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Stomach Inflammation (Atrophic) in Dogs

Atrophic Gastritis In Dogs

Atrophic gastritis in dogs is a chronic inflammation affecting the lining of the stomach. It is diagnosed through microscopic analysis of tissue samples, which reveal a reduction in the size and depth of the gastric glands responsible for producing digestive juices. Although rare in most breeds, the Norwegian Lundehund breed exhibits a notably high occurrence of atrophic gastritis.

Symptoms and Types

Signs of atrophic gastritis encompass sporadic vomiting, along with anorexia, lethargy, weight loss, and pica—a behavior characterized by consuming non-food objects.


The precise cause of atrophic gastritis remains unknown and may stem from various factors contributing to chronic gastritis. Dogs may develop chronic gastritis from exposure to their own gastric juice, for instance. Additionally, the presence of Helicobacter spp, a bacteria associated with vomiting and stomach ailments, might play a significant role in gastritis development. Notably, there could be a genetic inclination to atrophic gastritis in the Norwegian Lundehund breed, given the condition’s prevalence in this particular dog breed.


To definitively diagnose atrophic gastritis, gastroscopy is necessary. During this procedure, a small tube equipped with a camera is inserted into the stomach for examination, and tissue samples from the stomach lining are biopsied for analysis. Gastroscopy may reveal increased prominence of blood vessels in the mucus-lined tissues of the stomach, indicating mucosal thinning. While other diagnostic tools like ultrasound imaging and urine analysis can help eliminate alternative causes of symptoms or other types of gastritis, they cannot conclusively diagnose atrophic gastritis.


Once atrophic gastritis is accurately diagnosed, treatment can be administered at home and typically does not necessitate hospitalization. Medications aimed at reducing gastric acid secretion may be prescribed, along with antibiotics if Helicobacter spp infection is suspected. In cases of persistent vomiting, prokinetic agents designed to enhance gastrointestinal muscle activity may also be recommended.

Living and Management

Regular administration of necessary medications is essential for managing atrophic gastritis, with long-term antacid therapy possibly being necessary. It’s important to exercise caution with medications that are known to exacerbate gastritis, such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).


Since the exact cause of this type of gastritis is unknown, there are no specific prevention methods identified. Owners of susceptible breeds, particularly the Norwegian Lundehund, should remain vigilant and watch for symptoms of the condition.

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