Gastro Problems In Dogs: Signs You Need To Look For

Gastrointestinal problems and other digestive disorders are not limited to us humans: your furry best friend may have a weird belly too! Diseases that affect the stomach are fairly common in dogs, so it’s important to know what symptoms to look out for. These are the main causes of gastroenterological problems in dogs, the signs that your dog is having difficulties, and the best way to approach seeking help.

what are gastrointestinal and digestive disorders?

A digestive disorder is any condition that affects the absorption of food or changes its passage through the digestive tract. Gastrointestinal (gastro) and other digestive disorders affect a dog’s stomach and intestines and are often extremely painful.

Reading: Gastric issues in dogs

Food problems can cause the following:

  • dehydration
  • acid-base and electrolyte imbalance
  • malnutrition

types of gastroenterological problems in dogs

If you suspect your dog has some sort of gastric problem, your vet will run some tests to determine exactly what’s going on. causes can include eating something strange, food allergies or intolerances, bacterial infections, viral infections, or a lack of digestive enzymes.

The most common digestive problems are the following:

acute gastroenteritis

Usually a short-term illness, acute gastroenteritis refers to inflammation or infection of the gastrointestinal tract, with inflammation typically focused on the stomach and intestines.

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this can be caused by:

  • eating spoiled food
  • eating fatty foods intended for human consumption
  • eating toxic or poisonous plants
  • allergies food or food intolerances
  • swallowing foreign objects
  • internal parasites
  • stress


Colitis refers to acute or chronic inflammation of the lining of the colon. This condition is most common in dogs under the age of five and causes your dog to defecate frequently, even if it is painful.

causes include:

  • a parasite known as whipworm
  • tumors or polyps (abnormal growths of tissue)
  • sudden change in diet
  • swallowing foreign objects


dog constipation is the same as human constipation! a constipated dog cannot, or at least finds it extremely difficult, to pass stool.

causes include:

  • dehydration
  • lack of exercise
  • intake of indigestible materials (bones, foreign objects, etc.)
  • too little fiber diet


On the other end of the spectrum, diarrhea is a condition where your dog has frequent, watery stools. this can lead to extreme dehydration and malnutrition if left untreated.

Common causes include:

  • infections
  • internal parasites
  • stress
  • sudden change in diet
  • eating spoiled food losing
  • li>
  • eating rich foods intended for human consumption
  • dysfunction of the body’s organs

exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

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Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a condition in which your dog’s body does not produce enough exocrine pancreatic enzymes, resulting in the inability to properly digest food. this is often characterized by increased appetite, weight loss, and large amounts of loose stools.


Pancreatitis refers to inflammation or infection of the pancreas. the direct cause is not fully known or understood, but possible causes include high-fat foods, other illnesses, or trauma.

small intestine malabsorption

Small intestinal malabsorption refers to inflammation of the small intestine. this impairs nutrient absorption, causes loss of appetite, and can lead to persistent diarrhea and extreme weight loss.

signs that your dog has a gastrointestinal problem

Now that we’ve gone over the possible causes of gastrointestinal problems in your dog, let’s look at how you can tell if your dog has stomach problems.

Just as scratching is the clearest sign your dog has fleas, the most common signs of any digestive disorder are diarrhea and loose stools. but you may also notice any combination of the following:

  • vomiting
  • regurgitation
  • drastic change in appetite
  • flatulence
  • general weakness
  • constipation
  • blood or mucus in stool
  • weight loss

combat common gastroenterological problems with everyone aboard the animal hospital

By now, you should have a good idea of ​​what gastrointestinal problems in dogs look like. If you have any questions or suspect your dog has a digestive problem, make an appointment with us today! We can’t wait for you and your pet to join our family.

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