When you are close to your dog, such as when you are stroking them or when your dog is lying near you, it is possible that you will hear strange noises coming from their stomach. The Ancient Greeks gave these noises the name borborygmic to describe the rumbling noises they heard, and this is now the official name for the noises. While it is interesting to know what they are called, the name does not give much away in terms of the causes of stomach rumbling and whether it is something about which you should be concerned or not. Here is what you need to know about stomach noises.
The Causes of Dog Stomach Rumbling
Although there are many possible reasons for stomach noises, the most common of the causes is an empty stomach. Think oy your own stomach rumbling and how you associate it with hunger. The reason a stomach rumbles when you are hungry is that the stomach and intestines begin to contract when they are empty, and this squeezes air from one part of the intestinal tract to another. These sounds are then amplified as liquids and enzymes are released into the intestinal tract. For this reason, stomach rumbling is common in the mornings when a dog has not had anything to eat all night.
Of course, hunger is not the only cause of stomach noises although some of the others are less common. Just some of these include colitis, indigestion, infections, parasites, diet, and gastritis. Another possible cause is irritable bowel disease. With this condition, the cause of the excessive noises is the inflamed bowels as they cause the intestinal tract to contract with a greater force than usual and this generates loud sounds. This is often accompanied by excessive gas and loose stools.
If there are no loose stools present and your dog’s rumbling tummy is persistent and excessive, then diet and eating habits are one of the most likely potential causes. Dogs that have an intolerance to certain foods can often have noisy stomachs. If dogs eat too quickly and gulp down there food it can also cause this problem as they swallow excessive air when eating too quickly.
A rarer cause of stomach rumbling is epilepsy. It is believed that this stomach rumbling is caused by the increased secretions and motility that can accompany epilepsy. Sometimes, the only evidence that a dog has epilepsy is if they stare blankly into space for a few minutes and then experience stomach rumbling a few minutes later.
Treating Dog Stomach Noises
In most cases, stomach rumbling is not a concern and the most likely cause is hunger. Treating this is usually simple as giving the dog a meal should resolve the issue. However, if stomach rumbling is persistent and excessive or you have eliminated hunger as the cause, then you may need to see a vet.
During the appointment with the vet, they will usually examine the dog thoroughly, especially in the abdominal area. A vet will also listen to the abdomen to listen for any noises. They may also need to conduct blood tests to eliminate any potentially serious causes of the noises or give the dog an abdominal scan.
If no underlying cause is found and you are sure that the problem is not hunger, then diet and eating habits are the next cause that the vet will consider. They will give you some tips for changing their diet and eating habits to see if this helps to resolve the matter.
One recommendation may include changing to a home-prepared or highly digestible diet for a period of twelve weeks as a trial period to see if this improves the situation. If the dog usually has only one large meal per day, then the vet may recommend giving the dog two smaller meals with a break between the meals to see if that will help. Increased activity is another potential solution. Taking a walk after a meal can help your dog to digest the meal better as exercise improves the function of the intestinal tract.
Following this trial period of diet and eating habit changes, you will need to return to your vet to discuss whether any improvements have been made or if there was no change. It is great news if the stomach noises have subsided but further tests may be needed if no changes are reported.