Thursday, November 29, 2012

Is Your Pet In Pain From Acid Stomach?

It can be hard to know when your pet has an acid stomach. Pets with acid stomach or nausea can display symptoms such as gagging, inappetance, frequent grass eating and/or licking of the lips. Sometimes this can be accompanied by other gastrointestinal symptoms such as loose stool, tummy rumbling, vomiting or gas. The acid stomach could be the result of a medication such as an antibiotic or due to a more chronic health condition such as kidney or liver disease.     

If you have ever had an acid stomach, you know how uncomfortable it can be. That is why it is so important to help your pet feel better fast. Discussing your pet’s acid stomach with your veterinarian is always a good first step, along with running appropriate laboratory tests. Sometimes pet owners erroneously conclude that their pet just has a “sensitive stomach” and neglect to see a veterinarian. This can be a poor decision as there could be something quite serious underlying this symptom. Getting an annual blood and urine analysis is essential for middle-aged and senior pets. The initial expense of these simple non-invasive laboratory tests could save you thousands in veterinary bills later on, as well as dramatically extend the life of your pet.

  Grass Eating, Especially If It is a Routine Habit, May Be A Sign of Acid Stomach

Depending upon the cause of your pet’s acid stomach, there is a great deal you can do to help using a natural, holistic approach. While antacid medications such as Pepcid can be necessary for short-term relief, they have side effects (e.g. stomach acid is needed for proper digestion so by reducing stomach acid with an antacid, absorption of vital nutrients is decreased). So, trying a natural approach is worth the effort. The first step is to re-evaluate your pet’s diet.  Certain foods can be hard to digest such as dry food. Pets with acid stomach fare better using a high moisture diet that includes fresh ingredients such as vegetables which are alkalizing and contain natural enzymes to enhance digestion. 

In addition, using a hypoallergenic diet (click here to learn more about food allergies) can reduce the potential for an allergic reaction which can cause digestive upset and increase nausea and acid stomach.  For example, foods containing poultry, beef or grains (e.g. wheat or corn) can be allergens for some pets.  Look at your pet’s food label to see if there are hard-to-pronounce chemicals, fibrous fillers (e.g. “beet pulp” or peanut hulls), by-products or “digest” that can be irritating to your pet. These ingredients can be found in many pet food brands, including veterinary prescription diets.

Some pet foods may be too high in fat for your cat or dog.  Pets with a history of pancreatitis or elevated liver enzymes can benefit from a higher fiber, low fat diet.  Adding a small amount of steamed green vegetables or canned pumpkin can help.  Using our Pancreatitis Kit can help pets digest fat and protein better, reducing digestive symptoms such as acid stomach, gas and indigestion.   

A few supplements can give your pet fast relief from acid stomach. Soothing Digestive Relief (along with Power Probiotic) provides calming and gentle relief for indigestion and diarrhea.  Gastro ULC is very helpful for acid stomach symptoms and vomiting and works well in combination especially with Power Probiotic.  If your pet has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), then using the IBD Kit (includes Soothing Digestive Relief and Power Probiotic) can not only help with acid stomach but will help to heal the intestinal lining as well.  Using a combination of supplements, along with diet changes can make a significant difference in helping your pet feel better fast!

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