Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease in dogs is a chronic disease of the GIT. The disease is characterized by the abundance of inflammatory cells in the stomach, the small intestine, and sometimes in the large intestine.

inflammatory bowel disease image

The presence of these inflammatory cells within the gastrointestinal tract will disrupt normal functioning and will often result in diarrhea and vomiting, weight loss, malnutrition, and anemia.

This disease usually affects middle-aged to senior dogs, but some cases in younger animals are documented.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease in dogs is a chronic inflammatory process that often leads to ulceration or bleeding inside the intestines. Many cases will resolve on their own, but sometimes surgery, IV fluids, and medications are necessary. The cause of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs is unknown.

Canines with inflammatory bowel disease may be treated with corticosteroids, a high fiber diet, a hypoallergenic diet, an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin, and various other medications. In humans, inflammatory bowel disease is believed to be a result of chronic inflammation of the intestine. The exact cause of IBD in humans is unknown.

Inflammatory bowel diseases are chronic diseases characterized by inflammation of the intestines. Ulcerative colitis is a type of IBD characterized by inflammation and ulcers in the colon, rectum, and/or anus.

inflammatory bowel disease under the microscope

Crohn’s disease is a type of IBD characterized by inflammation in any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammatory bowel disease can manifest itself in many ways including diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain.

Inflammatory bowel diseases can affect dogs at any age but are most common between the ages of five and ten years old. Dogs with inflammatory bowel diseases are most commonly affected by ulcerative colitis, which affects the large intestine.

Crohn’s disease most commonly affects the small intestine, but it can also affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammatory bowel disease does not cause heat signs in dogs, or if they are present they are usually relatively minor.

IBD in Dogs – A Prognosis

Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic lifelong disease that will likely continue to progress in severity until treated with medication or surgical intervention.

If you have a dog, especially a purebred one, or if your dog has been in contact with someone who has an IBD, prevention is the key.

How to Prevent Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

Diagnosis of IBD is usually done by taking a dog’s complete blood count, blood chemistry, fecal cultures, and performing a biopsy of the affected tissues. Other diagnostic tests may also be needed depending on the type of IBD.

Treatment for IBD typically begins with anti-inflammatory medications that are given orally or via injection into the affected area(s). Dietary management is important in managing symptoms of IBD.

Preventing IBD in dogs takes careful planning around diet and lifestyle. There are things you can do right now to help prevent IBD, but it’s best to follow the veterinary care plan that your veterinarian is recommending for you and your pet. Early diagnosis of this condition allows for treatment to begin early on, which minimizes the severity of symptoms.

On the infographic below you can find info about the symptoms, treatment, and the most affected breeds. Get this as a poster for your clinic or classroom! Order HERE!

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute veterinary advice. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. Always consult a veterinarian if you have a question regarding the health and well-being of your pet.

inflammatory bowel disease in dogs infographic