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Dog Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Dog Inflammatory Bowel Disease

When a dog has an extended case of Dog Diarrhea accompanied by Dog Vomiting they may well have Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Vomiting will occur if the upper portion of the bowel is involved. If the major symptom is diarrhea, it will usually be that the colon is involved. Each time the dog defecates the amount may lessen. During that period there may be increased mucous and at times some blood discharged as well. At times the vomiting and diarrhea may come and go. If prolonged, it can lead to loss of appetite, weight loss and depression.

Types of inflammatory bowel disease

There are four basic types of inflammatory bowel disease.

1. The most common form is lymphocytic-plasmacytic inflammatory bowel disease. This occurs when the bowel is infiltrated by lymphocytes and plasmacytes.

2. The second most common is eosinophilic inflammatory bowel disease. This can also be more severe than the lymphocytic-plasmacytic type. The invading organisms are eosinophils.

3. Regional granulomatous IBD is next and has many of the same symptoms as Crohn's disease. It is relatively rare and caused by eosinophils and fibrous tissue.

4. Suppurative, also called neutrophilic IBD is caused my neutrophils and eliminating bacterial infection as a cause is necessary. It is unknown what causes these occurrences. Several possibilities have been considered, such as compromised immune system, poor nutrition or infectious agents.


Most commonly the dog owner will witness diarrhea and vomiting. Depending on the portion of the bowel involved, symptoms may vary.


A thorough history of the condition needs to be obtained by the veterinarian. If the vomiting and/or diarrhea have been long standing with blood or mucous in the stool, it would be considered. The history is followed by a physical examination during which the vet will feel the abdomen to check for thickened intestines.

Laboratory studies of the dog will be done. An elevation of enzymes within the liver or pancreas may be seen. Seldom will a chemistry test show any abnormality. Blood protein may also be present along with an imbalance in electrolytes.

There are no consistent findings with x-rays. Aside from thick intestines or increased gas, nothing would be seen. These findings could point to several different diseases.

The only way to definitively diagnose IBD is with a biopsy. This will identify the presence of any abnormal cells within the dog’s intestinal wall.


Initially a diet change will be ordered by your vet. A diet with hypoallergenic ingredients will be started and continued for at least two months. The dog must eat things he has never eaten before. Other dietary changes may also be necessary.

Medications that will decrease inflammation may be given as well as some sulfa drugs. The most important step in treating a dog with medications is to continue the medication until the veterinarian tells you to stop.

Although IBD can be controlled, it will not be cured. Proper diet, medications and prolonged long-term dosages of those medications will be necessary. Careful monitoring by both the owner and the veterinarian must be continued for the duration of the dog’s life and any recurring symptoms treated immediately.

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