Stomach Ulcers in Dogs

In dogs, stomach ulcers are mostly caused by anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs. This page looks at the symptoms, causes, diagnosis and conventional treatment of canine ulcers. It also recommends some natural remedies such as herbs and supplements that are effective in treating dog stomach ulcers.

Dogs don't get stomach ulcers from the falling stock market or work-related stress, but that doesn't mean that dogs do not suffer from ulcers. So what are the common causes of canine ulcers? Let's take a look...

Information on Ulcers in Dogs

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Possible Causes of Stomach Ulcers in Dogs

Pug The most common causes include:

  • Conventional anti-inflammatory medications prescribed for skin conditions, arthritis, or other chronic health problems, such as NSAIDs, corticosteroid, can cause canine ulcers.
  • Conventional medicines for pain relief, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, inhibit a hormonelike substance that acts as a protection for the stomach lining. Prolonged use of these medications, therefore, can cause stomach ulcers in dogs, sometimes the condition can be serious. (Although buffered aspirin is said to be gentler and easier on the stomach, it can still lead to dog ulcers.)
  • Another cause of canine stomach ulcers is mast cell cancer in the skin. Cancerous mast cells release histamine which leads to stomach ulcers.

Other less common causes include:

Symptoms of Dogs Having Ulcers

Dogs with stomach ulcers usually show the following symptoms:

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Diagnosis and Treatment

Physical examination and tests may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Feces analysis
  • Ultrasonography
  • Endoscopic examination

Conventional treatment include diet change and antacid medications to coat the stomach lining.

Depending on the conditions of the dog, medicines for diarrhea and vomiting may also be described.

Preventing and Controlling Ulcers in Dogs

As always, prevention is better than cure. If your dog has a weak digestive system, and is showing signs of ulcers, such as vomiting and diarrhea, take action quickly. Use the remedies recommended above to nip the problem in the bud. Also, try doing the following:

Feed the Dog More Frequently

Just like people with ulcers, dogs with ulcers also benefit from having more frequent meals in smaller portions. If your dog is fed only once or twice a day, stomach acids have more chance to irritate the dog's stomach. Divide the food into smaller portions and feed your dog three or four times a day instead.

Reduce Stress

Stress in itself may not cause ulcers in dogs, but if a dog with ulcers is under a lot of stress, his condition may get worse. It is therefore advisable to provide a calm, loving, and stress-free environment for your dog.

Stop all Ulcer-Causing Medications

As mentioned above, the most common cause of ulcers in dogs is conventional anti-inflammatory medications and pain-killers. If your dog is suffering from arthritis or allergies, and is in need of long-term medication for allergies or pain relief, try using some gentle natural pain relief or natural remedies for allergies.

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Natural Remedies for Stomach Ulcers in Dogs

To effectively to deal with canine ulcers, herbs and other supplements can be used to:

  • treat the ulcers and accompanying symptoms in a more gentle way;
  • improve and strengthen the immune system of the dog.

Herbs

Herbs that can soothe, coat, and help rebuild the stomach lining are effective in treating ulcers:

  • Licorice root: This herb stimulates cell growth, helps protect the stomach's walls, and alleviates ulcers. (Dosage: 100 to 300 mg depending on the size of the dog, up to one week.)
  • Slippery elm: This herb soothes, lubricates and protects the stomach walls and digestive tract, and is ideal for treating ulcers. (Dosage: 1/2 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon depending on the size of the dog, 3 times a day. Use the powdered form of the herb and mix it with warm water until it forms a paste.)
  • Aloe vera: The juice of this herb prevents nausea and help ulcers heal faster. (Dosage: one to two teaspoons of the juice once a day can be added to the dog's drinking water.)
  • Alfalfa: This herb is anti-inflammatory, and supports the rebuilding of mucous membranes. Alfalfa is known to balance hyperacidity in the digestive tract and has been traditionally used for digestive ailments.
  • Astragalus/Echinacea: These herbs are immune-booster and can strengthen the overall health of a dog.

Supplements

  • L-glutamine: This is an amino acid that is effective for protecting and healing mucous membranes, such as the lining of the stomach. It also prevents the formation of stomach ulcers.
  • Quercetin Chalcone: Quercetin is a bioflavonoid and it has antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Quercetin Chalcone, a form of Quercetin, can inhibit bacterial growth in the stomach and may be helpful in preventing stomach ulcers.

Corgi Puppy

Try These Remedies:


This formula contains a lot of good herbs such as licorice root, slippery elm, and alfalfa, as well as supplements such as L-glutamine, Quercetin Chalcone, probiotics, and enzymes. It is excellent for dogs (and cats) suffering from chronic or recurrent GI problems, such as poor digestion, stomach ulcers, food allergies, or IBDs.

This formula includes immune-boosting herbs such as astragalus, cat's claw, and mushrooms, as well as vitamins and other natural supplements that can strengthen the immune system of a dog.

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