Dogs bring immense joy and love into their owners’ lives. But, just like people, they can also experience a digestive disorder that impacts their well-being. It can be stressful and scary to watch a beloved companion suffer from an illness. Therefore, it’s important to understand these disorders, their causes, symptoms, and what treatment can look like.
Common Digestive Disorders in Dogs
The first step to understanding digestive disorders is knowing what they are. Here are six common digestive issues that dogs may face during their lifetime.
1. Acute Gastroenteritis
This disorder is often triggered by dietary indiscretions or infections. It’s characterized by stomach and intestine inflammation, which causes vomiting, diarrhea, and pain. Moreover, it’s usually a short-term disease and can be caused by:
- Expired food
- High-fat, human-only foods
- Toxic or poisonous plants
- Food allergies or food intolerances
- Swallowing foreign objects
- Internal parasites
Colitis is the inflammation of the colon. A dog with this disorder will have stool problems (diarrhea, constipation, and/or blood). This condition is most common in dogs that are younger than five years old. Causes include:
- A whipworm parasite
- Tumors, polyps, or other abnormal tissue growths
- A sudden change in their food
- Swallowing foreign objects
Like people, dogs also experience constipation. This is when a dog is unable or finds it difficult to pass stool. Causes include:
- Lack of exercise
- Eating indigestible materials (bone, foreign objects, etc)
- Not having enough fiber in their diet
Diarrhea may be a symptom of many of the disorders on the list, but it can stand as a specific digestive disorder if it’s persistent enough. There are various causes, including:
- Dietary indiscretions and infections
- Food allergies
- Eating stale or expired food
- Eating human-only foods
- A sudden change in their diet
- Body organ dysfunction
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. The cause of this digestive disorder is not known or fully understood. However, there are potential causes, such as:
- A high-fat diet
- Weight (obesity)
- Certain medications
- Other diseases
6. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Also known as EPI, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough digestive enzymes. This leads to malabsorption of nutrients.
Remember, your dog’s digestive health is vital to their longevity and overall happiness. So it’s important to stay vigilant and to speak with a trusted veterinarian about any concerns that you may have.
8 Warning Signs of Digestive System Disorders
It may be normal for your dog to experience changes in their appetite or to be a bit fussy when eating. But these changes can also indicate underlying medical issues. Sometimes, these behavior changes or physical ailments can be signs of a digestive disorder. These symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive gas
- Difficulty passing stools
- Blood or mucus in stools
It’s important to note that symptoms can also be related to other underlying causes. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms or you are concerned about their behavioral changes, seek medical attention from a trusted veterinarian.
How to Treat Digestive System Disorders
Learning what could possibly be wrong with your dog’s digestive system can be stressful. But the good news is that many of these disorders can be resolved or handled naturally.
First and foremost, begin incorporating high-quality and easily digestible ingredients into your dog’s diet. This way, their gut won’t have to work hard. Secondly, incorporate probiotics into their meals. This will promote gut flora and aid in digestion.
Exercise is also important. This will help your dog work down their meals and promote a healthy gut. Be sure to continue monitoring their progress. If symptoms continue, be sure to consult your veterinarian.
Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy with Get Joy
At Get Joy, your dog’s health and wellbeing is our top priority. With treats and meals made from fresh ingredients, we guarantee that our high-quality products will extend your furry friend’s longevity and keep them happy. Learn more today!