Diarrhea and vomiting in pets can have many causes. Especially in young pets, dietary indiscretion/food allergies and intestinal parasites, including roundworms, hookworms and whipworms may cause digestive upset. Particularly in young, stressed animals at pet stores or kennels, coccidia are also common intestinal parasites diagnosed. Foreign body ingestion is always a concern, especially in young and inquisitive pets. Metabolic diseases of the liver, pancreas, kidneys and intestines may also cause diarrhea and/or vomiting. Inflammatory bowel disease is probably the most common cause of chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea in adult pets. Finally especially in older pets, and those suffering from weight loss and/or loss of appetite, cancer must also be ruled out in many cases.
For pets with acute diarrhea and vomiting, over the counter remedies including Pepcid AC or Immodium may be helpful. Slippery elm and probiotics and enzymes such as Fast Balance G.I. and NatureVet Digestive Enzymes are often useful in many cases. Many pets with acute digestive upset will benefit from brief 12 to 24 hour periods of fasting, after which a bland hamburger and rice or turkey and sweet potato home-cooked diet can be introduced for a few days until symptoms pass. Any pet with chronic or severe diarrhea or vomiting should have a complete veterinary exam and medical workup to assess for underlying causes and for the best treatment plan.