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What Should I Do If My Dog Has Diarrhea, Vomiting, and Shows Reluctance to Eat or Move?


Dear VetBabble, my dog has diarrhea, is vomiting, and seems reluctant to both eat and move. Despite my best efforts to keep her hydrated, I’m worried and unsure of the best course of action. What should I do?

You are right to be concerned about your furry friend. Although you are doing a good job ensuring she stays hydrated, continual water loss through vomiting and diarrhea can cause her to lose more fluid and essential electrolytes than can be replaced by drinking water. In these circumstances, the best course of action is to seek professional help and take your dog to the vet.

Understanding the Causes

Diarrhea and vomiting in dogs can arise due to a variety of causes, from simple dietary indiscretions (like eating something they shouldn’t have) to more serious health issues like gastrointestinal infections, parasites, or certain chronic diseases. It’s worth getting familiarized with these underlying issues as they can help provide context for both your current situation and your dog’s overall health moving forward. “Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?” covers this topic in an easy-to-understand way.

Loss of appetite and lethargy (like not wanting to get out of bed) can also occur due to these illnesses or from the discomfort caused by prolonged vomiting and diarrhea. For a more comprehensive look at these symptoms, check out “Why Won’t My Dog Eat?”.

When To Worry And Seek Professional Help

While an isolated case of diarrhea or vomiting might not be a cause for alarm, persistent vomiting and diarrhea are red flags, and more so when accompanied by loss of appetite and general lethargy. This combination of symptoms is a clear sign that you should reach out to your vet for advice. Our guide on “Diarrhea in Dogs: When to Worry” can help clarify this.

In such situations, you are doing right by making sure your dog stays hydrated but don’t underestimate the requirement for professional medical intervention. Prolonged vomiting and diarrhea can lead to potentially serious dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Your vet may need to provide additional fluid and electrolyte therapy.

Treatment and Aftercare

In most cases, with appropriate veterinary care, your dog has a good chance of fully recovering from these symptoms. The vet will conduct a thorough examination, and may even perform tests to determine the underlying cause of your pet’s condition. Based on these findings, appropriate treatment will be provided, which can include medication and supportive care such as fluid therapy.

Post-visit, make sure to follow your vet’s advice and treatment plan closely. Continue to monitor your pet for any changes in behavior or further signs of illness. Keep in mind that recovery can take some time, and your pet needs ample rest. For more information on how to deal with vomiting in dogs, our article titled “Vomiting in Dogs: Causes, Treatment & When to Worry” serves as a great resource.

Remember, you are the best advocate for your pet’s health. True, the care and concern you have for your pet is invaluable, yet in times like these, the best thing you can do for them is to seek out professional help. We are here to support you and your pet through this challenging time.

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