Inflammation of the stomach lining
Gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach, can cause a variety of symptoms in pets. Signs may include:
- Vomiting: Can range from frequent or persistent episodes of vomiting to intermittent “on and off” instances
- Excessive drooling
- Loss of appetite or decreased food intake
- Abdominal pain or discomfort: Observe if your pet displays signs of abdominal pain, such as restlessness, pacing, or a hunched posture
- Diarrhea or loose, watery stools
- Dehydration: If your pet is vomiting or having diarrhea, they may become dehydrated. Look for signs such as increased thirst or dry gums.
- Lethargy or decreased activity level
- Unexplained weight loss
Gastritis can sometimes be a sign of a larger problem such as Pancreatitis, Kidney Disease, or a Foreign Body Ingestion. If you notice any of these signs or if you have concerns about your pet's health, it's essential to consult with your veterinarian.
When you visit your veterinarian for concerns related to gastritis, the following may occur:
- History review: They will review your pet's medical history and discuss details about your pet's symptoms, duration and pattern of occurrence, and any potential triggers or dietary changes.
- Physical examination: The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet, checking for any abnormalities, particularly in the abdomen.
- Diagnostic testing: Diagnostic testing such as blood tests, fecal examination, and imaging (such as X-rays or ultrasound) may be recommended to evaluate the gastrointestinal tract and to rule out other underlying conditions such as foreign body ingestion. Advanced diagnostics may be discussed in cases of chronic gastritis.
- Treatment options: Treatment options for gastritis can vary depending on the severity or underlying cause. It may involve dietary changes, medication to reduce stomach acid or inflammation, and symptomatic management to alleviate symptoms.
- Follow-up care: Your veterinarian will discuss a follow-up plan, which may involve regular monitoring, additional tests, or adjustments to the treatment regimen.
Your veterinary healthcare team will partner with you to decide which treatment option is best for your pet's and your family’s specific condition and situation.
Here are some things you can do at home to prevent gastritis:
- Provide a balanced and appropriate diet: Feed your pet a high-quality, balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your pet's specific requirements.
- Avoid sudden dietary changes: Gradually introduce any changes to your pet's diet to minimize the risk of stomach upset.
- Avoid giving table scraps or inappropriate foods: Human food, especially spicy, fatty, or toxic foods, can contribute to gastritis in pets. Stick to a diet suitable for pets and avoid sharing table scraps.
- Secure garbage and keep foreign objects out of reach: Ensure that garbage bins are securely closed and not easily accessible to your pet. Make sure that your pet does not have access to small objects (e.g., socks, children’s toys) that could be swallowed and cause irritation or blockage.
- Maintain a calm and stress-free environment: Minimize stress in your pet's environment, as stress can contribute to gastrointestinal issues.
- Regular veterinary check-ups: Schedule routine veterinary check-ups to monitor your pet's overall health and detect any early signs of other conditions.
Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance on preventing gastritis in your pet. They can provide tailored recommendations based on your pet's specific needs and medical history.
Please note that the information provided here is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If you suspect your pet has gastritis or any other health concerns, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.