Gastroesophageal Reflux in Dogs
aka "Acid Reflux" or "GERD" in Dogs
Acid reflux in dogs or GERD is a condition characterized by the uncontrollable reverse flow of gastric or intestinal fluids into the tube connecting the throat and the stomach (esophagus). This condition is somewhat common in dogs, of any age, though incidence in puppies happens more frequently.
The reflux of gastric acid, other components of the gastric juices can cause damage to the protective mucus lining the esophagus. The result in dogs is an inflamed condition and a very uncomfortable dog.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux:
- Regurgitating of food (spitting up)
- Evidence of pain (especially when swallowing)
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Recommendations for Acid Reflux in Dogs
Treating acid reflux in dogs with use of supplements is not always recommended. The jury is still out on if and when supplements can be used for canine acid reflux. Some evidence shows that enzymes work, while other information suggests that enzymes may slightly worsen the condition in some animals. Probiotics are always a good idea for dogs with GERD.
Provide 3 or 4 small meals instead of 1 or 2 larger meals, and minimize fiber from the diet. Best case scenario is a grain-free diet, like FullLife™.
In acute care, it would be wise to implement the protocol for diet and exercise first. If that approach is unsuccessful, then one could try supplements (or the medications if prescribed by a vet). A common recommendation for GERD is Pepcid for dogs.
Supplementary Care for Acid Reflux in Dogs
If medications are used, it is a good idea to provide a vitamin and mineral supplement as well, and definitely a probiotic. Medications are known to deplete nutrients in the body during their use. Spectrin makes an excellent compliment to any wellness regimen and Probiotic Miracle effectively replaces healthy flora jeopardized by medications.