Tummy Trouble: Always a Pet Emergency or Can You Wait it Out?
There are exactly zero pet owners out there who shrug off unforeseen, yet repetitive, vomiting episodes (with or without diarrhea). To be sure, it’s alarming when an animal shows acute signs of sickness, but rushing to the ER every time your pet hacks something up may not always be the right approach. The Pet Experts present: when to wait and see if tummy troubles improve vs. when to accept that a real pet emergency is looming…
Get Your Detective Hat
Like us, pets experience occasional tummy troubles, and the causes are usually related to eating something they shouldn’t have. Signs of an upset stomach include:
- Sore or swollen abdomen
- Diarrhea or loose stool
- Lethargy or anxiety
- Excessive gas
Pets commonly sample food intended for people, and this usually results in indigestion. Sometimes, tummy trouble is caused by a change in diet or picking up something questionable while outside.
Once you’re pretty sure that what you’re dealing with is GI-related, take away your pet’s food for a day. After this fast (or gastric rest), offer your pet something mild or even bland. Dogs tend to like boiled chicken and rice to help reset the digestive system. Once you’re sure they’ve recovered (usually 1-3 days), get them back on a feeding routine with their regular fare.
Always make sure they have plenty of fresh, cool drinking water.
When to Worry
To determine if you have a pet emergency on your hands, take a closer look at your pet. If they have any of the following symptoms, please let us know immediately:
- Repetitive vomiting
- Bloody stool
- Complete appetite loss
When it comes to tummy trouble, dehydration is a real risk. Press gently on your pet’s gums; if the color doesn’t return to normal after the pressure, you should seek emergency help right away.
Pet Emergency Support
The Pet Experts understand that dealing with a pet emergency is difficult, which is why we’re here to answer all your questions and address any concerns about your pet’s condition. We won’t know exactly what’s going on without running certain diagnostics. However, GI distress is commonly caused by bacterial infections, gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, foreign bodies, and even stomach ulcers.
Younger animals should be checked out promptly. They don’t have the same type of immunity as older pets and can slide downhill much faster than their older counterparts. Viral infections, such as coronavirus or parvovirus, can create severe GI challenges, and they’re contagious. If your pet requires maintenance of important vaccinations, please schedule a preventive care appointment today.
Wait and See vs. Don’t Delay
It can seem like a very fine line between waiting out tummy troubles and dealing with a pet emergency. We recommend observing your pet’s symptoms closely, and then let us know what’s going on. The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are always here for you!
We accept walk-ins during our Doctor’s Hours to meet your busy lifestyle. If you’d prefer to make an appointment, we offer those too!
News & Events
Spring Adoption Event!
Join us and local rescues for our Easter/Spring Adoption Event on Sunday, March 18th from 11AM - 2PM! There will be pets available for adoption as well as $5 photos with the Easter Bunny and light food & refreshments! All proceeds benefit local rescue organizations.