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Treating Tummy Upsets in Cats and Dogs – an Experts Advice


All facts in this blog were provided by experts in The Vet Connection who look after the An Post Insurance 24 hour pet helpline.

Expert Advice for Pets | Pet Insurance | An Post Insurance

Our furry friends are part of the family, so we hate to see them in distress.

Tummy troubles are one of the most common reasons why owners contact a vet. The clinical signs of a gastric upset are vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and energy. These symptoms can be present for a variety of reasons, including:  

  • A sudden change in diet  
  • Eating something that does not agree with them  
  • Eating mouldy food  
  • Ingestion of a foreign body that could be causing a blockage  
  • A virus   
  • A bacterial infection  
  • Accidentally eating something toxic or poisonous   
  • Intestinal parasites  
  • Trauma to the abdomen  
  • Pancreatitis  
  • Reaction to medication   

Some symptoms can be managed at home but if your pet is very young, very old or has any of the above symptoms along with a swollen abdomen or seems very lethargic, then a visit to the vet will be needed.

The general advice for adult cats and dogs with diarrhoea is to feed small amounts of bland food such as boiled chicken breast or white fish with rice or pasta. Little and often keeps the intestines moving and should help the faeces firm up quicker. 

For vomiting pets, try withholding food for 24 hours from their last meal, then reintroduce food as you would for diarrhoea, i.e., bland food little and often. If your pet seems to be improving, then think about slowly weaning them back onto their own food after two or three days. In all cases make sure your pet has access to fresh water.  

 The most common toxins for pets are: 

  • Chocolate 
  • Grapes/raisins 
  • Onions/garlic 
  • Xylitol (found in sugar free gum and sweets) 
  • Ibuprofen for dogs and paracetamol for cats  
  • Daffodils, crocus and bluebells (bulbs, leaves and flowers) 
  • Lilies for cats  

If you think your pet may have eaten something poisonous and they develop a tummy upset, then time is of the essence! Call your vet immediately.

Worried about your pets not seeing you as much as restrictions lift? See these tips on how to help your family pets cope in life after lockdown.

If there's also a new puppy in the house, maybe check out these puppy proofing tips for your home.

An Post Insurance Pet Insurance includes a 24 hour helpline, 365 days a year which is operated by The Vet Connection and gives policy holders access to their national network of Royal College of veterinary surgeons.  Policy holders can call one of their Registered Veterinary Nurses on 01 913 1067 for advice at any time.

If you’re in the market for Pet Insurance, why not get a quote today by clicking on the link below.

An Post Insurance Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by Blue Insurance Limited and underwritten by H.W. Kaufman Group Europe BV, trading as Cranbrook, on behalf of the insurer, Sava Insurance Company.

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