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Vomiting & Diarrhea in Pets That Won't Stop: Causes & What to Do

If your cat or dog is suffering from gastrointestinal upset they may have many uncomfortable symptoms that should be monitored closely. Today, our Greeley vets discuss vomiting and diarrhea in pets and when you should seek emergency veterinary care.

Cats & Dogs: Vomit & Diarrhea

When your pet experiences gastrointestinal upset, it can lead to inflammation and irritation which can cause vomiting.

As unpleasant as it is to deal with, vomiting is one of the most efficient ways for your pet to rid its stomach of indigestible material, so it doesn't make its way further into its system. 

Diarrhea often occurs when said indigestible material has gone all the way through your dog's digestive system, anywhere along the intestinal tract.

What causes cat or dog vomiting and diarrhea?

Some of the most common causes of stomach upset in dogs and cats leading to vomiting and diarrhea include:

  • Reaction to medication
  • Ingestion of poisons, toxins, or food (garbage, chocolate, anti-freeze)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Heat stroke
  • Parasites 
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Change in diet
  • Bloat
  • Serious diseases or illnesses such as cancer

Your vet will consider your pet's symptoms, along with diagnostic tests to help diagnose their condition.

When is vomiting in pets cause for concern?

Vomiting may be cause for some concern and constitute a serious veterinary emergency if you see any of these signs:

  • Continuous vomiting
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Vomiting with nothing coming up
  • Vomiting blood
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting in conjunction with other symptoms such as lethargy, weight loss, fever, anemia, etc.
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Suspected ingestion of a foreign body (such as food, objects, children’s toys, etc.)

Dog or Cat Vomiting & Diarrhea Treatment

Based on your pet's medical history and recent activities, you can assist your veterinarian in determining what is causing the vomiting. For instance, if you've seen your pet exploring the house or sniffing the refrigerator with curiosity, he may have ingested something harmful.

Because you spend every day with your pet, you'll likely be your vet's best source of information as they attempt to diagnose the issue. Your vet will then test for, diagnose, and try to treat the condition. 

Ideally, treatment for dog and cat diarrhea and vomiting will be aimed at the underlying problem and may be as simple as temporarily withholding food or as complex as surgery or oncological care.

What to do for occasional vomiting or diarrhea?

Avoid giving your pet food for 12 hours. You can give them up to 3 tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or provide them with ice cubes in the meantime.

After 12 hours, reintroduce the water bowl. Start feeding with a few teaspoons of bland food. If they can keep it down, feed them a little every hour or two.

If your cat or dog stops vomiting or experiencing diarrhea for 12 hours, you can begin to feed them as usual.

What if your dog has excessive vomit or diarrhea?

Remove any food that your dog or cat can get into. Inspect your pet for signs of dehydration or shock, including pale skin and gums and abnormal disposition.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your cat or dog is experiencing frequent bouts of vomit or diarrhea, please contact our Greeley hospital right away for emergency veterinary care.

Caring for Pets in Greeley

St. Michaels Companion Animal Hospital is always happy to welcome new patients to our animal hospital. Get in touch today to get started!

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