Gastro-enteritis in dogs and cats

When your dog or cat’s digestive system is sick, it needs rest to recover. That means no complex or fatty foods, and nothing in large quantities. You may be instructed to give your animal nothing to eat for the first 24-48 hours and during this time you can offer small frequent amounts of water and/or lectade which your vet will give you.

Once the vomiting and diarrhoea have settled down, you can slowly introduce some bland food. A good starter diet is boiled rice, with some lean chicken pieces or mince. Add some Gravox or Vegemite to make it more enticing. Small amounts every few hours are much better than a large meal all at once. Probiotics such as natural yogurt, Yakult or powders (i.e. containing acidofilus-bifidus cultures) can also help settle down your animal’s gastrointestinal tract.

If your vet has given you medications, then the full course should be given as instructed even if your pet seems improved.

Once your pet is better you can reintroduce a normal diet. This should be done slowly over a few days by gradually mixing larger amounts of the normal diet with the bland food. Keep your pet calm and let it have plenty of sleep.

If no improvement occurs within 24 hours i.e. the vomiting continues, or you are worried, bring your pet back to the Animal Hospital or call 03 9328 3021.