Cat and Dog Diarrhea and Vomiting

dog laying on ground with closed eyes

Cat and dog diarrhea and vomiting are common problems with a wide variety of causes. The question is when does a cat or dog’s diarrhea or vomiting become an emergency?

Dog Vomiting

Dogs are scavengers and get into a great deal of things they shouldn’t eat. If a dog has eaten a new food or something suspicious off the ground, this can cause them to vomit. A dog vomiting once or twice like this is not a concern, as long as they have good energy and are keen to eat. If your dog’s vomiting repeatedly, not eating, or not energetic, they should be seen by a veterinarian for a fullpet examinationas soon as possible. Very frequent vomiting, not eating and a significant drop in energy level at the same time should be considered an emergency.

Diarrhea In Dogs

Diarrhea is also common in dogs. Changing foods should be done slowly by adding 10% of a new food and removing 10% of the old food every day until they are switched over. This will help prevent the most common cause of dog diarrhea. Dogs with diarrhea that does not improve over 7 days, is bloody, have a reduced appetite or weight loss, need to be seen by a veterinarian.

Cat Vomiting

Cats vomiting hairballs used to be considered normal. Recent studies have shown this to not be the case. Cats that vomit hairballs typically have some type of underlying intestinal disease. The most common causes are inflammatory bowel disease and lymphoma (cancer). The usual pattern we see with these cats is that they throw up a hairball once every 6 months, then it becomes every 3 months, then weekly and finally they are vomiting daily and are very sick. These patients can be difficult to help because of chronic changes to the gut. Early intervention is very important for success.

Diarrhea In Cats

A quick change in diet is usually the cause of diarrhea in cats, just as it is in dogs. If this is the case, it should gradually improve over a week. Many times people do not notice their cat is having diarrhea because it is covered by litter. If your cat has persistent, bloody or recurrent diarrhea, or has weight loss or a change of appetite with diarrhea, they should be examined by your veterinarian.

If your cat or dog is experiencing troubling diarrhea or vomiting,make an appointmentwith our clinic today.

Yours in health,

Dr. Kent Morley