Many dogs suffer from episodes of vomiting without any apparent organic or alimentary cause. Owners often describe them as stressed animals. The aim of this study was to verify the existence of a link between vomiting and anxiety.
The Evaluation of Emotional Disorders in Dogs (EDED) scale was used to score anxiety in dogs.1,2,3
We compared two populations - anxious dogs and normal dogs - which were distinguished based on their EDED scores. The first population consisted of 20 animals suffering from chronic gastric disease without organic lesions. All selected animals are under medical treatment and/or on a hyperdigestible diet. The second population consisted of 20 animals without any chronic gastric disease that were matched by gender, age and breed to each individual in the first group. We used a specific statistical analysis for paired series (Wilcoxon test).
The average EDED scores of the two populations were significantly different (p<0.01), which allowed us to conclude that anxiety is a possible etiology of chronic gastric disease.
Differential diagnosis of chronic gastric disease should include anxiety, and should not be only a diagnosis of exclusion. Scoring chronic and relapsing dogs on an EDED scale can save time. Treating anxiety improves outcomes in these dogs.