"The common dog stomach ache is the result
of anything that can disrupt the normal emptying of the
gastrointestinal system. Multiple problems can result including
constipation and distension of the abdomen. Related symptoms include
vomiting, nausea and appetite loss. Simple causes include over eating,
foreign objects, poisons, allergies, motion sickness and parasites. In
puppies, an immature disgestive system could be the cause.
In most dogs, problems will resolve on their
own in under 24 hours. If problems last, or if you see signs and
symptoms that are unusual for your dog such as changes in posture,
vomiting more than 2 to 3 times, blood in the vomit, diarrhea or stool,
or pain, then see a veterinarian. Do not ignore the problem since what
can be treated early can work to avoid bigger problems down the road."
Video On Treating A Dog Stomach Ache
A dog's stomach is divided into two areas.
Promixal Area: The promimal area takes in food and controls how
liquids are pushed out of the body. The liquids travel through the
Distal Area: This region of the stomach breaks down and expels
solids through contractions. The body has what is referred to as a
gastric pacemakeer that regulates emptying. For example, when a dog is
not provided with any food, the stomach and intestines will contract
every 2 hours. The entire process is controlled by a hormone
Stomach X-Ray Showing Obstruction
Obstruction Caused by Bladder Stones. Dog
presented with hematuria (blood in the urine) and tympanism (abdominal
sweling due to gas buildup). Lateral radiography showed gas
accumulation in the stomach and intestines, and stones-like images at
urinary bladder. Ultra-sound examination revealed five stones.
Photo Credit: Washington State University
There are many possible causes for a dog stomach ache. These include:
Problems with the electrical activity that controls stomach
contractions (called myoelectric activity disorders)
hypokalemia: low potassium levels
uremia: kidneys not removing urea and other toxins through the
hepatic encephalopathy: brain disease caused by toxins
Passing a Dog
Stomach Tube To Empty
Gastrointestinal System Photo Credit: Washington State
The major symptom associated with dog stomach ache is vomiting,
which can occur any time after eating. A dog's stomach will be empty
approxaimately 6 to 8 hours after eating. If a dog vomits undigested
food 12 hours or more after eating, that indicates some type of stomach
disorder or an obstruction that is preventing food from moving through
the gastrointestinal system.
Other symptoms associated with dog stomach problems include:
abdominal distension (abdomen appears to be bloated)
appetite loss (anorexia)
abnormal appetite for nonfood substances such as dirt or grass
removed from A
Dog's Stomach. Patient Did Not Show Any Symptoms. Dogs that Eat Objects
Such as Balls and Grass Tend to Be Repeat Offenders and Need to Be
Photo Credit: Washington State University
A veterinarian will review common and less common causes of
vomiting. Any emergency health issues such as obstructions or bloat
will need to be quickly ruled out as a possible cause.
Tests include CBC blood tests and urinalysis. The veterinarian will
also check for electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. A fecal
flotation test is used to test for gastric hypomotility (ability to
make normal bowel movements).
If the stomach is distended, then X-rays will indicate any gas or
fluid buildup. If there is normal emptying of liquids, but not solids,
then a liquid barium contrast study is needed. One new diagnostic tool
is a smartpill which is swallowed by the dog, and then transmits data
on time and temperature throughout the gastrointestinal system.
An endoscopy can detect any food that should not be in the stomach
and obstructions. It is used when the caused cannot be determined
using other easier to adminster tests.
from Stomach Ache Caused by Porcupine Quills. Example of Foreign
Objects That Can Cause Stomach Problems. Photo Credit: Wasington State University
Home treatment of dog stomach ache should follow the following steps:
No food for a day, with water only once the vomiting stops
Feed your dog bland home-made food such as boiled chicken and rice
As an option, add plain yogurt or probiotics to the food to bring
down levels of inflammation in the intestinesConsider adding plain
yogurt to the food
Restore the normal diet after 1 to 2 days of feeding a bland diet
If dog stomach ache symptoms continue and are not getting better after
24 hours, then
visit a veterinarian.
Most dogs are treated at home after being checked by the
veterinarian. If any vomiting is severe, a dog may need to be hydrated
and have electrolyte balances restored in the Vet's office. The
diet may be changes to one that is low fat and low fiber, or that has
more of a liquid consistency. Meals are reduced in size, but offered
more times during the day.
Also remember to look for signs of GDV (bloat).
If you see them seek
emergency medical treatment. These include:
attempts to vomit and defaecate
evidence of abdominal pain (whining and groaning when you push on
the stomach wall)
Most dogs will feel better after some minor changes in diet are
There are medications available that help with gastrointestinal
contractions such as Reglan (Metoclopramide). Others such as Cisapride
help the body transmit signals that encourage motility through the
gastrointestinal tract. Some antibiotics such as erythromycin also help
to improve gastrointestinal motility.
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