There are many things that can cause a gastrointestinal upset in our dogs. These range from eating something that upsets them to picking up a virus from another dog.
Usual symptoms are passing of loose faeces (Diarrhea), sometimes vomiting, abdominal pain (often seen by the dog guarding their tummy), drooling or inappetence your dog may have some or all these symptoms depending on how severe the upset is.
Some common causes of Gastrointestinal upset can include, dietary indiscretion, dietary allergies, parasites such as worms, protozoas such as giardia, bacteria’s such as salmonella, campylobacter and e-coli, or viruses such as parvo virus.
Often a stomach up set is self-resolving and you don’t need to do too much other than offer a bland diet such as chicken and rice for a few days until things settle. Often though they can be more complicated to treat especially if viruses or bacteria etc are the cause. Usually when you see the vet for a case of gastrointestinal upset, they will start the treatment with pre and pro biotics to help bind the gut and balance the good bacteria within the gut, this can often be given alongside an antiemetic treatment (to stop them vomiting). Usually, a few days of this treatment along with a bland diet will help. If no improvement after these treatments the vet will often ask you to bring in a 3-day pooled sample of faeces so they can send it to the laboratory to check to see if they can find the cause, once the cause is known then appropriate treatment can be given. The biggest main concern when a dog has a gastrointestinal upset is that they stay hydrated so ensure that they get plenty of water. If your dog is unable to remain hydrated then it may be that they need to be admitted to the hospital to have intravenous fluids, help to re-hydrate them.
The more stubborn cases to treat are the dietary allergy cases as these often involve long term diet trials to discover the protein that is causing the issue. It is a myth that all dietary allergy issues are down to grains causing an issue. There are very few dogs that have a true grain allergy and more often than not a reaction to the protein source.
If any problematic symptoms occur for more than 48 hours please contact your vet for advice