Chronic Gastritis in Dogs

Chronic gastritis in dogs is when inflammation in the lining of the intestines has lasted for a prolonged of time.

Chronic Gastritis in Dogs Explained

Chronic gastritis can affect both male and female dogs of all ages. This condition is quite common in dogs, as they tend to eat whatever looks tasty to them.

When a dog has chronic gastritis, there is damage to the mucous lining in the intestinal wall. As a result, a dog's immune system is compromised, and gastrointestinal obstructions may form. Other forms of gastritis can cause the gastric glands to become smaller in size and depth. The gastric glands create a fluid that aids in a dog's digestion. When the gastric glands don’t function properly, the flora and bacteria in a dog’s stomach are interrupted. As a result, the stomach becomes irritated and can’t digest food well.

Chronic gastritis can affect a dog that has consumed rotten foods, plants or hair over a period of time. Ingesting a non-food item or eating too much over a prolonged period of time can also cause this condition. Other ways a dog's diet can cause chronic gastritis include a dog eating foods he has an intolerance or an allergy to. This disease can also be a result of a dog being exposed to and eating items that cause toxicity such as lead, cleaning supplies and fertilizers.

Medicines a dog is taking can cause gastritis, especially if they contain aspirin, steroids or antibiotics. These substances can cause lesions in the mucosa lining. Illnesses that can cause chronic gastritis include viral, bacterial and parasitic infections. Cancer of the stomach, kidney failure, hypoadrenocorticism, ulcers, liver disease, neurological disease and inflammatory bowel disease can also cause this condition. 

Symptoms of Chronic Gastritis in Dogs

Excessive vomiting is commonly seen in dogs with chronic gastritis. Sometimes blood is vomited, which resembles coffee grounds. Diarrhea, blood in the stool, and a loss of appetite frequently accompany chronic gastritis in dogs. These symptoms can bring upon weight loss and a lack of energy in a dog.

Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Gastritis in Dogs

When a dog has symptoms of chronic gastritis, a veterinarian will perform a full physical examination and a complete diagnostic work-up. This work-up will include blood tests to see if a dog has any other illnesses. X-rays may be done to look for intestinal blockages or foreign objects. A vet may also order a biopsy of the tissues or do endoscopic surgery to sample tissues from within the dog.

Once a diagnosis is confirmed, treatment will begin. The treatment plan will depend on what is causing the dog’s chronic gastritis. For example, if a bacterium is causing the stomach upset, the dog will need to take antibiotics. If a foreign object was swallowed, surgery may be needed to remove the item.

It is normal for a dog to have an upset stomach once in a while. However, if any irregular symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, a dog should be examined by a vet.