Our clients are good at observing their pets’ digestive system. Most watch what goes in one end and what comes out the other and if it’s wrong at either end get in touch with us. The digestive system, beginning at the lips and ending at the anus is responsible for consuming, digesting and absorbing nourishment for the body. The first part, the lips, mouth, teeth and throat acquire food, soften it with chewing and saliva and prepare it for entering the gastrointestinal tract. Food passes from the throat to the stomach through the esophagus. The stomach itself is a holding tank in which little digestion takes place. Because pets, dogs in particular but also cats through grooming themselves are likely to accidentally consume undigestible things, vomiting back contents from the stomach is a common occurrence.
Digestion takes place in the small intestines where food is broken down into amino acids, fatty acids and carbohydrates, assisted by enzymes from the pancreas and liver. These nutrients are absorbed into the intestinal circulation. Undigested fibre, waste and water continue into the large intestine where more water is removed. Finally, the residue is passed through the anus as waste.