When does Vomit and Diarrhea Warrant a Visit to the Veterinarian?
It's a common quandary faced by our clients at City Pets Vets® in New York City as well as pet caretakers all over the country. If you schedule a veterinarian visit every time your cat or dog vomits or has a case of the runs, you'll be spending a lot of time with us, not to mention a lot of money. Having said, that, however, there are times when vomit and diarrhea can be a symptom of something serious.
Is Vomit and Diarrhea Ever "Normal"?
While vomiting and diarrhea can be a common occurrence, it is always a sign that something is irritating their gastrointestinal system. Perhaps your cat vomited in the process of spitting a hairball, or your dog picked up some bit of junk while you walked on the streets of New York City. Both can be easily remedied — cat owners can brush their cat more often, especially when seasons are changing and shedding has started and dog owners can keep an eye out for garbage overflowing cans.
As for diarrhea, it could be a matter of your having fed them a new type of food. Again — there's a simple remedy. When introducing a new type or brand of food, and in some animals, even a new flavor, take time to introduce it gradually, mixing it in increments with their current food.
While these cases are normal, they were caused by something foreign in the gastrointestinal tract that causes an extremely mild form of gastroenteritis, which loosely translated means an upset or irritated stomach or digestive system. However, if neither of these causal scenarios applies to your pet, and the vomit and diarrhea continues our veterinarian should see your pet.
Why Vomit and Diarrhea Should Never Be Taken Lightly
Vomit and diarrhea could mean your dog or cat has picked up a parasite that we can treat with a de-worming product. It can also mean he has a virus for which we can administer appropriate medication. Unfortunately, vomit and diarrhea can also be symptoms of cancer or kidney problems so vomit and/or diarrhea should be never be taken lightly. Instead, you should schedule an immediate appointment should they last more than 24 hours.
Another way to determine the need for veterinary care is the appearance of the feces themselves.
- Stool that is dark in color or looks like tar are signs that there is internal bleeding in the upper portion of the digestive tract
- Streaks of red, on the other hand mean the bleeding is in the lower digestive tract
- Watery diarrhea or mucus coated feces is a sign of trouble in the colon
Let Us Take a Look at Your Pet
City Pets Vets® the House Call Vets makes it easy for New York City dwellers to get pet care. So, whether you want to schedule a puppy or kitten exam, a wellness checkup, or have serious concerns about your pet's health, just give us a call at (212) 581-7387, and we'll come to you.