Prayer position, hard belly, loud grumbling and even trembling: the signs of a tummy ache in a four-legged friend are manifold and admittedly not always easy to interpret. Abdominal pain can (but does not have to) be a sign of many different illnesses and should therefore not only be taken very seriously, but ideally also recognised early by the owner. It's time to give you some tips and useful facts about stomach aches in dogs. This way you will soon be able to recognise stomach aches in Luna, Sammy and Co. quickly and know exactly what to do.
Signs of tummy ache: How to recognise them
Unfortunately, our furry noses cannot talk to us and yet they communicate with us in their very own doggy way. Even when they feel unwell, they give us two-legged friends signals that say "something's wrong", but beware: some dogs are tough and only show clear symptoms of illness when things are really bad. The first changes and even the smallest signs of abdominal pain should therefore be recognised and treated. These are the symptoms you can recognise in a dog's stomach ache:
- Your dog's belly feels hard when you feel it
- Your dog is limp and lethargic than usual
- Sleep problems are evident
- Your dog is restless
- Your dog's posture seems tense
- Your dog is not really hungry
- Your four-legged friend stretches particularly often
- You observe frequent licking of the lips
- Your dog is vomiting or has diarrhoea
- You observe that your dog repeatedly goes into the praying position
- Your dog eats an excessive amount of grass
The most common reasons for a dog's tummy ache
Just as with us humans, abdominal pain in dogs can have many, different causes. Some of them are harmless, others unfortunately not. The list of possible diagnoses ranges from mostly quite harmless flatulence to unpleasant gastrointestinal infections to life-threatening poisoning. If your pet is in constant pain or if you suspect it, you should visit your vet. He or she will examine your pet and be able to make a clear diagnosis. We give you an overview of the most common diagnoses.
Not every dog tolerates every food and snack. If a food is not tolerated, this will lead to abdominal pain in the dog, in addition to other symptoms. Only an allergy test or an exclusion diet can usually provide clarity. Common triggers are beef, dairy products, poultry, eggs or cereals.
Even the strongest immune system sometimes doesn't stand a chance against a stubborn infection. What is already not nice for us humans is even more dangerous for your dog, as constant vomiting and diarrhoea can quickly lead to the risk of dehydration. It is therefore best to consult the vet you trust directly.
If your dog has fart-itis for a short time, this is not usually a bad thing. Too much gas in the intestines simply leads to flatulence and this can happen from time to time. However, you should be careful if you have additional symptoms such as fever. Recurrent flatulence should also be examined by a doctor.
If your dog suffers from recurring stomach pains - perhaps even in combination with vomiting or diarrhoea - this is a sign of gastritis. As it leads to real abdominal cramps, it is really nasty and causes your furry friend a lot of trouble. It is treated with acid-regulating medication, which is best prescribed by a vet. Of course, the treatment is supplemented by helpers.
Turning of the stomach
What sounds dramatic is dramatic. In the worst case, very severe abdominal pain in a dog indicates gastric torsion. In gastric torsion, the stomach turns over completely, pinching off nerves and blood vessels. If left untreated, this disease is fatal. Larger dogs are affected more often than smaller ones.
The intestine literally closes up. This happens, for example, if your four-legged friend has swallowed indigestible small parts or after prolonged constipation. Besides abdominal pain, the most important symptom is the absence of faeces. In this case it is time to go to the vet: Off to the vet, because surgery must be performed as quickly as possible.
The diagnosis of giardia is not only unfavourable for your dog, but the owner must also take all kinds of hygiene measures to get rid of the nasty parasites. Puppies in particular are magically attracted to these pests. They multiply in the intestines and cause inflammation, which can be painful for your dog. Giardia can be detected with a faecal sample.
If the abdominal pain is accompanied by extreme sluggishness, vomiting and symptoms such as pale gums, poisoning could be behind it - and this is not to be trifled with. If it is caused by poisonous food, such as chocolate, or even poisonous bait, such as rat poison, your dog must be treated by a vet as soon as possible.
Home remedies that help with tummy aches
Stomach ache in dogs cannot only be treated with classical medicine. Natural remedies in particular are often used and provide spontaneous relief or supplement medication.
The following remedies help to relieve abdominal pain in dogs.
The following remedies will help your dog:
- Warming bottle
- Carrot soup
- Herb tea
- Psyllium husks
The good old hot water bottle doesn't just help us humans, this simple home remedy also works wonders for your four-legged friend. You can simply put a hot water bottle in the basket and the warmth will relax the tummy. Please make sure that the temperature of the water is not too hot. Alternatively, you can heat spelt pillows in the microwave.
Oatmeal has a soothing effect on the stomach and can even relieve diarrhoea. If your dog doesn't like the gruel, you can mix in treats or even a small spoonful of honey.
Moro's carrot soup
Named after its inventor, a Mr Moro, this soup is a wonder weapon against tummy aches and stomach complaints. Carrots, water and salt are boiled for at least 1.5 hours. Then you can puree the soup - tada, done and your dog will love it!
Herb teas are good for your dog because they not only promote fluid intake, but often also have antibacterial, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects. Chamomile or peppermint teas are particularly suitable.
Psyllium husks are full of healthy fibre and have a positive effect on the dog's intestinal flora. They can be soaked in water or another liquid to create a jelly-like consistency. This jelly spreads along the stomach wall and alleviates the symptoms. Make sure you put enough water or similar in the seeds so they don't dehydrate your dog too much.
Take your dog to the vet with a tummy ache
Many owners are unsure when a trip to the vet for a tummy ache is necessary and when it may be too hasty. Our rule of thumb: If abdominal pain lasts longer than two days or is accompanied by other symptoms, an appointment with the vet makes sense and is the right thing to do. In case of doubt, it is better to have one too many than one too few.