Answer: That is a common question that has a more complicated answer, as there are many possible reasons for Gastro-Intestinal upset. We see many, many pets in our urgent care after hours facility with emergency veterinary GI problems.
To figure out what the specific problem might be, we need to do some investigation. This involves testing by obtaining baseline diagnostics, such as fecal testing, bloodwork, and x-rays. These may give us the answer or indicate further testing. The treatment is specific to the problem, but we often treat symptoms also, by providing medications that will stop vomiting and diarrhea. Often times, we also include prescription dietary therapy. Please remember to tell us anything that happened at home, such as ate something or had a stressful event, as this helps direct us in our plan.
Dietary indiscretion and parasites are 2 of the more common causes, and GI flu is also seen.
If your pet eats a foreign object that it cannot pass and starts vomiting, this can be an emergency that may require surgery. Please do not wait to bring it to your veterinarian. Since parasites are such a common problem, and because humans can be infected, we recommend deworming your pet twice a year as a matter of routine. As pet owners ourselves, we know the stress of having vomit and diarrhea in your house and of having your beloved pet not feel well, so call your veterinarian and get the help that you and your pet need.