Ulcers (Stomach)

Stomach ulcers, often called gastric ulcers or peptic ulcers, are sores in the tissue that lines the inside of the stomach. Gastric ulceration results from certain disease processes and the use of certain drugs. Because most cases are never diagnosed, the exact incidence of this pet problem is unknown. The condition is, however, commonly reported in dogs and uncommonly reported in cats.

Ulcers (Stomach)

How it Affects your pet

The lining of the stomach has several protective mechanisms to prevent damage from strong stomach acids. Certain drugs or disease processes can damage this protective barrier and leave the stomach lining vulnerable. When this occurs, stomach acid quickly damages the unprotected lining. This results in inflammation, cell death, bleeding and increased acid secretion. All of these processes result in further damage. The most common causes of this cat and dog health condition are the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids, liver disease and various cancers. Other pet health conditions associated with the formation of gastric ulcers include kidney disease, Cushing's syndrome, foreign bodies, accidental poisoning, strenuous exercise, inflammatory bowel disease, shock and various infectious diseases.

Common symptoms

In mild cases, the symptoms of gastric ulcers are often easy to miss, so many cases go undiagnosed. Potential symptoms of this pet health problem include the following: Tarry stools; Bloody stools; Vomiting; Vomiting blood; Decreased appetite; Weight loss; Pain in the abdomen.

Treatments

Treatment for this pet health condition is aimed at stopping the cycle of damage by finding and addressing the underlying cause of the problem. In addition, most pets with ulcers benefit from medications to reduce stomach acid production and protect the lining of the stomach. In the majority of cases, affected pets need to receive this protective therapy for two months or more while the stomach lining heals. In severe cases, affected pets may also need fluid therapy and other supportive measures to treat blood loss or metabolic derangements caused by stomach ulcers. Veterinarians commonly prescribe gastroprotectants and acid inhibitors to animals at increased risk of developing peptic ulcer disease. These at-risk patients include hospitalized animals, animals under extreme stress, pets receiving steroids or NSAIDs and pets with conditions associated with stomach ulcer formation.

Breeds Affected

Members of all canine and feline breeds can develop gastric ulcers.

Ulcers (Stomach) Affects

  • The lining of the stomach has several protective mechanisms to prevent damage from strong stomach acids. Certain drugs or disease processes can damage this protective barrier and leave the stomach lining vulnerable. When this occurs, stomach acid quickly damages the unprotected lining. This results in inflammation, cell death, bleeding and increased acid secretion. All of these processes result in further damage. The most common causes of this cat and dog health condition are the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids, liver disease and various cancers. Other pet health conditions associated with the formation of gastric ulcers include kidney disease, Cushing's syndrome, foreign bodies, accidental poisoning, strenuous exercise, inflammatory bowel disease, shock and various infectious diseases.

Similar conditions

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