Gastrointestinal Emergencies


Your pet can suffer from gastrointestinal problems for any number of reasons. Know your pet so you can recognize any symptoms that may indicate something’s wrong with your dog or cat’s health. It’s important to learn about symptoms your pet may exhibit and when it’s time to bring your pet to our office. Pet emergency symptoms can seemingly range from simple to serious, but it’s important to check with us if your pet suffers from any prolonged health problem.

Pet Vomiting

The cause for vomiting can be varied. Among the causes are:

  • Poisoning from natural substances or chemicals
  • Stomach or intestinal infection
  • Obstructions of the stomach or bowel

If your pet is vomiting, remove its food and water for six hours and call our office for more advice. If the vomit is black or bloody or if your pet is suffering from dry heaves, bring it to our office immediately. If you suspect your pet has swallowed a foreign object, bring it in for immediate observation. Delay can endanger your pet’s health.

Pet Constipation

Pet constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems among pets. The signs are hard and dry stools, and your pet having difficulty or straining when trying to defecate, or passing mucus when trying to go. Some of the reasons for constipation can be:

  • Dehydration
  • Too little or too much fiber
  • Excessive self-grooming, which causes the animal to swallow large amounts of hair
  • Blockage from foreign objects your pet has eaten
  • Enlarged prostate glands

If your pet is suffering from hard stools or is straining, call our office for advice. If it hasn’t had a bowel movement in over two days, or if it cries when it tries to go, bring your pet in immediately for veterinary care.

Pet Diarrhea

Pet diarrhea, loose or liquid stools, can be the result of many causes, both minor and serious. Some of the causes for diarrhea are:

  • Bowel obstruction
  • General or localized infection
  • Stress or fear

If your pet suffers from diarrhea once, call our office for advice. If the diarrhea is black, bloody or frequent, or if you pet may have eaten or drunk something they shouldn’t, bring it in to our office immediately.

Stomach Torsion

Stomach torsion is also known as volvulus or bloat. When pets quickly eat large amounts of food and water, they also ingest air. This can cause the stomach to dilate. When the stomach’s very full, it can rotate inside your pet’s body and cut off its own blood flow.

  • Any dog can suffer from stomach torsion, but it’s more common in larger and older dogs
  • Check for stomach torsion by gently feeling the abdomen for hardness or a balloon-like distension
  • Check your pet slowly to prevent further pain

If you suspect your pet is suffering from stomach torsion, bring it to our office immediately.

At Waldorf Emergency Care we’ll help you with pet pain relief as well as gastrointestinal emergencies. Call our office at (301) 705-9700.