Colitis in Dogs

Colitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Diarrhea / Vomiting

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Rated as moderate conditon

12 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Diarrhea / Vomiting

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Colitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Colitis?

This condition can be either chronic or acute in onset, and can be caused by a range of factors including parasitic infection, stress or dietary intolerances. Although relapses are common in this condition your veterinarian will be able to assist you in the most effective plan to manage this condition.

Colitis in dogs is the inflammation of the colon and may also be known as inflammatory bowel disease. Dogs suffering from this condition may present with increased frequency of defecation and blood or mucous in the stools.

Symptoms of Colitis in Dogs

  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Blood present in the stools 
  • Straining prior to or following defecation
  • Vomiting 
  • Increased frequency of defecation with decreased volume 

Types

 

Colitis can be broken into four different forms.

Lymphocytic-plasmacytic colitis

-  This is characterized by the infiltration of lymphocytes and plasma cells into the mucosal lining of the small intestine resulting in inflammation; breed bias seems to be towards German Shepherds, Lundehunds, and Basenjis

Neutrophilic or ulcerative colitis

– This is characterized by the infiltration of neutrophils from the circulation into the mucosal lining of the small intestine

Eosinophilic colitis

– This is thought to be incited by infection, parasites or food allergies; this form of colitis appears to affect predominantly younger dogs and is characterized by the increase of eosinophils present in the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract

Granulomatous colitis

- this is a breed-specific inflammatory bowel disease that affects young Boxer dogs

Causes of Colitis in Dogs

  • Breed disposition
  • Parasitic infection
  • Dietary intolerances or allergies
  • Stress
  • Bacterial infection

Diagnosis of Colitis in Dogs

Your veterinarian will perform a full clinical examination and ask questions to establish a complete clinical history for your dog. Your veterinarian may palpate the rectal area and inspect the feces for evidence of parasitic infection. The following diagnosis investigations can assist in confirming or excluding the diagnosis of bacterial or parasitic infection or clostridial colitis:

  • Fecal smears for bacterial or parasitic infection
  • Fecal flotation for parasite identification 
  • Culture for bacteria 

As food sensitivities can be a common cause of chronic colitis in dogs, your veterinarian may recommend your pet is placed on a diet free of high allergen foods. If your pet’s clinical signs decrease on this diet, a diagnosis of food allergy may be made. 

If clinical signs continue or worsen on this diet, further diagnostic tests will be necessary. The following diagnostic tests may be performed:

  • Hematology investigations - complete blood count and biochemical profile

  • Abdominal radiographs to visualize the gastrointestinal tract 
  • Ultrasonography
  • Colonoscopy
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Treatment of Colitis in Dogs

Parasitic control

Deworming treatment should be given and repeated 3 weeks from first dose even if diagnostic tests show no parasitic infection

Nutrition

In order to allow your pet’s gastrointestinal system time to heal and recover food may initially be withheld for up to 2 days. Following this, the introduction of fiber may be beneficial for your pet due to it’s ability to slow luminal transit time, reducing fecal water, increasing fecal bulk and possibly reducing diarrhea. If your veterinarian suspects a food sensitivity may have caused the colitis, a novel protein diet may be introduced to your pet. This diet should only contain novel ingredients that have not previously been fed to your dog such as venison or rabbit. 

Home made diets are considered the gold standard when eliminating proteins from a pet’s diet, however, these can be time consuming and difficult to prepare. There are a range of commercially available diets your veterinarian will be able to recommend, such as novel protein diets or hydrolyzed diets.

Medication

Metronidazole may be given to your pet due to it’s ability to inhibit cell-mediated immunity. Glucocorticoids may be used therapeutically for your dog in order to suppress the immune response and inflammation.

Loperamide may be used due to it’s ability to slow excretion, decreases colonic secretion, and increase water absorption. This will be used with caution and only if infectious colitis has been ruled out. Enrofloxacin may be used for antibiotic therapy for Boxer dogs suffering from granulomatous colitis.

Recovery of Colitis in Dogs

The prognosis is varied depending on the form of colitis your pet is suffering from. The short term prognosis for dogs who are suffering from chronic colitis is good, however, recurrent relapses are likely. Long-term novel protein diets can be beneficial for pets, although in some cases allergies may develop over time to proteins. If this occurs it may be necessary to discuss circulating different protein sources in your companion’s diet.

Unfortunately for canines that have a genetic disposition to the disease the prognosis is grave; for Boxers suffering from histiocytic colitis recovery is unlikely unless treatment is started very early in the disease. The prognosis for Basenjis suffering from immunoproliferative enteropathy and Lundehunds suffering from diarrheal syndrome is also poor.

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Colitis Average Cost

From 352 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$8,000

Colitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Oliver wendell

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Basset Hound

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6 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

None

My dog is a 6 year old Bassett hound. He has had symptoms of IBS and colitis since we brought him home at 8 weeks old. He’s been on numerous limited diet ingredient foods with no luck. Finally the vet put him on a prescription diet, Hills digestive care I/d. Being on this food has helped improve him symptoms but they are still present. He has frequent bowel movements, straining when having a bowel movement. When we go on walks he has frequent bowel movements, the first couple of BMs are solid and then towards the end of the walk they are watery with mucus present. He then will stop and rub his butt in the grass. My question is, is it wise to switch him from the prescription food? The food is very expensive and I’m not even seeing his symptoms go away. I was thinking of switching to earth born coastal catch food. I’m nervous to do this because his last flare up caused him to have blood in his stool. Should I switch?

June 28, 2018

Oliver wendell's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

You may try to switch foods, however you may see a worsening of symptoms; it is important to remember that you may never find the ideal diet for Oliver Wendell but you should stay with a diet which causes the minimum amount of symptoms regardless of the cost. These cases are really trial and error with no right answer in many cases and can be frustrating for pet owners; any change in diet is your decision but be prepared for a worsening of symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 29, 2018

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Jojo

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Papillon

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6 Years

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Serious condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Frequent Diarrhea,

Our dog is a 6year old papillon For several months she has had colitis we have spent several thousand dollars at the vet and they can not stop it She has never had food allergies, nothing has changed her stress level, the vet says no parasites. We have worked her. They have her on a special canned food diet with probiotics and prednisone. Yet diarrhea persists every few hours

June 18, 2018

Jojo's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

I'm sorry that Jojo is having this problem. It may be time to seek the advice of an internal medicine specialist to see if they are able to help her. She may need intestinal biopsies, or further diagnostics as I am not sure what testing has been done. If things aren't improving for her, you can request a referral from your veterinarian. I hope that you are able to resolve her problem.

June 18, 2018

14 y.o. papillon with chronic, recurrent loose stools, weight loss. Pancreatitis? Inflammatory bowel disease? Usually responds to prednisone, but I don’t want to keep giving them due to bad side effects.

July 24, 2018

David V.

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Linus

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Ausky

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1 Year

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

My dog (and the other 3) had diarrhea and were treated with antibiotics. Clostridium was found in the smear. All recovered but my youngest (1.5 yrs) now has diarrhea again and is only slightly improving with a second round of antibiotics. He was dewormed the first time and the vet found nothing in the second smear and float. Is playful and acting normal with good appetite and water ingestion. Any thoughts on what this is?

May 26, 2018

Linus' Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

If Linus is otherwise normal, he may have eaten something that he wasn't supposed to, and this episode may be unrelated to the last. Since you veterinarian didn't find a definitive reason for the diarrhea, probiotics may help, and that is something that you can call and ask your veterinarian about using, since I cannot examine him.

May 26, 2018

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Hamish

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Cocker Spaniel

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5 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

We adopted my dog a year ago so we don’t really know too much about his background. Every month or two, he gets watery diarrhea that he can’t control and it usually lasts 24 hours. We took him to the vet 7 months ago for it because blood was coming out and they did a stool sample and said everything was normal. They wanted to do a liver test but said it wasn’t completely needed so we skipped it. He was good for 6 months after the vet visit, however in February it happened again and it happened again last night. It usually only happens for a night or two at the worst and he experiences no other symptoms so I don’t know what to do! He’s on the same food we were given at the pound we adopted him from.

April 7, 2018

Hamish's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

There are many different possible causes for these symptoms which may include diet, stress, infections, parasites, foreign objects, poisoning among other conditions; further testing would be useful in order to help narrow in on a diagnosis which may include blood tests, x-ray or ultrasound. You may also consider changing the diet slowly to a restricted ingredient sensitive diet to see if there are any signs of improvement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

April 7, 2018

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Fluffy

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Shih Tzu, Maltese

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4 Years

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Moderate condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Appetite Loss
Appetite Loss,Trapped Gaz
Appetite Loss,Trapped Gaz,Black Poo

My Shih-Tzu, Maltese 4.5 years old has been handicapped the past year.Suddenly she could not walk now the problem is that the past two weeks she suffers from abdominal bloat, trapped gas and appetite loss. It seems to be colitis or ulcer. After repeated visits to the vet, we managed to stop the trapped gas but she still has blood in her poo as it comes out black.She takes very little food. Also, she has lost a lot of weight as I have been feeding her the recommended pate food with the use of injection force feeding her, but she despises the time she will be force-fed. I have started giving her puppy milk yesterday as well as Aloe Vera, some chamomile tea. She has no appetite even though she has nt eaten properly for days She is now in the danger zone as she is quite weak. Can you please advise how to proceed as I don't want to lose her

April 4, 2018

Fluffy's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Unfortunately, without knowing more about Fluffy's health status or test results, I have a hard time commentin on what to do next. From the information that you have provided, it would be a good idea to have a blood panel, x-rays, and possibly an abdominal ultrasound to determine what might be going on, as well as fecal testing to rule out intestinal parasites. I hope that things improve for her.

April 4, 2018

thank you Dr King!

April 10, 2018

Fluffy's Owner

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Bo

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Mini Schnauzer Chin

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4 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Vomiting

For the past week she hasn’t been eating her dog food, or she’ll eat it very slowly (over the course of hours). She’s had colitis in the past, and she was treated for it, so we’re vigilant. I’ve seen nothing wrong with her stools, and while she’s is lethargic, it’s not as drastic as the last time.

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Bella

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Greyhound

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5 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Bloody Stool
Pooping Without Success

Our girl ate 3 lemon cupcakes one had frosting. That night, diarrhea. The next day, stool was fine. Suddenly the stool is back to diarrhea. Dog needs to go out every 2 hours, suddenly panting and pacing, whining to go out. When walking, she will have one poop with very little coming out. Mucus like consistency, color ranging from translucent yellow, orange, to normal poop colors, bits with red bloody mucus. She will try a few more times on the walk to go, and nothing else will come out. After a few tries, she's done and back to her normal self. She's running, jumping, playing with toys, wanting attention and affection. Has great appetite still but was recommended to fast for 24-48 hours then provide a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice for 3 days after, gradually adding kibble back into it. We will see if it works or if what she has isn't colitis.

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Michael

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Dalmatian

dog-age-icon

15 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Not Eating
Lathergic

My dog has began to act of if he is straining to defecate. Other times he will begin to go to the door to go out and as he is walking small pieces of feces will fall out onto the floor. Now he just went out and when he came in, sat down, and finally got up there was blood on the floor. I checked his anal region and it appears as if there is a large cyst of a large hemorrhoid that was not there before. The bleeding was a very short time, one spot. He is not eating and lethargic.

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Gunner

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Jack Russell

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3 Years

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Mild condition

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Blood In Stool

My little Gunner has had no issues in the past though for the last few days he has been having diarrhea multiple times a day with bright red blood. He seems his happy self, though has gone off his dinner tonight even though he usually never says no to food. There was an incident 2 days ago that he had an accident inside when we were out doing shopping. We came home to a mess of mucus and what looked like a small amount of clots of blood. We bought home a puppy a week ago though other than that nothing has changed and he seems to live the puppy. Should I be taking him to the vet?

Colitis Average Cost

From 352 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,000

Average Cost

$8,000

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