INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

We are continuing with bowel topics as it is very very core of over-all health of your pet. And todays topic is – Inflammatory bowel disease otherwise know IBD for short.

As each and every time – we take our time to answer your questions regarding a specific health issue. 

What Causes IBD in Dogs? 

IBD is as you can tell from its definition, is a chronic (long term) inflammation of your dog’s digestive tract. This inflammation of the mucosal lining then prevents food from being properly absorbed and subsequently digested. If left untreated, it can cause the loss of essential nutrients being absorbed causing other health issues.  

Unfortunately, there is no single cause of IBD and veterinarians often find it tricky to identify the culprit and therefore its treatment. It is likely to be caused as a consequence of an underlying condition such as genetic markers, intestinal parasites, a weakened immune system, ‘bad’ bacteria or food intolerance/allergies.  

Even though any breed can develop IBD, it has been shown that some breeds are more prone to it such as: Weimaraner’s, Basenjis, Irish Setters, Yorkies, Rotties, German Shepherds, Border Collies and Boxers.  

How Is IBD in Dogs Different From IBS? 

IBD and IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome) often get confused with each other as their clinical signs are similar but their pathophysiology is different. IBD is an actual physical change in the gut lining cells due to inflammation whereas IBS usually only affects the large intestine (colon) and is usually due to stress, an infection or a change in diet.   

How Does a Vet Diagnose IBD in Dogs? 

Your veterinarian will first ask about your dog’s clinical signs. IBD is generally diagnosed by excluding other diseases/conditions first such as parasites, cancer, generally illness by carrying out blood tests, faecal exams, x-rays and/or ultrasound. A definitive diagnosis can only be obtained by an intestinal biopsy.  

 

How Do You Manage and Treat IBD in Dogs? 

IBD is tricky as there is no definitive cure, it is more a matter of managing it. Every case tends to be different so there is usually quite a fair bit of trial and error in trying to find the correct management plan. Most plans are composed of using steroids and antibiotics to manage the clinical signs and a change of diet to minimize the clinical signs occurring.  

What is always useful (as is the case for most chronic illnesses) is to make a diary/detailed notes which can help you and your veterinarian greatly. Notes should include details such as their appetite (increased/reduced/same), weight changes (weigh weekly), overall attitude (more playful?) and any vomiting or diarrhea (occurrence, severity, appearance).  

A successful resolution requires the gut time to allow healing and to only use medication as and when is needed during a flare up.  

Your veterinarian will recommend a diet based upon blood results, faecal exams and the intestinal biopsy (if carried out). The diet will usually consist of one or more of the following: high fiber, carbohydrate reduction, reducing fat, eliminating treats and identifying the protein allergen.

What are the clinical signs of IBD? 

Unsurprisingly, as IBD is a disease of the intestinal tract, the main clinical signs seen are chronic vomiting (may be exacerbated by certain foods/treats), chronic diarrhea (if blood seen then please see your veterinarian asap) and weight loss (mainly due to the nutrients not being absorbed across the intestinal mucosa).  

Regardless, if you see your dog has vomiting or diarrhea that persists longer than a few days if you do not know the cause. There may also be blood in their faeces or vomit if IBD has progressed and you may also notice your dog has become lethargic or less playful/happy in general. 

How Do We Help to Manage IBD?

We would like to highlight, dog owners should not wait until seeing the symptoms of the disease are visible. This is preventable by consulting with your vet and adjusting your pet’s diet beforehand. It takes time to change dogs’ diet phase by phase, but if the results are highly accomplishable – it is worth of time investment.
For the drained organism of dogs, we offer a full mixture of Dehydrated-Raw Organic Plants. This mixture contains 19 different plants, seeds, berries, and even mushroom’s to nurture pets’ health. The complex mixture contains A and D vitamins, Minerals like Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium. These minerals work together with trace elements and omega fats which help to gain a healthy weight. In order to have all the nutrients to be absorbed, you should consult with your vet in order to specify a diet that can be complemented with Rocketo raw food.

We are always happy to provide the needed knowledge for the Rocketeers.

Until next time!

Written by
DR. ANDREW BUTCHER
BVSc MRCVS

Click here to know more about Andrew, or meet him on LinkedIn.

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