Written by Dr. Leliani Alvaraz, DVM

Gastrointestinal problems comprise the most common ailments seen in both dogs and cats.

These can range from a short-term upset tummy (such as Vomiting and Diarrhea) to a chronic or more serious ailment (such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Pancreatitis). In all cases, some simple guidelines can help avoid the most common problems.

Ongoing GI Issues

For animals that are prone to GI illness:
  • Feed on a twice daily routine schedule and pre-measure food
  • Monitor stools on a regular basis for parasites
  • Stop medications that promote GI upset such as Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory medications (Rimadyl, Metacam, Previcox, Deramaxx, etc.)
  • Avoid processed foods and ingredients (such as by-products and preservatives)
  • Eliminate or limit grains and gluten rich foods (wheat and wheat by-products)

In addition, itís important to consult a veterinarian for pets suffering from chronic ailments in order to screen for other problems that may lead to GI illness such as kidney, liver and pancreatic diseases, foreign bodies, cancer and other problems.

Acute GI Problems

For acute problems with vomiting and diarrhea, a simple rest from food and water for 12-24 hours can be very helpful followed by a bland diet of boiled chicken and white rice. Gradually wean back to regular diet over 3-5 days.

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