Can Dogs Get Appendicitis?

by Melodie Anne Coffman Google
    Your pup can't get appendicitis, but he can have problems with a similar organ.

    Your pup can't get appendicitis, but he can have problems with a similar organ.

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    If you’ve ever been through appendicitis or you known someone who has, you know the amount of blinding pain you can experience. While dogs may experience similar symptoms, it’s not from appendicitis. Canines do not have appendixes.

    The Cecum

    The cecum in a dog is similar to the human appendix. It’s a large pouch right at the beginning of the large intestine, after the small intestine ends. It hosts beneficial flora in the gut and collects fecal matter as part of normal digestion.

    What Goes Wrong

    Many things can cause problems in the cecum, giving your pooch flulike symptoms including lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea. Intestinal worms feed on the nutrients passing through your little friend’s gut, causing irritation along the way. His symptoms could stem from a viral infection of the intestinal tract. Reovirus is an infection that stems from several virus strains, leading to bowel problems and infections throughout the body.

    What to Do

    Take your pooch to the vet at the first sign of discomfort. If he skips a meal, sleeps more than normal or isn’t having normal bowel movements, something could be off in his gut. Your vet will have to conduct a thorough exam, collect a stool sample and possibly do an X-ray to get proper diagnosis.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Melodie Anne Coffman has been writing for various online and print publications since 1996, specializing in human and animal nutrition. After receiving her master's degree in food science and human nutrition, she opened up her own nutrition consulting business in the New England area.

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