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 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.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.