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Posted on 11-08-2013

November, 2013 Newsletter Articles

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms of many diseases from mild self-limiting ones to those that are life threatening.

What to do:

  • Take up all food and water.  If your pet is dehydrated (dry gums, the skin stays up when you pull it up), call the clinic and make an appointment as soon as possible.
  • If there is no vomiting for 6-8 hours, start offering small amounts of clear fluid, such as water, Gatorade or Pedialyte every 2-3 hours.  If your pet does not vomit the fluids, you may offer small amounts of boiled (boneless, skinless) chicken and rice.  Boiled hamburger meat and rice can also be used.  Continue small amounts every few hours.  If no vomiting after 12-24 hours, start mixing in the pet's regular food with the chicken and rice.  If your pet cannot keep the food down or refuses to eat, call and make an appointment for an exam and treatment. 
  • Isolate your pet from other pets, especially if there is also fever present.  Some causes of vomiting are infectious and contagious.


  • Don't give over-the-counter medications without talking to one of the veterinarians at the clinic.
  • Don't exercise your pet.
  • Don't wait more than 24 hours to bring your pet in to the clinic if there is no improvement.  It doesn't take very long for them to become dehydrated when they are losing fluids and not replacing them by eating and drinking. 

Minor causes of vomiting and diarrhea (e.g., dietary indiscretion) will improve fairly quickly whereas more serious causes (pancreatitis, GI tract foreign bodies, parvo virus) will not.


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