Digestive upsets can be caused by something as simple as inappropriate food, change of diet or more severe challenges such as stress, bacterial/ viral/ parasitic infection or antibiotic treatment. As a result, dysbiosis, inflammation of the gut wall and diarrhoea can occur.
Digestive upsets are probably the most common reason to take your pet to the vet. They can be caused by something quite simple such as inappropriate food, scavenging, a change of diet, stress or something more serious such as bacterial infection, parasites or problems with digesting food.
There are two main types of digestive upset. The colon or large intestine is the last part of the intestines and is principally responsible for absorbing fluid from the intestinal contents. Inflammation of the large intestine (colitis) is the most common form of digestive upset, and it results in the dog needing to frequently pass small amounts of diarrhoea that often include mucus and sometimes traces of bright red blood. The blood is a result of the inflammation and is generally not a cause for concern. Diarrhoea may also be accompanied by vomiting in the initial stages.
Less commonly a dog will develop diarrhoea due to an abnormality in the small intestine, responsible for breaking down and absorbing food. This typically results in the pet passing large volumes of diarrhoea relatively infrequently. At the same time they may be vomiting and can rapidly lose weight. This is a more serious condition and needs urgent investigation by your veterinary surgeon.
Your veterinary surgeon will advise you on other measures that might be beneficial to your pet, and may include:
Digestive upsets usually improve within a few days. If you are concerned that your pet is not improving, seems dull or lethargic, or is vomiting repeatedly then you should contact your veterinary surgeon as soon as possible.
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