As a definitive cause is often hard to identify, when it comes to how to treat gastroenteritis in dogs, the treatment plan is often supportive and symptomatic care. Once the vet has calculated whether the gastroenteritis is self-limiting (so will resolve in a short period without needing specific treatment options) the dog is supported with fluid replacement to replace fluids lost via vomiting and diarrhoea.
The most typical symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs are vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Problems in the stomach and small intestinal areas typically produce very soft or fluid faeces. The vomit may be yellow foamy bile as the stomach is emptied. Blood may be apparent in the vomit or faeces. Small amounts are more common than the large amounts seen in haemorrhagic gastroenteritis.
A vast number of reasons can cause a problem, ranging from mild to severe gastroenteritis in dogs, and from acute to chronic.
The gastrointestinal tract is a hollow tube running through the body from the mouth to the anus. Each section is responsible for a different part of the food digestion process. Gastroenteritis in dogs occurs when either the gastric (stomach) or enteric (intestinal) part of the tract are affected by inflammation.
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