digestive disorder. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and affect dogs and cats which we also often see here at The City Vet Clinic.

The most common GI disorder is gastroenteritis which is an inflammation of the intestinal tract, including the stomach and intestines. GI upset can be caused by several factors namely due to infection from bacteria and/or viruses, allergic food reaction, medications, parasites, fewer digestive enzymes, or foreign body ingestion. Pets with GI upset are having abdominal pain and show intermittent vomiting and diarrhea.

Your pet’s gut is home to billions of bacteria just like humans.  Healthy digestion in pets is important for maintaining energy levels and regulating body electrolytes and essential amino acids.

What Causes GI Upset

The most common initial treatment approach used by almost all veterinarians is the elimination process. A thorough evaluation of the pet’s history, comprehensive physical exam, and diagnostic tests may be necessary. Before making a diagnosis of gastroenteritis, the veterinarian will eliminate more serious health issues first. However, please bear in mind the following severe conditions that lead to GI upset in dogs and cats:

  • Allergic Food Reaction
  • Bacterial overgrowth
  •  Vestibular disease
  • Almost any type of cancers
  • Chronic pancreatic, liver, or kidney diseases
  • Colitis
  • Hyperthyroidism, Diabetes, and Addison’s disease
  • IBD or Inflammatory bowel disease

Symptoms of GI Upset

GI upset does not show only abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs and cats. Other pets may lose their appetite and refuse to drink, or gags when trying to eat or drink. Regurgitation is another common symptom noticed in pets with a digestive disorder. Pets may also feel uncomfortable and restless because of stress and pain.

Home Remedies

Indeed, there are remedies available at home, however, it is still essential to make sure to consult with any of your trusted vets before resorting to any home remedy. Call any The City Vet Clinic branches in your area immediately if you see any of the obvious signs and avoid giving any initial medications at home as you might add more harm than alleviating the symptom of your colicky pet buddy.

Preventing GI Upset

You can help your pet to have a healthy gut by giving supplements rich in probiotics and feeding quality pet food that is recommended by your veterinarian. Both dogs and cats are always curious about anything, thus, keep sharp toys or objects that could easily be chewed and poisonous. Avoid giving chocolates, garlic, grapes, raisins and avocados and other food and plants considered toxic.

As your primary pet care provider, we are always here to provide you with sound advice when it comes to your pet’s digestive health.


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