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Infectious gastroenteritis in dogs: symptoms, treatment and prevention

Identifying the symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs is very important to ensure that the animal receives prompt treatment. In most cases, gastroenteritis is infectious and can be easily treated. But is it possible to prevent this type of inflammation?

Infectious gastroenteritis: symptoms

Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the colon, small intestine and stomach. It is called infectious gastroenteritis when it is of bacterial or viral origin. The main culprits are respectively bacteria such as salmonella (Salmonella) and viruses such as parvovirus responsible for canine parvovirosis.

Whether it is bacterial or viral, infectious gastroenteritis causes the following symptoms
  • Discomfort or even pain in the abdominal area,
  • Fever,
  • Hemorrhagic or non-hemorrhagic diarrhea,
  • Vomiting that may contain blood,
  • Dehydration,
  • A loss of appetite, sometimes anorexia,
  • A state of despondency.
  • An intestinal dressing to protect the mucous membranes,
  • An anti-vomiting agent,
  • An anti-diarrheal,
  • An antacid.
These manifestations justify an emergency consultation so that the veterinarian can identify the cause of such a state of health as soon as possible.

Infectious gastroenteritis in dogs: diagnosis and treatment

Clinical examination frequently allows the veterinarian to suspect gastroenteritis, but to confirm the diagnosis he may need to submit the dog to additional tests. These may include:
  • A blood test,
  • Fecal analysis,
  • A viral antigen test (snap test)
  • An imaging examination to inspect the animal's abdomen (X-ray, ultrasound...) and to verify that it has not ingested a foreign body,
  • A digestive endoscopy,
  • A digestive biopsy.
It is very important that the dog's owner has taken the precaution of noting the length of time and intensity of the symptoms, what the dog has eaten in the preceding days, whether it has gone out alone and is likely to have been poisoned by any product or bait, and any other indication that may help the veterinarian to direct his investigations.

Treatment of infectious gastroenteritis in dogs depends on the severity of the case. If it is a trivial inflammation, the veterinarian prescribes :

If the infectious gastroenteritis is of bacterial origin, antibiotic treatment is required. But when the animal's health condition is worrying, the practitioner may deem it preferable to put the dog on an infusion. This allows the appropriate treatments to be injected. Sometimes, hospitalization of the animal is unavoidable, especially when it is severely dehydrated because it must receive an intravenous solution as a matter of urgency.

Whatever form of treatment is chosen, the duration varies according to the severity of the case.

Along with the medication, the dog must be put on a diet. This diet consists exclusively of hyperdigestible dietary food. Of course, it is important to ensure that the dog drinks enough throughout the day and night. To limit the risk of dehydration, it is very important that the animal has a water bowl that is regularly renewed so that it is always clean and fresh. After the diet, the convalescent should return to a normal diet but gradually until he or she is fully recovered.

Infectious gastroenteritis in dogs: prevention

Vaccination is the best way to prevent viral diseases, and it is essential that it be up to date. In addition, the owner must be vigilant and make sure that his pet does not eat spoiled food or toxic products in order to avoid the risk of all kinds of digestive problems. This is a common risk when these pets spend a lot of time outdoors and get into the habit of rummaging through garbage.

Deworming is also part of the prevention rules because it limits the colonization of the intestines by parasites. Finally, it is essential to always give your little companion a food of excellent quality, of great freshness, and perfectly adapted to his needs. It is important to avoid sudden changes in diet. All these preventive measures are essential so that the dog is not exposed to the risks of any digestive problems.