My Dog's Guts are Making Loud Noises
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Occasionally, owners might hear some grumbling or gurgling noises coming from our dogs. This is, of course, unless you have a very gassy dog. This ‘occasionally’ might be more like ‘repeatedly’. The problem is, these internal sounds make it difficult to diagnose what problem, if any, might be affecting our pooch. Like humans, this will most often simply be the general noise of a digestive system at work. However, there may be some other underlying issue which needs to be addressed.
Here at AnimalWised we'll let you know what happens if your dog's guts are making loud noises. We'll show you the possible causes which might be at work. We'll also show you what sort of treatment options you may need to consider. However, if you have a poorly dog who seems to be unwell, you need to take them to a veterinarian just to be on the safe side.
Your dog's guts
The digestive system of your dog starts at the mouth and goes all the way to the anus and is known as the gastrointestinal tract. Quite and obvious thing to say, but we do so in order to show you how fundamental this is to a dog's health. Problems at any stage of this tract can mean being unable to get enough nutrition. If this happens, your dog's immune system can be weakened, be prone to infection and simply not be strong enough to continue. This means, a healthy digestive system is imperative for a healthy dog.
The gastrointestinal tract includes the pancreas, liver and, of course, the intestines. This system uses acids and physiological processes to break down food for its constitutional nutrients. These processes causes gas to be released as a chemical reaction, just as you might see in a chemistry lab at school. Fortunately, these gaseous releases are normally very small and go unnoticed.
These sounds are known scientifically as borborygms. They may simply be known as a stomach rumble, but are also known as peristaltic sound. Peristalsis is the movement of your gastrointestinal tract, moving food along like a snake. These sounds are healthy and you actually have a problem if you can't hear them at all as they signify some other worrying pathology. However, if they happen at an excessive volume this is when there might be an issue.
My dog is making loud gut sounds and is vomiting
Vomiting in a dog is always a sign of something being wrong, but it can happen with some frequency. It is often simply that the dog's eyes were bigger than their belly and they have eaten too much. However, vomiting and loud digestive sounds could also be due to eating food which is rotten. Rotten food can carry bacteria which is very bad for your dog, resulting in an inflammation of the digestive system and vomiting.
While dogs will vomit relatively easily, you need to keep an eye on it. If the vomiting does not stop soon, it is accompanied by bowel movements and starts to exhibit other symptoms of illness, you will need to take them to the vet. At the clinic, they will be able to give a thorough diagnosis and establish appropriate treatment.
What this cause might be can derive from many reasons. Occasionally, vomiting and bowel sounds can become chronic and other symptoms can occur. These symptoms can often be those which effect the skin, especially dermatitis with non-seasonal puritus. This is one of the reasons you will likely take your dog to the vet as their scratching and biting can seem irregular. However, it could also be down to other itching causes such as scabies or fleas. Either way, the vet is needed.
Another symptom which affects the digestive system is loose stool or chronic diarrhea. If included with borborygms and vomiting, it is likely a food allergy is the root cause. This type of allergy can be triggered by anything they ingest, whether or not it is technically food. The usual mechanism arises from the dog reacting to a food protein as if it were a pathogenic elements. It doesn't have to be a protein.
As in humans, dogs can be allergic to gluten, something known as coeliac disease if it is far enough advanced. Loud gut noises are a common symptom of this condition. Dogs are also allergic to food such as grapes and chocolate. These are toxic foods rather than an allergy and can even be fatal if eaten in large enough a dose. Take your dog to the vet immediately if this is the cause of your dog's gut noise.
To treat an allergy, you need to seek a vet's advice. Essentially the treatment will be in trying to isolate which food is causing the problem. This will be a task of trial and error. It may take a few trips before the food is isolated and you can eliminate it from you dog's diet.
Loud gut noises after eating a lot
Sometimes, dogs can eat as if there was no food left in the world. It is part of their survival instinct, in the wild eating with a certain amount of anxiety and doing so too fast. This can cause the dog's digestive system to overload leading to indigestion. This can happen if they find something when they are out and about, such as a garbage can with a load of food tossed away. They might also have ripped into their feed bag and got a little overzealous. Well meaning humans are also sometimes the case by feeding too many treats. If the dog is unsupervised at a barbecue, then it may be given more than it should.
This overeating leads to indigestion and, specifically, an inflammation of the bowel (known as gastritis). Generally, these noises will lessen and the dog will return to normal after a few hours. During this time, do not offer any more food and remove their usual feed bowl. This is because many dogs don't have an off switch and will keep eating even when they are not hungry. If it keeps happening after this time, however, you will need to see a vet.
If your dog has eaten the normal amount, yet their guts are making this noise, it may be due to a malabsorption of nutrients. This is because the guts are unable to process this food properly. It is usually a result of a problem in the small intestine or even in the pancreas. Dogs affected by these problems may often appear too thin despite eating a normal amount of food. They may also exhibit diahrrea. A vet's advice is needed to work out which type of digestion issue is the problem.
My dog's guts make a lot of noise, but they don't eat
On the other side of the coin is when your dog's guts are making noise, but they aren't eating food. In the wild, dogs were often with empty stomachs thanks to a paucity of food. In these cases, starvation was possible if not common. However, with any owner who is able to look after their pet, a lack of eating is unlikely. We usually feed them too much, if anything. If we haven't been feeding them enough for any reason and they start to make bowel sounds, then increasing the amount of food you give them should be able to stop the rumble in their tum.
If a dog is abused or abandoned, then this is likely going to cause starvation. Not only will they have a noise coming from their guts, they will be emaciated and will likely have other health problems. A state of malnutrition can lead to something called cachexia where their muscles atrophy and it could be the beginning of the end unless the dog gets immediate treatment.
Once feeding has been resumed, the borborygms should cease. However, a severely malnourished dog should not be given a lot of food all at once. They are probably too weak to even eat it. They will need to be fed little by little to get their strength up and stop their body from going into shock by having all these missing nutrients come at them at once. This needs to be done in the presence of a professional. They will not only get them fed again, but can help with other related issues such as deworming or an immunological condition.
What to do if my dog's gut sounds are severe?
As we have seen, there are different reasons your dog's guts may be making loud noises. Let's take a look at some general guidelines of what treatment these dogs may need according to the cause. If a dog has eaten something it should have you should:
- Look for remnants of the food so that you can see how toxic it may be for your dog.
- Soothe the dog and try to alleviate any anxiety the dog may be feeling.
- Go to the vet if the symptoms get worse.
Here are some preventative measures you should also take to stop indigestion in your pet:
- Establish a suitable feeding schedule for your dog. Do not let them go too long between meals and don't feed them too much when you do.
- Keep food out of reach of the dog and dispose of food waste properly.
- Do not let the dog eat food you find when going on walks or in the park. As well meaning as they mean to be, don't let strangers feed your dog when out in public.
- Maintain a safe environment in terms of household products which may be poisonous to your dog.
- In in doubt, go to the vet.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to My Dog's Guts are Making Loud Noises, we recommend you visit our Intestinal problems category.