Your pet’s digestive tract is a tongue-to-tail system that nourishes and maintains their overall health. But many conditions and diseases—ranging from minor to life-threatening—can put this hardworking organ group off balance. Unfortunately for pet owners, most digestive upset signs look the same—making them wonder whether the issue is minor, or if their pet’s life could be in danger.
But many conditions and diseases—ranging from minor to life-threatening—can put this hardworking organ group off balance. Unfortunately for pet owners, most digestive upset signs look the same—making them wonder whether the issue is minor, or if their pet’s life could be in danger.
Common digestive upset signs in pets
Depending on the cause, pets’ digestive upset generally includes vomiting, diarrhea, or both, which are the most alarming signs. However, keep in mind that pets may experience any of the following digestive upset signs:
Digestive upset signs may appear suddenly (i.e., acute) or have a gradual onset over several weeks or months (i.e., chronic). Pets may experience rapid and intense health changes or they may exhibit intermittent recurring signs. In any event, if your pet has any digestive upset signs, schedule an in-clinic appointment with Dr. Treat for comprehensive care, guidance, and treatment.
Diagnosing digestive upset in pets
Our Dr. Treat veterinarians use a range of diagnostic tools to pinpoint the cause of your pet’s gastrointestinal (GI) distress. These testing methods include:
During a physical exam, your veterinarian assesses your pet for dehydration, mental alertness, lethargy, abdominal discomfort, physical pain, and trauma, or toxin ingestion signs.
To detect whether your pet has parasites, parasite eggs, or other infectious organisms that routinely cause diarrhea, your veterinarian will take a fecal sample for analysis.
Infectious disease testing
Puppies, kittens, and young adult pets are susceptible to life-threatening contagious diseases such as canine parvovirus and distemper, and feline panleukopenia and leukemia. If your veterinarian suspects that an infectious disease is causing your pet’s digestive upset, they may perform specific tests to determine this.
Blood testing assesses your pet’s organ function and detects anemia, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances, which gastrointestinal illness can cause.
Ultrasound or X-ray imaging can detect GI blockages, abnormal intestinal thickening, reduced motility, cancer, and gastric dilation volvulus (GDV).
Based on your pet’s test results, your Dr. Treat veterinarian will design a personalized treatment plan to address their clinical signs, relieve their discomfort, and restore their health. Treatment options vary greatly, but depending on your pet’s diagnosis, may include antidiarrheal, anti-nausea, or dewormer medication, diet change, hospitalization for fluid therapy and stabilization, or surgery.
“Unfortunately for pet owners, most digestive upset signs look the same—making them wonder whether the issue is minor, or if their pet’s life could be in danger. ”
Common digestive issues in pets
Our Dr. Treat veterinarians see many pets who have digestive issues. Several of these commonly diagnosed digestive conditions are actually preventable with routine veterinary care and diligent at-home management:
Your pet’s digestion is a vital and fascinating process that you normally take for granted—until they experience digestive upset. If your pet’s GI tract is out of balance, your Dr. Treat veterinarian will provide them with convenient personalized and unparalleled veterinary care. Visit our website to learn more about becoming a Dr. Treat One member, chat with our 24/7 customer care team, or schedule an appointment.