Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the stomach and the intestinal lining. A 3 day protocol of fasting and prescribed medications, along with increased drinking to replenish body fluids and maintain normal hydration. Hydration status can be evaluated by rubbing the gums. Mucus membranes in the mouth should be slimy and slobbery (normal), not sticky or dry (dehydrated). The skin turgor test is also an effective method of evaluating hydration status. Simply pinch and raise the skin over the back of the neck. It should snap back into place within 1-2 seconds. If the skin remains elevated, it means lack of skin fluid & dehydration. A pet’s normal temp = 102.

Gastroenteritis is best treated by fasting for 24-48hours (absolutely nothing solid by mouth). A full fast is followed by a rice diet (long grain, minute rice, no butter) for 24-48 hrs. Then a mixture of rice with regular dog food is give for 24-48 hours and the upset should be resolved.

Bismuth Subsalycilate (Pepto Bismol) is very helpful. Remember to give lots of water, gatorade or pedialyte to drink. If improvement is not rapid and complete within 72 hours, a recheck exam, bloodwork, and radiographs (x-rays), may be necessary.