4 Breeds at Risk of Colitis – Learn How to Keep Your Dog Safe

sad dog

Unfortunately, it’s a common story. Your dog isn’t acting
right. Something is off. And then it strikes. Diarrhea. This
unpleasant affliction is common. An upset stomach is
one of the most common reasons
pups visit the doctor.
Oftentimes, the gastrointestinal or stomach issue is colitis.

People with dogs need to understand the differences between an
upset tummy and colitis. For some dogs, the disease will
evolve into chronic diarrhea
. No fun. This is how to recognize
the disease and what to do about it.

What is colitis?

You don’t need a degree in biology to understand this illness.
The definition is simple. Colitis is the inflammation of the large
intestine (colon). Colitis is often used to describe
diarrhea
or loose stools. Remember: colitis and diarrhea are
not synonymous. However,  large bowel diarrhea is also used
interchangeably with colitis.

Sometimes, an upset stomach is just an upset stomach. If your
dog has loose stool once or twice, it doesn’t mean she has the
disease.

What are the symptoms?

Frequent,
small volumes of semi-formed to liquid feces
,” are
indicators. In many cases, the loose stool becomes more common than
normal feces.

Your dog may strain when defecating. Gas and constipation are
other common symptoms. Also, you may notice small amounts of blood
or mucus in your pup’s stool. Dogs also exhibit an increased urge
to defecate. This is what you won’t see if your dog gets this
disease: vomiting or weight loss.

What is the cause?

Many different factors can lead to this disease.
Harmony Animal Hospital
identifies the most common causes of
it:

  • One common cause of colitis in dogs is whipworms. These worms
    live in the intestine and reproduce rapidly, causing digestive
    problems that could lead to diarrhea.
  • Other parasites, like Giardia and Crystosporidium, can also
    cause colitis.
  • Colitis can also be caused by irritable bowel syndrome or
    chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

Some other causes of the disease are:

  • Stress (did
    you board your dog recently?)
  • Infections from Salmonella, Clostridium, and E. coli
  • Pancreatitis
  • Eating contaminated food (think: things found in the garbage
    can or on the sidewalk)

No matter the impetus, the disease is dangerous. An inflamed
colon leads to reduced water absorption and the decreased ability
to store feces in the colon. Which results in, you guessed it,
diarrhea.

Is my dog at risk?

There are risk factors that increase your dog’s risk for acute
or chronic colitis. Age, breed, environment, and immune status can
lead to an acute version of the disease.
For example
, puppies “are susceptible to a variety of
bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause an acute episode of
colitis.”

If your dog is undergoing cancer treatment the immune system
suppression can aid the growth of bad bacteria in the colon. Then
your pup could have loose stool.

Chronic colitis is not tied to a specific age or gender.
However, some breeds are predisposed to inflammatory bowel disease
(IBD). This disease often leads to chronic colitis. These are the
breeds at risk:

  • Boxers
  • German Shepherds
  • French bulldogs
  • Miniature schnauzers

lab tests

What is the diagnosis process?

As you are now aware, there are many causes of this disease.
When you visit the vet, the doctor will ask you a host of questions
about your dog’s medical history. They will want to know about
recent travel, interaction with other dogs, symptoms, what your dog
eats, and more.

Once the vet gets more information from you, testing and exams
are necessary. The doctor evaluates your pup’s feces, gives a
rectal examination, cytology, and conducts blood tests.

Get
the Scoop on Doggy Diarrhea

According to VCA Animal
Hospitals,
“Additional testing such as radiographs to examine
the colon and intestinal tract, colonoscopy and colon biopsies,
fecal cultures, barium enemas, or ultrasound evaluation of the
abdomen may be necessary in some cases. These tests are important
to rule out conditions such as colonic tumors or polyps, irritable
bowel syndrome, cecal inversion, and ileocecocolic intussusception
(a rare condition in which the intestines ‘telescope’ or fold
into themselves).”

What is the treatment protocol?

Treatment depends on the cause of colitis. So, if worms gave
your pup the disease, your doctor may prescribe deworming tablets.
In addition to the medicinal treatment plan, your dog’s doctor
may suggest changes to your pup’s lifestyle. For example,
changing your dog’s eating by increasing his fiber intake or
switching to an intestinal or hypoallergenic diet.

Image courtesy of Real Happy Dogs What else should I
know about Colitis?

Thankfully, there are some ways to prevent your pup from
acquiring this illness. The
Pet Health Network
offers these suggestions

  • Watch what your dog eats (keep her out of the trash!)
  • Provide fresh water daily
  • Get rid of any parasites in her body by giving her monthly
    preventives
  • Give fecal samples to her veterinarian during her annual
    examine
  • Make sure your dog is current on all recommended vaccines.
  • Avoid interaction with other sick dogs in public places like
    the park and doggy daycare
  • Pick a nutrient profile with high quality, high digestibility
    protein. Protein for adult dogs should be between 15% and 30% on a
    dry matter (DM) basis.

Don’t beat yourself up if your pup eats food from the trash or
finds some unsavory snack on his walk. After all, dogs have free
will and you are not all-seeing. Be on the lookout for changes in
your dog’s bowel movements. When behavior becomes abnormal,
it’s time to seek medical assistance.

Remember, this disease is highly treatable. Changes to your
pup’s diet and medication will get their bowel movements back to
normal.

The post
4 Breeds at Risk of Colitis – Learn How to Keep Your Dog Safe

appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Source: FS – Dogs – iHD
4 Breeds at Risk of Colitis – Learn How to Keep Your Dog Safe