Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastric Ulceration

General Information
The stomach is constantly under siege and can be affected by many factors. Causes of ulcers include mechanical irritants such as sticks, bones, and stones. In addition, drugs; kidney, liver, and adrenal gland disease; germs; excess stomach acid; stress factors; and nerve-related disorders are associated with ulcer development.

Ulcers of the stomach are like wounds in the skin. A protective barrier, formed from mucus, chemicals, and anti-inflammatory components, protects the delicate gastric lining. For ulcers to occur, the protective barrier and digestive lining are breached, and germs and other harmful substances have access to the exposed inner layers of the gastric wall. Unlike wounds on the outer skin layer, gastric ulcers cannot be kept dry or free from further irritation. Therefore unique health management techniques must be used to create a medium in which healing can take place.

Vomiting, with or without blood, is the most common sign of gastric ulcer. The vomitus can have either bright blood or a “coffee ground” appearance, indicating digested blood. Weight loss and loss of appetite are also seen. Loss of blood is always a concern and should be monitored.

Important Points in Treatment
1. As in most diseases or illnesses, early treatment renders a better chance for success. Persistent and aggressive treatment is required to overcome ulceration of the digestive tract.
2. Radiographs (x-rays) with or without special contrast (barium) studies are often required to evaluate your pet’s digestive tract. Special scopes (endoscopy) are also used to view the inner body. The endoscope can allow the veterinarian to view the stomach and to retrieve a sample of tissue for microscopic examination (biopsy).
3. Laboratory tests, including total blood counts and serum chemistries, are important to determine your pet’s overall health status and provide further guidance in administering proper therapy to your pet.
4. Diet: Special low-fat diets should be fed at prescribed intervals to aid in preventing over-filling and additional stress to the stomach.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.