Gastrointestinal problems in dogs

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Gastrointestinal problems in dogs

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When it darts out of every orifice in Fiffi's body, it's a nightmare for dog and owner. Concern for your favorite four-legged friend and pity for his situation often meet the feeling of absolute helplessness. In this article you will find out what causes gastrointestinal problems in dogs and what you can do to make your four-legged friend feel better again quickly.

Possible causes of gastrointestinal problems in dogs

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The causes of diarrhea and vomiting in dogs are often as varied as they are uncertain. It is reassuring to know that not every gastrointestinal problem is based on a serious gastrointestinal disease. These are often unproblematic disorders of the digestive system that only cause symptoms for a short time. So that you know exactly what to do the next time you have diarrhea, here is a brief overview of possible causes of illness:

Food intolerance in dogs

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Sometimes the four-legged friends feel the same as us humans when it comes to intestinal problems: They have eaten something wrong or spoiled and feel - in the truest sense of the word - miserable. A too abrupt change of food in the dog's diet can also be the cause. If the dog eats unsuitable food once, the gastrointestinal problem should resolve itself within 24 hours once everything that the furry friend does not tolerate is cleared out. The situation is different with digestive problems, which occur again and again and are accompanied, for example, by vomiting, flatulence, skin rashes or eye infections. In this case, there could be a feed intolerance or even an allergy.

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Cereals, soya and corn are among the feedstuffs that most frequently trigger allergies and intolerances in the dog's organism. But dairy products or even animal proteins such as fish, beef or chicken can also cause unwanted symptoms. The bad news: Similar to humans, your darling can basically react to all food components with intolerance and allergies. Of course, this fact makes it all the more difficult for you to recognize defective feed and remove it from Wuffi's diet. But cheer up, because it's not impossible:

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The best way to identify allergies and intolerances is through the long-term “elimination diet”. Your dog may only be given food that has a protein source (monoprotein) for a period of 8 to 12 weeks. For example, hypoallergenic feed with high-quality proteins from horse meat or insects is suitable for the exclusion diet. A blood test can also provide information about intolerance and allergy causes. In any case, if you suspect food intolerance, you should consult your trusted veterinarian and start looking for triggers together with him.

Chronic gastrointestinal disease or tumor?

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Not nice, but unfortunately a possible reason: Of course, your dog's gastrointestinal problems can also indicate long-term diseases, such as chronic intestinal inflammation in the form of IBD (= inflammatory bowel disease), which also includes Crohn's disease, for example. You should take your four-legged friend to a vet, especially if diarrhea and vomiting occur in episodes and keep coming back. Because even though the various forms of IBD are often not curable, the symptoms are treatable.

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Depending on their location, tumors in the digestive tract can also be the trigger for recurring problems such as vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. In order to rule out this serious cause of the disease, your veterinarian is also asked. If these lines are understandably giving you negative heart palpitations: Please remember that this trigger is one of the rarest.

Diarrhea caused by parasites or after taking medication

If the digestive tract of your fur nose is infested with worms or other protozoa, this can also lead to gastrointestinal problems. Giardia is particularly common. The nasty parasites usually cause diarrhea, vomiting or constipation. At the same time, there can be a lack of appetite and weight loss, because the little parasites deprive your darling of the nutrients processed during digestion.

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The worm is in there - unfortunately literally: While some types of worms are easy to identify in the faeces due to their size, other types of parasites such as Giardia are tiny and only recognizable under a microscope. Regular deworming is therefore a must for every dog owner. Already knew? To prevent Giardia, you should forbid your darling to drink from puddles. That's where the tormentors like to cavort. Foreign dog feces are also a breeding ground for Giardia. The same applies here: nose away! By the way: Giardia are not only a real nightmare for dogs, but also for household grouches. If Fiffi has contracted Giardia, you'll have a wash orgy at its finest. Giardia cysts stubbornly cling to fabrics and surfaces. They can only be eliminated by special cleaning agents and repeated boiling washes.

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In such cases, taking deworming medication or antibiotics is often unavoidable. Unfortunately, these drugs can have a negative effect on the intestinal flora. Your dog's digestion is disturbed and gastrointestinal chaos is the result. An intestinal cleansing ( can help restore balance in the digestive tract.

Psychological stress as a trigger for illness

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Stress-related symptoms of illness not only occur in masters and mistresses, but also in their four-legged companions. Whether caused by moving, the death of the owner or a dispute with other conspecifics: all of these factors can literally upset your dog's stomach. To find out if your pet's gastrointestinal problems are stress-related, pay attention to the dog's body language. Does he suddenly seem insecure and walk around with his tail between his legs? Does your sweetheart pant heavily or even tremble? Then stress can be the cause.

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And now? The be-all and end-all of stress elimination lies in recognizing the factors and reducing them. Sufficient rest periods and activities tailored to the dog's character can help to compensate for acute stress.

Help calm the gastrointestinal tract

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As a first-aid measure in the event of vomiting and diarrhea, it is advisable to give your four-legged friend a 24-hour break from eating. This means that you do not feed your dog for a day and thus ensure the relief of the gastrointestinal tract. Caution: Please make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Extra tip: Cooled fennel or chamomile tea in a water bowl can also help to alleviate the symptoms.

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The next step is to try offering your dog a bland diet. For example, boiled lean chicken, potatoes, rice, carrots and cottage cheese are suitable as a menu. Most four-legged friends even perceive the sick food as a feast and are happy about the variety in the bowl. A proven home remedy for diarrhea is Morosche carrot soup. It can even be prepared in no time at all:

Morosche carrot soup recipe

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You need:

500 grams of carrots

1 liter of water

1 tsp salt


Peel the carrots, cut into small pieces and place in a saucepan with a liter of water

bring to the boil and then simmer for at least 90 minutes over low heat,

Drain the carrot pieces, reserve the cooking water,

Chop the carrots with a fork or puree them with a mixer,

Pour the cooking water into the carrot pulp to make one liter

Add salt and let cool before serving.

Attention: If your pet suffers from kidney problems, you should discuss the administration of salt with your vet beforehand.

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It doesn’t matter whether it’s after taking medication, a worm infestation or an infection: In order to get your dog’s digestive system back in shape, we recommend carrying out a two-week restorative intestinal cure. Our Colon Vital and our Colon Vital Tablets combine important prebiotics, probiotics and nutrients. The products are therefore ideally suited to support the reconstruction of a healthy intestinal flora - so that your darling gets better quickly!

When a vet visit is urgent

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In general, if you have severe diarrhea that lasts more than two days or keeps coming back, you should see a veterinarian. Even if the symptoms keep coming back, a visit to the uncle doctor is essential. Therefore, observe your dog very closely and note the frequency, consistency and appearance of the excretions. Even if it may cost you a little effort: the well-being of your fur nose comes first. Very watery excretions as well as mucus or blood in feces and vomit are warning signs.

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At the latest when your favorite companion is no longer himself, seems apathetic, develops a fever and completely refuses to eat or drink, all alarm bells should ring for you. In this emergency, your dog's life is at risk due to the threat of dehydration.

The aforementioned causes of illness and other serious triggers such as swallowing a foreign body, infections caused by viruses and bacteria or even poisoning should then be ruled out by a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

Helpful products for your dog from this article

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Colon Vital

Colon Vital Tablets

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