Jacksonville, FL veterinarian describes why a dog may vomit and have diarrhea
At San Marco Animal Hospital, our veterinarian and his staff understand the importance of having a pet in the family. Dogs can be a great source of companionship and are known for reducing anxiety in humans. However, pet parents may experience anxiety when their pet is feeling “under the weather.” Jacksonville, FL area families who need to speak to a professional about their dog’s digestive system are encouraged to make an appointment. Our team will do their best to help pet parents understand why a dog may vomit or have diarrhea.
Understanding how a dog’s digestive system works
It is crucial that pet owners understand that the doggy digestive system works differently from that of a human. Much of the digestion for a dog happens in the stomach and not in the mouth. The acid of a dog’s stomach is almost three times more potent than the acid in an average human, allowing a dog to break down food that may even be swallowed whole. From eating to defecating, the entire process takes about 10 hours to pass through the dog’s digestive system. Sometimes, this process is interrupted by vomiting and diarrhea.
Vomiting is a means of emptying the stomach of material that is indigestible to keep it from continuing through the digestive system. This can also happen if a dog’s gastrointestinal tract is irritated. At this point, diarrhea may occur.
What are some common triggers that can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea in dogs?
Many of the common triggers linked to digestion issues may include:
- Changing to a different food or different diet abruptly without a proper transition
- The presence of parasites including roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms
- Swallowing a material that is indigestible such as a chicken bone or part of a toy
- Extreme or added emotional stress and anxiety to a pet from changes in the home
- A poor diet which may include eating rotten food or garbage
- Overeating or eating too fast
- Possible food allergies
- Bacterial infections
- Eating poisonous plants or ingestion of toxic substances such as pesticides
- A reaction to a new pharmaceutical for other health issues
- Motion sickness
What can I do to help my dog if they are vomiting?
For infrequent cases of vomiting, it is best to avoid giving your pet any food for the next 12 hours, offering water now and then. After 12 hours without vomiting, it is safe to introduce the water bowl and provide a small amount of food that is bland. A great mix of food to prepare for a dog during this time is white rice and cooked chicken. Feed a few teaspoons at a time until the dog can keep the food down. Increase food and then transition back to their regular diet within 48 hours.
What happens if I cannot control the vomiting and diarrhea, or if it becomes severe?
Any time a pet owner is worried about their pet and consistent problems that arise, it is best to visit the veterinarian’s practice in the Jacksonville, FL area. This is especially important if the pet is showing any signs of dehydration and/or shock. These signs may include:
- Pale skin
- Pale gums
- Abnormal disposition
Where can I take my pet during a medical emergency?
At San Marco Animal Hospital, we understand that medical emergencies with pets can be stressful. We always accept new pets during emergencies so that we can help bring the pet back to health and continue to monitor when problems occur. Pet parents are encouraged to follow-up with their pet and their veterinarian once the cause of the vomiting and diarrhea is determined–and the pet is back on track to his or her healthy lifestyle!
Are you concerned about your doggy’s digestive system?
If your pet is dealing with vomiting and/or diarrhea and has been for a while, it is time to take your four-legged friend to the veterinarian’s office. Dr. Venkat Gutta of Jacksonville, FL assists both cats and dogs at the San Marco Animal Hospital. Whether your pet has seen our team before, or you are a new pet parent visiting our facility, we welcome you to call for an appointment at 904-516-9767. We are conveniently located in the San Marco area at 1546 San Marco Boulevard.