PetMeds®: Colitis (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) in Cats and Dogs

 
Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

Colitis literally means inflammation of the colon.  The symptoms of colitis in our pets include loose and bloody stool in dogs and cats, mucousy stool or feces, painful or straining at bowel movements, as well as increased stool accidents in the house or outside of the litter box. Colitis, also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can have many possible causes from intestinal parasites like parasites like whipworms, hookworms and Giardia, foreign body ingestion or dietary indiscretion, dietary allergies or hypersensitivity, as well as metabolic problems like inflammation of the pancreas or liver.

Possible causes of colitis may include parasites like whipworms or hookworms On occasion polyps and tumors of the colon can appear, particularly in older pets. Any pet with chronic signs of colitis should have a full medical workup, including stool samples for parasites, as well as a complete CBC/chemistry blood profile and urine analysis. Sometimes additional imaging of the colon is needed through ultrasound and the use of endoscopes as is done in human medicine. Many pets that don’t respond to symptomatic therapy and develop chronic signs of colitis, sometimes have a disease called inflammatory bowel disease of the colon. This condition needs a surgical or endoscopic biopsy for appropriate diagnosis and treatment if symptomatic and dietary therapy fail.

As veterinarians we often use prescription drugs and antibiotics like Metronidazole, Tylan Powder, or Sulfasalazine to try and control symptoms of colitis, in addition to dietary changes or adding fiber using such products as Vetasyl. Recently we have been having great success using probiotics and enzymes to help restore health and digestive tract function, especially when antibiotics are used. Fast Balance is a wonderful product that can often quickly control acute cases of colitis and diarrhea by giving our pets a quick and bioavailable source of healthy bacteria to bring symptoms under control more quickly. Long term, excellent probiotics such as NaturVet Probiotics and Enzymes can often be added to meals, not only in treatment, but also in preventing future colitis flare-ups.

On occasion polyps and tumors of the colon can appear, particularly in older pets. Any pet with chronic signs of colitis should have a full medical workup, including stool samples for parasites, as well as a complete CBC/chemistry blood profile and urine analysis. Sometimes additional imaging of the colon is needed through ultrasound and the use of endoscopes as is done in human medicine. Many pets that don’t respond to symptomatic therapy and develop chronic signs of colitis, sometimes have a disease called inflammatory bowel disease of the colon. This condition needs a surgical or endoscopic biopsy for appropriate diagnosis and treatment if symptomatic and dietary therapy fail.

As veterinarians we often use prescription drugs and antibiotics like Metronidazole, Tylan Powder, or Sulfasalazine to try and control symptoms of colitis, in addition to dietary changes or adding fiber using such products as Vetasyl. Recently we have been having great success using probiotics and enzymes to help restore health and digestive tract function, especially when antibiotics are used.  Fast Balance is a wonderful product that can often quickly control acute cases of colitis and diarrhea by giving our pets a quick and bioavailable source of healthy bacteria to bring symptoms under control more quickly.   Long term, excellent probiotics such as NaturVet Probiotics and Enzymes can often be added to meals, not only in treatment, but also in preventing future colitis flare-ups.

Read Related Posts on PetMeds Blog:

  1. Why Does My Pet Have Blood in the Stool?
  2. Managing Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome in Pets
  3. PetMeds®: Emerging Gastrointestinal Diseases in Cats
  4. PetMeds® Weight Loss As a Symptom in Pets
  5. What Does Blood in Your Pet’s Stool Mean?

One Comment

  1. Posted July 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m a big believer in probiotics for animals as well as people.

    We had 2 pups go down with parvovirus and although intensive veterinary care pulled them through, they got demodetic mange about 6 months later. I think because their immune system was damaged from the parvo.

    Anyway, I gave them lots of probiotic yogurt (as well as what the vet advised) and they both got over the mange too.

    Three years later they are healthy dogs.

    [Reply]

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