Recently there seems to have been an increase in poorly dogs suffering from gastro-enteritis (vomiting and diarrhoea) so I thought I’d summarise what has been going on so far, rather than allowing social media to be the source of the gospel.
SAVSNET (Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network) is on the case and is calling it ‘Prolific Vomiting in Dogs’ at the moment as no known cause has yet been identified.
Prolific vomiting is considered to be 5 or more episodes in a 12-hour period. It has been seen across the country. Diarrhoea can sometimes be present (not always) and the dogs are understandably a bit lethargic.
So, what should you do if you are suspicious of your dog suffering from this?
If you have a young dog (less than 6 months old) or an old dog (this is harder to define, but usually at least 8 years old) or if your dog is suffering from other known issues or is taking regular medication then it is simple, get to your vet sooner rather than later. The vet can administer drugs to stop the vomiting, can ensure they are not getting dehydrated and possibly substitute injections of their regular medications instead of tablets if nothing is staying down. They can also monitor kidney function if necessary, which if problematic, can cause further problems if not addressed promptly.
However, if your dog is between these ages, fit and healthy, then should you wait or go? If the vomiting continues for 24 hours despite just getting sips of water (not a bowlful at a time), then if it were my dog, I’d be making an appointment. If the dog is listless or their breath stinks (more than usual!) or you are just not happy with how the dog is, then again, make an appointment as you, the owner, are the best judge; better safe than sorry.
Antibiotics are unlikely to be prescribed at this point as there does not seem to be any justification. Most likely to get injections to stop the vomiting, oral rehydration solutions to give by mouth and possibly prescription diet with or without pro-biotics to help with the diarrhoea
Don’t forget, it may not be this new condition. Gastro-enteritis (in its many forms) has been around a long time as have dogs eating things they shouldn’t have (don’t think this is the time to mention the thong that was eaten – but don’t worry, it had just been washed prior to its ingestion!).
If you are worried, then make an appointment with your local vet. Also please encourage your vet to fill out the SAVSNET survey https://liverpool.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/vomiting-outbreak-questionnaire-3 You can complete it too!
Melissa Donald BVMS MRCVS is a vet with over 30 years first opinion practice experience.
She lives in Ayrshire, Scotland with her Border Terrier, Otta (@OttaBoss), a daft chocolate labrador, Poppy, several working Border Collies and her long suffering husband Kenny.