An Introduction to Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Canine inflammatory bowel disease, or canine IBD, is not a specific disease. The condition occurs when inflammatory cells penetrate the stomach or intestinal wall. IBD normally affects dogs that are middle-aged or old.

Causes

Unfortunately, there is no specific cause known for canine inflammatory bowel disease. However, certain factors can lead to an increased risk for developing the condition. These factors include genetics, diet, and immune system deficiencies. Your dog may also be allergic to a specific food protein and develop a case of canine inflammatory bowel disease.

Symptoms

Canine inflammatory bowel disease can affect certain parts of your dog’s gastrointestinal system. If the condition affects his stomach or upper part of the small intestine, your dog’s most noticeable symptom will be vomiting. Canine inflammatory bowel disease that affects the intestines will cause chronic diarrhea. Sometimes, mucus or blood will appear in your dog’s stool.

Both the stomach and intestines can be affected in some cases of canine IBD. This will cause both vomiting and diarrhea. If the condition becomes too severe, your dog may lose weight, lose his appetite, and develop a fever.

Diagnosis

If your dog has chronic bouts with vomiting and diarrhea, your veterinarian may suspect canine inflammatory bowel disease. First, he would have to rule out other causes of the diarrhea and vomiting. A biopsy is the best way to confirm a case of canine IBD.

Treatment

Canine inflammatory bowel disease is usually most effectively treated with corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are medications that help get rid of the inflammatory cells in the gastrointestinal system. You will also likely need to change your dog’s food to a hypoallergenic diet. If canine inflammatory bowel disease is mainly affecting the colon, then your dog would likely benefit from foods that are high in fiber.

As your dog gets older, his risk for developing serious health conditions increases dramatically. As a responsible owner, you may want to learn about some of the common dog illnesses that can affect your dog. So stop by today to read all about conditions such as canine lung cancer.

Tagged with:

Filed under: Its a Dog's life

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!