What is Abdominal Cramping?
Pets like humans often suffer from abdominal cramping and pain. Abdominal pain may be caused by an accumulation of gas in the abdomen and can be extremely uncomfortable in pets because they are unable to tell you how bad they are feeling.
What Causes Abdominal Cramping?
It may often develop if your pet is fed the incorrect foods (table scraps or sweet, sugary foods), if it has ingested garbage, spoilt food, road kill or toxic, poisonous substances such as pesticides, fertilizers or household detergents.
In more severe cases, abdominal pain may be caused by bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections, and systemic diseases such as liver failure, kidney disease, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis or complications during pregnancy. Dogs and cats of all ages and breeds may be affected by abdominal pain.
Diagnosing Abdominal Cramping
Some symptoms and signs that you should watch for in your pet include an arched back with feet tucked in, abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, overall weakness, excitability, thrashes around on the floor and may even collapse from the pain.
If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your vet immediately. After a thorough physical examination, certain diagnostic tests such as a complete blood count, biochemical profile, urinalysis, x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, endoscopy and parvo testing on puppies may be performed.
Help for Abdominal Cramping
Treatment involves withholding food for at least 24 hours to allow the stomach to rest. Follow with a bland diet of cooked rice and chicken and ensure that water is provided. Some pets may require fluid and electrolyte therapy, antacids, antiemetics and gastric protectants.
Natural and holistic remedies may also be used as an alternative treatment to maintain healthy digestion and control of digestive gases. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are safe and effective to use for animals and also addresses overall health and wellbeing.
Two well respected herbs such as Pimpinella anisum (anise) and Foeniculum vulgare act as a digestive aid and also help to detox the body’s system. Carefully selected homeopathic ingredients such as Magnesium phosphate, Carbo veg and Nux vom provides digestive comfort while also absorbing gases and toxins in the body.
More Information on Abdominal Cramping
Tips to prevent abdominal pain
There are a number of things that you can do provide symptomatic relief of abdominal pain and prevent recurrences these include:
- Feed your pet high quality commercial food or a well balanced all natural diet without additives, preservatives or colorants
- Avoid feeding your pet sugary foods or table scraps
- Make sure that your pet always has fresh, clean water available
- Disinfect food and water bowls regularly and only use stainless steel bowls
- Exercise your pet regularly to ensure that he keeps fit and healthy
- If your pet has symptoms of colic, withhold food for 24 hours to rest the stomach
- Soothe your pet’s bowel with small amounts of plain yogurt which contains natural cultures
- Avoid exposing your pet to spoilt food, garbage cans, chemicals or poisons
- Avoid making any sudden changes to your pet’s diet – introduce new food slowly by mixing with old food so that your pet can become accustomed to it
- De-worm your pet regularly
- Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are regularly updated
- Visit your vet for annual check ups to ensure the overall health and wellbeing of your pet