Gastritis in Dogs and Cats – Symptoms and Treatment!
31 July, 2017
gastritis in dogs and cats

Gastritis is very common in both dogs and cats of all ages and breeds. Gastritis is more common in dogs since it is usually caused by the ingesting of something that doesn’t agree with them.  And dogs tend to eat almost anything!  Gastritis is a condition that causes the inflammation of the lining of the gastrointestinal system, which causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.

Because gastritis can be symptomatic of other serious problems, it is important to pay attention to the symptoms and also determine if it is acute or chronic. Your veterinarian will take some test to diagnose the root cause of the gastritis. Acute gastritis and chronic gastritis share symptoms; they only differ in the duration.  Acute gastritis is categorized as having symptoms for less than seven days. Anything beyond seven days is considered chronic.

Symptoms of gastritis

Vomiting is the most common symptom of gastritis. Vomiting differs from regurgitation in that it involves abdominal contractions. These contractions can be very painful for the dog or cat, and the vomit may contain yellow foamy bile, red fresh blood, or coffee-ground-like digested blood.

Because gastritis in cats and dogs results in inflammation of the gastrointestinal lining, it can lead to other conditions, including ulcers, gastrointestinal blockage, and infection. If you notice the symptoms of gastritis in your dog or cat, get to the veterinarian for treatment.   There are several symptoms of gastritis to look out for besides vomiting such as decreased appetite, dehydration or extra thirsty, lethargic, depression, diarrhea, blood in stool or dark stool, and abdominal discomfort or pain.

Causes of gastritis in dogs and cats

Acute cases of gastritis in dogs and cats 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 or rotten food, trash, cat litter, plants, table scraps, mold, any non-food item, toxins or poisons or household chemicals and cleaners.

The causes of chronic gastritis that are not usually related to something swallowed

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 parasite; long-term exposure to allergens, kidney failure, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers and neurological disease.

Treatment for gastritis in dogs and cats         

The usual immediate treatment for severe gastritis symptoms in cats and 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 is usually a good idea for food and water to be withheld 24 to 36 hours, then reintroduced gradually in small amounts. A low-fat diet may be prescribed, as well.

As always, it is also important to treat the underlying causes. If the cause is that your dog or cat ate something unusual, try to avoid this happening again by having that item unavailable to your dog or cat.

If a foreign object was swallowed, surgery may be needed to remove it. If the cause is long-term allergen exposure or exposure to toxic chemicals, the substances that are responsible for the condition should be removed from your home 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 by your veterinarian.

If your dog or cat tends to be the type that swallows foreign objects or anything they shouldn’t, the best prevention is to try your best to keep their area clear of anything that they might want to ingest.  And, of course, all medication or harmful sprays/cleaners should be behind closed cabinets.

If your dog or cat tends to eat foreign items, some dangerous house hold items to be aware of: Toxic Items

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