Is your furry friend withdrawn and looking beaten? Your dog may have a stomach ache. Here we explain how to recognize stomach ache in dogs and how you can help your companion.
What are the symptoms?
There are many signs of abdominal pain in dogs. Since your dog cannot talk, you need to be able to recognize the symptoms. Abdominal pain usually goes away after a few days with immediate treatment. In rare cases, however, abdominal pain can also be life-threatening.
Note: The information and assistance in this article does not replace professional diagnosis and treatment by a veterinarian or animal naturopath.
Symptoms of abdominal pain in dogs
- Curved posture
- Hard stomach – noticeable on palpation
- Dog squeaks in pain
- Eats a lot of grass outside
- Drools and licks himself
- Stretches frequently
- Sensitive to touch
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhoea (Caution: see a vet immediately when there is light or dark blood in the stool)
If your dog's abdominal pain lasts longer than two days, we strongly recommend that you visit your vet’s office.
What Causes Stomach Pain?
There are many causes of abdominal pain in dogs. However, the background often remains hidden, so that you don’t even know what caused the upset stomach and intestines.
Dogs are masters at hiding pain. They cannot identify where this feeling is coming from and often withdraw a little.
Infection, wrong food or food intolerance are among the most common causes of stomach ache in dogs. Dogs that are left unsupervised while out for a walk may have eaten something wrong on their foray that has literally upset their stomachs.
Stomach pain in dogs can also be caused by eating and sniffing too quickly. Food that hasn’t been chewed properly swells up in the stomach. This can lead to stomach sluggishness and is particularly challenging for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Treating abdominal pain
If your friend suffers from abdominal pain, many dog owners resort to synthetic medication to quickly relieve their pet's suffering. While this is of course understandable, it can also prolong the symptoms: chemical medications additionally irritate and weaken the dog's gastrointestinal mucosa. It is not uncommon for the abdominal pain to return a few days later.
Our animal naturopaths recommend feeding your dog a bland diet of rice or potatoes and chicken if they have a stomach ache. Blanched carrots or fennel can also be added. In addition, you should support your dog with natural products:
Slippery Elm Bark to calm the stomach
Elm bark is ideal as a natural aid for gastro-intestinal issues. You cook the powder into syrup, which is rich in bitter substances and mucilage. Elm bark is a natural and gentle aid, especially for vomiting and diarrhoea.
Elm bark has a calming and soothing effect on the stomach. The syrupy mucus forms an additional layer on the irritated stomach wall. Since this layer of mucus can potentially reduce the absorption of nutrients, the syrup should be administered at least 30 minutes before eating and at room temperature.
Watch our handy video clip on how to prepare the syrup.
Supporting the structure of the intestinal wall
A prebiotic is the ideal support for building up the intestinal flora. Prebiotics are high in fiber and inulin, which acts as food for “good” gut bacteria. This preserves the bacterial flora in the digestive system and supports the mucous membranes.
Inulin can also have a supporting effect on inflammation in the intestinal mucosa and contribute to regeneration. You can feed the gentle prebiotic for up to four weeks and thus support your dog's digestive tract over a longer period of time.
Long-term support for the gastrointestinal tract
To support your dog’s or cat's gastrointestinal activity, our vets recommend Natural Moor Mud, a pure natural product sourced from German moors. The high content of humic acids can support your dog's or cat's digestion and immune system. It can also stimulate appetite and regulate the consistency of faeces.