The main goal of treatment is to address the underlying cause of your dog’s ulcers. If it is thought to be related to oral medication like NSAIDs, then your dog should stop taking these right away. If a human NSAID was ingested, your dog will likely need hospital care to prevent internal organ damage. Also, NSAIDs should never be mixed with oral steroids for dogs because there is a severe risk of ulceration with this combination. With liver or kidney disease, fluid therapy and various medications are often necessary.
Antacids like Tums have a very short half-life so these are not recommended. H2-antagonist medications like famotidine (Pepcid®) are very effective because they minimize the amount of stomach acid released. Proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole are even more effective because they completely block the release of stomach acid. If there is a concern for possible infection, antibiotics are sometimes prescribed, and cytoprotective medications like sucralfate can bind at ulcer sites to over some protection from further damage due to acids and enzymes.
If a severe ulcer has caused a gastrointestinal perforation, then surgery is necessary to close this opening. Without treatment in this situation, it can lead to sepsis and death.
Gastrointestinal ulcers can be very painful yet difficult to diagnose. Your vet will need to rule out several other factors, but regardless of cause, the therapies prescribed by most vets for GI upset can help in situations where ulcers have occurred. Advanced imaging is necessary to identify ulcers, but if these tests are cost-prohibitive, it is usually safe to try therapy with H2-antagonists or proton pump inhibitors. These are available in oral tablets and injectable varieties. Immediate therapy will always yield faster results!