Gastritis is very common in both dogs and cats of all ages and genders. Younger animals, because of their propensity to ingest indiscriminately, tend to be at higher risk.
Because gastritis can be symptomatic of other serious problems, it is important to pay attention to the symptoms, and determine if it is acute or chronic. The veterinarian will perform tests in order to accurately diagnose the root cause of the gastritis, and treat accordingly. Acute gastritis and chronic gastritis share symptoms; they only differ in the duration.
Acute gastritis is categorized as having symptoms for less than seven days. Anything beyond seven days is considered chronic.
Symptoms of Acute and Chronic Gastritis
Vomiting is the most common symptom of gastritis. Vomiting differs from regurgitation in that it involves abdominal contractions. These contractions can be very painful for the dog or cat, and the vomit may contain yellow foamy bile, red fresh blood, or coffee-ground-like digested blood. If the vomit contains red or digested blood, veterinary intervention is necessary.
Abdominal Pain can range from irritating to severe. Often the animal’s demeanor is what signifies pain, so watch your pet’s movements.
Pytalism is excessive drooling or salivation. This may indicate the animal has ingested toxins.
Diarrhea is usually seen along with vomiting. The animal’s body is trying to expel whatever toxins, bacteria, or foreign bodies, are present. The diarrhea may also involve stomach cramping and is often painful for the animal.
Dehydration is a clinical sign of excessive vomiting or diarrhea, and it is very important to try to keep your animal hydrated. Your veterinarian may insert an IV if your pet will not drink anything to rehydrate.
Weakness goes hand in hand with the dehydration. When an animal is dehydrated, they do not have the proper sustenance to maintain muscle strength.
Lethargy is common with gastritis, because vomiting and diarrhea expel the food and nutrients necessary to metabolize food into energy.
Bloody Stool is often seen with diarrhea, and requires veterinary intervention. Your vet may ask for a sample of the stool when you visit. If you see blood in your pet's stool and vomit both, that may be an indicator of anemia, and you should see your veterinarian right away.
Loss of Appetite or anorexia is caused by the inflamed and upset stomach. While it is typical to withhold food for the first one to two days of acute gastritis, after that your dog or cat needs to be able to replenish the nutrients lost during the fast. If the animal is not eating, nutrients may need to be administered intravenously.
Weight Loss may be a result of the vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia. Consult your veterinarian if the weight loss is severe, and discuss proper nutrition in order to help your dog or cat return to their healthy weight.
A Dull Coat is a visible indicator that your dog or cat is having digestive problems.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.