Ulcers in Dogs

Stomach ulcers in dogs may be common and can be caused by different medications, a deficient diet, stress or other underlying health conditions. The ulcers in dogs may be treated and there are also a set of preventive measures that may help avoiding future stomach ulcers.

Causes of Ulcers in Dogs

Ulcers in dogs may be caused by different factors including:

  • Medication, especially anti inflammatories, pain killers, corticosteroids that are administered orally and will disrupt the normal balance of the stomach and will also destroy the stomach lining if administered for a longer period of time
  • Skin mast cell tumors which cause the secretion of a histamine that will affect the stomach lining
  • Stress
  • An unbalanced diet that contains fats in excess
  • Stomach injuries caused by the ingestion of sharp objects
  • Poisoning

Symptoms of Stomach Ulcer

A dog with stomach ulcer will show a suite of symptoms such as:

  • Chronic vomiting, even if the dog hasn’t eaten anything
  • Blood in the vomit
  • Diarrhea, tarry stool (digested blood)
  • Lack of appetite and weight loss
  • General state of weakness
  • Depression

Detection of Ulcers

Stomach ulcers may be detected by consulting the dog and performing a few tests which may include:

  • Complete blood count
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal matter analysis
  • Ultrasounds
  • Endoscopic exam, which will reveal if there are any ulcers in the stomach

Treatment Options for Ulcers

The treatment of stomach ulcers will involve changing the diet of the dog and a regular administration of antacid drugs. These drugs will protect the lining of the stomach and will allow the ulcers to close.

The diet should focus on reducing the fats and other artificial ingredients that may facilitate the occurrence of stomach ulcers. Bland foods are more recommended. The dog should also get wet foods, which are easier to digest and are less likely to hurt the stomach walls.

If the dog has persistent vomiting or diarrhea, he may receive medication to stop these. If dehydration occurs due to vomiting and diarrhea, the dog will receive a few transfusions of IV fluids.

There are also a number of natural remedies that can soothe the production of stomach acid and heal the stomach ulcers. These natural remedies include licorice root, aloe vera, slippery elm, Echinacea or alfalfa.

The vet will require periodical checkups to see if the stomach ulcers show any signs of improvements or heal.

Preventive Measures

If your dog has a history of ulcers, you should take some preventive measures to avoid the recurrence of stomach ulcers.

If your dog requires anti inflammatories opt for buffered aspirin, other herbal remedies or topical ointments.

The dog should also get some supplements (i.e. L glutamine or quercetin) to improve the function of the immune system, which is partly responsible for the formation of stomach ulcers.

You should also remove any possible stress factors from the dog’s environment.