What is Dietary Related Gastrointestinal Disorder?
Gastrointestinal disorder can take on varying forms in your dog and can unfortunately mimic many others G.I. disorders, making it difficult to distinguish what is going on with your dog. Due to the symptoms being very general of many maladies, you may not realize right away that your pet is developing the condition.
Your dog may present with vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. The disorder may be acute (short term) or chronic (ongoing), possibly for life. Finding the root cause of your dog’s G.I. issues will be necessary in order to provide treatment for him.
Gastrointestinal (G.I.) disorder in your dog is anything related to his eating, digestion, and stomach. While there are many causes of gastrointestinal disorders in your dog, one common cause is associated with what they are eating and therefore, is called dietary related.
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Symptoms of Dietary Related Gastrointestinal Disorder in Dogs
Symptoms can be very general, however, depending on the disorder diagnosed and identified the symptoms may vary.
- Vomiting (food, blood, grass, coffee ground appearance, bile, froth)
- Weight loss
- Sensitivity to certain foods
- Blood in your dog’s stools
The different types of gastrointestinal disorders listed are specific to dietary concerns and often times directly caused by dietary issues.
- Acute gastroenteritis
- Chronic gastroenteritis
- Dietary sensitivities
- Large intestine inflammation
Causes of Dietary Related Gastrointestinal Disorder in Dogs
These disorders are related to or directly caused by dietary issues. The causes could be malabsorption, allergies, blockage and more.
- Caused by a food allergy
- Caused by food intolerance
- Inability to digest a food
Large intestine inflammation
- Short or long term
- Allergic causes are suspected
- An extreme reaction to dietary issues
- Common problem among dogs
- Typically, easily corrected
- Lower fiber and low water intake contribute to this issue
- Lack of a balanced diet
- This is a life threatening illness in your dog
- Calls for emergency action
- Usually happens after your dog eats a large meal and exercises vigorously too quickly after the meal
- Higher odds if your dog only eats one meal a day
- Your dog’s bowls being high off of the ground
- Happens in dogs between 7 to 10 years of age mostly
- Genetic predisposition
- Doberman Pinschers
- German Shepherds
- Standard Poodles
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
- Irish Setters
- Gordon Setters
- Inflammation of the stomach
- Characteristically, from eating something that hurts the lining of the stomach
- Water retention
- High sodium levels
- Commercial pet food with high sodium count
- Obesity in your dog
Diagnosis of Dietary Related Gastrointestinal Disorder in Dogs
Diagnosing of dietary gastrointestinal issues related to diet may be difficult to diagnosis due to figuring out the exact cause of your dog’s symptoms. When preparing for your visit to your veterinarian it will be important to come in prepared with whatever symptoms you are noticing with your dog.
It will be beneficial to identify any recent changes to your dog’s diet and how long the symptoms have been present for. In order to identify what may be causing your dog’s issues, your veterinarian may ask you to try an elimination diet for a few weeks to see if his systems stop.
Your veterinarian will want to perform a full physical exam as well as testing. Testing may be done to determine the cause of your dog’s symptoms and issues. Some of these tests include blood tests, fecal samples and biopsies. Surgery may be suggested to determine the extent of damage done. X-rays, CTs and other scans and image tools may be used to see the exact nature of your dog’s distress.
Treatment of Dietary Related Gastrointestinal Disorder in Dogs
Treatment will vary depending on the diagnosis your veterinarian gives your dog. Treatment options may start with an elimination diet to determine if any one food is the cause of your dog’s distress. This elimination diet should be trialed with only one item being taken out of your dog’s diet at a time to ensure you figure out what exactly is causing the reaction. This trial will be determined by your veterinarian as to length of time.
When it comes to large intestine inflammation, the treatment option will revolve around trying to find the source of the inflammation and eliminating it from your dog’s diet. Your veterinarian may ask you to withhold food for a few days in order to allow your dog’s stomach to rest and once he begins to eat again, fiber may be added to his food for better digestion. Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed as well.
Constipation can be treated by providing your dog with plenty of water and increasing his fiber intake as well. Monitoring your dog’s intake of objects that can become “stuck” can also help to eliminate constipation. Your veterinarian may prescribe your dog laxatives and if none of these options work, your veterinarian may have to use enemas or manually remove the feces under anesthesia. This process of removing the feces can take 2-3 attempts over several days.
Bloating is treated by decompressing the stomach of your dog as soon as possible after recognizing that bloating is the issue. This relief of the pressure in your dog’s stomach can be done by inserting a tube down his throat to allow the air, food and fluid to exit his body. If this option does not work, your veterinarian may use a needle and catheter to empty his stomach of the gas. Fluids via IV may be given in order to help your dog avoid going into shock from bloating. Smaller meals may be recommended for the future along with no excessive exercise before and after eating.
When treating gastritis, it is typically treated by allowing your dog to expel whatever caused his inflammation to begin with. After that preventing him from consuming the item again will help avoid this issue in the future. Fluids may be administered as well to ensure dehydration is not a problem.
CHF is treated by reducing your dog’s sodium intake and reduce his retention of water. Once this is accomplished your veterinarian may suggest a low sodium diet and possibly weight loss for your dog as well, due to obesity being a factor in CHF.
If treated quickly all of the causes of dietary related gastrointestinal disorder. have a high rate of recovery. The odds of your dog having a relapse are low providing you follow your veterinarian’s treatment directions and make the necessary changes to your dog’s diet, water intake and weight.
Recovery of Dietary Related Gastrointestinal Disorder in Dogs
Follow up may be needed as directed by your veterinarian to ensure changes are helping your dog. Your veterinarian may also want to see your dog within the time frame to try out the elimination diet.
Changing your dog’s diet and water intake will be determined by the cause of his G.I. problems. Weight loss may be necessary to avoid further complications as well. Recovery time will be dependent on your dog’s diagnosis and treatment options.
Dietary Related Gastrointestinal Disorder Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Needs diet update to low fat and easily digested foods.
Both Hills and Royal Canin offer diets which are low fat and easily digestible, other local or regional manufacturers around you may have other products but Hills and Royal Canin are universally available in most parts of the world. Your Veterinarian would be able to advise you better. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
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