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Pets Vomiting & Diarrhoea

What to do when your pet is vomiting

My pet is vomiting, what should I do?

Although the odd pile of vomit may appear without further problems vomiting often requires prompt veterinary treatment if it does not resolve quickly.

Vomiting may be a problem that occurs now and again in our pets and can be caused by a variety of factors, sometimes our pets may vomit up something unpleasant and then get back to normal fairly quickly - however vomiting is also a symptom of many serious conditions, so it is important that if it persists or is frequent or severe then we should see your pet without delay, as they can very quickly dehydrate and deteriorate.

Please note that if your dog is going through the motions of being sick and NOT producing ANY vomit -retching unproductively or seems depressed or has a swollen belly then you should contact us straight away as this could be very serious - do not wait to see if they improve but contact us immediately.

Please do phone us for advice appropriate for your pet, but general advice for mild symptoms is to try to get them to take fluids or an electrolyte solution designed for animals little and often and see if they can keep that down. If your pet is keen to eat follow the advice below for feeding through diarrhea: small, bland meals, little and often.


This is another common problem with varying levels of severity. We must see your pet as soon as possible if the diarrhoea Is combined with vomiting, this increases the risk of dangerous levels of dehydration in a young or older animal. Immature or senior pets may become very unwell very quickly Has lasted longer than 2 days
Has blood present - fresh red blood may be seen or poo may be black and tarry looking or very dark in colour
Your pet is depressed and seems unwell - always get them checked sooner rather than later.

The following symptoms should be noted and the information relayed to your vet:

  •  Frequency of diarrhoea?
  •  How many times per day?
  •  How long has your pet had diarrhoea for?
  •  Are there secondary symptoms such as vomiting, straining?
  •  Has your pet seemed unwell previously to the episode?
  •  Is there blood or mucus in the diarrhoea?
  •  What colour is the diarrhoea; brown, orange, green?
  •  What is the consistency/thickness of the diarrhoea?

In some cases we may recommend the following treatment for uncomplicated diarrhoea:

1. Feed through the Diarrhoea

Feed little and often with small, bland meals such as cooked chicken, white fish and boiled, plain rice. We no longer recommend starving for 24 hours in cases of diarrhoea. This is because the intestines get most of their energy from the eaten food and therefore stopping feeding can limit the intestines food supply and therefore their ability to heal quickly. 

Initially you should start with a LIGHT DIET, we will be able to supply you with one specifically designed for diarrhoea cases. These diets contain all the correct nutrient requirements for your pet, and save you the bother of preparing fresh food for each meal.

Alternatively, you can feed a white meat diet (chicken or fish, steamed or boiled) combined with plain boiled rice or pasta. Regardless of which diet you choose, it is important to feed little and often, small meals.

As long as the diarrhoea continues to lessen, the size of the meals can be slowly increased. Normal food can be reintroduced after about four or five days. Again, do this gradually over several days, mixing the normal food in with the bland diet. If you try and short-cut this procedure you may well upset things and be back where you started!

2. Probiotics

We also recommend using probiotics for cases of diarrhoea - using probiotics replaces the natural bacteria found in the gut. These are products which you can buy thorough ourselves without needing a veterinary appointment. Please call reception if you would like to purchase these.

3. Water

Access to plenty of fresh water or an electrolyte solution should be available at all times. Animals often need to drink more than normal if they have diarrhoea to replace the liquid being lost in their faeces. Give water at room temperature.

It is important that if your pet is not responding to treatment we have prescribed you should contact us without delay for further treatment and investigation

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