Our Vet Clinic Answers Frequently Asked Question About Gastrointestinal Problems
There's nothing worse than seeing your pet suffering from a potentially serious medical condition -- except not knowing what the symptoms represent. That's why it's good to have a basic understanding of common pet afflictions, including gastrointestinal problems. Here are some frequently asked questions on the subject as answered by our vet team at Animal Hospital of Onslow County.
- What are the signs of a gastrointestinal problem? Gastrointestinal problems are characterized by gas, bloating, stomach discomfort, diarrhea/loose stools or frequent bowel movements and vomiting. Chronic problems may lead to weight loss. Your pet may also act lethargic and/or run a temperature.
- What is bloat, and why is it an emergency? Bloat, more properly known as gastric dilatation-volvulus, is a twisting of the stomach that often occurs in large dogs. It's an emergency because it can prevent food from exiting the stomach or even destroy the stomach tissues.
- Apart from bloat, what other gastrointestinal conditions count as emergencies? Severe, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea should always be treated as a veterinary emergency, not least because of the danger of dehydration. Gastrointestinal problems due to poisoning also require immediate attention. An ingested foreign object may need to be removed right away if it poses any threat to the stomach or intestines.
- What's the difference between gastritis and gastroenteritis? Gastritis is stomach inflammation; gastroenteritis is stomach and intestinal inflammation. This painful condition may be causing by ingestion of human food (which is usually unsuitable for pets) or rotten/toxic substances.
- Do food allergies cause gastrointestinal problems? Food allergies can produce symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and upset stomach. A true food allergy will also manifest as respiratory or skin symptoms, from itching and redness to breathing problems.
- How is a food intolerance different from a food allergy? A food intolerance is a sensitivity to a specific food that causes diarrhea and vomiting and other gastrointestinal symptoms, but none of the other symptoms produced by an allergic reaction.
- How does my Jacksonville veterinarian diagnose my pet's gastrointestinal problem? Your Jacksonville veterinarian on our experienced team can make use of a variety of diagnostic methods, from experienced observation to advanced imaging techniques such as X-rays and ultrasound. We can also perform lab tests to see whether severe vomiting and diarrhea might stem from a pancreatic problem.
- What gastrointestinal treatments can your vet clinic administer to help my pet? Surgery can remove foreign objects or internal blockages; it can also correct a life-threatening case of bloat. Poison ingestion may require administering either emetics or neutralizing agents. Medication can treat systemic ailments that impair digestion. Dietary adjustments can eliminate symptoms caused by food allergies or intolerances.
Our Vet Clinic Has the Answers
Animal Hospital of Onslow County can answer your questions, put your worries to rest and -- best of all -- help your pet get over his gastrointestinal issues. Call (910) 353-1722 for an appointment with your Jacksonville veterinarian!