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What are Gas?

Excessive flatulence in dogs can be a sign that something is wrong with the animal’s digestive system or diet. Dogs generate and pass gas just as humans do, but when observed along with other symptoms may be a cause for concern. Excessive flatulence is more common in overweight and sedentary dogs, but may affect any breed of any age. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a veterinarian if your dog is experiencing this condition.

Flatulence is the production of gas through the process of digestion. It is a normal part of the digestive process, but can sometimes be of concern if occurring suddenly or excessively in otherwise healthy dogs.

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Gas Average Cost

From 12 quotes ranging from $300 - $1,500

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Gas in Dogs

  • Expulsion of gas from the mouth or anus
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Swelling of the stomach and intestines from gas buildup
  • Audible rumbles from the digestive system.
  • Unusually offensive odor
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Causes of Gas in Dogs

  • Indigestion
  • Eating too soon after vigorous exercise
  • Eating too quickly such that air is ingested
  • Sudden change in diet
  • Spicy food
  • Eating milk products
  • Diets with excessive soybeans, peas or beans
  • Diets with excessive fiber
  • Ingestion of spoiled food
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Parasitic infection
  • Intestinal tumors
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Food allergies or intolerances
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Diagnosis of Gas in Dogs

Diet

While some amount of flatulence is normal, excessive or sudden onset may indicate a problem. Symbiotic bacteria in the intestines help digest fiber and other components the dog is not able to fully digest itself. In the process of digestion, these bacteria produce gasses. If the dog is unable to digest enough of these foods before they reach the intestine, excessive gas may be produced. The veterinarian will want a detailed account of the kind of food your pet is eating, the frequency and type of any treats, and whether it has been allowed to roam unsupervised (during which time it may have eaten something without your knowledge). Be sure to mention if your dog eats extremely quickly or “wolfs” its food. If no other symptoms are present, such as vomiting or diarrhea, the veterinarian will suspect a dietary cause.

Gastrointestinal Dysfunction

Another cause of flatulence in dogs is the incomplete absorption of nutrients, again leading to excessive fermentation by bacteria, producing gas. There are many causes of poor absorption of nutrients. Inflammatory Bowel Disease can flatten special protrusions called villi in the small intestine. These structures aid in absorption, and damage to them can produce diarrhea, weight loss and flatulence. Parasitic infection can also irritate the gut, slowing nutrient absorption with similar symptoms. The veterinarian will take flatulence into account along with the other symptoms, and order lab tests to find the problem.

Common lab tests for these symptoms may include examination of a stool sample, culturing the bacteria of the gut, some blood and urine tests, and imaging such as x-rays or ultrasound. These tests will help separate out what is causing your pet’s discomfort.

Occasionally, acute (temporary) gastroenteritis may occur after eating spoiled food or taking ill from a virus. This is usually temporary and resolves itself after a few days. Tell your veterinarian if your dog has recently been ill.

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Treatment of Gas in Dogs

Diet

Diet modification should start with the reduction of peas, soybeans (if any), fiber, and fat. Too little fiber can cause problems as well, so make these changes incrementally and observe your pet carefully. Don’t feed your pet spicy or acidic foods, reduce the number of commercial treats given, and don’t feed immediately after a run. Dogs are lactose intolerant, so avoid giving cheese or milk-based products.

Gastrointestinal

Treatment for gastrointestinal dysfunction will vary according to the type and specific presentation of the illness as determined by the veterinarian. Acute gastroenteritis usually resolves itself, while parasite infections will require medication and decontamination of the animal’s living space. Inflammatory bowel disease has some treatments available, but is not well understood, and is often resistant to the available treatments. Some dogs do well on strict hypoallergenic diets.

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Recovery of Gas in Dogs

Managing your pet’s diet and eating habits can help curb flatulence and digestive upset. Careful observation and modification of when and how you feed your pet is often successful at reducing flatulence. Keep an eye out for any secret snacks your pet may be taking during walks or play in common areas.

In the case of parasites, make sure to diligently give the medication as directed and keep your pet away from sources of re-contamination. Give your dog a clean and dry living space, and avoid contact with poorly cared for or wild animals, their feces, and their living spaces.

IBD can be managed in many cases with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication as well as a hydrolysed diet. Follow your veterinarian’s advice and monitor your dog closely. Flatulence is the least distressing symptom of IBD, so even if it cannot be successfully controlled, it does not pose a serious threat to your dog’s health.

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Gas Average Cost

From 12 quotes ranging from $300 - $1,500

Average Cost

$400

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Gas Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Boston Terrier

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Ten Years

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Unknown severity

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4 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Yelping In Pain And A Small Burp

Could this be a sign that the dog has gas stuck in their stomach or their intestine

Jan. 1, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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4 Recommendations

Hello this could be gas in his stomach or intestines. If he is yelping in pain this could be something more like back pain, neck pain, or GI upset. If he is painful, it would be best to see a vet. They can determine the cause of this pain and give him something to help him feel much better.

Jan. 1, 2021

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Boerboel

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Nine Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Not Eating, Has Gas Inside The Stomach And Has A Lump Near The Back Side

Dog not eating has air in his stomach and a lump on his side near the back legs

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, without being able to see him, it is difficult for me to say what might be going on, but if he is not eating and seems gassy, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to examine him, see what might be causing this, and get treatment for him. I hope that he is okay.

Oct. 7, 2020

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Gas Average Cost

From 12 quotes ranging from $300 - $1,500

Average Cost

$400

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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