Acute Gastritis in Dogs

The chances are good that your dog will suffer from a bout of acute gastritis at least once in his life. Because many dogs are predisposed to eating a wide variety of food and non-food items, it's very common for some of these items to cause some irritation once ingested. Gastritis is the result and is characterized by an inflammation of the stomach lining. While most cases of gastritis are generally mild and resolve themselves after just a few days, some cases of this condition can actually be very serious or even life threatening.

Gastritis Overview

The most common symptom of gastritis is vomiting. This is caused by your pet's inflamed, irritated stomach lining not being able to properly process the food that he eats. When he eats food while suffering from this condition, his body oftentimes reacts by immediately rejecting food. Therefore, you're likely to see him vomit.

Gastritis can be either acute or chronic in nature. Acute gastritis is defined as gastritis and vomiting that occurs for a period of one week or less. Chronic gastritis is any symptom of this condition that persists for longer than that time frame. While these conditions have very similar or even identical symptoms, they may have different types of causes.

Causes of Gastritis

There are a number of potential causes of gastritis. These include the following:

  • Allergic reaction to food eaten
  • Improper food items ingested
  • Chemical products or toxic substances ingested
  • Shock due to infection
  • Certain types of infections

Additionally, some medicines may even cause your pet to begin to develop acute or chronic gastritis as a side effect. Be sure to read any warning labels or learn of contraindications for any medicines before you begin to give them to your dog.

Gastritis has other symptoms besides vomiting as well. It's important to watch for your pet vomiting blood, losing weight, having difficulty eating or losing his appetite, having dark colored stool and other related symptoms as well.

Diagnosing and Treating Gastritis

Depending upon your pet's age and overall health, your vet may try one of several different methods to diagnose his gastritis. First, he'll likely run a blood test in order to check on the levels of certain hormones and chemicals in your pet's blood stream. He may also check your pet for parvo, particularly if your dog is a puppy. An endoscopy can also be helpful in diagnosing this condition.

For acute gastritis, most often the treatment involves waiting for the condition to resolve itself. There are a few things that you can do to help your pet to recover, however. Primarily, you should be sure to feed your pet a diet that will be suitable for his weakened digestive system. Your vet can provide you with a list of easily processed foods that will be good to include. If the gastritis is due to an infection of some type, antibiotics and related medicines can also help to resolve it.