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Gastric Acidity & Mixed Feeding — Raw Essentials

The parasympathetic nervous system, via the vagus nerve, and the hormone gastrin stimulate the parietal cell to produce gastric acid, both directly acting on parietal cells and indirectly, through the stimulation of the secretion of the hormone histamine from enterochromaffine-like cells (ECL). Vasoactive intestinal peptide, cholecystokinin, and secretin all inhibit production. Diagram depicting the major determinants of gastric acid secretion, with inclusion of drug targets for peptic ulcer disease (PUD) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

The Evolution of Stomach Acidity and Its Relevance to the Human Microbiome

A mixed meal of kibble and raw will be higher protein than just kibble, thus stimulating more gastric acid to be produced during the digestion of that meal. Even a higher protein kibble vs a low protein kibble will have slightly different gastric acid production. Yes, the presence of amino acids and peptide chains (in other words, protein) stimulate the production of gastric acid too. A meal of mostly carbohydrates might inhibit the gastric acid production, but the more protein (raw meat in this case) is added to the meal, the more gastric acid will be produced.

Acid reflux in cats is a condition in which fluids within the stomach flow upward into the esophagus. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, veterinarians do not know the exact cause of this chronic disease, but hypotheses have been made. The up flow of stomach acid chronically irritates the esophagus lining, medically termed mucosa, causing clinical signs of regurgitation. Of course, if your cat is vomiting repeatedly, projectile vomiting, not keeping anything down (not even water), or you suspect the cat ate or drank a poisonous substance or swallowed something inedible, please take kitty to the vet.

Diagnosing Acid Reflux With a Barium Swallow Radiograph

We expect that animals feeding on carrion will have the most restrictive filter, i.e. higher stomach acidity. Carrion has the potential to sustain high pathogen loads because the dead host’s body has stopped suppressing bacterial growth. Similarly, carnivores and omnivores would be expected to have higher stomach acidities than herbivores with specialized fermenting forestomachs because pathogens found in prey are more likely to be capable of infecting the predator than plant-associated microbes [23]. However, we would also expect the acidity of the carnivore and omnivore stomach to also depend on the phylogenetic distance between predator and prey.

And if throwing up acid or meals frequently continues despite these recommended steps, see the vet. This can be a sign of a blockage that needs surgical attention – or, if your cat has not had blood work done recently, please get this done. This can also be a symptom of many illnesses, including pancreatitis, chronic kidney disease or hyperthyroidism, each of which needs management or treatment.

Many healthy dogs and cats vomit occasionally without identifying a cause. Sometimes the cause of vomiting is as simple as the pet eating too fast.

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It may take a few weeks to a few months for a cat to fully recover from the symptoms of acid reflux. Acid reflux in itself may not be curable, but the symptoms can be managed with the prescribed medications to reduce stomach acid and protect the esophagus from further damage.

Why does the mucosal barrier break down? A number of factors can interfere with its ability to protect the stomach lining.

The gastric tissues are able to withstand a high acidic environment because they are equipped with a number of protective forces, including mucosal cells, tight junctions, and a thick layer of mucus that prevents acid-induced injury. As always, consult your vet before making any substantial change to your pet’s diet.

pylori adheres to mucin and binds specifically to gastric mucosa epithelial cells [2]. The adherence allows the bacteria to anchor themselves to the epithelial layer, but bacteria that remain sttached to epithelial cells will eventually be swept away as these cells die and are exfoliated.

So the natural ‘wild” diet of dogs and cats has evolved a gastric environment that favours the breakdown of raw meats, raw bones, and a pH that kills potentially harmful bacteria – consistent with the requirements of carnivores, and in particular, the scavenging nature of dogs. The highly acidic environment in the stomach lumen causes proteins from food to lose their characteristic folded structure (or denature). This exposes the protein’s peptide bonds. The gastric chief cells of the stomach secrete enzymes for protein breakdown (inactive pepsinogen, and in infancy rennin). Hydrochloric acid activates pepsinogen into the enzyme pepsin, which then helps digestion by breaking the bonds linking amino acids, a process known as proteolysis.

cat stomach acid ph

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