Dog Vomiting and Diarrhea

Dog vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms experienced by dogs and may signal an upset stomach or a more serious medical condition such as a tumor or poisoning. Acute vomiting and diarrhea may be normal in dogs as they eat a lot of things, including garbage; however, if your dog experiences these symptoms on a chronic basis, you should consult the vet.

Causes of Vomiting and Diarrhea

The causes of vomiting and diarrhea range from food intolerance to poisoning or even cancer. Some of the most frequent causes of vomiting and diarrhea include:

  • The inflammation of the lining of the stomach or the intestines (gastroenteritis); this condition may be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi, which may be ingested by the dog
  • Food allergies; if the dog’s stomach does not tolerate certain ingredients, these will be eliminated
  • Parasites that lodge in the intestines (tapeworms, hookworms, coccidia, Giardia)
  • Bacterial, fungal or viral infections such as Salmonella, the parvovirus, candida albicans may cause irritate the stomach lining
  • Sudden change in diet; the transition from one type of diet to another should be gradual; otherwise, the dog’s body may react negatively
  • Toxicity; may be caused by the ingestion of different foods (i.e. chocolate, raisins), alcohol, coffee, toxic plants, human drugs or an overdose of canine drugs
  • Tumors localized in the stomach or intestinal tract
  • Pancreatitis or the inflammation of the pancreas

Diagnosing Vomiting and Diarrhea

The vet will perform a number of tests to determine the cause of vomiting and diarrhea. A full set of blood tests along with radiographs will be performed.

A stool and urine sample will also be needed.

Make sure you let the vet know about all auxiliary symptoms your pet may display; symptoms such as blood in the vomit or in the stool should not be ignored.

Treatment Options

The treatment depends greatly on the condition that causes the vomiting and the diarrhea. For this reason, a proper diagnostics is essential.

If the vomiting and diarrhea are caused by an upset stomach, the vet will recommend a light diet for a few days. The food that causes the upset stomach must be isolated and the dog should avoid that ingredient. Prescription food may be recommended if the dog is allergic to several food ingredients.

Intestinal parasites may be treated with dewormers.

If you have recently changed your dog’s diet, you should try to make the transition to a new diet more gradually.

If you notice other poisoning symptoms such as staggering and confusion or even seizures, the dog should get fluid therapy and possibly eliminate the toxic ingredients from the dog’s body.

When the vomiting and diarrhea is caused by a tumor, chemotherapy will be recommended and if possible, a surgery.

Vomiting and diarrhea may be prevented in some cases, by limiting your pet’s access to garbage and toxic foods or drinks. However, in some cases, these symptoms will occur and it is important to act if the vomiting and diarrhea persist for more than 48 hours.