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Gastric Problems in Pets

Dr. Rakesh. M. Shinde

A dog with gastritis will generally vomit, not eat and be lethargic. The temperature is usually elevated above the normal 101.5 degrees. Generally, it is best to withhold food in a dog suffering from gastritis. Withholding food will allow the stomach to rest.


The diseases of our domestic animals, which admit of cure, yield as promptly to homoeopathic medicines as those of man.

The benefits of homoeopathy over other systems of medicine for our pets are many. It cures diseases and not palliate them with the humane nature of its cure.

The dog's stomach is a sac like structure designed to store large volumes of food and begin the digestive process. Once eaten, most food leaves the stomach within twelve hours after entering. The oesophagus carries food to the stomach, where it enters via a valve-like structure called the cardiac sphincter. On the interior surface of the stomach is a series of folds called gastric folds. These folds function to help grind and digest food. The inner stomach lining secretes and aids enzymes to break food down as the initial step in the digestive process. Once the initial stomach digestive process is complete, the partially digested food exits the stomach through the pyloric sphincter area and then enters the duodenum (small intestine).

Gastritis
Gastritis describes an inflammation or infection of the stomach. As in humans, viruses and bacteria can irritate the stomach and cause gastritis. Additionally, the ingestion of spoiled food, garbage etc. can irritate the stomach lining.

Symptoms
A dog with gastritis will generally vomit, not eat and be lethargic. The temperature is usually elevated above the normal 101.5 degrees. If a virus or bacteria is involved, gastritis may eventually progress to the intestines and cause diarrhoea. Infectious canine parovirus is a classic example of a viral infection, which occasionally begins as gastritis.

What are the risks?
Most instances of gastritis are not serious. However, if the vomiting becomes severe or if signs persist for more than twenty-four hours, then medical help should be sought.

Management
Generally, it is best to withhold food in a dog suffering from gastritis. Withholding food will allow the stomach to rest. Bland diets such as chicken and rice can be fed once the stomach has settled down. Rather than allowing the dog to drink a lot at a time, water should be given often and in small amounts.

If vomiting persists, diarrhoea develops or if the body temperature is excessively high, medical advice should be sought after.

Homoeopathic Treatment
There are many homoeopathic remedies that are useful in relieveing gastric problems in animals. Here is a list of a few of them with their indications.

Nux vomica: Nux vomica relieves gastric complaints following overeating of unsuitable foods. Stool is usually hard but diarrhoea may follow overeating. There is abdominal discomfort, flatulence, irritability and sensitivity to noise.

Lycopodium: Lycopodium is given when the belly is bloated and eating a little food always satisfies appetite. Stool appears small and hard and is expelled with difficulty.

Carbo veg: Carbo veg is an excellent remedy for control of gas when there is much offensive flatulence.

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