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Getting a handle on

Inflammatory Bowel

Disease in Dogs

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(IBD) a Gastrointestinal Disorder
By: Tippy

IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease is an umbrella name for a
group of gastrointestinal disorders that involve penetration
of the GI tract by white blood cells. IBD can affect the
upper stomach, small intestine and colon. IBD is usually the
cause of chronic diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. The cause
for this disease is unknown at this time.

IBD is usually seen in dogs that are middle aged or older
and which have had some form of gastrointestinal issue since
they were young. Breeds that are at an increased risk for
this disease are Boxers, German Shepherds, Soft Coated
Wheaten Terriers, Rottweilers and Shar-peis.

IBD is an illness that causes a wide range of symptoms
usually involving the GI tract. They can range from mild
symptoms to severe symptoms.

Here are the symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs:

- Abdominal discomfort
- Blood or mucus in the stools
- Diarrhea
- Gas
- Lack of appetite or increased appetite
- Lethargy
- Noisy gut sounds
- Straining to defecate
- Vomiting
- Weight loss

In order to diagnose IBD in dogs a series of tests and
information listed below will be taken:

- Abdominal ultrasound
- Biochemical profile
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Fecal tests for parasites, protozoa and bacteria
- Food trial
- History and physical exam
- Intestinal biopsy
- Radiographs (x-rays)
- Tests for bacterial overgrowth in the intestine
- Trypsin-like immunoreactivity (test of pancreatic function)
- Urinalysis

Treatment for IBD includes:

- Antibiotics
- Corticosteroids for anti-inflammatory effects and to suppress
the immune system
- Dietary modification
- Other immunosuppressive (suppress the immune system) drugs
- Sulfasalazine for anti-inflammatory effects in the colon

Home Care and Prevention for IBD:

Be sure to give to your dog all medicines that are
prescribed by your veterinarian. Follow any dietary changes
that your veterinarian recommends for your dog, this is
crucial. Be sure to feed your dog only the recommended diet.
No other foods should be given to your dog including table
scraps, chew toys that can be eaten or any other foods.

Be sure to watch for any worsening of symptoms and contact
your veterinarian as soon as possible. There is no cure for
IBD at this time; the only way to lessen the symptoms
associated with IBD is to strictly adhere to the diet
recommended by your veterinarian and to give the dog
medications prescribed by the veterinarian for the rest of
its life.

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