A healthy dog will eat food, extract what it needs in the form of nutrients, and excrete substances that have not been digested or used. Antibiotics, unsuitable foods or treats, high levels of stress, or being overloaded with toxins can affect the digestive process.
Digestive problems in dogs are one of the most common reasons for taking a dog to the vet. You will notice various signs that could indicate digestive problems in your dog, some of which are more serious than others.
When should you be concerned?
If your dog has a few diarrhea attacks, refuses for a day or two, or pukes a few times, there is usually nothing to worry about as these are natural methods of detoxification.
The time to worry is when the vomiting or diarrhea becomes severe and lasts more than about eight hours, the stool is bloody, or your dog has a fever. In this case, you need to consult a veterinarian.
Yak bones, or chewing, have become a popular dog treat. These tough treats are made from cow and yak milk. The bones or chewing can help remove plaque and food particles to keep your dog’s teeth healthy.
However, a small piece can come off, get stuck in your throat, and choke your dog. If your dog has eaten yak bones, OurFitPets.com gives you the perfect advice on what to do.
Diarrhea or constipation
Diarrhea is a common indicator that your dog is having digestive problems, which usually affect the small and / or large intestines. The stool is more fluid than solid and may contain some mucus. When it comes to a colon problem, small amounts can often pass through to your dog. Diarrhea can have many different causes, including the inability to digest food properly.
Constipation is another sign of digestive problems and there can be a number of reasons for it. When a dog is constipated, the stools are hard and dry, and they rarely have bowel movements. They can also make exertion trying to have a bowel movement.
Vomiting or belching
Regurgitation is passive and can occur shortly after swallowing. Your dog brings up undigested food. Dogs with belching have difficulty swallowing and may show pain.
Nausea and hypersalivation are usually followed by vomiting, a reflex effect. Food and liquids are absorbed and some foods can be partially digested. Vomiting or belching can indicate stomach or intestinal problems.
There may be a problem moving food from the esophagus to the stomach. Vomiting is usually due to inflammation of the lining of the stomach or intestines caused by an infection.
Changes to appearance and behavior
Digestive problems mean your dog cannot absorb all of the nutrients the body needs. This can show up in a brittle coat and weight loss. The color, consistency, and frequency of feces can be signs of digestive problems. For example, black tarry droppings could be a sign of bleeding in the small intestine or stomach.
If your dog has no appetite, stomach discomfort, or gas, it could be a sign of small intestine problems. Abdominal bloating can be caused by an accumulation of gas, usually due to decreased activity in the muscles that move food through the digestive tract.
If you pay attention to your dog’s eating habits and bowel movements, you will soon know what is normal and when digestive health is suffering. If you suspect your dog may have indigestion, contact your local veterinarian for information about treatments that may help.