Acid Reflux in Dogs

Believe it or not the same irritable condition that develops in humans, acid reflux, can also develop in our pet dogs.  Acid reflux in dogs can lead to heartburn conditions.  These conditions can also lead to your dog being less active and having a low appetite, as well as refusing to eat its normal meals.  Just as it’s important to identify acid reflux disease symptoms in humans, it’s also important to identify them in your dog and take the appropriate actions in order to combat the health problems which your dog is at risk for.

How do some dogs develop acid reflux? Acid reflux generally results in heartburn which has biological causes.  It can develop in the same ways as humans develop the condition.  Usually dogs that have weak lower  esophagus spincters are more likely to develop acid reflux.  In general terms, a brief relaxation of the muscular opening at the base of the esophagus allows an uncontrollable reverse flow of gastric or intestinal fluids into the esophagus.  It leads to a weakening of the lining of the esophagus since all of the acid is flowing in reverse through the dog’s esophagus.  Dogs with poor nutrition and dietary habits can eventually develop the disease.  Dogs that are overweight also are prone to having this problem.

To fight the effects of this medical condition it’s recommended that you keep your dog on a regular, healthy diet.  Make sure your dog receives a dog food that is right for its size and age, and that consists of a proper balance of nutrients.  Feed your dog at the same few times each day and avoid over-feeding.  Letting your dog eat too much at once or whenever they want can increase the potential for acid reflux in pet dogs.  One of the best ways to treat the acid reflux condition in dogs is by not feeding the dog at all for one or two days.  After this period, it’s advised to feed the dog a regular diet of low fat/high-protein meals.  These should be smaller feedings given frequently to your dog throughout the day.

It may be best to contact your veterinarian to see if there are any prescription medications available for your dog.  Common treatments include Antacids which reduce stomach acid in dogs and H2 Blockers which block the body’s acid-stimulating histamine.  Special gastrointestinal pro-kinetic agents can be used to strengthen the sphincter in dogs.  There’s also natural treatments available including a special honey that can be fed to dogs before their meals.  This natural treatment will help to coat the dog’s esophagus and prevent acid reflux from irritating or damaging the dog’s esophagus further.  This sort of approach can help the dog’s esophagus to heal over several months time.  Generally though, the best way to prevent acid reflux in your dog is by giving it a healthy low-fat diet, and making sure your dog doesn’t eat too much during the day.

Keep a close eye on your dog to make sure it does not have any of the above complications or symptoms.  Learning to spot the symptoms of acid reflux in dogs can help fight the condition early on and prevent serious future health problems in your family pet.

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