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.
How to recognize acid reflux
- 1. Regurgitating of food (spitting up)
- 2. Evidence of pain when swallowing
- 3. Loss of appetite
- 4. Weight loss
In acute care, it would be wise to implement the protocol for diet and exercise first. Feed smaller portions of meals, and remove grains from the diet. 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.
Treatment of Acid Reflux
Traditional treatment of GERD in dogs usually involves prescription medications. These medications are known to deplete nutrients in the body and gut flora during their use, but can be effective in treating the symptoms. In other cases, surgury could be recommended.
When medications are prescribed, it is a good idea to provide a supplementary vitamin and mineral supplement as well, and definitely a probiotic to balance the nutrient depletion in the body.
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