Stomach ulcers in dogs are not uncommon and can be caused by medications, an inadequate diet, or an underlying health condition. Luckily, stomach ulcers in dogs can be treated and also prevented by taking pro-active measures to help avoid the development of stomach ulcers.
Medications, especially anti-inflammatories, pain killers, and corticosteroids administered orally, will disrupt the normal balance of acids in a dog’s stomach and can destroy a dog’s stomach lining if the medications are administered over a long period of time. In addition, stress, an unbalanced diet containing excess fats, stomach injuries caused by a dog ingesting sharp objects, or poisoning can also cause stomach ulcers.
A dog who is suffering from stomach ulcers will exhibit symptoms such as:
* Chronic vomiting, even when the dog hasn’t eaten anything;
* A general lack of appetite and weight loss;
* General weakness in its actions and movements;
* Diarrhea or blood in the vomit.
Stomach ulcers in dogs are usually detected by a veterinarian when performing tests such as urinalysis, a complete blood count, ultrasound, or an endoscopic exam which will reveal any ulcers in the stomach.
To treat a dog with stomach ulcers, you will need to change your dog’s diet and regularly administer antacid drugs. The antacids will protect the dog’s stomach lining and allow the ulcers to heal. The new diet should focus on reducing fats and artificial ingredients that could cause the stomach ulcers to reoccur. Bland foods and wet foods are better than dry kibble and are easier to digest and less likely to cause harm to the stomach walls.
If your dog has persistent vomiting or diarrhea, the vet will prescribe medication. Should dehydration result from the vomiting or diarrhea, your vet may recommend a transfusion of IV fluids.
Many dog owners prefer natural remedies that can soothe the production of stomach acid and heal the stomach ulcers. Natural remedies include licorice root, aloe vera, echinacea or alfalfa.
Your vet may also recommend some supplements like L-glutamine or Quercetin which will help strengthen the dog’s immune system which is its best natural defense against the formation of stomach ulcers.
You should treat stomach ulcers in your dog as seriously as you would if you were the one who had the ulcer. If your dog continues to display one or several of the above symptoms, call and schedule an exam with your vet as soon as possible.