View Full Version : Gastroenteritis

10th September 2008, 11:54 PM
I have been reading alot of posts about Cavaliers with tummy upsets and fevers diagnosed as gastroenteritis. Thankfully, we have never experienced a doggy tummy illness here, (even with my other dogs in the past, labs and an aussie shepherd.)

I just have a question for those of you who have been through this. Is gastro in a dog a viral or bacterial infection, and how do they get it? Is it a contagious illness, where you have to isolate your dogs from others until they are treated? Or, is it just a bad bout of diarrhea that comes from a food sensitivity or an environmental issue.:confused:

11th September 2008, 12:05 AM
It can be either bacterial or viral. Daisy had a bacterial infection which we blame on next door's cats dropping scraps of decomposing meat in our garden.Personally I would isolate dogs and clean the area thoroughly with hot soapy water where they've vomited or produced diarrhoea.
Also wash your own hands and wear gloves as it's not impossible to pick up bacterial infections if bacteria are excreted in the stool.

11th September 2008, 04:27 AM
When Chelsea got it last week I admit I did not ask specifically if she had a temp, but the vet did not tell me she had one. My feeling and the feeling of the vet is that hers was caused by an obstruction of the distal stomach valve(pyloric?) from part of a bully stick that she vomited 3 days after I gave it to her.

To be on the safe side she is on 14 days of 2 antibiotics and low residue food mixed with regular. Seems to be back to normal:p

Have looked into the Cavalier variety from royal canin, but not available in the US :(.

She has always had a sensitive stomach, no rawhide of any kind is tolerated. So chewey nylabones for her.
Hope that helps.

11th September 2008, 03:44 PM
Gastroenteritis is a blanket term used to describe an infection along the gut, causing it to inflame and the dog feels pretty dodgy. As "sins" siad, it can be bacterial or viral but I don't isolate dogs if they pick it up. Usually dogs are gloomy when they are suffering (I know I would be too!) and tend to be very quiet and "under the weather". They can pick it up in many places; dodgy food, other dogs poo when out for a walk or just doing the normal things dogs do. Some dogs can get it from a food sensitivity (eg changing food brands) but realising this and acting quickly can prevent the gut getting inflamed and the poor pet suffering. The biggest, and most obvious, symptom is diarrhoea and vomiting (but not always both) and often witha hegh temp. The most inportant thing is to make sure the dog keeps drinking, they can dehydrate very quickly. They won't be in the mood for food so if they don't eat for a few days, or just pick at the food, there is no major need for concern and stick to a very bland diet.

Of course, bring the dog to the vet if he/she is vomiting and having severe diarrhoea for any period of time. A coure of antibiotics will clear it up if it is bacterial and the vet can give you various things to help the poor dog feel better. Treat gastroenteritis as you would food poisoning in humans (often it is the same thing in dogs!).

The reason I don't isolate the dog if they have it is because they are not contagious themselves (unlike, for example, a chest infection) but it's the poo and the vomit that contains the bacteria/virus. At night I will seperate the dog from the others, but this is because the poor pet my need to "go" during the night and you can be welcomed to a sea of poo and/or vomit in the morning, I would not want the other dogs to come into contact with this during the night. The vomit or diarrhoea should be cleaned up asap using a good cleaner and disinfectant (I use chlorine bleach) and don't let the dogs walk on it until it is dry. Any bedding should be washed at a high temp (60 degrees or higher) or wahed in a good disinfectant. I also spray in the garden where the dog has been having diarrhoea with an outdoor disinfectant (eg Jayes Fluid) to prevent the others picking it up form the grass. And I give the poor dogs bum a quick wipe with a baby wipe (wet wipe) so that there is not poo still on there after they have been to the toilet (can be very uncomfortable for them) to stop any poo getting spread around.

Hope that helps you!

11th September 2008, 04:15 PM
Bailey and Holly got gastro they came back from being in kennels. When I brought them to the vet she said that they didn't get it from the kennels they got it because they're immune system lowered because they were stressed and upset in the kennel environment.

Holly was kept in overnight and put on IV fluids as she was extemely dehydrated, and poor Bailey had to wear a little pair of tunks because his bum was irritated and he kept licking off the cream.

Needless to say they don't go to kennels any more.. Home-boarding all the way!

11th September 2008, 09:23 PM
Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the GI tract - which can also be brought on by autoimmune disorders/food allergies. If this is the case (ie not bacterial or viral), then the dog would not need to be isolated from other dogs.

11th September 2008, 09:24 PM
Oh, wow! Thanks for all of the great information. I like to be prepared in advance for anything that may come our way, and certainly look ahead at how to prevent infections. Thank you all for your input. We are traveling out of state with Dottie for the first time in just a few weeks, so want to be prepared for anything.