Gastrointestinal diseases (usually associated with signs such as vomiting and/or diarrhoea) are some of the most common reasons dogs are taken to veterinary clinics. Some mild problems may resolve once the digestive system is given a chance to rest. Other more complex or serious conditions may require investigation and further treatment.
GASTROINTESTINAL CONDITIONS IN DOGS
With gastrointestinal problems, diet plays a crucial role in helping the condition resolve, and when diet is combined with other treatments most dogs will be able to make a complete recovery.
The gastrointestinal tract is primarily designed to digest food and absorb nutrients. Food, after chewing and swallowing, initially enters the stomach where it is mixed and ground into small partsand where the first steps of digestion begin.
However, most of the digestion and absorption of nutrients takes place in the small intestines. Powerful enzymes and other digestive substances from the liver and pancreas break down food components (such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates) into smaller molecules that can be readily absorbed into the bloodstream and be used by the body for energy and to build or repair tissues.
The last part of the gastrointestinal tract is the colon (or large intestine). Here, water and minerals are absorbed into the bloodstream, and undigested matter and waste is eliminated as faeces.
An extremely wide range of disorders can affect the gastrointestinal tract. Some diseases occurring in other parts of the body can affect the gastrointestinal tract (e.g. hormonal disorders), but most commonly the underlying disease will involve the gastrointestinal tract itself. Gastrointestinal disorders generally impair a dog’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients, and many cause irritation or inflammation in the intestine as well.
The most common signs of disease are:
However, a variety of other signs may be seen such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Excessive gas
- Blood or mucus in the faeces
By examining your dog and finding out from you what has happened, your vet can often determine the underlying cause. However, in some cases, additional investigations are needed. In those cases, your veterinary surgeon may recommend a variety of different tests including:
- Faecal analysis
- Blood and urine tests
- X-rays or ultrasound examinations
- Endoscopy or possibly surgery to take biopsies
Depending on the cause and severity of your dog’s problem, treatment can range from simple dietary management (such as withholding food for a short period and then feeding a special diet), to a combination of dietary therapy with medication, or even abdominal surgery.
Since most gastrointestinal disorders interfere with the complex process of food digestion, diet has a major role in therapy, in minimising the impact of the disease and in supporting recovery.
FOOD IS IMPORTANT
One of the main reasons dogs with gastrointestinal disease get diarrhoea, flatulence and weight loss is incomplete or poor digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food. This can cause direct irritation to the intestine, and can also result in abnormal bacterial proliferation.
PURINA® PRO PLAN® VETERINARY DIETS Canine EN Gastrointestinal has been specially designed to minimise poor digestion and absorption - and support to dogs with a wide variety of gastrointestinal diseases by providing selected ingredients that are very easy to digest. Canine EN Gastrointestinal also contains medium chain fatty acids, easy to digest and absorb together with prebiotics and soluble fibre, which together help promote a healthy intestinal environment, especially in the colon.
Low fat levels
To facilitate digestion.
MCFAs (Medium Chain Fatty Acids)
A special form of fat from coconut which is easy for dogs to digest and absorb.
Low residue (high digestibility)
Easy to digest ingredients to help reduce gut workload and minimise non-absorbednutrients.
Depending on your vet recommendation, your dog may need to be fed on Canine EN Gastrointestinal for some time. However once your dog’s condition has improved your vet may recommend he transitions onto PURINA® PRO PLAN® Sensitive Digestion diet. This diet is formulated with special ingredients specifically designed to support the digestive health of dogs with sensitive stomachs. Since they are part of the PURINA® PRO PLAN portfolio of products and contain similar ingredients to Canine EN Gastrointestinal, the transition should be smooth and you can be confident your dog’s digestive health is being supported in the long term.
It is recommended that advice from a veterinarian be sought before use and before extending the period of use
...A NAME YOU CAN TRUST
Purina has been at the forefront of pet nutrition for over 120 years. By working closely with scientists and studying the most up-to-date research, we’ve created PURINA® PRO PLAN® VETERINARY DIETS – a range of innovative and effective formulas designed to help you enhance the health and quality of life enjoyed by your pet.
With PURINA® PRO PLAN® VETERINARY DIETS Canine EN Gastrointestinal wet and dry products, you can be confident that your dog will benefit from optimum nutrition whilst his gastrointestinal upset is also being treated.