Gastritis in dogs and cats is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. The term gastric refers to the stomach, and –itis indicates inflammation. This condition is very common in both animals, and is linked to numerous causes.
Gastritis can be acute (sudden), or chronic (slow to develop). Because gastritis is so common, it affects dogs and cats off all ages, and because it can be very painful, veterinary treatment may be necessary.
There are many possible causes of gastritis, typically involving the ingestion of nonedible, or highly irritating products or items. However, gastritis may be caused by reactions to medications or foods. There are several disorders, such as kidney failure, liver failure, or intestinal parasites, which can cause the stomach lining to inflame and result in gastritis. Sometimes the animal may be suffering from a much more serious problem including gastrointestinal lymphoma (stomach cancer), or it can be a mild irritation such as stress. Because there are so many possible causes of gastritis, be sure to take your dog or cat to the veterinarian for testing if the symptoms persist.
The most common symptom of gastritis is vomiting. Additionally, stomach pain indicated by debilitation--your pet moving as though they are in pain, or not much at all--is a sign of gastritis. Other symptoms are dehydration, diarrhea, excessive salivation, blood in the stool or vomit, loss of appetite, weakness, weight loss, and a dull coat. Since gastritis is often a symptom of another problem, there may be additional symptoms not associated with gastritis, but may be associated with the root cause.