Stomach and Intestinal Ulcers in Dogs

ulcer in intestine

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Gastroduodenal ulcer disease refers to ulcers discovered in the dog’s stomach and/or the first area of the small intestine, also referred to as the duodenum.

These uclers frequently develop since the mucosal lining of the stomach or digestive lumen (which can be found in direct contact with food and is accountable for nutrient absorption) is exposed. There are different factors that may alter these protective mechanisms.

Although the formation of these ulcers are less typical in cats, they do happen.

Symptoms and Types of Gastroduodenal Ulcer in Dogs

There are numerous symptoms that can establish as a result of gastroduodenal ulcers, of which some might stay undetected up until the dog’s condition becomes severe. For example, dogs are less likely to reveal medical proof of gastrointestinal bleeding.

The following are a few of the more common symptoms:

  • Black tarry stool due to existence of absorbed blood (melena).
  • Abdominal pain (animal might stand in hoping position).
  • Quick heart rate
  • Vomiting (frequently seen).
  • Weak point
  • Blood in vomiting (hematemesis).
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Anemia
  • Weight reduction

Causes of Stomach and Intestinal Ulcers

Accidental poisoning is one of the leading causes of gastroduodenal ulcer disease. This can be in the form of plant intoxication (e.g., mushrooms, castor beans, sago palm), pesticide or rodenticide toxicity, chemical poisoning (e.g., ethylene glycol, phenol), or heavy metal poisoning (e.g., zinc, iron, arsenic).


Gastroduodenal ulcers are common in German Shepherds greatly medicated on ibuprofen. Rottweilers also have actually increased incidence of stomach perforation and ulcers.

Other typical causes of gastroduodenal ulcer disease consist of:.

  • Pythiosis (a condition cause by water mold).
  • Unfavorable drug reaction.
  • Kidney or liver failure.
  • Helicobacter infection.
  • Sustained strenuous exercise.
  • Severe trauma (e.g., shock, head injury, burns).
  • Intestinal parasites.
  • Infectious diseases (bacterial, fungal, viral).
  • Intestinal blockages (i.e., tumors).
  • Hyperacidity of the stomach.


Your dog’s veterinarian will take comprehensive history and after carrying out the physical examination, routine lab screening will be carried out. Complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis can help in diagnosing this problem along with complications, if any.

Blood testing, for example, might reveal anemia in patients with bleeding, whereas in cases with chronic blood loss, iron deficiency anemia may be seen. In some dogs, reduced number of platelets (cells important for blood clot) and white blood cells may be seen. Fecal material is also analyzed to see if blood exists in it or not, while abdominal X-rays and ultrasounds help in diagnosing any foreign body, mass in the stomach or duodenum.

See also: Why is dog’s stomach gurgling.

In case of tumor, thoracic X-ray might help in discovering the transition of tumor to lungs. Endoscopy, a procedure in which a vet will look directly into the stomach and duodenum utilizing an endoscope, is the approach of choice for conclusive diagnosis. In addition, endoscopy permits the veterinarian to eliminate any foreign bodies and take a biopsy. A stiff or versatile tube will likewise be inserted in the stomach and duodenum in order to take photos.



The ultimate goal is to treat the underlying cause while alleviating the dog’s symptoms. However, gastroduodenal ulcers are in some cases associated hemorrhaging, shock, or severe abdominal infection. In these cases, extensive care is needed until the dog ends up being stable. Fluids are provided to keep body fluid level and in some patients blood transfusion might be required to conquer deficit bring on by extensive bleeding.

If bleeding continues, your vet might instill ice water in the dog’s stomach for 20 to 30 minutes to help in stopping bleeding. Surgery may be likewise be needed in dogs with perforated stomach or digestive ulcers, or if tumors exist.

Living and Management

The complete resolution of issue relies on the underlying cause and level of problem. Nevertheless, it is best if you do not enable the dog to move much instantly after surgery. Regular monitoring, as well as repeat follow-up evaluations, are needed to confirm the progress of the dog.

In cases of severe vomiting, oral feeding needs to be discontinued till the dog recovers. A low fat diet in small amounts will then be presented slowly.

Never ever use non-prescription pain relieving medicines in your dog without authorization of vet as some of these painkiller can seriously damage the stomach wall and more exacerbate ulcers.


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References and used sources

Reyus Mammadli

Having engineering and medical education, in recent years actively engaged in the study of the development, reproduction of domestic animals. Special attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of diseases of Pets.

Author of several hundred articles about health and healthy lifestyle. In recent years, he has been treating Pets and birds together with specialists. In their articles on shares both his knowledge and experience, and, based on reliable sources, methods of primary diagnosis of diseases in Pets and General recommendations for their possible treatment.

Of course, the articles are only informative. In each case, diagnosis and treatment should be carried out and prescribed by a qualified veterinarian.

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