If you are a dog or cat owner, especially a dog owner, you will have likely had it happen before.
You come down in the morning to a shocking smell and find a puddle of something brown, green or even frothy covering your kitchen floor. You’re not sure exactly which end it came from but it is definitely from your furry housemate, who is now conveniently as far away from the mess as possible.
Diarrhoea and/or vomiting in dogs and cats isn’t uncommon, so here at VioVet we have put together a step-by-step guide of what to do when diarrhoea and/or vomiting strikes:
Check for any signs that your pet is seriously ill and if you see any of the following then contact your local vet:
Blood in the vomit or diarrhoea
Severe lethargy (your pet doesn't want to walk, seems in pain, and isn't easily roused) or any neurological/respiratory signs (seizures, shaking, breathing problems)
Not eating or drinking for 24hrs. Your pet will likely not want to eat/drink for the first few hours but if this persists then contact your vet to be safe
Your pet has eaten a known or possible toxin
If your pet is generally quite bright then it is probably safe to monitor and treat with over the counter products
Most cases of vomiting and diarrhoea are related to a scavenging event (a dog that ate something rotten in the park last night, or a cat that recently ate their kill) or a virus that requires supportive care to treat. We call this a mild gastroenteritis.
There should be a short period of starvation until there has been at least 4 hours since the last vomiting episode. If there is no vomit then head to step 4) straight away.
Feed bland food
Ideally this should be specially formulated intestinal support diets. These speed up recovery and are naturally easy on the stomach/intestines which are likely mildly inflamed. Start by feeding a small amount, checking it stays down for a few hours, then feed again. We would always advise consulting your vet before feeding a prescription diet.
NB if your pet is allergic to any feeds, then always stick to their normal diet.
You can make your own bland food (cooked chicken or white fish, cooked rice, scrambled egg) but this is usually not quite as effective.
Give a probiotic
Often diarrhoea is caused by an imbalance in the normal gut flora. Probiotics help restore the normal gut flora and so speed up recovery. Below are a few we would recommend.
Ensure your pet’s worming schedule is up to date as worms can cause or worsen a mild diarrhoea. Seek advice from your vet regarding which wormers to use if you are unsure.
Normally a mild viral/scavenging related gastroenteritis will improve and resolve over 3-5 days with the previously mentioned treatment. If your pet’s vomiting and diarrhoea persists for 24-48hrs with no signs of improvement, then we would recommend contacting your vet. There are rarer, more serious causes of this that would need to be ruled out.
Thank you for reading! If you have any further questions about any of our products then please email or phone our customer services.
Written by: Dr. Nick Garside BVetMed MRCVS