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What is Reduced Activity of the Stomach?

In a normal digestive system, the food your dog eats is moved through the gastric tract by the contractions of the stomach muscles. When the stomach muscles are not able to contract (stomach paralysis), bacteria and indigestible particles that cause pain, vomiting, and bloating to name a few. Gastroparesis may not be a life-threatening disorder on its own, but the complications from the symptoms it causes can lead to severe and dangerous problems. Some of these issues that may be produced are diabetes, malnutrition, bloat, intestinal blockage, and weight loss. This illness is also painful and stressful for your dog and may lead to depression and anorexia, which can be debilitating and life-threatening for a dog. If you suspect your dog may have gastroparesis, you should call your veterinarian and make an appointment as soon as you can.

Reduced activity of the stomach (gastroparesis), or delayed gastric emptying, is the slowing or temporary paralysis of the stomach muscles. In this condition, the stomach is not able to contract to squeeze food and push it into the small intestine effectively. This causes many uncomfortable conditions for the dog such as vomiting, nausea, and increased pressure from gas. Not only is this an uncomfortable disorder, but it can also lead to serious consequences like diabetes because it delays the time that the food is passed between the stomach to the intestine. This can cause blood glucose (sugar) to go up since the food is not being digested properly in the intestine.

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Reduced Activity of the Stomach Average Cost

From 48 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,100

Symptoms of Reduced Activity of the Stomach in Dogs

The symptoms of gastroparesis can vary greatly depending on your dog’s age, health, and the cause of the disorder. While there are a variety of clinical signs, the most common are:

  • Belching
  • Eating strange items (Pica)
  • Gas
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Stomach spasms
  • Swelling of abdomen
  • Throwing up immediately after meals
  • Weight loss
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Causes of Reduced Activity of the Stomach in Dogs

Gastroparesis can be caused by many different disorders, illnesses, or injuries. It may also be a birth defect or hereditary disorder. These are the most common causes of gastroparesis:

  • Complication from surgery
  • Digestive inflammatory disease
  • Food poisoning
  • Foreign items in stomach
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Metabolism or electrolyte imbalance
  • Side effects of medication (i.e. opiates)
  • Smooth muscle function disorder
  • Stress
  • Tumors or lesions
  • Ulcers
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Diagnosis of Reduced Activity of the Stomach in Dogs

The most important part of your visit to the veterinarian is providing as much information you have about your dog’s illness, such as what symptoms you have seen and how long they have been going on. It is also important for your veterinarian to know your dog’s medical history, vaccination record, recent injuries or illnesses, changes in behavior, and changes in appetite or activity level.

A comprehensive physical exam will be done, which includes your dog’s vital signs (i.e. body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate), weight, abdominal palpation, and detailed inspection of your dog’s eyes, ears, nose, and throat. Once this is completed, some tests will be done such as blood work (i.e. CBC, blood gas panel, and chemistry profile), urinalysis, fecal exam, and abdominal radiographs (x-rays). The veterinarian may also need to get an MRI, CT scans, and ultrasound of the abdomen. An endoscopy may also be done, which is a procedure to give the veterinarian a better look at what is going on in your dog’s digestive system. He will insert a long flexible tube into the stomach through the colon or mouth, using a tiny camera on the end to see the esophagus, upper intestine, colon, and stomach. With this examination the veterinarian will be able to see any kind of swelling, scars, irritation, obstructions, or growths. If the veterinarian finds any growths, he will take a biopsy for testing. Once the veterinarian gets the results of all of these tests he will be more able to prescribe the right kind of therapy, diet, or medication to control the gastroparesis.

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Treatment of Reduced Activity of the Stomach in Dogs

If your dog is severely dehydrated or malnourished your veterinarian will admit him to the hospital for IV fluid therapy, special vitamins, and electrolytes. Once your dog is stable, the veterinarian will decide on a therapy plan to control the gastroparesis episodes. Fortunately, many times the veterinarian is able to prescribe a special diet to control the symptoms depending on what is causing them. A diet low in fat and fiber are almost always suggested with several small feedings per day as well as stomach acid blockers (i.e. ranitidine, famotidine), The veterinarian may also prescribe a stomach coating medication (i.e. sucralfate), and prokinetic medicine (i.e. erythromycin, cisapride,) to calm your dog’s stomach while promoting movement of the muscles.

If your dog has an obstruction or tumor, surgery will be necessary to remove them. While these types of surgeries pose a slight risk like all surgeries do, the risk is higher if your dog does not get the surgery.

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Recovery of Reduced Activity of the Stomach in Dogs

This illness can be frustrating and hard to control, but with the right medication, special diet, and cooperation with your veterinarian, the episodes are usually able to be controlled. If surgery has to be performed, your dog’s chances of recovery are good if the veterinarian is able to remove the blockage without complications. The chances of a tumor are very low, but if your dog’s gastroparesis is caused by a tumor, the veterinarian will remove it and send it to a lab to be tested for malignancy (cancer). If it is not cancerous, your dog’s chances of recovery are good. In the case of a malignant tumor (cancer), after it is removed your dog will need chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Chances of recovery depend on whether the cancer has spread to any other parts of the body and how well your dog responds to treatment.

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Reduced Activity of the Stomach Average Cost

From 48 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,100

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Reduced Activity of the Stomach Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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El Guapo

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Pit bull

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3 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting And Weight Loss

My 3 yr old Pit Bull has been vomiting for a month now. He has loss so much weight. Th vet did x rays blood work and did not find any foreign bodies in his stomach or intestines. Also, they didn’t not find any parasite. They gave them a barium fluid and he passed it successfully but it was very slow going through his system. They prescribed a bland canned food diet and he still threw that up. He continues to throw up a week later or most of the food he has been given. Could it be that he has no strength in her stomach to digest food? I don’t know what to do

April 24, 2018

El Guapo's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

If El Guapo has not had lab work done to assess his systemic function, he needs to have that done. X-rays will show a physical blockage, but systemic disease can cause the signs that you are describing. Since he is not improving, he should have a follow up with his veterinarian. I hope that he is okay.

April 24, 2018

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Cody

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Yorkie

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11 Years

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Bloating,Wieght Loss.

Hi there. My wee dog 'Cody' is 11yrs,she was diagnosed with diabetes a week ago and has started insulin injections twice daily. She has hernia, cataracts in both eyes and her stomach and sides have blown out quite a bit. Real loud gurgling noises also. Vet wants diabetes under control first but her weight has dropped less than haf of wot she was. Always hungry. Very down in mood. Please advise me on what I can do. Many thanks indeed.

Feb. 4, 2018

Cody's Owner


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1 Recommendations

I understand your concerns about Cody and the sudden weight loss; but I agree with your Veterinarian that it is important to first get the diabetes under control before addressing other issues as treatments and dietary changes can knock the diabetes management out of line. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 4, 2018

That's great thank u for ur response.

Feb. 4, 2018

Cody's Owner


I too have an 8 yr old jack Russell diagnosed with diabetes about 5 months ago. He gets 2 insulin injections a day (U-40 10 cc) and eats twice a day, glycobalance wet and dry food mixed. Recently he had been spitting up a few times a day.. not every day tho. Any comments?

March 30, 2018

Janet G.


My dog (3 yr old Pitbull) has been throwing up for a month now. The vet didn’t find any foreign bodies in his stomach or parasites in his stomach. They gave him barium fluid and he passed it very slowly. The prescribed a bland canned diet and he still throws that up. He lost so much weight and his energy levels are very low. What should I do?

April 24, 2018

Mando G.

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Reduced Activity of the Stomach Average Cost

From 48 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,100

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