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Gastro-enteritis in dogs and cats

Vomiting and/or diarrhoea are common signs of illness in cats and dogs. Although some cases may be serious enough that your pet needs hospitalisation, often a visit to the vet for a check-over and some medicine, will soon have your pet well again. There are a few things you can do at home to help your friend get better.

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 amounts. 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 & 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 or a bit of gravox/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 (ie 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 re-introduce its 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 animal fairly quiet 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 clinic, or call us on (03) 9328 3021.

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