Help, my Pet has an Upset Stomach!

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Lots of pets suffer from upset tummies from time to time. While the specific details sometimes don’t make pleasant reading, it’s important that you know what to expect.

Check Out the Signs

If you hear your pet making sounds as if they are about to be sick, act quickly to avoid a carpet emergency by giving them immediate access to somewhere that is easier to clean up. Similarly a dog whining at the door or a cat scratching at the door to be let out may be suffering from loose motions and may not have the same control over their bowels that they normally do. Some pets can seem restless, pacing around and may even start digging holes, if they have pain in their abdomen, or they may just curl up and look miserable. Other signs to be on the lookout for include weight loss, changes in appetite, flatulence, a gurgling stomach or straining while passing a motion.

What’s the Trigger?

Most of the time stomach upsets are caused by pets overeating, eating the wrong kind of food (such as spoiled food), eating something that they have a reaction to, or eating their food to quickly. With a little help, most pets get over these kinds of upsets relatively quickly, so do ask your vet for advice at an early stage.

Some pets though have more long lasting disorders that never seem to fully resolve, or that flare up at various times. A vet will usually need to perform various tests to establish the cause of tummy troubles that are more long lasting. Keep a diary of when the pet has problems, the signs they show and what they ate in the days leading up to an episode to help establish a diagnosis.

Top Tips

  • If your pet is suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea, remove access to food and give only small sips of water for 24 hours.
  • If the pet seems unwell, continues to vomit or has blood in their vomit or diarrhoea, contact your vet.
  • If the vomiting and diarrhoea settles after 24 hours, ask your vet about offering small amounts of highly digestible pet food. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d pet food is often recommended.
  • Continue feeding the recommended pet food for around 5 days, or as directed by your vet.
  • Slowly add some of your pet’s normal food, gradually increase the amount and reduce the amount of the Prescription Diet over the next 7 days, until back to being fed normally.

Always seek the advice of your vet if you are concerned about the health of your pet.