Gastroenteritis is commonly seen in puppies and adult dogs with vomiting and/or diarrhoea being the typical signs. A very common cause of gastroenteritis is dietary indiscretion. This includes eating spoilt left overs, high fat foods or raiding the garbage. Feeding your dog a good quality diet and not varying the diet will help keep tummy upsets to a minimum. Other causes of gastroenteritis include viruses, bacterial infections, parasites and swallowing a foreign object. If gastroenteritis is accompanied by inappetance, lethargy or tummy pain then a serious underlying disorder may be present and urgent veterinary attention should be sought. Blood in the faeces or vomit is also a cause for concern especially for Parvo virus in a puppy or poorly immunised older dog. For a bright and happy dog with gastroenteritis we recommend withholding food for 24 hrs but still offering water. Then a bland diet is fed for 2 or 3 days such as boiled chicken and white rice. We check the pets worming and vaccinations are up to date. If signs persist for more than a few days the pet may become dehydrated. Blood tests and xrays may be required in some cases as well as medical treatment with fluids, antibiotics and prescription diets. The good news is that most dogs with gastroenteritis will respond well to the correct treatment. This is Sadie the poodle puppy who is fed a premium puppy food from our clinic.
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