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Caring for your pet when he has an upset tummy

Sick dog.resize

When you or your child gets sick with an upset tummy or vomiting it is fairly easy to manage at home. All of us know to drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, and avoid food until the sickness has subsided. We also know the general warning signs that it is time to head to your nearest emergency care if after hours, especially when it is a younger child that is sick.

Caro Robson, manager at Student.co, says that the same generally applies to our pets – rest the stomach by withholding food for four to six hours and make sure your pet has easy access to lots of water to stay hydrated.

But what are the warning signs that medical attention is needed? Robson says you should rather head to your vet if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Your pet is displaying signs of lethargy or weakness by acting tired and sluggish. The animal may be struggling with, or have no interest in normal activities.
  • Your pet is in pain and flinches when being touched.
  • If the vomiting or diarrhoea continues for more than 12 hours – withholding food for up to six hours should resolve the issue under normal circumstances.
  • If you notice blood in the vomit or diarrhoea

“If your pet suffers from a chronic illness like diabetes be safe rather than sorry, and visit your veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice diarrhoea or vomiting,” cautions Robson, adding that the same applies to young or very small animals. These animals can dehydrate rapidly so you should go to the vet without delay to minimise risk.

Emergency vets in your areaVet

It is all very well if your beloved pet gets sick during ‘convenient’ times when you can go to your chosen vet. But all too often our pets get sick at times when our vets may not be operating. It is then when it is imperative that you have an action plan to avoid wasting precious time. This begins with knowing which 24-hour emergency veterinarian operates closest to you and where they are located.

HomeTimes did some of the groundwork for you and found these emergency, 24-hour vets in some of  the main centres of South Africa


  • Parklands Veterinary Clinic; Tel: (011)788-4748/083 287 2459, Address: 116 Jan Smuts Avenue Cnr. Wells Avenue, Parkwood
  • Bryanston Veterinary Hospital; Tel: (011)706-6023/4/5, Address: 6 Ballyclare Drive Cnr. William Nicole Drive, Bryanston
  • New South Veterinary Centre; Tel: (011)682-3213, Address: 203 Biggarsberg Street Cnr. Losberg, Glenvista
  • Klood Road Animal Clinic; Tel: (011)705-3411(for emergencies) alternatively use (011)455-1296, Address: 19A Klood Road, Bedfordview


  • Valley Farm Animal Hospital; Tel: (021)991-3573, Address: 829 Old Farm Road, Faerie Glen
  • Akasia Veterinary Clinic and Kennels; Address: Plot 75 Sylvia Str, Heatherdale, Akasia

Cape Town

  • Cape Animal Medical Centre; Tel: (021)674-0034, Address: 78 Rosmead Avenue, Kenilworth
  • Panorama Veterinary clinic and specialist centre; Tel: (021)930-6632, Address: 1 Hendrik Verwoerd Drive, Panorama
  • Belmont Road Veterinary Clinic and Hospital; Tel: (021)685-7750, Address: 16 Belmont Road, Rondebosch


  • Sherwood After Hours Veterinary Clinic; Tel: (031)207-1300 / (031)207-5691 / (031)209-6690
  • Ashburne Veterinary Clinic; Tel: (031)562-1037, Address: 34 Burne Crescent, Glenashley

Port Elizabeth

  • Mount Croix Animal Hospital; Tel: (041)374-3034 or 082 653 4303 for emergencies, Address: 101 Mount Road, Mount Croix

No doubt we are missing practices from this list. Whether you just moved to a new area, or welcomed your first pet to your family you should view getting the contact details of your nearest 24-hour vet the same as you would knowing where to go in case of an emergency for yourself, partner or child.



Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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