Signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs
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.
As the dog feels ill, they often show little interest in food and display a lack of appetite. The feeling of nausea and reluctance to eat contribute towards a lack of energy, lethargy, and the dog can display an air of sadness and depression. They are likely to have abdominal discomfort, and many show reluctance to have their abdominal area or hindquarters handled or touched. If the dog is not given appropriate supportive treatment, dehydration can occur quickly as fluid is lost from the body through the vomit or diarrhoea and not being replaced fast enough.
In chronic cases of gastroenteritis, the symptoms may appear milder than in acute cases, showing more as diarrhoea and the dog may appear to be fussy about their food and reluctant to eat much at a time.