Tummy upsets (gastroenteritis) are common in cats and dogs; in fact vomiting and diarrhoea are some of the most common ailments we see.

Ten seconds after George, the British Bulldog entered my consulting room, I knew that his tummy upset was at the more severe end of the spectrum. A rumble from his back end like a thunder burst was followed by a stench that turned the air in my consulting room green.

His distressed owner explained that, despite the cold weather, she had journeyed to the surgery with the car window down to try to prevent her from losing consciousness.

George shifted uncomfortably as I felt his abdomen and it was clear that further pockets of gas were present in his stomach, and his large and small intestine.

On questioning, George’s owner confessed that, the previous day, George had raided the bin by the back door and had found a takeaway carton from the weekend. Though a British Bulldog by breeding, he has diverse tastes and George had devoured the leftover curry in the carton in no time and had been found with only the well licked foil tray left.

George groaned as he tried to maintain his dignity, shifted on his back legs, and then, giving in to the inevitable, he deposited a foul looking puddle on the floor of the consulting room.

I explained to his owner that George was suffering from an acute gastroenteritis, brought on by the spicy food he had consumed.

His fluid loss in the vomit and diarrhoea was considerable and he was starting to get dehydrated so he was admitted for fluid management. Because of the risk of cross infection, he was placed on intravenous fluids and hospitalised in our isolation facility.

After careful management with fluids and medication to reduce the inflammation in his stomach and intestines (along with lots of ventilation in the isolation kennels), George was discharged the following day on a light diet and strict instructions to stay off the spicy food.