Is your pet suffering from vomiting and/or diarrhoea

These are symptoms that sick 1can be caused by a wide variety of diseases. There are different tests and treatments available for your pet to combat these symptoms. The tests and treatments recommended by your veterinarian will depend on your pet’s age, sex, breed, medical history, clinical signs, duration of illness and your accurate account of your pet’s behaviour and recent exposures.

The various causes of vomiting and diarrhoea can broadly be classified into gastrointestinal causes and non-gastrointestinal causes.

•Gastro-intestinal causes include parasites (e.g. worms, Giardia and Coccidia), viral infections (e.g. Parvovirus, Corona virus and Distemper virus), gastritis (upset stomach), stomach or intestinal ulcers, gastrointestinal foreign bodies (e.g. bones, toys, rocks, hairballs etc.), tumours of the gastrointestinal tract and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
•Non-gastro-intestinal causes are much rarer causes of vomiting and/or diarrhoea and include motion sickness, acute allergic reactions, poisonings, acute or chronic renal failure, liver disease, pancreatitis, hormonal disorders, uterine infection (pyometra), Biliary, sepsis, malignant tumours etc.

A clinical examination performed by your veterinarian coupled with an accurate history provided by you of your pet’s symptoms and previous exposures will help your veterinarian to get a better idea of what might have caused these symptoms. However more often than not further diagnostic tests are required to make a definitive diagnosis and ensure a speedy recovery for your pet.

These tests can include microscopic examination of your pet’s stool to identify parasites; ELISA snap tests to rule out viral infections like Parvovirus; abdominal ultrasound and/or x-rays to rule out abdominal organ pathology and gastrointestinal foreign bodies; blood tests and urinalysis to rule out blood parasites, infections, hormonal abnormalities and organ failure; biopsies of abnormal tissue to rule out cancer and in some cases exploratory surgery.

The treatment decided on for your pet by you and your vet will be determined by a number of factors. Some pets will be treated as outpatients (meaning that they will go home with medication) while others might need to be admitted to our hospital for tests and/or treatment.

If your pet is suffering from mild symptoms and is sent home with medication it is important to give the medication prescribed and to monitor your pet closely. Some pets can fail to improve or even deteriorate despite conservative treatment if a more serious underlying disease is starting.

If your pet fails to improve within 12-24hours after treatment was started (e.g. still vomiting) or deteriorates (e.g. Diarrhoea becomes bloody, frequency of vomiting increases or new symptoms develop) please contact your vet. Generally speaking inappetance and vomiting are symptoms that we want to resolve within 12- 24hours, while diarrhoea should decrease in frequency within 24hours but may take 2-3 days to resolve completely in most cases.

Pets that are admitted to our hospital for treatment generally need more intensive treatment and tests due to the severity of their disease. Some pets will need to go onto a drip and receive medication throughout the day and night in our 24hour facility. In these cases it is important to know that your pet might need to stay in hospital for a couple of days before they have recovered enough to be discharged. We generally discharge pets when they start eating well, are no longer vomiting and the severity of their diarrhoea has decreased considerably. Please contact us between 10:00 and 12:00 to check on your pet’s progress

Your vet might want to see your pet again after discharge for a follow up examination to monitor his progress

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