It can be quite alarming when our pets vomit or have diarrhea. There are many possible causes for vomiting and diarrhea, ranging from something as simple as a hairball in cats to bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Even if you feel the issue isn’t serious, you should always contact your vet and let them know what’s going on, so they are better prepared to work with your furry family member if it does become more serious.

Hairballs and Blockages
Blockages of the digestive tract are common causes of vomiting and diarrhea. A blockage stops the proper flow of food through the intestines, forcing the affected animal to either throw up what it can’t move, or cause diarrhea because only the liquid waste can move past the blockage.

While most hairballs are managed by a cat’s ability to regurgitate or pass  all the swallowed hair, that’s not always the case, and hairballs can occasionally become dangerous blockages. That is why most vets recommend a hairball treatment of some type to help the hair pass more easily through the digestive tract. Talk to your veterinarian to find out what’s best for your pet.

Viruses, Parasites, and Bacteria
Infection is another cause of vomiting and diarrhea in pets. Only your veterinarian can determine the type of infection, so if your pet is sick, the best course of action is always to take them to the vet fairly quickly. While there may be treatments for bacterial and parasitic infections, viruses often must simply run their course.

Supportive treatments can help the body to overcome these issues more rapidly. In some cases, your pet may require IV fluids or other treatments if they have become too dehydrated. In many cases, your vet may prescribe a bland diet and plenty of water along with any medications they feel will help your pet get well more quickly and feel more comfortable during the recovery process.