Cats are picky with what they eat, while dogs are less picky. However, this does not mean we choose what we give to cats and not to dogs. How often you feed your furbaby and what your feed him – matters! Why might you ask? There are various foods that your furbaby does not digest as well as you do because he lacks the digestive enzymes to do so.
There are many common pet health problems that surround the gastro intestinal track. Once your furbaby is diagnosed, it’s there to stick with him forever. As a pet parent, pet digestion can be a trivial matter, so make it a goal to build and maintain your pet’s digestive tract and do what you can to strengthen it further.
To get to know some of the common pet digestive problems, here’s a list:
Common Pet Digestive Problems
Pet Digestive Problem #1: Dietary indiscretion
Whether you’ve been out and about with your furbaby or just at home, it’s possible for him to chew on something that isn’t good for him. Dietary indiscretion is caused by the chewing and eating of infected food and/ or inanimate objects.
Although it’s almost normal to see pets chewing on furniture or pets chewing rocks, it doesn’t mean it should be tolerated. That’s why it’s important to know how to stop pets from chewing on anything and everything. If you saw what your furbaby chewed on, it’s best to find out what it is and observe your furbaby for the next few hours. TIP: tidy up your home on a regular basis, keep human food out of sight and keep a good eye out when you’re outdoors.
Observe your furbaby for any of these symptoms. Note that not all symptoms immediately manifest. It may take a few seconds to hours before they develop, so do not hesitate to call your veterinarian.
- Poor appetite
- Intestinal noises
Depending on what your furbaby ingested, your furbaby may be required to undergo a complete physical exam, laboratory tests (blood work and stool exam) and x-ray. To better aid the diagnosis, it’s best to know what exactly your furbaby ingested and how much of it was consumed.
Pet Digestive Problem #2: Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis in pets is the inflammation of the pancreas. This is caused by the enzymes directed into the abdominal area instead of the digestive tract.
What causes pancreatitis in pets? The causes can differ in dogs and cats.
Dogs: This may be caused by nutritional factors such as: high levels of fat in the blood, high levels of calcium in the blood, trauma to the pancreas, drugs or toxins. It is rare but possible that pancreatitis was caused by a scorpion sting.
Cats: inflammatory bowel disease or liver disease, diabetes mellitus, infections, abdominal trauma, or exposure to organophosphate insecticides.
According to petmd, pets with pancreatitis can experience a variety of symptoms:
- Loss of appetite (anorexia)
- Weight loss (more common in cats)
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Mild to severe abdominal pain (may become more sever after eating)
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
Depending on the severity of the condition, diagnosis can range from bloodwork, x-ray, ultrasound and biopsy.
Pet Digestive Problem #3: Infection
This can be classified into two: viral and bacterial. Viruses are smaller than bacteria and must be hosted in living body in order to multiply and survive. Viruses are specific about which cells they attack, causing illnesses in specific organs. While bacterial infections are caused by bacteria, a single-celled microorganism that can be hosted by different environments in extreme cold or heat.
Pet digestion infection causes will range depending on its classification. Viral infections are caused by exposure to feces, while bacterial may be contracted through food poisoning and contaminated. Bacterial infections can be caused by age, weakened immune system, and poor diet among others. It’s best to keep your furbaby healthy at all times by providing a clean and healthy environment, as well as a proper diet.
- Skin inflammation, abscesses and redness
- Indigestion and lack of appetite
- Runny nose
- Red and runny eyes
- Vomiting, lack of appetite and diarrhea
- Multiple infections, including skin, eyes, ears, upper respiratory tract and urinary tract
- Pain and lethargy
Symptoms should aid your veterinarian to determine what type of infection your furbaby has. Other health exams used include: blood work, skin test and antibody tests.
Ark Nat Gentle Digest
Pet Digestive Problem #4: Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease in your dog or cat will definitely cause a nuisance in your home. You’ll definitely know if your furbaby has IBD because it’s not a secret he can keep in.
The direct cause of IBD is unknown, but factors that may contribute to are: genetics, immune dysfunction, food allergies, bacterial overgrowth, metabolic disease, food intolerance, parasites and environmental stress.
- Diarrhea, sometimes with blood or mucus
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Distressed coat hair
Diagnosing IBD can range from physical exams, blood work, fecal examination, radiography, ultrasound and biopsy. It’s possible for your veterinarian to also suggest a hypoallergenic food trial to rule out any food allergies your furbaby may have.
This list’s purpose is simply to guide you in caring for your furbaby’s digestive health. Common pet health problems such as those listed will always be around. Keep a record of your furbaby’s medical history, equip yourself with knowledge on pet digestion and give your furbaby the proper supplements and diet needed to strengthen his digestive tract.