Signs of Abdominal Cramping in Dogs

Cuteness may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Abdominal pain can be a sign of a number of different canine health problems. Signs of abdominal pain in dogs include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, gurgling stomach sounds, constipation, and a swollen stomach. It is crucial that you seek veterinary care for your dog immediately if you do not know the specific cause of their abdominal cramps. While your dog's abdominal cramps may just be because of a simple upset tummy, some conditions are serious and can be fatal.

Some conditions are serious and can be fatal.
Image Credit: 4774344sean/iStock/Getty Images

Signs of abdominal pain in dogs

A number of symptoms can be signs that your dog is suffering from abdominal cramps. You may notice that your dog's stomach appears to be distended or swollen. They may whimper, cry, vomit, grunt, gag, or attempt to throw up unsuccessfully. They may appear restless and spend a significant amount of time trying to find a comfortable position.

You may notice they have diarrhea or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, they may be constipated. If their condition is severe, it may be accompanied by difficulty breathing, pale gums, rapid heart rate, or coma. Abdominal pain and cramping can be fatal, so seek professional help immediately if you see these symptoms in your dog.

Advertisement

Causes of abdominal cramping

A number of different conditions can cause your dog to experience abdominal pain and cramping. There are many health conditions that could cause abdominal cramping in dogs. They could be suffering from poisoning, urinary stones that are obstructing their bladder, a rupture of the bladder, abdominal trauma, internal injury, peritonitis, acute pancreatitis, or an intestinal obstruction. If your dog is pregnant, her uterus could rupture and subsequently cause abdominal cramping.

Canines can experience dog bloat, which is when a buildup of gas causes their stomach to twist.
Image Credit: Little Brown Rabbit Photography/Moment/GettyImages

Canines can also experience dog bloat, also known as gastric dilation and volvulus, which is when a buildup of gas causes their stomach to twist. Dog breeds prone to bloat include large breeds with deep chests like German shepherds, Irish settlers, Doberman pinschers, Great Danes. However, any dog can experience bloat, especially if they quickly gulp down food.

Advertisement

Identifying signs of abdominal pain

If your dog is experiencing abdominal pain or cramps, look for a cause. Check your houseplants, trash bags, and floor for any signs of evidence that your dog ate something they shouldn't.

It is essential that you get your sick dog to the veterinarian as soon as you notice their symptoms. Time may be crucial in the event that your dog is suffering from a condition such as dog bloat or poisoning. Both of these conditions can be fatal within hours of the onset of the initial symptoms.

Advertisement

Dog stomach cramps treatment

Once you arrive at the veterinarian's office, your veterinarian will examine your dog closely while asking you to tell them about your dog's condition. They will perform a basic physical examination which includes palpating your dog's stomach, listening to their heart and lungs, taking their temperature, and observing them for any other possible signs of illness. Depending on your dog's symptoms, your veterinarian may opt to perform X-rays on your dog to determine the exact condition of their stomach and whether or not they will need surgical intervention.

Advertisement

Preventing abdominal cramps

Eating toxic foods, houseplants, or other items like toys can lead to abdominal obstructions and an upset stomach, so make sure to keep things that your dog could eat out of reach. Always supervise your dog when they have a toy, food, or bone.

Check around to see if you can figure out if your dog ate anything they shouldn't have.
Image Credit: WebSubstance/iStock/GettyImages

Regularly take your pup to the vet to ensure that they're in good health and so that your veterinarian can preemptively check for any health conditions.

Advertisement

Give your canine companion plenty of water throughout the day. While hydration won't stop abdominal cramps, replenishing fluids is a must for any dog losing fluids as they experience vomiting and diarrhea.

Advertisement

references