Is Your Dog a Good Candidate for Natural Dog Upset Stomach Cures?
While many dogs may benefit from upset stomach home remedies, it’s important to recognize that not all dogs are good candidates for these remedies. Please consider that, in some cases, an upset stomach may be indicative of a serious medical condition requiring prompt veterinary attention.
For a list of some serious medical conditions causing an upset stomach see this article: dog upset stomach, when to see the emergency vet. In other cases, home remedies may temporarily provide relief, but if the dog is suffering from an underlying medical problem that needs addressed, the symptoms may quickly come back and you will be back to square one. Not only, you risk losing precious time that could have been otherwise invested by having your dog diagnosed by your vet and treated accordingly. And last but not least, consider that repeated vomiting and/or diarrhea can quickly dehydrate puppies and dogs so these dogs are not good candidates for home remedies.
A Dozen Signs Your Dog’s Upset Stomach Needs Veterinary Attention
As a general guideline, consider that the following symptoms suggest your dog may be having more than an upset stomach and it’s best to play it safe and see your vet. While these are only a few warning signs, consider that there may be several others and your dog may seem OK one moment and progress to getting worse the next, so see your vet if you notice these signs:
- Your dog is acting, sluggish, lethargic and doesn’t seem interested in his surroundings. He is not acting as his normal self. In the veterinary field, dogs that are healthy appear “bright and alert” and dogs who are sick are not. Sure, when a dog has an upset stomach, he may not feel like doing all the things he normally does, but consider that lethargy can often be a sign of dehydration, pain, weakness and other serious abnormalities that require vet attention.
- Your dog is running a fever. The normal temperature in dogs is 99.5-102.5 Fahrenheit, anything higher than that can be considered a slightly elevated temperature or an actual fever. The higher the temperature, obviously the most critical the condition.
- Your dog’s gums appear pale and have slower capillary refill times. Pale gums and abnormal capillary refill times means your dog is in a life-threatening situation. This means, stopping everything you are doing and rushing to the vet–this means seeing the emergency vet if it’s afterhours.
- Your dog appears to be dehydrated. Repeated vomiting will eventually have its toll on dogs who are losing more and more fluids. Young puppies can dehydrate more quickly than dogs, and small dogs dehydrate faster than the larger dogs. Old dogs are also prone to dehydrate faster since they may fail to drink. Consider that even if your dog is drinking, he or she may still not be able to rehydrate as needed, and in some cases, drinking may further cause vomiting. In such cases, your dog may need fluids from the vet.
- Your dog appears to be restless and in pain. If your dog is changing position frequently, moaning, grunting, whining it may be a sign of abdominal pain. Consider though that not all dogs vocalize though when they’e in pain. Abdominal discomfort may be seen in blockages, gastroenteritis and pancreatitis. If your dog is constantly pacing, assuming odd positions such as keeping the back arched up, see your vet. These can be signs that your dog may be in pain and pacing can be a symptoms of bloat.
- Your dog has a swollen abdomen. Again, this may be a sign of bloat and it can also be a sign of ascitis, an abnormal accumulation of fluids in the dog’s abdomen or a possible sign of an intestinal blockage.
- Your dog has blood in the vomit or blood in the stools. Blood in the vomit may be indicative of a bleeding ulcer in the stomach. Blood in the stool may be indicative of many things such as colitis, presence of parasites but also serious conditions such as parvo or ingestion of rodent poisoning. Consider that blood in the stool may appear as red, (hematochezia) when it comes from the lower intestinal tract, or may appear under the form of black, tarry stools (like coffee grounds) when coming from the stomach since it’s digested blood. If your dog is on aspirin or any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, consider that the presence of blood may indicate an ulcer. Remember: It’s normal for a dog to have dark stools after taking Pepto Bismol.
- Your dog has unproductive retching. If your dog is trying to vomit, but doesn’t bring anything up, see your vet immediately, again, this may be a symptom of bloat.
- Your dog is straining to produce a bowel movement. If your dog is vomiting and has not been able to produce bowel movements or is straining, consider seeing your vet. This can be indicative of a foreign body obstruction.
- Your dog ate fatty foods. In some sensitive dogs, eating fat foods such as bacon grease or fat meats may trigger a serious bout of pancreatitis. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, the dog may vomit repeatedly and go off food. Vet treatment is often necessary to help these dogs recover.
- Your dog is vomiting repeatedly and and/or is having repeated bouts of diarrhea for more than 12 hours and is even bringing water up. The problem with this is dehydration and the fact that the dog isn’t getting better may suggest something that needs prompt attention.
- Your dog has an upset stomach and you suspect your dog ate some foods toxic to dogs or exposure to poisonous plants or chemicals.
- Something just doesn’t seem right. There are many systemic disorders in dogs that may have vomiting and upset stomach as symptoms, but there many be many others. Systemic disorders are conditions that affect the dog’s entire body, not only the dog’s intestinal tract. So if your dog has an upset stomach and other symptoms that don’t seem much related with the GI tract, see your vet.
So which dogs may benefit from upset stomach home remedies? They’re most likely helpful for dogs suffering from an indigestion due to an abrupt diet change or a dietary indiscretion that doesn’t include anything fatty,toxic or that can cause a blockage. They may also be helpful for stressed dogs, as long as the stressful events subsides. Therefore, upset stomach remedies are for mild cases only.
If your dog’s upset stomach seems worrisome, read this article on preparing for your dog’s upset stomach vet visit for a list of things your should tell your vet.