Dogs suffering from a stomach virus need fluids to avoid dehydration, so give them either water or unflavored pediatric electrolyte solution. Because viruses are not caused by bacteria, antibiotics are not effective as treatment.
According to the petMD website, the main treatment goal is relieving symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting, and replacing lost fluids and electrolytes. Veterinarians often advise restricting the dog's food intake or even omitting food consumption for the first 24 hours.
According to the VCA Animal Hospitals website, the general term for stomach viruses in dogs is gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis can be caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses. Dogs feel abdominal discomfort and suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Some dogs need subcutaneous, or under the skin, re-hydration or even intravenous treatment.
The rotavirus is a common stomach and intestinal virus for dogs. Puppies are especially susceptible to the rotavirus, and one of the most effective preventions for puppies is for them to drink milk from their immune mother. The rotavirus is transmitted via contact with contaminated fecal matter. Dogs suffering from this virus exhibit diarrhea. In extreme cases, they lose weight and may even die from dehydration.
Dogs generally show improvement within 24 hours of re-hydration. If symptoms do not improve within 48 hours, the diagnosis needs to be re-evaluated.