How to look after your dog as mystery vomiting and diarrhoea illness spreads across Yorkshire

As a dog owner, from time to time, you may come down in the morning to a shocking smell and find a puddle of something brown, green or even frothy covering your kitchen floor.

By Leanne Clarke
Monday, 31st January 2022, 9:26 am
Signs that your dog may need checked over by your local vet
Signs that your dog may need checked over by your local vet

You’re not sure exactly which end it came from, but it is definitely from your furry housemate, who is now conveniently as far away from the mess as possible.

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Vet's warning to dog owners over pet sickness outbreak

1. Signs that your dog may need checked over by your local vet

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Check for any symptoms that indicate your pet is seriously ill and contact your local vet, if you see any of the following:

- Blood in the vomit or diarrhoea

- Severe lethargy (your pet doesn't want to walk, seems in pain, and isn't easily roused) any neurological/respiratory signs (seizures, shaking, breathing problems)

- Not eating or drinking for 24hrs. Your pet is likely to not want to eat/drink for the first few hours but if this persists then contact your vet to be safe

- Your pet has eaten a known or possible toxin

2. When is it safe to monitor your dog at home?

If your dog is generally quite bright then it is probably safe to monitor them and treat with over-the- counter products. Most cases of vomiting and diarrhoea are related to a scavenging event (a dog that ate something rotten in the park last night) or a virus that requires supportive care to treat. We call this a mild gastroenteritis.

3. A short period of withholding food can help get them back on track

There should be a short period of starvation until there has been at least four hours since the last vomiting episode. If there is no vomit, then head to the next step (step 4) straight away.

4. Feed your dog bland food to help speed up recovery

Ideally this should be specially formulated intestinal support diets as they can help speed up recovery and are naturally easy on the stomach/intestines, which are likely mildly inflamed.

Start by feeding a small amount, checking it stays down for a few hours, then feed again.

We would always advise consulting your vet before feeding a prescription diet.

However, if your pet is allergic to any feeds, then always stick to their normal diet. You can also choose to make your own bland food that includes cooked chicken or white fish, cooked rice, scrambled egg.

5. Boost their gut bacteria with a probiotic

Often diarrhoea is caused by an imbalance in the normal gut flora. Probiotics help restore the normal gut flora and so speed up recovery.

6. Worming your dog

Ensure your pet’s worming schedule is up to date as worms can cause or worsen a mild diarrhoea.

Seek advice from your vet regarding which wormers to use if you are unsure.

Normally a mild viral/scavenging related gastroenteritis will improve and resolve over three to five days with the previously mentioned treatment. If your dog’s vomiting and diarrhoea persists for 24-48 hours with no signs of improvement, then we would recommend contacting your vet.

There are rarer, more serious causes of this that would need to be ruled out.