Bloating is life threatening. Don’t let your dog suffer.

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Filed under New Pet Products at PetMeds

stop-bloating-in-dogs

Although it may not seem like a big deal if your dog is a little bloated after eating a meal, it can actually be life threatening. In fact, bloating kills 20,000 dogs per year, and is generally caused by eating too quickly. Have you ever watched your dog eat? For the most part, dogs tend to gobble up food in a blink of an eye. It may take your dog only 1-2 minutes to eat, which isn’t very long considering how much food is in the bowl. Read More »

What to feed a dog with a digestive upset

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

What to feed a dog with an upset stomach

This past weekend a friend and I decided to fly to North Carolina for a photographic journey driving along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. The trip was absolutely amazing in every way–great company, photography, spectacular mountains, beautiful gardens right off the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, and some of the most beautiful State parks made this short trip one of the best weekends ever. Since I left my dog Duke with my responsible cousin Peter, I spent the weekend enjoying the trip and the company rather than worrying. Peter had pets of his own and when he volunteered to watch Duke, I quickly accepted.

Monday was a workday for me and I followed my usual routine of walking Duke, giving him breakfast, and a half hour later I walked him again. This Monday was different, however, and as soon as I walked into the house that afternoon I realized by the smell of the place that Duke had done something that he had never done before in the fours years that I’ve had him. Turning the corner into the living room I noticed a trail of diarrhea from the living room all the way into the bedroom. This was not what I wanted to see after a long day at work. I cleaned up, gave Duke his dinner, and got on the computer to wind down a bit before bed. That night my sleep was interrupted at least four times by Duke asking to go outside to relieve himself. Read More »

Reduce your dog’s upset tummy symptoms with probiotics

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Filed under New Pet Products at PetMeds

Probiotics are also good for your dog's immune system

Probiotics have become quite popular with humans and pets alike. However, many of us are a little sketchy as to what probiotics actually do. Well, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your dog’s digestive tract and help aid digestion.

You may be thinking, “Ok, so this is all great news, but why does my pet need a probiotic?” The answer is simple. Probiotics help keep your dog’s digestive tract and immune system in top-notch shape. Giving your pet a probiotic can help support a healthy lifestyle by warding off bad bacteria that can cause digestive upset like vomiting and diarrhea. Read More »

Constipation – Not Just a “Human” Problem

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Daisy refuses to poop if the lawn is wet

I don’t know if it’s common behavior or not but whenever the lawn is wet “Daisy” absolutely refuses to “poop.” I walk around in circles with her, go in a straight line, jog, beg, and yell… nothing! If the lawn is wet Daisy will just hold it, no matter how bad she has to go. This generally wouldn’t be a big problem if she wasn’t getting constipated all the time. When Daisy gets constipated she begins to strain and to look like she is in pain every time she is passing stool. The stool that she then passes after so much struggle and effort is usually small and dry. Over the years I have found a few things that have helped my Daisy so I will share those with you so if your pet is going through the same thing you can hopefully have an idea what has helped others. Read More »

Diarrhea and Vomiting in Pets

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
Diarrhea and vomiting in pets can have many causes.

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.

Special Breed Risk: Siamese Cats & Megacolon

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Siamese cats are at greater risk for Megacolon than other cats.

Constipation is a condition where an animal either does not defecate, or does so very infrequently; this causes retention of feces in the colon or rectum. There are many different conditions which can cause constipation. Constipation can lead to a disease known as megacolon. Fecal materials begin building up in the animal and the body cannot find a way to get rid of them. Over 12 percent of the cases of megacolon are present in Siamese cats which puts them at a greater risk than average for this disease. Read More »

Malabsorption Syndrome in Pets

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

Malabsorption syndrome can cause varying degrees of digestive upset

Malabsorption syndrome is a general term which applies to a chronic condition of the digestive tract where the absorption of critical nutrients and proteins is impaired. This results in varying degrees of digestive upset, which can range from diarrhea of often mucousy or fatty character, as well as sometimes vomiting if the upper digestive tract is involved as well. Changes in appetite, as well as weight loss may occur in chronic cases.

There are many chronic diseases that may cause malabsorption syndrome in pets including diseases such as food allergy/hypersensitivity, lymphangectasia, inflammatory bowel disease, and even cancer.  When presented with a pet with chronic diarrhea, it is important during a workup to differentiate malabsorption syndromes from maldigestion syndromes caused by diseases of the pancreas.

While a basic CBC/chemistry blood workup and stool check for parasites are often important baseline workups in these pets, in more chronic cases special dietary trials with hypoallergenic diets are often tried, as well as even intestinal biopsies for definitive disease diagnosis. This is important so that the best long-term treatment plan can be implemented.  In many immune mediated diseases of the digestive tract, trials with antibiotics like Metronidazole, tylan powder, as well as immune suppressive medications such as Prednisone may be needed for long-term management and control of clinical signs. Prognosis will be determined by the primary disease process involved, as well as early and aggressive diagnostic and therapeutic treatments.

Salmonella in Pets

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

If you suspect your pet was exposed to Salmonella, contact your vet right away

With the recent pet food recalls due to possible Salmonella contamination, animal guardians across the country are increasingly concerned about possible risk in their pets, particularly those that may have eaten potentially contaminated foods on the recall list. While some pets may exhibit no symptoms on exposure to Salmonella, other pets may develop varying degrees of digestive upset most commonly mucoid and/or bloody diarrhea, in addition to loss of appetite and occasional vomiting. There is also the concern about human exposure to this potentially human pathogen. With strict hygiene and cleaning, potential human exposure and infection can be minimized.

Diagnosis of salmonella poisoning is made by both a history of eating potentially contaminated brands of foods, but also upon special cultures of the feces in suspect animals. Treatment is usually supportive with IV fluids in severe cases, and antibiotics based on results of fecal cultures. Prognosis with early diagnosis and treatment is favorable for recovery. If there is any possible exposure, please see your local veterinarian as soon as possible for a complete digestive tract workup for the best possible results.

Enteritis in Pets

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

Signs your pet may have enteritis include vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite

Enteritis in pets is defined as an inflammation of the intestines. Inflammation of the intestines can have many causes. Intestinal parasites, as well as viral and bacterial infections all may cause enteritis. Foreign body ingestion, as well as dietary allergies and hypersensitivity also may be involved. Pets with metabolic disorders, including pancreatitis and hepatitis, also may have enteritis present at the same time.

The clinical signs of pets with enteritis may include loss of appetite, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. Where in the digestive tract the inflammation is present will determine whether the diarrhea has mucous, blood, and whether the stool color changes. Any pet with chronic symptoms should have a full medical workup, including blood work, stool testing, as well as possibly x-rays and ultrasound. Treatment of enteritis will be based on the specific underlying causes found through such a workup. Supportive care including feeding bland diets, and symptomatic medications and supplements such as probiotics and enzymes like NaturVet Digestive Enzymes and Fast Balance GI may be helpful.

Regurgitation vs. Vomiting in Pets

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

Regurgitation and vomiting in pets are treated diffrently.

Regurgitation is defined as the passive reflux of food and/or liquids secondary to some sort of inflammation or abnormality of the esophagus. Vomiting, on the other hand, is defined as the active eructation of food and/or liquid secondary to inflammation of the stomach or intestines. In veterinary medicine, it is important to differentiate regurgitation from vomiting, as they are both treated differently, and have different underlying causes.

Most commonly, regurgitation consists of undigested food and/or liquids. Causes of regurgitation include various disorders of the esophagus, including esophagitis, foreign body ingestion, as well as a condition known as megaesophagus. Differential diagnoses of regurgitation are distinguished by history, physical exam and possibly x-rays and contrast studies. Treatment usually consists of feeding a bland, easily digested diet, as well as often antacids (i.e. Pepcid AC, Sucralfate) as well as medications to promote the forward movement of food (i.e. Metoclopramide) down the esophagus. Prognosis will vary depending upon the diagnosis.

A workup for chronic vomiting also includes the above testing, but may also include further imaging such as ultrasound or endoscopy, as well as more involved blood work. Treatment will also be based on determination of an underlying cause, as well as symptomatic medications such as the ones mentioned above, as well as newer drugs such as prescription Cerenia.