Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition in which the lining of an animal’s digestive tract becomes irritated and inflamed, often causing vomiting and diarrhea. This irritation often impairs the animal’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. The cause or causes of this syndrome are mostly unknown, but may have to do with the immune system improperly targeting a harmless component of the animal’s food. This disorder is not to be confused with a food intolerance or accidental consumption of foods that are harmful to dogs, such as onion or chocolate. Those symptoms are acute (temporary), whereas IBD is chronic.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, is a general category of gastrointestinal diseases, presenting with continual symptoms (such as vomiting and diarrhea) and evidence of immune cells congregating in the affected tissue. This is accompanied by severe and often damaging inflammation to the lining of the gut. The causes of many diseases in the IBD category are unknown.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Average Cost

From 22 quotes ranging from $300 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,800

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Refusal of food
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Swelling and irritation of the abdomen
  • Weakness
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Anemia
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Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

Unknown. Most evidence points to miscommunication between “danger-sensing” cells leading to overreaction from immune system.

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Diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

IBD is often a diagnosis of exclusion, with no specific abnormal findings on a CBC, x-ray, or other biochemical test. If your dog has exhibited signs of gastrointestinal distress for more than a day, see your veterinarian.

Before diagnosing an IBD, the veterinarian will attempt to rule out other likely causes of gastrointestinal upset, including parasites, roundworms, or bacterial infections. A stool sample is the first diagnostic test that will usually be conducted. Examination of your dog’s feces could identify worms or parasites such as Giardia, and usually a course of antibiotics will be given to rule out a bacterial infection. However, if the antibiotics do not resolve the disease, IBD may be suspected.

Poor absorption of nutrients, such as protein and calcium deficiency, are a side effect of IBD and can be detected with a blood test. X-ray imaging can also reveal excessive gas or fluid in the GI tract, and swelling of the small intestine. Non-regenerative anemia (iron deficiency) also points toward a chronic condition, wherein the bone marrow is unable to replace blood cells quickly enough.

If no other obvious cause is uncovered by these tests, the veterinarian may order an endoscopy, where a camera mounted on a tube used to explore the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine. Your dog will be sedated for this procedure and will experience only minimal discomfort. Biopsies (tissue samples) will be taken from a number of areas and examined microscopically for abnormally high immune cell counts and ulceration.

Finally, if no other bacterial or environmental toxins can be identified as the cause of the symptoms, the veterinarian will diagnose IBD.

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Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

Treatment for IBD focuses on ameliorating the symptoms of the condition: reducing diarrhea and vomiting, stimulating weight gain, and aiding nutrient absorption by decreasing inflammation. This may be done by trying to identify if anything in the dog’s diet, while normally dog-safe, might be provoking a reaction. In some cases dietary modification alone can correct IBD, but in many cases medication such as anti-inflammatories, anti-emetics, and immune system suppressants will be required to control IBD. The specific type and dosage of these treatments will depend on the veterinarian’s diagnostic findings and the specific case.

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Worried about the cost of Inflammatory Bowel Disease treatment?

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Recovery of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

IBD carries a guarded prognosis, as the quality of life for pets with this syndrome can be poor. However, some pets do respond to treatment, and if proper medication and dietary restrictions are followed, can lead a healthy and enjoyable life. Owners should monitor their pet’s diets, and under the direction of a veterinarian may need to provide alternate meals such as lamb, chicken and rice, or add additional sources of fiber, which in some cases has been shown to improve symptoms of IBD.

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Average Cost

From 22 quotes ranging from $300 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,800

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Tootie

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Pug

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12 Years

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1 found helpful

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1 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Blood And Mucous In Stool

Our pug was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease about 6 weeks ago. She had about 2 months of intermittent vomiting (1-2 times/week), otherwise acting normally--eating, happy, energetic. We saw our regular vet multiple times and everything was normal (blood, stool, urine, exam). About 2 months into this she had a very large stool (twice the size of normal, still formed) but with globs of mucous and blood flecks. I snapped a pic and went back to our vet--dx inflammatory bowel disease. We started her on a hypoallergenic diet, B-12 shots, daily probiotic, and anti nausea med. She was excellent for about a month. Then 2 weeks ago started to flare again. Initially just intermittently having a stool with blood/mucous strands. Still eating/acting normally. Then yesterday she got worse--5 stools (normally has 1 per day). The first was firm, the second softer with some mucous/blood. The next 3 progressively softer/looser, with mucous/blood and the last one was pure mucous with blood flecks. She also vomited once yesterday (she hadn't in weeks). She is still acting ok. She last ate yesterday morning (we held off feeding her dinner) but she's still drinking water and urinating. Our vet had mentioned if this worsened and she didn't respond to conservative treatment we would proceed to seeing a vet gastroenterologist for scope and possibly steroids. We're wondering what we should do in the meantime with this flare. Of course it's a weekend and a holiday week next week, so our veterinary office is short staffed and we may not be able to get in. We don't want to go to the emergency vet clinic since she's otherwise acting OK. Any further advice on diet/treatment/approaches would be most appreciated.

June 30, 2018

Tootie's Owner

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1 Recommendations

The problem with conditions like inflammatory bowel disease is that there isn’t a set in stone treatment and that’s it, it is more of a balancing act trying to keep the condition in check to reduce symptoms. If Tootie isn’t showing any signs of distress at the moment and is otherwise normal, I would try to give your clinic a call (as they are familiar with Tootie’s case and may make changes to treatment as there is a current Doctor-patient relationship) to see if they can see her or if they will recommend any change in current treatment over the phone. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 1, 2018

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Dollor

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German Shepherd

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4 Years

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Blood In Stool
Vomiting
Diarrhea

My dog's stool has mucas and blood with diarrhea. I have searched over Internet I think he is suffering from IBD. He is also vommiting and not eating anything . He is active while he goes on walk. But after that he sleep all the time. I think he also have pain in stomach

Dec. 21, 2017

Dollor's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. He should be seen by your veterinarian to rule out parasites, food intolerance, partial foreign bodies, or intestinal infection.

Dec. 21, 2017

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Average Cost

From 22 quotes ranging from $300 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,800

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