Understanding the Common Gastrointestinal Problems in Dogs

One of the most common reasons dogs see their veterinarian is for an upset stomach. Nonetheless, not all canine gastrointestinal disorders are the same. There are hundreds of reasons that dogs’ stomachs/intestines are upset. Digestive problems can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. It might be hard to determine whether or not a gastrointestinal ailment is substantial. Even minor conditions can get worse if left untreated for too long.

We’ll go through four of the most widespread causes and treatments of digestive disorders in canines:

Constipation

Constipation is defined as the inability or infrequency of eliminating feces, which is usually dry and firm. It is a relatively frequent concern in dogs. The problem is simple to fix in most cases, yet the situation might be dire in sicker pets. Feces grow drier and more burdensome to pass the longer they remain in the colon.

Plenty of water should be given to affected pets. Mild constipation is often resolved by switching to a high-fiber food, preventing the dog from ingesting bones or other items, providing readily available water, and administering suitable laxatives (usually for a short time only). If laxatives are given, they will be ideal for your pet. Laxatives designed for people can be highly hazardous to animals, especially cats.

Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is a potentially fatal viral infection that primarily affects puppies and adult dogs that have not been immunized. In addition to vomiting and fever, the dog may experience severe or bloody diarrhea. The virus is resistant to many regular disinfectants and can survive in polluted areas for months or even years. Check out this “pet hospital near me” page if you need to book your dog an appointment.

Infected canines should be isolated from other dogs until they have recovered. Good hygiene is likewise essential in preventing the spread of parvovirus. Puppies, even as young as six weeks old, can be vaccinated. All kennels, collars, bowls, and leashes should be cleaned and sterilized, and bedding discarded.

Colitis

Colon inflammation (colitis) can be temporary or chronic. Colitis is characterized by very soft to watery feces. Canines with colitis struggle and appear to be in pain when defecating. They may try to use the litter box more often, even though their intestines are empty.

The origin of the sickness determines the therapy for colitis in dogs. A hypoallergenic or intestinal diet, for example, usually provides immediate relief. Because food intolerance can worsen colitis, vets might recommend an elimination diet. Your vet internal medicine specialist may prescribe additional treatments to assist in healing and provide comfort.

Cancer of the Digestive System

Cancer in the digestive tract is uncommon, with stomach tumors accounting for less than 1% of all malignancies in small pets. Most gastrointestinal tumor forms have no known cause(s). Tumors of the digestive system in dogs are often malignant and spread to other parts of the body.

The first line of treatment for stomach cancer in dogs is surgery, be sure to seek a reliable veterinary surgeon. The damaged region of the stomach, as well as a small amount of the small intestine, is routinely removed. Most patients stay in the hospital for two nights after surgery; during this period, the dog is carefully examined for any issues.

How Veterinarians Diagnose Disorders of the Stomach/Intestine in Dogs

Diarrhea and vomiting are not diagnoses in and of themselves; instead, they are symptoms. Diagnosing a dog to give the best potential treatment takes many inquiries.

A medical diagnosis requires:

Dog’s History

Talk with your veterinarian concerning whether or not you should take your pet to the hospital for vomiting and diarrhea. Try to communicate as much information as possible, including a detailed description of the vomiting or diarrhea.

Physical Exam

A comprehensive physical examination evaluates a dog’s temperature, pulse, heart, lungs, hydration, glands/lymph nodes, and other vital signs. This gives crucial information about the dog’s overall health and aids in planning diagnostic tests.

Laboratory Tests

Laboratory screening reveals what is taking place within a pet’s body. The following are some frequent diagnostic examinations for gastrointestinal problems in dogs:

  • Blood tests
  • Fecalysis for parasites check
  • Food sensitivities
  • Hormone analysis
  • Testing for contagious diseases
  • Ultrasound
  • Urinalysis
  • X-rays

There is no need to worry if a puppy is unwell; none of these tests are needed simultaneously. Instead, your veterinarian will create a specific treatment plan based on the most likely problems that your dog is experiencing.