How do you know if your dog has digestive problems? A Step-by-Step Guide

Symptoms of Stomach Problems in Dogs

One moment your dog is gleefully gallivanting around the dog park, and the next, he is sluggish, irritable, and not himself.

The moment you notice a difference in behavior, it’s crucial that you take inventory of what symptoms your dog is exhibiting, think about what they could signal, and start dealing with what could become a much more significant problem if you were to simply ignore it.

What are the surefire ways to tell that your dog’s change in demeanor has to do with a compromised digestive system in dogs?

Below are some of the most common signs of dog digestive issues:

  • Excessive gas (rumbling stomach, burping, etc.)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss (usually caused by excessive vomiting and diarrhea)
  • Constipation
  • Disinterest in pet food
  • Unfortunately, the above-listed symptoms could indicate either an ailment that is non-threatening or they could signal that you need to take immediate action because your dog is in grave danger. This is why we always suggest consulting with your veterinarian as soon as you notice something is off.

    However, if your dog is experiencing any of the below, then you absolutely MUST seek medical attention immediately as you could be facing a life-threatening emergency:

  • Excessive shaking or panting
  • Severe dehydration
  • Dry heaving
  • Vomiting liquids
  • What Can I Give My Dog For An Upset Stomach?

    If your dog has an upset stomach, it may be a good idea to fast your dog for up to 24 hours. Although it seems cruel, this will give your dog a chance to empty his or her stomach, which in many cases, will alleviate any excessive bloating or stomach discomfort.

    While your dog is fasting, make sure fresh water is always available.

    Once the fast is over, feed your dog, a bland diet consisting of unseasoned chicken breast and brown or white rice. If your dog responds positively to this diet and shows no signs of digestive problems, continue feeding this diet for an additional 4-5 days.

    At the end of the 5 days, begin mixing their regular food into the chicken and rice and see how they react. If your dog appears to accept the food without issue, slowly integrate more of their regular food until the chicken and rice are phased out entirely.

    Diagnosis of Digestive Problems in Dogs

    The veterinarian will first conduct a full physical exam on the dog; questions asked may include duration and onset of clinical signs, history of vaccines, travel history and behavior of the animal. If it is suspected that bacterial infections may be involved, blood counts, bacterial culture, fungal culture, blood chemistry panel and urinalysis may be done.

    If suspicion of parasitic infections is the case, then a stool sample may be taken in order to determine number of eggs and species of parasites residing in the dog.

    For cases that may be viral, tissue samples may be taken and antibodies towards a probable virus are measured through the use of an enzyme assay test known as ELISA. X-rays and ultrasounds may be done to rule out the possibility of intestinal obstructions. An endoscopy may be done in cases where there is a possibility of inflammation.

    3 Tips If Your Dog Has Digestive Problems

    Tummy trouble is no fun no matter what species you are. We’ve all felt nausea, stomach pain, and the inconvenience of digestive issues at least once in our lives, so it’s especially difficult to see our four-legged friends going through the same thing. Thankfully, there are many ways to combat the symptoms of dog digestive issues no matter what’s causing them. Contents

    Firstly, you’ll need to know the signs of stomach upset in canines, from the common to the most unusual. Then you can start identifying and treating whatever’s behind your dog’s discomfort. Know that you have your veterinarian on your side whenever you need them; they can recommend the best foods, treatments, and preventions for your pup. Until then, here’s what you’ll need to know.