Chronic heartburn is a common affliction in older dogs. Symptoms are difficult to distinguish from those of chronic gastritis.
Common symptoms of heartburn are vomiting after meals or a repeated retching of phlegm or bile. Some animals may eat their vomit shortly after expelling it. Owners often notice a distinct foul or fishy smell around the mouth of the animal.
Heartburn symptoms are triggered by an excessive production of gastric acid over an extended period of time. Causes are mostly unknown. Unsuitable diets, candy, treats, and salty or fatty meals can contribute to chronic heartburn.
Chronic heartburn can be improved by feeding the animal a special low fat diet that will have to be continued until symptoms seize. Medication that reduces gastric acid may be used concurrently to help alleviate symptoms.
As symptoms are difficult to distinguish from other conditions of the stomach the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Dietary tips listed in the section below may be beneficial in alleviating symptoms the animal may be suffering.