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12 Aug 2019

Vet tips for Diarrhoea and vomiting in puppies and kittens


Diarrhoea and vomiting are the most common reasons Woolworths Pet Insurance customers choose to use VetAssist.

Let’s start with some definitions. Diarrhoea basically means that the stools are watery and can no longer be easily picked up, and vomiting simply describes what happens when stomach contents e.g food or bile is forcefully coming back up the mouth.

Both are symptoms of an unhappy gastrointestinal tract and can be the result of many underlying causes. When these happen together, it’s referred to as gastroenteritis which is stomach and intestinal inflammation.

Some of the underlying causes of gastroenteritis in a puppy or kitten might be:

  • Infectious disease e.g bacteria, viruses, parasites
  • Parasites e.g intestinal worms
  • Poisoning
  • Gut problems e.g inflammatory bowel disease, intussusception, tumours, obstructions, food intolerance or food allergies
  • Metabolic disease 
  • Dietary change – there’s a need for gradual transitioning to new foods
  • Stress induced
  • Dietary indiscretion – what many pet owners know all too well. Some will eat anything and everything!
  •  
  • The response needed will greatly change based on the severity and underlying cause.

What do you do if your pet has vomiting or diarrhoea?

Monitor closely

Vomiting and diarrhoea can lead to fluid loss and electrolyte imbalance, even when they’ve only had it for a day. Puppies and kittens can become dehydrated easily, so it’s always better to lean to the side of caution. If your pet is not feeling well and has vomiting and/or diarrhoea, please speak to a Veterinarian immediately (see below).

Take away the food

We don’t want to feed a pet in the early stages of vomiting and diarrhoea for a minimum of 6 hours – sometimes up to 24 hours – it really depends on the age and health of your pet. Having a break allows their tummy to rest which will usually help slow down the vomiting and diarrhoea.

Speak to a Vet

If the diarrhoea and/or vomiting continues or your pet is ill e.g they are lethargic, not eating, unable to keep water down etc, then please seek immediate Veterinary attention. They need help!

Hydration and dietary management

If no vomiting has occurred for 6 or more hours, frequent small amounts of water or electrolyte solution are needed. If your pet does not vomit the fluid, small frequent meals of bland food can be given. The bland food that is required needs to be highly digestible for the pet so that’s it’s easy for them to digest. Speak to a Vet to have the best dietary plan for your pet. The bland food should be given for 3-5 days, followed by a very slow transition to their regular balanced diet. 

Isolate from other pets

In case there’s an infectious cause, we need to isolate the pet from other pets to help contain it. Also, this provides your pet with rest and quiet to aid recovery.

Is this serious? 

Keep an eye out for the symptoms below which would indicate your pet needs to see the local Vet for a hands on examination as soon as possible.

  • Your pet is unwell – seems tired or is not eating food
  • They are continually vomiting in a short period, or if they are not drinking or keeping water down
  • You see blood in the stool or large amounts of mucous and it is becoming more watery
vet tips woolworths pet insurance

Written by Dr Claire Jenkins. Claire is a QLD graduate with over 15 years experience as a neighbourhood Veterinarian in Australia and the UK. Animal lover and the founder of Vetchat, born from a passion to help pet carers everywhere access trusted advice earlier, for healthier, happier pets. Grateful to be carer to her beautiful Red-dog.

Get 12 months free VetAssist with every new pet policy

With Woolworths VetAssist you can have a video call or online chat consultation with a licensed Australian Vet. It's perfect for those times when you're unsure if a trip to the Vet is required and you need some advice.
 

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Offer available to new Woolworths Pet Insurance policyholders who purchased their policy between 7 January 2019 to 31 December 2019, limited to 1 membership registration per eligible policy. The 12 months free membership offer is from the date of your policy commencement provided your Woolworths Pet Insurance policy remains active during this time. You must register with VetAssist in order to activate the offer. A registration email will be sent within 14 days of policy commencement to the email listed on your Woolworths Pet Insurance policy to activate. VetAssist is a separate subscription based service to the Woolworths Pet Insurance product, and is provided independently by Woolworth’s third party service provider, VetChat Services Pty Ltd (VetChat). Click here for full VetAssist Service terms and conditions. Woolworths reserves the right to withdraw or extend this offer at anytime, without notice.

Benefits are subject to the terms and conditions including the limits and exclusions of the insurance policy. Cover is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473 AFSL No. 241436 (Hollard). Woolworths Group Limited ABN 88 000 014 675 AR No. 245476 (Woolworths) acts as Hollard’s Authorised Representative. Any advice provided is general only and may not be right for you. Before you purchase this product you should carefully read the Product Disclosure Statement to decide if it is right for you.