Your Pet’s Upset Tummy

Published on April 16, 2016 by in Blog


pet sitting and dog walking servicesJust like with humans, stomach upsets are quite common in our pets. Often times, an upset tummy results in diarrhea and perhaps even a loss of appetite. However, in more serious cases, it can lead to vomiting and dehydration. So, as a concerned pet parent, when should you worry? And what situations warrant an emergency vet visit?

Unfortunately, our pets can’t tell us when they are experiencing tummy cramps or they’re feeling nauseous. For this reason, it is very important to be aware of the signs of an upset stomach, which include:

  • Increased salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Licking of the lips, lip-smacking, or swallowing more frequently than usual
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Grumpiness; not wanting to associate with family
  • Flatulence
  • Stomach rumbling
  • Sleeping more often than usual

When to Worry

For a mild stomach upset, your pet may not need to visit the vet, particularly if signs of stomach upset last less than 24 hours. If your pet is otherwise happy and bright, despite some symptoms, chances are there’s no need for worry. However, if your pet is elderly or very young, problems related to tummy upset tend to be more serious, and they become dehydrated quickly.

Visit the vet immediately if:

  • A known toxin has been ingested by your pet
  • Your pet’s abdomen is bloated
  • A foreign body such as a bone fragment or piece of string has been ingested
  • Your pet is vomiting or has bloody diarrhea
  • Your pet has lost weight, has become lethargic and his personality has changed
  • You notice your pet’s thirst has increased leading up to the tummy upset
  • His gums are yellow, pale or bluish in color
  • Your pet has vomited more than three times within a 24 hour period

What can Cause Stomach Upset?

 Commonly, ingestion of something nasty can be the culprit. Dogs are scavengers by nature and love to eat just about anything they find on the ground, such as feces, moldy objects, dead animals, etc. Thankfully, cats are more discerning than dogs, so this typically isn’t the case for them! For a mild stomach upset resulting from a questionable “snack,” provide your pet with plenty of fresh water to help flush his system.

Other common causes of stomach upset in our pets include: pancreatitis, motion sickness, stress, heatstroke, ingestion of a toxic substance, liver or kidney disease, parasites, and metabolic disease. When in doubt, have your vet check it out! It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

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