Abdominal Issues In Dogs
June 21, 2021 | 3 min read
Updated June 21, 2021
By Sarah Milton
Published: June 21, 2021
Updated: September 6, 2022
Summary: In this blog, we learn all about the different abdominal issues in dogs, dog stomach problem symptoms, and the signs of stomach issues in pups that you should look out for…
What Are The Signs Of Stomach Issues In Dogs?
A painful abdomen can be caused by so many things and thus create abdominal issues in dogs. Unfortunately, our doggies can’t communicate to us when they’re experiencing pain in their abdomen or stomach, so it’s important we, as responsible pet parents, know what to look for. And, if we spot any tell-tale signs that something’s up with their abdomen, it’s important we act with haste and get them properly assessed by their vet quickly - as some abdomen issues can be caused by serious underlying problems…
What Are The Signs Of Abdominal Pain In Dogs?
Abdominal pain almost always occurs as a symptom of another problem, so several signs of abdominal pain can present themselves at once. Dog stomach problems symptoms could include:
- Chronic diarrhea (may also be a bloody or mucus-covered stool)
- Serious difficulty getting up from laying down
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen/Tense/Hard abdomen
- Weight loss
- Inability to get comfortable
- Abnormal breathing
- Strange posture (They may hunch themselves or adopt a “downward-facing dog position” - forelimbs and chest on the floor, hind end raised)
- Reluctance to be touched/picked up
- Gastric Torsion/Bloating
In the case of bloating, it is essential you get your dog to a vet as a matter of emergency. Bloating occurs when air has become trapped in your dog’s stomach, and isn’t able to be relieved by farting or burping. If there’s enough air trapped, the stomach can end up twisting which can kill a dog as the stomach expansion can cause internal bleeding, stomach rupture, and put the body into shock - notably, this is more of a risk in dogs with deep chests.
Time is critical. Signs of bloating include anxious, agitated behavior (attempting to be sick or pacing), difficulty breathing, dribbling, and/or a distended (large) stomach.
What Are The Causes Of Abdominal Issues In Dogs?
There could be so many potential reasons why your dog may be experiencing abdominal pain. They can include:
- Trapped wind
- Parasitic infection (for example, worms)
- Eating something they shouldn’t
- Parvovirus (more common in puppies)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Pancreatitis (Usually caused by a high-fat diet)
- Intestinal blockages
- Addison’s disease
- Kidney/Liver Problems
- A diabetes complication
- A urinary tract infection (UTI)
- A gastrointestinal/stomach ulcer
And more! Because of the vast array of reasons your pup may be experiencing abdominal discomfort, it is always wise to get the issue assessed by their vet and to obtain their professional advice and treatment.
However, if your dog just seems to have a sensitive stomach, there are things you can do to help and support their general digestive health.
How Can I Support My Dog With Abdominal Issues?
Firstly, move your dog onto a bland diet like plain, lean chicken, and rice. This is usually advised when a dog is experiencing a bout of diarrhea or sickness, but many dog owners choose to adopt this blander diet for their dog every day - particularly if they seem to have a sensitive stomach generally. To make sure they’re getting the fiber they need, you can treat them with (or add to their bowl) small pieces of carrot or cucumber.
Secondly, you should always make sure fresh, clean water in a sanitized bowl is available and accessible to them at all times so they can manage their hydration levels.Thirdly, be mindful you’re not over-exercising your pooch or under-exercising them as this can stress out their stomach. If you’re unsure how much exercise your dog needs, check out our handy guide below, or consult with your vet.
Always check with your vet regarding any abdominal issue and seek advice on any sign of a stomach problem. It’s essential for your dog’s wellbeing and happiness that you understand what the underlying cause of their discomfort is so you can help relieve them of it ASAP.
Author Stott, Darlene " Painful Abdomen In Dogs" Wag Walking, Mar 03. 2021 https://wagwalking.com/condition/painful-abdomen
"Digestive Issues in Dogs: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment" Bond Vet, Mar 14. 2021 https://bondvet.com/b/digestive-issues-in-dogs-causes-prevention-and-treatment
Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!