What is Stomach Inflammation?
Stomach inflammation, also known as gastritis is defined as inflammation or infection of the stomach lining. This condition occurs frequently in both dogs and cats. It develops as a result of ingesting spoilt food, garbage, plants, hair, foreign objects as well as toxic substances such as household detergents, pesticides or fertilizer.
What Causes Stomach Inflammation?
Food allergies, overeating and certain drugs and medications such as steroids, antibiotics and aspirin may also result in your dog or cat’s stomach being inflamed. In addition parasites, viral, and bacterial infections, as well as systemic diseases such as liver failure, kidney disease, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease and hypoadrenocoricism can cause chronic stomach inflammation.
Diagnosing Stomach Inflammation
Warning signs that may indicate that your pet has stomach inflammation include vomiting, diarrhea, high temperature (above 101.5), weight loss, loss of appetite and black, tarry stools. If your pet is suffering from a mild episode of stomach inflammation, withhold food for at least 24 hours to allow the stomach to rest. Follow with a bland diet of cooked rice with chicken once the stomach has settled.
Provide water to avoid dehydration but only in small amounts. However, if symptoms persist, consult your vet immediately. Your vet will perform a thorough examination, complete blood count, biochemical profile and urinalysis. Other tests include x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, endoscopy and parvo testing on puppies. Treatment involves giving your pet water initially, then a bland diet. Some pets may require fluid and electrolyte therapy, antacids, antiemetics and gastric protectants.
Help for Stomach Inflammation
Natural and holistic treatments provide a much gentler alternative to conventional medications, and thereby maximises health and reduces the imbalances within the body’s system. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are specially formulated for humans and their pets to support overall digestive health.
Herbs such as Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice), Ulmus fulva (slippery elm) and Althaea officinalis (marshmallow) act as an excellent digestive tonic while soothing and supporting the stomach lining, esophagus and entire digestive tract.
More Information on Stomach Inflammation
Tips to prevent stomach inflammation in pets
There are a number of preventative measures that can be taken to avoid stomach inflammation developing in your pet and these include:
- Feed your pet high quality commercial food or a well balanced, all natural diet that contains all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
- Always make sure that your pet has fresh, clean water available
- Ensure that garbage cans, toxic substances and spoilt are inaccessible to pets
- If your pet has symptoms of stomach inflammation, withhold food for 24 hours
- Soothe your pet’s bowel after any diarrhea has been resolved, with plain yogurt which contains natural cultures
- Avoid making any sudden changes to your pet’s diet – introduce new food slowly by mixing with old food so that your pet can become accustomed to it. Introducing a new diet should take place over 3-5 days.
- De-worm your pet regularly
- Visit your vet annually for a thorough examination and to update vaccinations