Acute gastritis is an irritation of
the lining of the stomach that comes on suddenly. The principal sign is severe
and continuous vomiting.
Keep in mind that persistent vomiting is also associated with life-threatening
diseases such as
intestinal obstruction and peritonitis. Seek professional consultation in
all cases where the cause of persistent vomiting is not known.
Common stomach irritants include spoiled food and garbage, stools, grass,
plastic wrappings, hair, and bones. Certain drugs (notably aspirin,
virtually all NSAIDs, cortisone,
butazolidine, and some antibiotics)
produce gastric irritation. Common poisons that may cause vomiting are
antifreeze, fertilizers, plant toxins, and crabgrass killers. If poisoning
is suspected, contact your veterinarian.
The leading cause of heart failure in dogs
is chronic valvular disease. Next
is dilated cardiomyopathy, followed by congenital heart disease and heartworms. More infrequent
causes include bacterial endocarditis and myocarditis. Coronary artery disease
is rare in dogs. It occurs only in dogs with severe hypothyroidism accompanied by
extremely high serum cholesterol levels.
A dog with acute gastritis
vomits shortly after eating. Later the dog appears lethargic and sits with his
head hanging over the water bowl. The dog’s temperature remains normal unless
he is suffering from acute
infectious enteritis, a disease that also causes diarrhea.
Treatment: Acute nonspecific gastritis is self-limiting and usually resolves
in 24 to 48 hours if the stomach is rested and protected from excess acid.
Dogs with chronic gastritis vomit from time to time over a period of days or
weeks. These dogs appear lethargic, have a dull hair coat, and lose weight. The
vomitus sometimes contains foreign material and food eaten the day before.
A common cause of chronic gastritis is a food allergy. Other causes are persistent grass eating;
repeated consumption of drugs, chemicals, or toxins; and ingesting cellulose,
plastic, paper, or rubber products. Also consider the possibility of hairballs.
Hair is shed more heavily in the springtime and is swallowed as the dog licks
and pulls it out. Hair and other foreign materials can be incorporated into a
hard mass called a bezoar. Bezoars may grow to a size that makes it impossible
for them to pass out of the stomach.Note that in many cases of chronic vomiting
the cause is not known.
Hypertrophic gastropathyis a thickening of the mucous membranes of the lower
half of the stomach, which can lead to gastric obstruction and food retention.
Vomiting occurs three to four hours after eating. Hypertrophic gastropathy
occurs most often in middle-aged dogs of the small breeds. It may also be seen
as a congenital problem called pyloric stenosis in brachycephalic breeds such
as Bulldogs and Boston Terriers. The cause is unknown in older dogs, but may be
related to histamine release from mast cell tumors in some dogs.
Chronic atrophic gastritis involves a thinning of the stomach wall. This is
primarily seen in Norwegian Buhunds, and may develop from an immune
Eosinophilic gastritis is a chronic condition characterized by the
accumulation of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) in the mucous lining
of the stomach, along with thickening and scarring of the stomach wall. The
cause is unknown, although a food allergy or parasites have
been proposed. Eosinophilic gastritis is more likely than other types of
gastritis to be associated with ulcers and