Gastritis In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments

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Gastritis is a condition in dogs that results from inflammation of the gastrointestinal lining in the stomach, which causes a variety of unpleasant symptoms.

The stomach lining can become irritated by several substances or foreign bodies, and the condition is common in dogs. That may not surprise you, as many of our furry friends will eat things whether or not those things disagree with their digestive systems.

Gastritis can be acute, where symptoms appear suddenly and severely, or chronic, where they appear steadily and worsen over time. If you notice the signs of gastritis in your dog, you must consult your veterinarian.

Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for gastritis in dogs.

Symptoms Of Gastritis In Dogs

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Symptoms of gastritis in dogs result from inflammation of the gastrointestinal lining. When the stomach lining, called the gastric mucosa, becomes inflamed, it can lead to other conditions, including ulcers, gastrointestinal blockage, and infection.

If you notice the signs in your dog, then you should get to the vet for treatment. Here are several symptoms of gastritis to look out for:

  • Excessive vomiting, which may include yellow, foamy bile
  • Decreased appetite or anorexia
  • Dehydration or increased thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in stool or vomit
  • Black, tarry stool
  • Abdominal discomfort or pain, which may result in hunching of the back

With acute gastritis, these symptoms can be severe, but they may clear up in 24 hours. Chronic gastritis typically lasts for two or more weeks and worsens over time.

In either case, you should consult a veterinarian if you spot these symptoms.

Causes of Gastritis In Dogs

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Acute cases of gastritis in dogs are usually caused by inflammation resulting from ingestion of substances that are contaminated, toxic, or not easily digested.

These substances might include the following.

  • Spoiled, rotten, or contaminated raw food
  • Trash
  • Cat litter
  • Certain plants
  • Table scraps or other human foods
  • Mold or fungi
  • Foreign objects or non-food items
  • Toxins or poisons, including chemicals and cleaners
  • Medications

There are other causes of gastritis, as well, that are not necessarily related to something ingested by your dog.

These causes can include the following:

  • Infection from bacteria, viruses, or parasites
  • Long-term exposure to allergens
  • Immune disease
  • Stomach cancer
  • Kidney failure
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcers
  • Neurological disease

Treatments For Gastritis In Dogs

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The usual immediate treatment for severe gastritis symptoms in dogs includes re-hydration and restoring electrolytes through intravenous fluid. Your veterinarian may also prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infection and anti-emetics to control vomiting.

Whether the case is severe or minor, it’s usually a good idea to withhold food and only give dogs small amounts of water for 24 to 48 hours, then reintroduced food gradually in small amounts. A low-fat diet may be prescribed, as well. Your veterinarian can instruct you on what’s safe for your dog and best for recovery.

It’s also important to treat the underlying causes. If the cause is that your dog ate something unusual, then take steps to avoid allowing your dog access to that substance. A vet may need to perform surgery if your dog swallowed a foreign object.

If the cause is long-term allergen exposure or exposure to toxic chemicals, then the substances that are responsible for the condition should be removed from your dog’s environment, and your dog may need antihistamines or other medical treatment.

Other conditions such as kidney disease, stomach cancer, immune disease, and neurological disorders will need to be addressed separately. It’s important to see your vet to rule out these causes.

If your dog experiences gastritis frequently, then you should take notes on what your dog eats, what they’ve been exposed to, their behavior, and other symptoms that may be present, and discuss all of these with your vet.

Has your dog ever had gastritis? How did you treat the condition? Let us know in the comments below.