Virtually all pets experience occasional bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. Episodes can be due to indiscriminate eating habits—a change of diet, scavenging food, or eating foreign substances. It is important that the vomiting or diarrhea is brief and not associated with other signs of illness. Many incidents of vomiting with or without diarrhea related to the above will resolve within 12–24 hours following a food fast.
When Should I Be Concerned?
Please contact us immediately if your pet is lethargic, unwilling to eat, vomits repeatedly, has diarrhea for more than 24 hours, or if blood is present in the vomit or stool.
Did You Know GI Issues Are the Most Common Internal Medicine Problems in Cats & Dogs?
Gastrointestinal disorders include any condition that impairs the digestion, absorption, or movement of food through the stomach or intestines. Other organ abnormalities that can contribute and correlate with gastrointestinal signs are the pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, and gall bladder.
Vomiting and diarrhea are two of the most common clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease. For that reason, chronic vomiting and diarrhea should not be dismissed. Many cat owners assume that cats’ intermittently vomit to some degree. Currently, new research is suggesting that perhaps some chronic vomiting may indicate a low-grade pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) in cats. This can frequently be diagnosed and confirmed with abdominal ultrasound. Abdominal ultrasound will also allow careful evaluation of all of the internal organs such as the liver, gall bladder, stomach, small intestines, large intestines, abdominal lymph nodes, kidneys, adrenal glands, urinary bladder, and reproductive organs.
Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and diseases affecting your pet’s stomach, intestines, gall bladder, pancreas, or intestines can be very painful. We are able to carefully assess your pet’s level of pain to promptly minimize discomfort with pain management, while working for a correction of the medical abnormality. We are here to serve you and your pet.
Rely on Carlson Animal Hospital’s Diagnostic Expertise
Because several gastrointestinal conditions are ongoing and long-term management of the disorder may be required, it is important to accurately diagnose the problem. Also early detection often yields better results. We can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment options, utilizing the best veterinary research and diagnostics developed at Texas A&M Gastrointestinal Laboratory and Iowa State University.
We are trained to recognize potential types of GI disorders including:
- Pancreatitis (which recent research indicates is more common in cats than thought previously)
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome
How Are GI Problems Diagnosed?
Many diagnostic tests are available to define the cause or provide information about persisting gastrointestinal problems. Possible diagnostics include a complete blood count, blood chemistry panel, urinalysis, abdominal X-rays, fecal examinations for parasites, digestion, and absorption abnormalities. Blood tests developed at Texas A&M University assess pancreas, liver, and intestinal gastrointestinal function. Sometimes abdominal ultrasound or an endoscopic examination of the intestines may be warranted. However, most gastrointestinal diseases can be diagnosed and treated non-invasively.
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