Any loving pet owner hates it when their dog gets sick. By learning a little more about some of the common illnesses that can affect dogs, you can find out how to reduce the risk of them becoming ill or how to take care of them properly when they do become sick. It can also you to identify symptoms and learn when a trip to the vet’s surgery is needed. One common health problem from which dogs can suffer is gastritis. In fact, nearly all dogs will suffer from this illness at some point in their life. Here is everything you need to know about dogs and gastritis, including the symptoms, the causes, the diagnosis, and the treatments.
What is Gastritis?
According to VCA Hospitals, gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Sometimes, this is an illness that occurs over only a short period of time, and it is then called acute gastritis. Some dogs can suffer from gastritis over longer periods, and this is called chronic gastritis. The most serious form of gastritis is usually chronic gastritis.
What Causes Gastritis?
There are several potential causes of gastritis in dogs. The first is an infection caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites. Another potential cause is food poisoning, which is often the result of your dog eating something they shouldn’t, such as the food you have discarded to the trash can. Toxin exposure is another potential cause. This is when your dog has ingested a substance that is dangerous to them, either in food or chemical form. Finally, some medical conditions can cause gastritis, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
How to Prevent Gastritis
Dogster highlights some of the ways that you can reduce the likelihood of your dog developing gastritis. The most important step to take is to only feed your dog food that is intended for dogs. This reduces the risk of them suffering from reactions or becoming sick. You should also make sure your trash can is tightly sealed and toxic substances are locked away. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to prevent your dog from getting gastritis.
What Are the Main Symptoms of Gastritis?
If your dog is suffering from gastritis, then they may suffer from one or more of the following symptoms, says Dog Time:
- Dehydration and thirst
- Loss of appetite
- Blood in the stools
- Black tarry stools
- Abdominal pain
How Is Gastritis Diagnosed?
You can only get a diagnosis of gastritis by visiting a vet. To make their diagnosis, they will read your dog’s clinical history, speak to you about their symptoms, and conduct a physical examination of the dog. In some cases, they may need to conduct further diagnostic tests. This can not only help them to determine whether your dog is suffering from gastritis or not, but it can also uncover the underlying cause of the illness. Some typical tests that a vet may need to conduct include ultrasounds, bloodwork, and X-rays. In serious cases where the underlying cause is not discovered using any of these tests, the vet may decide that exploratory surgery is necessary.
The Treatments for Gastritis
The treatment options for gastritis predominantly depend on the underlying cause of the condition. Without diagnosing the underlying cause of the gastritis, it is difficult for a vet to treat it effectively. For example, treating a parasitic infection is completely different from treating toxic exposure. While the treatment for the former involves destroying the parasitic infection, the latter involves either giving something to counteract the toxic substance or to push it through the system using fluids.
However, veterinarians often treat gastritis symptomatically. This means that they treat each of the symptoms individually. For example, they may give the dog antiemetic medication to treat the vomiting, supportive fluids for the dehydration, and gastric protectant medications to reduce the risk of further inflammation of the gastric lining.
Do You Need to See the Vet?
The generally veterinary advice is that you should always take your dog to the vet if you suspect they are suffering from gastritis. This is because gastritis can quickly cause dehydration, and this can cause additional complications. The sooner you take them to the vet, the sooner they can get diagnosed and begin treatment.
What is the Prognosis for Gastritis?
Generally, the prognosis is good for dogs that develop gastritis as most will make a full recovery with no long-term effects. Some even recover without treatment if they have a short dose of this illness, although they should still see the vet. However, there are some factors that can influence the prognosis for the dog. The underlying cause will dictate how long your dog suffers from this illness and if they have ongoing problems in the future. The age of the dog is also an important factor, as puppies and elderly dogs can take longer to recover and, in some cases, gastritis is potentially fatal. Another factor that affects the prognosis is the general health of the dog. If they have other underlying conditions, then gastritis is potentially very serious or even fatal. You can improve your dog’s prognosis by taking them to the vet immediately so that they can begin treatment.
Dogs and Gastritis – The Final Verdict
Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining that is caused by wither infection, toxic exposure, food poisoning, or an underlying medical condition. It can either be an acute or a chronic illness of which the main symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. It is a condition for which you should seek veterinarian advice and treatment for your dog to improve their prognosis, although most dogs will make a full recovery from this condition. However, other factors can influence the prognosis. The treatment for this condition depends on the cause, and it is often symptomatic treatment.