Rehydration and restoration of the blood's electrolyte balance are the primary treatment steps for gastroenteritis in dogs, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Based on the level of dehydration, fluids are administered orally, subcutaneously or intravenously. Antibiotics are given to the dog if tests show a bacterial infection, or if the clinical signs are severe enough.
Some conditions may require the use of anti-diarrheal medications to change intestinal activity, explains VCA Animal Hospitals. Food is often withheld and then gradually reintroduced. A bland diet of small, frequent portions is usually prescribed. After rehydration, most cases of gastroenteritis improve rapidly. Revisit the diagnosis if symptoms do not improve within 48 hours.
Symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs include intermittent episodes of diarrhea and vomiting, notes VCA Animal Hospitals. Typically, large amounts of diarrhea are expelled three to six times each day. The diarrhea color is generally pale, and it has a soft consistency. The vomit may appear as yellow, foamy bile, and the dog may gag or heave after eating or drinking.
Common causes of gastroenteritis include poisoning or toxicosis, thyroid disease, tumors, foreign bodies, or other obstructions and intussusception, advises VCA Animal Hospitals. Systemic infections, such as septicemia, meningitis, urinary tract infection and pneumonia, also cause gastroenteritis.