The most common cause of acute gastritis in dogs and cats is dietary indiscretion (eating something that does not agree with them such as getting into the garbage, or is foreign to the stomach such as sticks, stones, balls and other foreign objects). In many cases of pancreatitis the cause is unknown, but eating foods that are unusual (such as human food or garbage) or high in fat is known to increase the risk for acute pancreatitis. Middle aged, overweight dogs and cats are also more prone to pancreatitis.
The most common sign for gastritis is vomiting and/or loss of appetite. Signs for acute pancreatitis are vomiting, dehydration, a painful abdomen, lethargy, fever and diarrhea. Sometimes you may see blood in the stool. Dogs with chronic pancreatitis usually have a poor appetite and lethargy. If any of these symptoms appear please call your veterinarian immediately.
Other common causes of vomiting and diarrhea include
*A change in routine or schedule that causes stress.
*Sudden changes in diet. If changing your brand of dog or cat food, do so gradually over at least 5-7 days to prevent intestinal upsets. Introduce larger and larger amounts of the new food mixed in with the old food, until just the new food is being fed.
*Treats, especially table scraps
*Intestinal parasites
*Food Allergies
*Irritable bowel syndrome
*Systemic disease such as liver, thyroid, or kidney disease
*Viral infections
What should I do?
First look at your pet. Dogs and cats that are eating, drinking, and have a fairly normal activity level can be monitored at home. If your dog or cat is acting lethargic, shows abdominal pain, is feverish, dehydrated, has vomiting or diarrhea that lasts for more than 24 hours, or is passing blood in the stool, they should be seen by a veterinarian. Vomiting and diarrhea can be severely debilitating as the body loses valuable nutrients and may become toxic. A serious concern is dehydration, which can occur rapidly, especially in small animals.
Treatment Options:
The stomach usually needs a period of rest to allow the inflammation to settle down. Withholding solid foods for a period of 24 hours allows the stomach to rest. Medication (given either by injection or by mouth) are often prescribed to help stop vomiting and control nausea. While off solid foods, most animals still tolerate liquids. It is important that adequate hydration be maintained, and if your pet can not tolerate liquids your veterinarian may recommend giving subcutaneous (injected under the skin) fluids or IV fluids. After a period of stomach rest, food is gradually reintroduced.
It is best to start with a low-fat relatively bland diet such as: boiled chicken and rice, boiled potato or a veterinary prescription diet such as I/D. Your veterinarian may also recommend probiotics such as Forti-Flora or yogurt with live cultures.
Depending on your vet's recommendation, begin feeding small amounts of a bland, easy to digest diet as follows:
*2/3 ratio cooked white or brown rice. Boiled or baked potato may be substituted for the rice.
*1/3 ratio cooked chicken or turkey meat (no grease, no skin).
*1-3 Tablespoons of yogurt or Forti-flora (purchased from your veterinarian) can be added to the bland diet.
Keep feeding this diet for a couple of days after the vomiting and diarrhea resolves and then slowly (over 5-7 days) add in their regular diet. Do not give any treats during this time. Follow the treatment protocol outlined by your veterinarian. Animals with more severe dehydration or loss of electrolytes such as sodium or potassium may need to be hospitalized to allow administration of intravenous( IV) fluids. Insertion of an IV line allows anti vomiting and anti nausea drugs to be giving by injection, which helps if the patient cannot keep oral medications down.
Follow up:
If all signs resolve within 24-48 hours(most cases of acute gastritis), there may be no need for specific follow-up. If vomiting has not stopped completely within 2-3 days, if your pet becomes increasingly lethargic and has no appetite, if vomiting becomes more frequent and no liquids are kept down, or if blood is seen in the vomited material, contact you veterinarian for further assistance.