Just as it is not unusual for humans to have “tummy troubles,” your dog’s gut doesn’t always feel its best. Orange Park Animal Hospital at Oakleaf appreciates that there are many potential reasons “why” your dog is vomiting, having diarrhea, and suffering from other distressing symptoms. With such a broad spectrum of sources of GI upset, you can imagine that some of these culprits may be more infamous than others.
Led by Dr. James Gillen, our team serves the Jacksonville, Florida, area with cutting-edge onsite diagnostics to get to the bottom of what ails your pet.
For instance, a hunger for too much grass can disrupt your curious canine’s digestive function. While potentially annoying and gross, this habit is generally not a cause for concern. But ingesting other substances and objects – from socks to string- is alarming and may result in a serious “foreign body” and intestinal blockage.
With an accurate understanding of what may be to blame for a stomach ache and other issues, Dr. Gillen can embark on a treatment plan that gets your dog feeling better in no time. Treatment can also get your pet out of the woods and the potentially serious health consequences and complications associated with digestive ailments.
Our clinic is also built on a strong foundation of preventative services, including regular wellness visits. During these visits, we provide tailored guidance for your pet on those factors that can either help or hinder your pet’s digestive balance; for instance, we may monitor for food intolerances and alter your dog’s diet.
We also advise on preventive products that can keep your pet’s digestion in balance by protecting against the likes of internal parasites. The fallout can be diarrhea when these parasites overload your pet’s system. These parasitic sources of GI distress include worms like tapeworms, roundworms, giardia, and coccidia. Parasites also sap your pet of the nutrients they need to be healthy and have been implicated in weight loss and potentially life-threatening anemia.
Dr. Gillen takes a special interest in parasite testing and control. He is a published author and researcher on leishmaniasis, a disease transmitted from dog to dog by bites from infected sandflies. With such extensive and focused knowledge, Dr. Gillen knows what to do in the near term to make things more pleasant for your dog and how to get pups back on the right, healthy track.
It should be noted that healthy canine stools are generally compact and easy to remove. They should be closer in color to chocolate and have a dough-like consistency when you scoop them. Anything outside of that normal, from lots of stool to a watery consistency and strange color, is worth mentioning to your vet. Remember that some systemic illnesses and medications can cause more frequent and less firm stools, nausea, and a loss of appetite.
Orange Park Animal Hospital at Oakleaf is also proud to provide cost-saving, in-house wellness plans for dogs and cats of all ages, military and rescue dog discounts, and financing through CareCredit® to our valued clients across Jacksonville, Florida.
Dr. James Gillen is originally from Puerto Rico and moved to Jacksonville, Florida at the age of 12. He knew growing up he wanted to be a veterinarian because it brings together the two things he loves most – animals and people. He completed his undergraduate degree at Florida State University and afterwards worked as a veterinary technician, an SAT/ACT tutor, and a high school teacher before completing his veterinary degree at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2019.
Dr. Gillen has special interests in dermatology and academia and co-authored two research papers in canine atopic dermatitis and Leishmaniasis. In his free time, Dr. Gillen enjoys anything involving the water (beach/pool, surfing, scuba diving), going to theme parks, exercise (weight lifting, running, biking, boxing), and science fiction books – among other genres. Dr Gillen lives with his wife and son, one dog, two cats, and a ball python.