How to Deal With Gastritis in a Dog

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If you think your dog might have gastritis, take him to the veterinarian promptly. The ailment's symptoms can in some situations be fatal to dogs. Gastritis refers to stomach lining inflammation in canines. Possible signs of the condition include vomiting, reduced appetite, depression and dehydration.

Acute and Chronic Gastritis

Gastritis exists in two forms: acute and chronic. While acute gastritis appears suddenly, chronic gastritis comes on gradually. Acute gastritis appears often in dogs and generally lasts for less than one week. Chronic gastritis, on the other hand, lasts for longer than a week or two. Gastritis appears in dogs of all ages.

Typical causes of acute gastritis include excessive eating, consumption of spoiled food items, parasites, viral infections, bacterial infections, food allergies and drugs such as antibiotics and aspirin. Chronic gastritis can be the result of stomach cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and extended consumption or contact with the triggers of acute gastritis. Various systemic diseases occasionally are linked with both types of gastritis. Examples of these are liver disease, kidney failure, ulcers, hypoadrenocorticism and neurological disorders.

Potential Symptoms

Typical symptoms of gastritis are reduced appetite and immoderate vomiting. The condition also can cause:

  • Depression.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Dehydration.
  • Weight loss.
  • Feebleness.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Heightened thirst.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Bloody stools.
  • Bloody vomit.
  • Dark fecal matter that indicates digested blood, known as melena.

Gastritis symptoms can be subtle in some situations. Acute gastritis, for example, is usually a mild condition. In other situations, the symptoms can be deadly. Chronic gastritis can indicate intestinal obstruction, which can be a life-threatening condition in dogs.

Veterinary Management

Veterinarians diagnose gastritis by conducting physical examinations, assessing patients' medical backgrounds, abdominal radiographs, urinalysis and complete blood counts. They also sometimes perform endoscopies and abdominal ultrasounds. Puppies require parvo tests.

Symptomatic management of gastritis aims to calm your dog's gastrointestinal tract and replenish his electrolyte and fluid levels. Common treatment options include electrolyte and fluid therapy, gastric protectants, antacids and antiemetics. If your dog has gastritis, your vet likely will recommend withholding food for 24 to 48 hours, to allow his stomach to calm down. If your dog has acute gastritis, his prognosis is often positive. The prognosis for chronic gastritis differs based on cause.

Warning

  • Since younger pets have a tendency to consume inappropriate items, their chances of experiencing acute gastritis are higher than those of their older counterparts.

Tip

  • Contact your veterinarian promptly if you observe any potential symptoms of gastritis in your pet.

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