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Enteritis is the technical term for small intestinal inflammation. This disorder has a variety of possible causes including bacterial or viral infection, parasites, toxins or drugs, systemic diseases, food allergies, food intolerances, changes in diet, mechanical obstructions and others. The severity of the pet disease varies depending on its cause and the general health of the affected pet. Enteritis is a fairly common cat and dog health condition. 

How Enteritis Affects Your Pet

Some condition damages the small intestinal wall, disrupts normal absorption of nutrients, interferes with motility, changes normal secretory activity or does a combination of these things. This causes normal digestion and intestinal function to be compromised and results in diarrhea, vomiting or other symptoms. The prognosis for this pet health condition depends on the cause of the illness. If the condition is caused by overeating, some types of viruses or ingestion of unfamiliar food, it usually resolves in a few days with little treatment. If, however, the enteritis is caused by certain types of bacteria, foreign body obstruction or a systemic disease, it may require intensive treatment. Certain viruses, including Parvovirus and Panleukopenia, also produce enteritis that requires aggressive pet treatment.

Common Symptoms of Enteritis

Symptoms of enteritis in pets include the following: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Abdominal pain, Loss of appetite, Tarry stools, Weight loss and Lethargy.

Treatments for Enteritis

In cases of mild enteritis in dogs and cats, affected pets may only need rest, oral fluids and a bland diet to recover. Treatment for dogs and cats with more severe vomiting and diarrhea often includes fluid therapy to combat dehydration, antidiarrheals, antiemetics, gastroprotectants, pain medications and other therapeutic measures as needed. Other treatments vary by the cause of the enteritis. If the pet health problem is due to a bacterial infection or if the enteritis is severe enough to put the pet at risk for developing a secondary bacterial infection, the treating veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics. If the cause of the enteritis is an allergy or other autoimmune disease, the affected pet may need steroids or other immunosuppressive drugs as well as a change in diet. Dogs and cats with parasitic enteritis need antiparasitic drugs. When the condition is caused by a toxin, treatment involves removal of the toxin and administration of an antidote if one exists. Treatment for enteritis caused by a foreign body or other intestinal obstruction often includes surgery. If the condition is caused by a systemic disease, such as liver or kidney disease, treatment must include measures to alleviate the inciting disorder.

Breeds Affected

In general, all dogs and cats are susceptible to enteritis, but some breeds display increased susceptibility to the specific diseases that cause certain types of enteritis. For example, small-breed dogs, including Miniature Schnauzers and Toy Poodles, are particularly susceptible to hemorrhagic bacterial enteritis. The following dog breeds are at increased risk of developing enteritis due to parvovirus: Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, Pitbull terrier, Labrador Retriever, American Staffordshire Terrier and German Shepherd. Other specific causes of enteritis may be more common in certain breeds than others. Among cats, there are no breed predispositions for acute enteritis.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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