Chronic gastritis in dogs

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 20.11.2021

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In dogs that suffer from chronic gastritis, vomiting occurs periodically throughout the days or weeks. Such dogs look sluggish, have dull hair and lose weight. Vomit often contains foreign substances and foods eaten the day before.

A common cause of chronic gastritis is a food allergy. Other reasons may be: constant eating of grass; repeated consumption of medicines, chemicals or toxins; swallowing of cellulose, plastic, paper and rubber items. Hair loss occurs more intensively in the spring and is swallowed by the dog when licking or pulling out the coat. Hair and other foreign substances can be combined in a dense mass, called bezoar. Bezoars can grow to such a size that they allow them to leave the stomach. It should be noted that in many cases the cause of chronic vomiting remains unknown.

Hypertrophic gastropathy is a thickening of the mucous membrane of the lower part of the stomach, which can lead to blockage of the stomach and food delay. Vomiting can occur after three or four hours after eating. Hypertrophic gastropathy occurs more often in dogs of small breeds in middle age. In brachycephalic breeds of dogs, such as bulldogs and Boston bull terriers, it can also occur as a congenital problem called pyloric stenosis. In older dogs, the cause of this disease is unknown, but in some dogs it may be associated with the release of histamine from mastocytosis tumors.

Chronic atrophic gastritis leads to thinning of the stomach wall. Most often it occurs in Norwegian Laika and can develop due to problems with the immune system.

Eosinophilic gastritis is a condition characterized by the accumulation of eosinophils (one of the types of leukocytes) in the mucous membrane of the stomach simultaneously with the thickening and scarring of its wall. The cause of this condition is unknown, but there are suggestions of involvement in the process of food allergies or parasites. Eosinophilic gastritis more often than other types of gastritis is associated with ulcers and bleeding.

Ulcers of the stomach and duodenum can also lead to sporadic vomiting. After all, if there is no obvious explanation for episodes of vomiting, the dog may suffer from systemic diseases such as hepatic or renal failure, which can be diagnosed on the basis of blood test results.

Treatment: dogs with chronic vomiting should be examined by a veterinarian. The fastest way to diagnose chronic gastritis is gastroscopy with a biopsy of the stomach wall.

Treatment includes switching to a sparing diet with a high carbohydrate content, for example, you can feed your dog with boiled rice and pressed cottage cheese. Try to feed the dog often, in small portions, to avoid large portions. As the dog recovers, gradually introduce high-quality dog food into the diet or consult a veterinarian-nutritiologist about a balanced diet, the dishes of which you can prepare yourself.

In the case of hypertrophic gastropathy, histamine blockers, such as cimetidine, famotidine and ranitidine, can help. Although the use of these drugs in dogs was not allowed, they can be used under the supervision of your pediatrician.

Eosinophilic gastritis responds well to corticosteroid treatment, but some dogs need other immunosuppressive drugs and a hypoallergenic diet prescribed by your veterinarian. Gastritis associated with gastric blockage is treated as described with regard to gastric and duodenal ulcers.

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