Acute vomiting and diarrhea are characterized by a sudden onset and short duration of less than two to three weeks. Acute vomiting and diarrhea are both extremely common in animals.

An occasional bout of vomiting and diarrhea may be typical in some dogs or cats however, severe, acute vomiting and diarrhea is not normal, and can be associated with life threatening illnesses. It can cause extreme fluid loss, acid-base imbalance, and electrolyte disturbance. There are many causes of gastroenteritis including dietary indiscretion, dietary intolerance, bacterial or viral infections, gastrointestinal parasite, drugs, toxins, obstruction, inflammatory bowel disease, various metabolic disorders, etc.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Gastroenteritis is typically diagnosed through history and physical examination findings. Determining the cause of the gastroenteritis requires further testing such as bloodwork, abdominal x-rays, abdominal ultrasound and fecal examinations.
  • Treatment depends on the underlying disorder, severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Treatment may include fluids, drugs to coat and soothe the gastrointestinal tract, drugs to stop vomiting, antibiotics, other drugs to treat the underlying disease. Initially, pets are not offered any food or water until the vomiting stops. Eventually the animal is temporarily fed a bland diet. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.


What to Watch for*:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea for several days
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Listlessness
  • Presence of blood in the stool or vomit

* Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!