How to Treat Gastritis in Dogs – Everything You Need to Know
Gastritis is a condition in dogs that causes inflammation in the stomach and vomiting. At first glance, your dog may seem to suffer from a mild case of food poisoning or an allergic reaction, though it’s essential to consult a veterinarian to determine if it’s a case of gastritis. This condition may be acute or short-term, though canine gastritis is also a chronic illness of the gastrointestinal tract that causes various symptoms you’ll notice in your pet.
Gastritis in dogs is caused by different conditions, including tumors, pancreatitis, infections, neoplasia, and other causes. Since there are many underlying reasons for this condition, it’s essential to visit your veterinarian quickly to determine which treatment is required to treat gastritis.
Visiting Your Veterinarian for a Diagnosis
When you visit your vet, it is standard to take blood and stool samples from your pet to find the reason for the gastritis symptoms. This condition is commonly diagnosed through clinical signs and elimination, which is done by reviewing all noted symptoms, the duration of the clinical signs, your pet’s overall health, existing diseases, and medical history.
Your vet will ask questions about your dog, which makes it essential to note, in detail, signs of chronic gastritis or illness, when these signs occur, and how long or frequent you notice them. All information collected through consulting with the pet owner, the results of tests, and a health check-up, will determine a diagnosis. Once your vet confirms canine gastritis, the next step is to treat the condition and provide the affected dog with some much-needed relief.
Treating Gastritis in Dogs
Gastritis impacts your dog’s quality of life, which can include suffering from constant vomiting, stomach and abdominal pain, and chronic inflammation. There are some critical steps to take to treat your pet’s discomfort and provide relief from this problematic condition:
1. A Change in Diet
Your dog’s diet is key to their health, and changing the dog food they eat can significantly improve treating gastritis. You may find that your dog’s appetite decreases during these symptoms, or they may have difficulty consuming and digesting their next meal. Focus on reducing your pet’s meals to a smaller portion, and keep it bland and plain, such as ground chicken or turkey with potatoes or rice, without any additional spices or seasoning.
It’s essential to take note of any symptoms following each small meal, as some foods may trigger inflammation or a digestive problem, like bloody diarrhea or upset stomach. If you suspect your dog may have a food allergy, your vet can arrange a test to rule this out when you provide smaller, more leisurely meals to digest, and place a bowl of filtered water.
Suppose you notice that the gastritis symptoms lessen or disappear altogether. In that case, you can gradually add your dog’s regular food into the diet, maintaining smaller portions, and provided the signs of this condition do not recur. In many cases, this procedure works well to alleviate the pain of gastritis and help your dog recover fully within one or two weeks. If the signs of this condition return, it’s essential to visit the vet and follow up with further tests to rule out any other possible cause.
2. Observing Further Symptoms
In some cases, gastritis is short-term and often disappears on its own after a few days or a week. Your vet will confirm if your dog has acute gastritis, which often resolves on its own. It’s crucial to observe your pet’s symptoms and determine if they lessen over time. Relaxing the diet to a bland, simple food selection with water is a great way to help the recovery process. If your dog exhibits new symptoms, especially vomiting, withhold food, provide water only, and contact your vet.
Gastritis causes nausea and upset stomach that can be painful and severe in some dogs. Your vet may provide medication to alleviate these symptoms, either by injection or intravenously. Some medications used for this treatment are used to ease the impact of ulcers and similar gastric conditions in your dogs stomach. These include Pepcid or Omeprazole (to help prevent ulcers), Cerenia to prevent further cases of nausea, and Sucralfate, among other options.
Suppose your pet is currently taking medication or treatment for another condition. In that case, it’s important to note any side effects that may impact gastritis and disclose these details to your vet so that they can prescribe a compatible option.
4. Further Testing and Treatments
In severe cases, dogs may continue to experience signs of gastritis, even with proper treatment, which may be due to an underlying cause that has not yet been diagnosed or treated. For example, some dogs with this illness may have intestinal parasites, issues with organ function, pancreatitis, or stomach cancer. If initial tests and treatments fail to provide relief and resolve gastritis, it’s crucial to contact the vet for further investigation into these concerns.
There may be a missed result from the initial tests, or an abdominal x-ray, especially if your dog experiences stomach pain. Further specialized tests, like a gastric biopsy, may be required if chronic gastritis is confirmed, which will require long-term care and treatment. Other possible culprits for this condition include a foreign body in the gastrointestinal tract or other anomalies that cause gastritis to flare up.
Treatment for your dog’s gastritis symptoms widely depends on the cause of this condition, whether it’s from a single source, such as poisoning or another illness, or a chronic condition. While most cases of gastritis are easily treatable and disappear on their own within one week, it’s essential to observe your pet’s symptoms to ensure these signs do not resurface, as a more severe illness or condition may cause this.
The best way to keep your furry companion healthy is with a healthy, whole diet with filtered water and regular exercise. Prevention is often the best way to avoid gastritis caused by a sudden dietary change or consuming an inedible, foreign object. Fortunately, most cases of gastritis, whether it’s acute or chronic, can be successfully treated to provide relief from the pain of symptoms and improve your dog’s quality of life.