pet emergencyThere’s a lot that flows right through all of us, as we’re generally perceived as ideal hosts by various bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Unfortunately, this is also true for our pets. They may not notice or experience adverse reactions from various bugs, but The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center can attest to the seemingly harmless tummy ache that quickly turns into a full-fledged pet emergency.

Gather Evidence

Your pet may have a history of acute or chronic gastrointestinal problems that are marked by:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Enlarged abdomen
  • Flatulence
  • Belching
  • Soft or bloody stool

These symptoms can be related to a variety of possible issues, and much of the time, they resolve on their own. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should get used to the sounds of hacking, gagging, or painful incontinence.

Red Flags

Prolonged or extended bouts of vomiting or diarrhea should be tended to by The Pet Experts. Dehydration is a real threat to overall wellness and must be prevented. Additionally, inappetance, loss of energy, obvious pain, or unproductive dry heaves indicate that a pet emergency is nigh.

Err on the Side of Caution

Gastroenterology involves any condition affecting the esophagus, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, or intestines. When serious symptoms arise, we need to know why. Advanced diagnostics are a specialty of The Pet Experts, which allow us to better treat our patients.

Fecal testing, blood draws, radiographs, ultrasound, endoscopy, and even food trials can help us get to the bottom of an animal’s tummy troubles. Sometimes this a quick process, but it can also be tricky to narrow down exact culprits.

Common Causes

Tummy aches can be caused by:

  • Parasites
  • Foreign bodies
  • Food allergies or sensitivities
  • Inflamed bowels
  • Ulcers
  • Sluggish digestion (motility issues)
  • Pancreatic problems
  • Malabsorption disorders
  • Bile duct/gallbladder problems
  • Enteritis/colitis
  • Neoplasia

Treating a Pet Emergency

It’s common for pets to return home the same day with supportive medications and a prescribed diet. Depending on the severity, a pet emergency can turn into a hospital stay to monitor infection, dehydration, shock, or electrolyte imbalance.

Wait and See

Pet owners are typically quite familiar with the sight and sound of midnight hairballs, diarrhea at dawn, and unexplained tummy troubles. It’s not uncommon to wait it out and hope your pet feels better the next day. Take stock of the time the episode began, what you think your pet was exposed to, and their general behavior.

Remember, if your pet is not eating or drinking, is experiencing pain, and has repeatedly thrown up or has diarrhea, it’s time to call The Pet Experts without delay.