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Dogs can make many strange noises. Their stomachs, in particular, can be the source of many strange sounds that can be worrisome to pet owners.
Not all sounds need urgent medical attention. However, it is important to know how to spot a small problem before it becomes a big issue.
In this article, we’ll try to get to the bottom of why your dog’s stomach is making noises and suggest how you should take action to resolve it.
Identify The Sound
One of the first problems to tackle when you hear a weird sound coming from your dog’s stomach is identifying it. Is it a gurgling sound? A squeaking sound, perhaps?
If you don’t know how to describe it, try recording it and contact your veterinarian. A vet may be able to simply hear the sound and put your mind at ease, or it could help them order the correct testing to make an accurate diagnosis quickly.
Because a dog’s stomach can’t perform on demand, it might be hard to catch on video. Keep your phone handy, especially if you are hearing the sounds at certain times of day such as after it eats.
The sounds can indicate that your dog has eaten something that it shouldn’t have. While in many cases this can clear up, there are cases where eating something bad (such as ham or bacon) can lead to a severe medical condition such as pancreatitis.
If you know your dog has gotten into something poisonous or that would be bad for its health, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control is a great resource. Based on when your pet ate the harmful item, they can tell you what action to take.
The normal sounds that a dog’s stomach makes when digesting are referred to as borborygmi. These are normally quiet sounds, but in some dogs, they can be louder, so you should be aware of what is normal for your dog.
The sound can simply mean that your dog is hungry, just as human stomachs will “growl” if there is a long time between meals. A dog’s stomach will act in a similar way.
The borborygmi are made when gas travels to one part of the stomach from another. If the sound is abnormally loud, it could mean more gas.
The Dreaded Bloat
While extra gas may not mean a lot in humans, in some breeds of dog, gas can turn deadly into what is medically known as Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) but commonly referred to as bloat.
This specific condition is more common in heavier, barrel-chested dogs such as:
- Great Danes
- Saint Bernards
- Standard Poodles
- Basset Hounds
In an episode of bloating, the stomach will actually twist and press through to the rib cage, causing a “bloated” appearance.
This is considered a medical crisis, and VCA Animal Hospitals recommends seeking help immediately if you suspect your dog could have an episode of bloat.
There are many other symptoms of bloat to know about and many ways to prevent it.
If you own a dog that is prone to it, speak to your vet about the importance of multiple feedings and other preventative measures.
Looking For Other Symptoms
Look for other symptoms that might be accompanying the sound you are hearing. Your dog may be lethargic, so look for reduced energy levels.
Also watch them carefully on walks or when they are playing outside, noticing any grass they eat and whether or not blood could be passing through them.
Blood, which is seen in bright red or dark feces, would need to be quickly addressed by a veterinarian. Large amounts of blood may even warrant a trip to your emergency vet if it is after hours.
This can be a sign of a severe problem, including infections or injury. It could also be something more minor such as a food allergy.
Eating grass is another symptom that pops up regularly in dogs that are having digestive issues.
The reasons dogs eat grass are varied and include nutritional deficiencies. A canine-formulated vitamin can help if you think that is the problem.
They are available in a meaty flavored chew, so they are easily administered and will help ensure that your dog is receiving all of the nutrition it needs.
If your dog’s stomach noises are due to normal processes such as what cause borborygmi, there’s generally nothing to worry about, and it should resolve in short order.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from bloat, you should not try to do anything at home; take it to the vet as soon as possible.
If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or is vomiting in addition to the stomach noises, there are a few ways you can help it to feel better.
First, give the dog a small scoop of 100% pumpkin. It can be canned, but make sure that it has no sugar added. This can help ease a dog’s mild digestive problems.
Also, temporarily feed your dog a diet of boiled chicken breast or boiled ground beef and rice, with all of the fat rinsed off beforehand. This is a bland diet and is usually recommended as a course of treatment for digestive problems.
If the issues continue despite taking the measures outlined above, or if you can’t find the root cause of your dog’s stomach noises, please seek an appointment with your veterinarian. Digestive trouble can signify other, bigger issues that can be devastating to your dog’s health.
Remember that you are the spokesperson for your dog’s health. Knowing what is normal and what is out of the ordinary is crucial.
Taking notes and recordings of new sounds or problems as they develop can be advantageous for your dog and your vet, to provide the right answers for a healthy life.
Thanks for reading this article. If your dog’s stomach is making noises and you can’t figure out why, leave a comment below and we’ll try to help.