Gastritis in dogs occurs when the lining of a dog’s stomach is inflamed, causing discomfort. One common cause is when your dog ingests a foreign body or a particular substance that then irritates the stomach lining. As a dog owner, this may not come as a surprise since you’ve probably experienced your dog ingesting a variety of things whether or not their digestive systems may agree.



According to research, among the first signs of gastritis in dogs are vomiting and loss of appetite. It can either be acute or chronic.

Acute gastritis occurs for only a short period and is characterized by a sudden onset of symptoms due to a specific cause. On the other hand, chronic gastritis has more persistent symptoms and would need several tests to determine the underlying cause which may be more serious.

Causes

Food

There are certain foods that aren’t suitable for a dog’s digestive system and may thus cause gastritis if ingested. These may include nuts, avocados, and coconut, as well as spoiled or certain raw food.

At the same time, if your dog eats their regular food in excess, it may also lead to inflammation and gastritis. In addition to this, if your dog happens to be allergic to an ingredient in their food, this may cause recurrent inflammation, which may lead to chronic gastritis.

Foreign Body

Your dog may also ingest a non-food item that can cause inflammation in their stomach lining, leading to gastritis. These may include paper, rocks, plastics, bones, clothing, or what have you.

Read more: Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? Another Weird Dog Behavior Explained

Ingestion of Toxins

Another cause is toxic ingestion, especially when it contains chemicals or medications, particularly for humans. Because of this, it is important to keep your dog away from your medications. Cat litter, cleaning products, and mulch products. There are also certain plants that are toxic to dogs and may irritate their stomach linings such as tulips, daffodils, and bluebells. So are certain molds and fungi.

Systemic Disease

There are also systemic illnesses not related to ingesting harmful objects, chemicals, or substances. This may include liver disease, pancreatitis, or a viral/bacterial infection that may cause serious inflammation in your dog’s stomach.

Symptoms

Gastritis in dogs has symptoms such as...

Vomiting

This is the primary symptom of gastritis, the frequency, and severity of which may vary. It is different from normal vomiting due to a mild case of stomach upset. With gastritis, the vomiting may contain bile and may be bloody, black, or frothy. If the gastritis is because your dog ingested something that irritated their stomach lining, the foreign body or food may also be present in your dog’s vomit.

Decrease in Appetite

Dogs with gastritis may also show signs of decreased appetite and lethargy. This may also lead to a decrease in their weight.

Abnormal Stool

Another possible symptom of gastritis is a bloody stool or more often - bloody diarrhea. The stool may also look tarry or black in color. When you spot blood in your dog’s stool, have them checked with the vet immediately because it may also be indicative of other conditions such as hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome.

Read more: Doggie Got The Runs: An Essential Guide to Dog Diarrhea

Pain

Dogs may also experience severe pain in the abdomen if they have gastritis, causing them to arch their backs. At the same time, you may feel that your dog is tender when you touch it.

Among the other signs are:

Diagnosis

Among the clinical signs that may indicate gastritis include vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. For your vet to be able to diagnose whether your dog has gastritis, they will look at various factors.

First of all, you will be asked about your dog’s history, symptoms, and if you suspect anything that may be causing the vomiting. After this, your vet will run tests such as x-ray, bloodwork, urinalysis, stool test, or other tests that they may deem necessary.

It’s also possible for your vet to suspect an allergy, such that an ingredient in your dog’s daily diet may be causing a reaction that leads to gastritis. If this is the case, your vet may recommend a food test where ingredients are gradually removed to be able to determine whether it is the cause. Your vet may also check for other serious underlying conditions that may be the reason for secondary gastritis.

Usually, vomiting is enough to indicate that your dog has gastritis, but treatment may vary depending on what is causing it. With chronic gastritis, a more comprehensive process is needed.

Treatment

Upon finding out the cause of the inflammation, it should be removed from your dog’s environment or diet. The majority of acute gastritis cases just require treating the symptoms and can be resolved without further treatments.

You may also be advised by your vet to hold off feeding your dog for 24-48 hours and if they can already eat without vomiting, gradually feed them bland food that can be easily digested. If it still doesn’t work, you may be prescribed antibiotics or medication for vomiting.

Also, if your dog has become dehydrated due to vomiting excessively and if they also vomit the water that they drink, your vet may advise you to admit your dog to the vet for them to be given IV fluids.

If your dog’s gastritis is chronic and is caused by a more serious underlying condition, your vet may come up with a comprehensive treatment plan to be able to address both the underlying condition as well as gastritis.

Prevention

The best way to prevent your dog from getting gastritis is to make sure that they don’t ingest anything that is harmful to them. However, some dogs may still get gastritis even if you make the necessary precautions, and it may sometimes be hard to find the cause. However, when appropriate treatment is given (the earlier the better), the prognosis for acute gastritis in dogs is good.

One way to help you look out for your dog and make sure that they don’t ingest anything harmful is through pet cameras such as the Petcube Cam. The camera allows you to see, talk, and even interact with your pet even if you may be away for the day.

Pet Emergency Fund

Gastritis may require various tests, especially when it’s chronic. Because of this, finding out that your dog has gastritis may be overwhelming and costly, more so if further tests need to be done.

When our pets get sick, not only may we become anxious, but we may also get worried about the expenses involved whenever our pets get sick. Good thing there are services that may help us out throughout the process.

One such service is Petcube’s Pet Emergency Fund where a subscription covers all of your pets, regardless of age, breed, and medical history at a fraction of the price as compared to pet insurance.

The subscription also has fast coverage payment and an Online Vet service to boot if you want to consult with certified veterinarians whenever and wherever.

FAQ

How to treat HGE in dogs at home?

While it would be great if there were home treatments for HGE in dogs, there aren't because it is important to take your dog to the vet as soon as you see blood in their stool. This is because some cases of HGE may lead to conditions that are life-threatening such as low blood pressure, organ failure, and sepsis. However, some cases just require medications. Nonetheless, taking your dog to the vet is crucial.

What does gastroenteritis dog poop look like?

If your dog has gastroenteritis, you may find that their stool appears black or tarry. Some cases may cause your dog’s poop to have blood (usually in the form of bloody diarrhea).