Digestive system upsets, often referred to as gastrointestinal disorders, are very common in both cats and dogs. The gastrointestinal system is responsible for digesting food and absorbing nutrients. It is also responsible for collecting waste material and expelling it from the body.
The GI (gastrointestinal) tract starts at the mouth, where food is taken in. As food is swallowed, it passes through the pharynx and enters the esophagus, which is located in the neck and chest. The esophagus contains muscles that rhythmically propel food down its length toward the stomach. Food then enters the stomach. The stomach contains glands that produce enzymes and acids that help digest the food. The walls of the stomach also contain muscles that mix and grind the food. From here, the partly digested food moves into the longest part of the tube, the small intestine. It is in the small intestine that most of the absorption of nutrients occurs.
A digestive disorder can originate in any part of the digestive system, from the mouth and esophagus, to the stomach, liver, pancreas and intestinal tract. Therefore it’s an issue that requires a veterinary diagnosis.
There is a wide range of symptoms that can alert both dog and cat owners to a possible digestive issue such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Excess gas
- Difficulty swallowing
- More serious conditions can also result such as weight loss, dehydration and debilitation.
The causes of digestive upsets and disorders are wide ranging too. These can include:
- An abrupt change in diet
- Indiscretionary eating
- Foreign objects
- Infectious agents
Since many digestive problems can irritate the stomach and intestine, a diet that’s easily digested can help ensure your pet gets the nutrient balance necessary to support recovery. This means a veterinary prescribed formula that specifically meets the optimum nutritional needs while at the same time addressing GI issues.
Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric® Canine Formula With Added Vitamins and Minerals has dietary benefits that provide optimal nutrition while meeting your adult dog’s or growing puppy’s special needs. It is described as a moderate fat, low fiber highly digestible diet that can be fed to both puppies and adult dogs. Its available in a dry formula as well as a meal-sized can.
Similarly, the Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric® Naturals™ Feline Formula With Added Vitamins and Minerals offers dietary benefits that provide optimal nutrition while meeting your adult cat’s or growing kitten’s special needs. It’s a high protein, low carbohydrate diet with a moderate fat content to best treat GI disorders.
It available in a kibble as well as a palatable canned formula
When introducing your cat or dog to a new food, it’s important to transition slowly from the old to the new formula. There is detailed information on the formulas for both cats and dogs on the website ProPlanVeterinaryDiets.com
It’s al so important to monitor how your pet is doing on the new food and report back to your veterinarian.
Depending on the severity and type of the digestive problem, the correct food may be all that you need. However, in more severe cases, treatment may also require medical management or even abdominal surgery. If additional diagnostic tests are needed, your veterinarian may recommend laboratory analyses, radiographs, or a procedure like endoscopy, which involves inserting a tube with a small video camera into your pet’s digestive tract. This can help visualize the problem.
This post was sponsored by the Nestle Purina PetCare Company. However, all opinions are my own. I only write about topics, events and products that I consider readers will consider useful information and relevant to their interests.