Digestion and indigestion in dogs

Digestion is the process of absorption and assimilation of the nutrients we obtain through food. Indigestion problems in dogs occur when some of these processes do not work correctly.

Digestion is a healthy dog

Digestion in dogs begins in the mouth: the chewing movements of the muscles of the face and teeth crush the food while mixing with the saliva and, thus, the food bolus is formed. The tongue helps to swallow and, thanks to its papillae, the food is savored. The palate separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity, and without it, taking the bolus would not be possible.

From the mouth, the food passes to the esophagus, which reaches the stomach, where gastric juices are secreted, which, together with peristaltic movements, reduce the food to small particles that will be pushed into the intestine. It is here, thanks to the action of a stomach enzyme, pepsin, where proteins are assimilated.

The entrance of the stomach or cardias, and the exit or pylorus act as muscular sphincters that prevent food from being regurgitated to the esophagus or pass to the intestine before suffering gastric digestion.

Next to the stomach in the small intestine with its portions: duodenum, jejunum, and ileum; In the end is the large intestine, divided into blind, colon, and rectum. The pipe is proportionally much longer in herbivores than in carnivores.

The duodenum receives digestive secretions from the liver and pancreas, which help digest carbohydrates and fats. And the large intestine absorbs water and vitamins.

In the blind, most fermentation of non-ruminant animals occurs, more in herbivores than in carnivores, especially fiber from which it obtains fatty acids and fats.

The colon conducts feces from the blind to the rectum and from there to the anus, where they are expelled when the anal sphincter is opened. On both sides of the sphincter, there are anal glands that produce a secretion that serves to leave odorous signals and to lubricate the feces at their exit.

Why does indigestion occur in dogs?

Indigestion is a feeling of discomfort in the upper abdomen that appears during intake or immediately after eating. In most cases, heartburn is not a sign of a severe health problem unless it occurs along with other symptoms such as weight loss.

If our dog has any stomach discomfort, it is normal for us to see him adopt a strange posture, such as shrinking, and his belly area hurts.

In dogs, the most common causes of indigestion are usually:

  • I satisfy. The dog has eaten much more than usual.
  • Food has not been well, very typical if they usually eat human food.
  • Eat too fast. The anxiety about food is a problem; we must work on the dogs.
  • Stress. The animal is going through a stressful situation that affects its digestive health.
  • Intense exercise right after eating. Ideally, there should be a minimum rest time, which can be very dangerous in dogs with a tendency to stomach torsion, such as giant breeds.

What do I do if my dog ​​has indigestion?

Indigestion in dogs can be associated with other more severe problems such as gastritis, enteritis or gastroenteritis, and other issues such as pancreatitis, ulcers…

What we must do is watch the animal, keep it fasting and hydrated and see if it vomits or makes liquid or bloody feces. In this case, we must go to the veterinarian with all the useful information we can provide: when the symptoms began if he ate something strange or was able to swallow something, the color, and shape of the stool if he regurgitates or vomits …

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