Acid reflux in dogs is a condition characterized by a reverse flow of intestinal or stomach liquids. It is caused by an abnormality of the saliva delivery system.
One theory of the cause is that acid reflux in dogs may be related to a disorder of the lower gastrointestinal tract. Another theory is that the low humidity in the stomach may be at fault.
Acid reflux in dogs is rarely a severe condition. In mild cases the symptoms are minimal and the mucous material is being pushed around the stomach and upper part of the small intestines. Sometimes the symptoms can even be characterized by a little grin on the dog’s face.
In more severe cases the symptoms can be much more severe, including vomiting and ataperinaseness of the heart and stomach. In these cases the symptoms have a Feet-and-Pel situation.
The physiological symptoms are most often due to “compressions”, that is, of small bowel syndrome. When the small bowel syndrome acts up, the behaviour of the dog is one of anxiety, nervousness, fretfulness and worry.
The acid reflux in dogs may cause a change in the apparent size of the stomach from relationships to a “torsion”. A true torsion means the development of an elongated ligament on the lower bowel. When this happens, the lower bowel expands.
Treatment for the acid reflux in dogs
The usual course of the disease is an antibiotic, given either orally or intravenously. If both of the above–antibiotic and large dose IV fluids are given, a longer course of treatment may be necessary. The IV fluids are needed because the supply of water is reduced, in all probability causing low blood pressure.
Since the pH balance of the small intestine is important in the maintenance of a healthy intestinal flora, the strict high doses are absolutely not needed. Instead, soft, easily swallowable antibiotics are to be given, at a minimum to manage acid reflux in dogs.
This process can now be started by simply offering a “treat”. Make it a small one, about the size of a pea, or, make it a hard, cookie-like biscuit. Show it to your pet and, if he or she gobbles it down without chewing, rub it on the roof of the mouth (or, if small enough, on the gum to make it easier to eat).
You may also combine the “treat” by clicking the clicker and offering a soft, sandy meal in addition to the biscuit or food.
In other words, the dog is simply shown that a click–a movement away from the mouth–is followed by an expected soft-moist treat. This method is really quite simple, and doesn’t take more than 15 minutes or so and a few times. It’s time well spent with your dog.
Medical procedure for acid reflux in dogs
Procedural remedies, however, such as the use of a choke chain, may not be necessary. Some people will not use manual tools if their dogs are frightened of the clinic. However, if you find that your dog is physically unable to deliver a clear message to you that it is not alright to lick the skin or mouth area, then this is really not an option for you. You will need to rely on your hands.
Last but not least, an increasing number of vets and pet stores are offering services to prepare your pet’s greeting to you. You can now get an “in-home” therapeutic massage for your dog, which can help to ease the tension caused by advanced stages of diseases like cancer.