Customers with plans underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company and administered by C&F Insurance Agency, please click here to access your plan.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pain

Pain in the stomach region, between the chest and groin. Malignant cancers are often the reason for abdominal pain in older dogs. Abdominal pain in younger dogs is often caused by an infection of trauma. It is advised to consult a veterinarian to determine the cause.

How to Recognize

It can be difficult to recognize abdominal pain in dogs and even more difficult to recognize abdominal pain in cats. Animals are stoic creatures by nature. Dogs and cats are predisposed to hiding pain as a survival mechanism. When your dog or cat has pain in the abdomen, there are subtle signs that you may notice. Dogs may walk with a hunched appearance. If you look at a healthy dog, it walks with a straight back. Dogs with pain in the belly tend to walk with a bow or hump to the back. Your dog or cat may resist being picked up, may have audible rumbling in the tummy, or may be lethargic and uninterested in family activity. If you gently palpate your pet's abdomen, it may feel taught and your pet may make noise or wince.

Causes of Abdominal Pain

Causes for abdominal pain in dogs can vary. The most common causes are foreign bodies and pancreatitis. A foreign body is any object that a dog has swallowed that is not food. This can include bones from meat, clothing, toys, remote controls, and other objects found throughout the house. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. This illness can cause extreme pain in the abdomen. Like dogs, causes for abdominal pain in cats can be different from animal to animal. Cats most often experience abdominal pain when they have swallowed something they should not have. String, rodents, and small toys have all been located in the stomachs of cats. Another cause of pain in the abdomen in both animals is a mass or tumor.


To diagnose pain in the abdomen, your veterinarian will palpate your pet's belly and watch for reactions. Pets may wince, huff their breath, cry out, or even attempt to bite. Once pain in the abdomen has been confirmed, your veterinarian may suggest diagnostic testing to find the cause. Testing may include radiographs, ultrasound imagine, and blood tests. Imaging will occur if your veterinarian suspects a foreign body or mass. If your veterinarian suggests diagnostic testing, do your best to make it happen.

Similar Symptoms

Other symptoms can mimic abdominal pain in dogs and cats. Your pet may walk with a hunched appearance because it has hurt its back. Your pet may wince or huff its breath when palpated because it has pain elsewhere in the body. Your dog or cat may become lethargic due to some other medical condition.

Possible Conditions

As has been said, the most common causes of pain in the abdomen are foreign bodies, pancreatitis, and tumors or masses. When it comes to abdominal pain in cats, kidney failure may be a culprit. Pain in the abdomen may be a symptom of simple dietary indiscretion. In other words, your dog or cat may have eaten something it was not used to. New pet foods and unfamiliar human foods can cause digestive upsets that lead to pain in the abdomen.

Treatment for Abdominal Pain

Non-specific pain in the abdomen is often treated with rest and medication. If your veterinarian locates the cause of the pain, the underlying condition will need to be treated. Treatment options may include medication, a special diet, hospitalization, or even surgery. Follow the recommendations of your veterinarian for the treatment of pain in the abdomen.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

Get a Free Pet Insurance Quote