Can Dogs Get Ulcers?

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Anyone who's had an ulcer knows that they are no joke! They can cause all kinds of tummy troubles including bloating and diarrhea. Not only are stomach ulcers super painful, but they can lead to some pretty serious health issue like internal bleeding or cancer. The stomach lining reduces enough that the acids actually start to eat away at the organ. Many humans suffer from these open wounds in the stomach or intestines, but have you ever wondered if your canine companion could suffer the same fate? Can dogs get ulcers too?

Can Dogs Get Ulcers?

YES!

Dogs definitely can get stomach ulcers. If something throws the acidity levels in a dog’s stomach off, the juices will eat away at the tissue just like in humans. Ulcers in dogs are usually caused by an underlying health problem, so if you think your pup has one, go see a vet pronto! Keep track of even mild cases of tummy upset, because many pooches will put on a brave face when dealing with the pain of an ulcer. Some ulcers aren't even found until the dog is getting a check-up for other, more obvious issues.

Does My Dog Have an Ulcer?

The best way to figure out if your doggo has an ulcer is to learn about all of the things that can cause these painful lesions. Signs of an ulcer can be hard to gauge, because they mimic lots of other stomach problems.


Symptoms

If your pup has an ulcer, you may notice that he doesn't seem like his old self. Some dogs become very weak and start to lose weight. Others will have a swollen abdomen, and may even throw up blood.


Causes
Lots of different things can mess up a dog's stomach acidity, leading to an ulcer. Cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), overuse of medication, or even too much exercise could be the culprit behind the pain.


Diagnosis
If ulcers are a suspect in the case of the unknown tummy troubles, your vet is going to want to fully examine your poochie. Blood tests and x-rays can reveal a lot about the problem. The best way to figure what you're dealing with is to have a vet insert a little camera through your dog's digestive system to see what's happening from the inside out.

 

Care to learn more about ulcers and everything that causes them? Check out Stomach and Intestinal Ulcers in Dogs .

How Do I Treat My Dog's Ulcer?

Once you know for sure that your pup has an ulcer, it's important to get him some relief! The sooner you act, the better, as these nasty sores can cause bigger health threats to form.


At first, your vet will be focused on treating the painful symptoms and reducing further damage to the stomach. Once your dog is stable, the real treatment can begin to help fix the issue that is causing the ulcers.

Make sure your pup takes it easy when healing from an ulcer. Stress is extra bad for these bleeding wounds and should be avoided if at all possible. The road to recovery will vary in length depending on what caused the ulcers in the first place. Some heal quickly, while others may require an entire regime to eradicate.

 

Want to hear stories from other owners dealing with ulcers in their dog? Head over to Stomach and Intestinal Ulcers in Dogs .

How are Ulcers Similar in Humans and Dogs?

The way an ulcer forms is almost the same in pooches and people. It all has to do with the way our stomach acids are kept inside the organ. All similarities include:

  • Pain in the stomach

  • Bloody vomiting

  • Anemia from blood loss

  • Aversion to food because of painful digestion

How are Ulcers Different in Humans and Dogs?

Canines and their owners are exposed to different things as they go through life. This makes illnesses affect them in ways that are not the same. Some notable differences are:

  • Humans generally only get ulcers from a bacterial infection or the overuse of NSAIDs

  • Dogs tend to drool A LOT when suffering from an ulcer, while their human counterparts can usually keep their spit in their mouths

  • Because they are curious when it comes to eating things, it's more likely that a pup will get an ulcer from eating something poisonous.

Case Study

You do really have to watch when giving your dog anti-inflammatories. One pupper was being given medication to relieve swelling after a minor operation. Her owners noticed that she was starting to get more and more ill, and they even saw blood in her diarrhea. They went back to the vet immediately and had their girl switched to a different kind of pain relief so that the ulcer would not get any worse.