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Gastroenteritis in Animals – How does it affect your pet?

At Vetsure, we understand the strong bond between owners and their pets. It is our belief that you should never have to compromise on your four-legged friend’s health. We know it can be worrying when our furry family members are unwell or diagnosed with a long-term illness but we are here to help you through the tough times so you can get back to enjoying the fun parts of pet ownership. To aid you during your pet’s treatment we have compiled this basic fact sheet to help shed some light on Gastroenteritis in animals.

Please be aware that this is not a fully comprehensive guide and you should always obtain further information from your veterinary practice.

What is Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is often caused by eating something inappropriate – for example fatty human food or dead animals.

Gastroenteritis can occur in any pet, at any age and any breed.

What are the Common Signs of Gastroenteritis?

Pets with Gastroenteritis tend to display the following clinical signs:

  • Vomiting / Nausea
  • Diarrhoea which can also contain blood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy / depression
  • High temperature
  • Hunched posture or adopting the ‘’prayer’’ position (head toward the floor with bottom towards the sky)

How is Gastroenteritis Diagnosed?

The illness is typically characterised by vomiting and diarrhoea, that is unusual in colour and of a rather soft consistency. Whilst some animals are likely to show their discomfort more than others, any affected pets will look to avoid extensive movement and resist attempts to touch their rear and abdomen.

From a vet’s perspective, diagnosis will look primarily at environmental factors in order to determine the source of the issue. This will include your pet’s diet, exposure to new chemicals or materials, new medication and anything else that could have upset them internally.

Testing will then be provided, examining the pet’s blood and urine and if needed scans can be done looking for any obstructions or oddities within the body.

What Treatment Should I Choose for Gastroenteritis?

Your veterinary practice will provide a complete overview once a diagnosis has been made and they will work with you to provide a treatment plan that is best for your pet.

The treatment recommended is generally a temporary change in your pets’ diet, some medication to stop them from feeling sick, and to help resolve the diarrhoea.

If this is unsuccessful, or if your vet is suspicious that your pet may have ingested a foreign body, they may recommend an x-ray or a faecal test which will involve you collecting a sample of your pets’ faeces, and then your vet will send it to a lab, where it will be analysed to rule out any parasites in your pets gastro-intestinal tract. However, your veterinary surgeon will advise you on the best treatment tailored to your pet’s needs.

Pets with gastroenteritis generally make a fast recovery following the right treatment.

We hope this has given you a better insight into Gastroenteritis, however, if you have any further questions always seek veterinary advice.

Pets aren’t always cheap to look after, especially if something goes wrong, which is why insurance has now become a necessity for most owners. You can find out more about the benefits of our Dog Insurance policies and Cat Insurance policies or get a quote online alternatively please feel free to give us a call on 0800 050 2022 – we’d be happy to help wherever possible.