Acute Gastritis In Dogs
Acute gastritis in dogs comes on suddenly. It is the irritation or the lining of the stomach. The main symptom is severe vomiting. Other causes of severe vomiting are peritonitis and intestinal obstruction. All of these cases, and any other cases where vomiting is persistent, need to be consulted by your professional vet.
Some common things that your dog can get into that will cause stomach irritation are grass, plastic wrappings, spoiled food, garbage, hair, and bones. There are also some drugs that will cause an issue. These include aspirin, NSAIDs, cortisone, butazolidine and some antibiotics. There are obvious things, like poisons, that will cause vomiting as well. Make sure you dog stays out of antifreeze, fertilizers, plant toxins, and weed killers. If you think your dog has gotten into any of these you need to contact your veterinarian immediately.
If your dog has acute gastritis he will show some typical signs. He will vomit shortly after eating and later seem lethargic. He will probably sit over his water bowl with his head hanging. If his temperature does not remain normal he is probably suffering from acute infectious enteritis. Which will also cause diarrhea. Otherwise his body temperature should be normal.
In nonspecific cases the issues usually resolves in one to two days as long as the stomach is rested and protected from excess acid.
In these cases dogs will vomit multiple times in a day or a week. They will have a dull coat and appear very lethargic and probably lose weight. The vomit may contain foreign materials and food from the day or days before. The main cause of chronic gastritis is food allergy. Some other causes are persistent grass eating, drug, chemical, or toxin consumption. Even though this is usually an issue for our feline friends, dogs may also get fur balls, which can lead to chronic gastritis. In some cases a bezoar may be the culprit. A bezoar is a hard mass that will accumulate in the stomach. Usually hair that has shed, licked, then swallowed will start to form and gather will other foreign materials. Sometimes these bezoars will grow too large for the stomach to pass them. You should also know there are many chronic vomiting cases that the cause is not known.
Another serious stomach issue is called hypertrophic gastropathyis. This is the thickening of the mucus membranes of the lower half of the stomach. This can lead to food retention and gastric obstruction. This usually affects middle-aged small breed dogs. In this case vomiting will occur 3-4 hours after eating. In brachycephalic dogs, dogs with flat heads and short noses, this can be seen as a congenital problem called pyloric stenosis. That is a fancy, scientific name for the narrowing of the pylorus, which is the opening from the stomach into the small intestine. Some of these breeds include pugs, Boston terriers, French and English bulldogs, boxers and Shih tzus.
Chronic atrophic gastritis is an issue mostly seen in Norwegian Buhunds. It is the thinning of the stomach wall.
Eosinophilic gastritis is another chronic stomach issue. It is caused by the accumulation of eosinophils, which are a type of white blood cell, in the mucous lining of the stomach. This will also cause the stomach wall to scar and thicken. No one knows the cause of this issue but food allergy and parasites are the current proposals. With this issue your pup will most likely develop ulcers and have stomach bleeding.
Ulcers can also produce sporadic vomiting. They can be stomach ulcers or duodenal ulcers, which occur in the beginning of the small intestine. Sporadic vomiting may be hard to find a cause. Sometimes there is no obvious explanation, in which case your dog may suffer from liver or kidney failure. Blood test will help to determine is it is any systemic disease.
Treating Acute Gastritis In Dogs
When dealing with a dog with any chronic vomiting issue, a veterinarian should definitely be consulted. They will start will switching to a bland, high carbohydrate diet. One good brand is Hill’s Prescription Diet or you can feed him a homemade diet that consists of boiled rice and cottage cheese. Also, instead of large meals, offer frequent smaller meals. Once he has recovered you can gradually reintroduce him back to a high quality premium dog food.
Under the guidance you your vet you can use a histamine blocking agent such as Tagamet, Pepcid, and Zantac. These are not approved for use in all dogs so be sure to talk with your vet about the best solution. Vets will sometimes also prescribe corticosteriods or immunosuppressive drugs.
Acute Gastritis in dogs, or chronic vomiting, is a serious issue and can occur to any pet. But as long as you take action you will have your best friend back to normal in no time!