IBD in Dogs


What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs?

The group of gastrointestinal diseases referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) leads to the inflammation of the intestinal tracts and chronic symptoms related to gastrointestinal system. Though the specific cause of IBD is unknowned, abnormal immune system reaction believed to be started by regular inhabitant bacteria of the intestine is thought to be the reason for inflammation.

IBD can affect dogs at any age however is more typical in middle-aged and older dogs. Some types may be inclined to IBD, consisting of basenjis, lundehunds, French bulldog, and Irish setters.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight reduction
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Chronic periodic vomiting
  • Gas (flatulence).
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Rumbling and gurgling abdominal noises.
  • Brilliant red blood in stool.
  • Distressed coat hair.

Causes of IBD in Dogs

Though no single cause is known, more than one cause is believed. Hypersensitivity to bacteria and/or food allergies are presumed to play a significant function in this disease. Food irritants presumed to play a role in this disease consist of meat proteins, food ingredients, food additive, preservatives, milk proteins, and gluten (wheat). Genetic aspects are likewise presumed to play a role in IBD.


Your veterinarian will take an in-depth history and ask you questions concerning to the period and frequency of symptoms. A complete physical exam will be carried out and after the assessment your vet will conduct regular lab tests, consisting of total blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. The outcomes of these regular laboratory tests are frequently typical. In some patients, anemia and abnormally high number of leukocyte (as in infections) might be present. In dogs with IBD, unusually levels of proteins and liver enzymes might also be found. Fecal evaluation, on the other hand, is carried out to confirm the existence of parasitic infection( s).

Your vet might perform tests to determine cobalamin and folate levels in blood to assess small intestine functions. Regular X-rays are usually typical in these patients. Your veterinarian might conduct Barium Contrast Studies for a more in-depth assessment. Barium improves the visibility of organs. It is usually given orally, followed by a series of X-rays as barium moves downward in gastrointestinal tract. Intestine wall problems, like increased density, might be visible through barium contrast research studies. Likewise, ultrasound can be of aid in determining the changes in the intestine wall. More particular screening to rule if any food allergen might be the reason for this condition is conducted. Taking a small tissue sample from the dog’s intestine by surgical ways can verify the diagnosis, too.

Treatment for IBD in Dogs

In many dogs, IBD can not be “cured” however can be successfully managed. However, even after total recovery, relapses prevail. Major goals of treatment are the stabilization of body weight, the amelioration of gastrointestinal symptoms, and the decrease of the body immune system’s reaction. Therefore, immunosuppresive drugs and antibiotics are essential components of the therapy. Furthermore, cobalamin is given up some dogs to combat deficiency.

In cases of dehydration, fluid replacement therapy is begun to get rid of the fluid deficit. Dogs with constant vomiting are usually not given anything orally and might require fluid therapy up until vomiting fixes. Dietary management is another vital element of therapy, with hypoallergenic diets being the most recommended. Generally two weeks or so are offered to see the response of your dog to such a diet.

Living and Management

The short-term prognosis in most dogs is excellent, but in cases of severe disease, prognosis is typically really bad. Again, it is essential to keep in mind that IBD can not be “treated,” but can be managed in most dogs. Be patient with the kinds of treatment suggested by your vet and strictly adhere to diet recommendations made them. In stabilized patients, an annual examination is often required.


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