Dogs with gastric ulcers, or stomach ulcers, may show no outward signs, but in other cases, they may exhibit symptoms, like vomiting digested blood (which can look like used coffee grounds) or fresh blood. They can also have dark, tarry stools.
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One common cause of stomach ulcers in dogs is medication such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) and corticosteroids. Another reason is a type of cancer called a mast cell tumor (MCT.) MCTs are the most common type of skin cancer in dogs.
Your veterinarian will perform tests and will usually prescribe medication to decrease gastric acidity to prevent the ulcer from worsening. Your pet may also be prescribed a medication like sucralfate to coat the ulcer so it can heal. Most pets need a bland diet to soothe the stomach while taking the medication. The regular diet of kibble can cause distress in the digestive system, increasing ulcer pain and sensitivity, so your veterinarian may recommend a prescription diet. They may also direct you to prepare food for your dog at home, in which case you'll likely make some of these meals.
Bland, plain carbohydrates for dog ulcers
Carbohydrates make glucose for energy and fuel the body. White rice is a bland carbohydrate to add to your dog's diet when they have ulcers. Do not add any seasoning to the rice; just cook it as directed on the package. However, you can add nonfat, low-sodium chicken or beef bullion without onions or garlic in place of the water to add some protein to the rice. This will also make it a little tastier for your dog and may entice them to eat.
Cooked, unseasoned, lean meats for dog ulcers
Lean boiled meats provide protein for your pet and are gentle on their stomach too. You can boil chicken breasts or lean hamburger in water and then drain off the liquid and offer equal portions of the meat and white rice. For a quick meal on days when you're in a rush, offer your dog baby food made from chicken. It is made with no seasonings or preservatives and is designed to be gentle on the digestive system. If a baby can eat it and digest it easily, it should certainly agree with your dog.
Dairy products for dog ulcers
Is yogurt good for ulcers? Plain dairy products, such as yogurt, can be helpful when your dog has an ulcer for a few reasons. For one thing, cottage cheese and yogurt contain protein and calcium for your pet. Additionally, low-fat plain yogurt has approximately 448 milligrams of calcium and 13 grams of protein. Nonfat plain yogurt contains approximately 350 milligrams of calcium and 8 grams of protein in a 1-cup serving.
Either of these two dairy products makes a nice meal when mixed with equal portions of white rice. Plain dairy products, like cottage cheese or yogurt, coat stomach ulcers to soothe them along with medications from your veterinarian. Just take care to avoid flavored options.
Foods to avoid for dog ulcers
Your dog may beg for their favorite dog treats when on a bland diet, and although it may be hard to resist, keep in mind that hard dog biscuits can cause additional harm and pain to an ulcer. In fact, it's best not to allow them to eat anything hard while being treated for ulcers, which is normally a time period of about six to eight weeks. The bland diet is easy to digest and soothing to the stomach, so they don't really need any additional foods. Your veterinarian will advise you on the amount of food your dog needs for each meal and the duration of his bland diet.