Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Vomiting & Diarrhea in Pets: When to Seek Emergency Care

Vomiting & Diarrhea in Pets: When to Seek Emergency Care

If your cat or dog is experiencing vomiting and diarrhea they are likely suffering from gastrointestinal upset. Today, our Mandeville vets share some of the causes of these symptoms and when you should seek emergency care for your pet. 

Why is my cat or dog vomiting or having diarrhea?

Vomiting and diarrhea are common signs of inflamed, irritated stomach and intestines, or gastrointestinal upset. As unpleasant as it is, vomiting is your pet's way of emptying their stomach of indigestible material to prevent it from getting further into their system. Diarrhea often happens when the indigestible material has made its way fully through your dog's digestive system.

What is causing my pet's vomiting and diarrhea?

Generally speaking, if your pet has a single episode of vomiting or diarrhea and is otherwise acting normal, it is likely not a cause for concern. One bout of illness is generally caused by your pet eating something that didn't agree with them (such as too many table scraps). Monitor your pet to see if things clear up. More than 2 episodes could indicate a problem, so it's a good idea to call your vet for further advice if this happens. 

If your pet is straining to pass a stool but only passing small amounts of watery diarrhea, they could be experiencing a painful blockage due to the ingestion of a foreign object such as a toy. This is a very serious concern and needs veterinary attention right away, contact your vet or head to the nearest emergency animal hospital for care. The same advice goes for a dog that is dry heaving and coughing without producing any vomit. This could be caused by bloat (a twisted stomach) and requires immediate care. 

Recurring bouts of vomiting and diarrhea over a short period of time could be a sign of a very serious health issue, particularly if your pet is very old, very young, or has a compromised immune system. 

Pets showing other symptoms as well as should also be seen by a vet as soon as possible. If your pet has any of the following symptoms contact your vet right away to make an appointment:

  • Blood in stool
  • Unusual drooling
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Weakness
  • Signs of dehydration (sunken dry-looking eyes, dry nose, or dry, pale gums)

If your cat or dog is displaying any symptoms that cause you concern, contact your veterinarian. Your vet will let you know whether your pet's symptoms indicate that an examination is necessary.

How to Treat Mild Vomiting or Diarrhea at Home

Avoid giving your pet food for 12 hours. You can give them up to 3 tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or provide them with ice cubes in the meantime.

After 12 hours, reintroduce the water bowl and begin feeding them with a few teaspoons of bland food, such as plain, cooked chicken. If they can keep it down, feed them a little every hour or two. If everything seems ok, you can return to their regular diet the following day. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog or cat can't stop vomiting or having diarrhea, contact our Mandeville hospital during our regular clinic hours or the nearest 24/7 emergency pet hospital right away.

New Patients Welcome

At Riverside Veterinary Hospital, we are always accepting new patients. Our veterinary team is passionate about the health and well-being of companion animals in Mandeville. Book your first appointment today.

Contact Us

book Online (985) 626-7297