One of the most common things dog owners worry about is their dog’s stomach. If you’re a dog owner then you might have said to someone that my dogs stomach is hard as a rock. And you might be wondering if there’s something wrong, Right?
Well yes, there could be something seriously wrong. Dogs can experience abdominal pain and hardness for many reasons, including constipation, intestinal blockage, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, bloating, excessive gas, pancreatitis, or tumours.
If your dog is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, please take him or her to the veterinarian immediately. A hard stomach could be a sign of one of these serious health conditions.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what might cause a dog’s stomach to be hard, and we’ll give you some tips on how to make sure your pup stays healthy.
My Dogs Stomach Is Hard As A Rock What Are The Causes?
There are many reasons that could cause your dog’s stomach to be hard like constipation, intestinal blockage, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, bloating, excessive gas, pancreatitis, tumors, etc. So let us discuss some causes;
constipation is easily defined as the infrequent passage of hard dry feces. A soft stool is a sign of easier bowel movements while harder stools are associated with more difficult passing. You can tell if your dog has constipation by checking his or her poop. If the stool’s are small, hard and dry, this could be an indication of constipation in dogs. Usually after some time, these stools will turn into small, dry pebbles.
This is one of the most serious causes and can become dangerous quickly. Dogs that eat nonfood items like socks and underwear risk intestinal blockage. Pieces of fabric may not be visible on an x-ray and easily pass through your dog’s system if they are small enough, but this is not the case with bigger objects.
When an object blocks your dog’s intestines it can restrict blood flow to the organs in his abdomen. The swelling can cause pain and vomiting, while the blockage itself may rupture, leading to peritonitis.
Vomiting is one of the most common causes for a hard stomach in dogs, especially puppies. If your puppy vomits often or has diarrhea that won’t stop, this could be a sign of intestinal parasites or parvovirus. Also if your pup eats something they shouldn’t have eaten like chicken bones or antifreeze , this could also lead to vomiting.
Diarrhea is another very common cause for a hard stomach in dogs. Some of the most dangerous causes of diarrhea are parvovirus, coronavirus and salmonella. With these, your dog’s stools will probably be bloody or even contain whole pieces of tissue from inside their intestines.
Lack Of Appetite
If you notice that your dog isn’t eating his food as usual, this could be a sign of something serious. Also if your pup has been acting sick recently it might be because he or she has an upset stomach.
Dogs that bloat are at risk for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). GDV is also known as stomach torsion, twisted stomach, or gastric volvulus. What happens with GDV is that the dog’s stomach actually twists itself to the point where blood supply is cut off. This causes gas buildup inside the stomach which leads to swelling and pain.
An excessive amount of gas in your pup’s body can cause his or her stomach to swell up like a balloon. The excess gas can also rupture your dog’s intestines causing peritonitis which is fatal if left untreated.
Cancerous tumours are usually uncommon in dogs but they are one of the leading causes of an enlarged spleen. If you notice that there’s something hard near your dog’s belly or back, this could be an indication of a tumour.
Pancreatitis is another very serious cause of your dog’s stomach being hard. With pancreatitis, the pancreas becomes inflamed causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If it isn’t properly treated, pancreatitis can lead to shock, organ damage or even death.
From the causes that we have discussed above, you’ll easily get to know what are the reasons behind your dog’s stomach being hard. But always remember if something doesn’t feel right call your vet immediately.
Treatment For A Hard Stomach In Dogs
If your dog has a hard stomach because of constipation or lack of appetite or most kind of causes explained above, you should be able to treat most of them at home, some methods are following:
- If your dog eats poop because dogs can sometimes develop habits of eating their stools which is very dangerous. Give your dog one tablespoon of canned pumpkin mixed with their regular food. This isn’t a necessary step and can be skipped, but it helps soften the stools and could make your dog’s stomach feel better if he or she has constipation.
- If your dog has a blockage, you should try to remove the object by hand, but make sure it isn’t toxic. Only do this if you know what the object looks like and are able to get it out in time before it ruptures.
- If your dog has been vomiting for a long time without eating, you should give him or her water mixed with electrolytes to prevent dehydration.
- If you think your dog might have GDV (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus), the best thing to do is take them to a veterinary hospital immediately because if left untreated it can lead to death.
- If your dog has tumors, it’s important to get them checked by a vet, but try to keep them calm because stress can make their stomach feel even worse.
- If your dog is bloated or has pancreatitis, you should bring him or her to the veterinarian immediately because both conditions are very dangerous.
How To Prevent A Hard Stomach In Dogs
It’s better to prevent the causes that can lead to your dog having a hard stomach instead of treating them afterward.
Prevention methods are as follows:
Keep Your Dog Active
You should make sure that your dog gets enough exercise to avoid any problems with the digestive tract.
Keep Your Dog’s Diet Balanced
Changing your dog’s diet can lead to stomach problems, so try not to let it happen and maintain a healthy balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Clean Up After Your Dog
It’s very important that you clean up after your dog because they can pick up many harmful objects on their walks.
Keep Your Dog’s Digestive System Healthy
You should make sure to serve them food that contains all the necessary nutrients and keep them hydrated during the day.
It’s also advised not to feed your dog with human foods, because most of them are unhealthy and can cause stomach problems.
Keep Your Dog’s Stomach Safe
When your dog is playing outside make sure to keep his or her stomach covered by something which won’t let them get hurt, like a coat or a shirt.
Control Your Dog’s Anxiety
A stressed dog could lead to stomach problems, so try to keep them relaxed and happy.
Don’t Let Your Dog Groom Other Dogs
It’s not advised that your dog grooms other dogs because they can pick up lice or parasites which aren’t good for the digestive tract.
When To Take Your Dog To The Vet
The first thing you should do is call your veterinarian, explain your dog’s behavior and symptoms, and let them know if your dog has had any of the following:
- Swallowed any objects that could be blocking his or her stomach or intestinal tract.
- Vomited more than twice a day.
- Any blood coming out of his or her rectum.
- Diarrhea lasted more than two days.
- Significant weight loss.
- Losing interest in food or water for more than 24 hours without any other symptoms.
If your dog has had most of the above symptoms, make an appointment at the vet immediately. If your dog has had one of them, call the vet and make an appointment for the next day.
Your question was, my dog’s stomach is hard as a rock. So we have discussed the different causes and treatments for it. And we have also discussed when to take it to the vet. It’s a matter of our furry friend’s health, so don’t compromise.