GI Upset in Dogs

Written By
Rachel Peeples, DVM, USA

Vomiting and diarrhea aka GI upset in dogs, there are few symptoms more vague than these. GI upset can be as mild as eating something that did not agree with the dog or as serious as poisoning. All sorts of things from organ dysfunction to cancer to allergies to metabolic problems can start off with GI upset.

Every case must be judged on its own specifics. For instance I would be a lot more concerned about a dog with a history of illness, concurrent illness, or in a situation where exposure to chemicals is likely.  For the average pet dog who is generally healthy, GI upset is usually going to last 36-48 hours if you treat and 1.5-2 days if you do not treat. In other words, most dogs are going to resolve GI upset regardless of what you do or do not do.

How concerned to be depends a lot on other factors like:-
. Any other signs of illness
. Lack of appetite
. Lethargy
. Coughing
. Blood/mucus in stool
. Vomiting OR
. Not drinking etc.

For the overall healthy dog who is still drinking my usual plan is to withhold solid foods for 24 hours then start back with very small and frequent meals. Slowly getting the dog back to a normal diet. If the GI upset persists more than 48 hours, testing and medication is likely needed.

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