Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is a condition where there’s inflammation in the lining of your dog’s digestive tract. Dogs with this condition have diarrhea and usually experience weight loss as well as other symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to anemia. While the symptoms are similar for IBD and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the two conditions are very different. With IBS, there’s no inflammation. The condition is usually caused by an infection in the digestive tract. But with IBD, it’s different because this condition can be triggered by a number of factors that cause inflammation. Read this article to learn more about inflammatory bowel disease and how to treat it.
What Is IBD And Symptoms of It?
Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition where there’s inflammation in the lining of your dog’s digestive tract. It can affect the small intestine, especially the part called the ileum or large intestine. There is no one cause of IBD in dogs, and vets aren’t sure what causes it. They believe that IBD is the body’s reaction to various underlying diseases. Genetic markers, dietary allergies, parasites, germs, and a weakened immune system are all possible causes. The majority of dogs with IBD have a history of recurrent or chronic vomiting or diarrhea, as well as a lack of appetite.
Symptoms of IBD in dogs are affected by their location inside the digestive tract and the intensity of inflammation. Some common symptoms include chronic vomiting where some types of food can irritate the condition, chronic diarrhea with the possibility of blood and mucus in their poop, and weight loss that cannot be explained. Also, your dog can be slightly lethargic and can lose appetite.
How Is It Treated?
While there’s no cure for IBD, there are many treatment options that can lessen or eliminate its symptoms. A vet will recommend the right treatment for your dog depending on their conditions and the severity of the disease. There are some cases where a vet will prescribe antibiotics for less severe cases of IBD. If your vet gives you Flagyl for dogs or Metronidazole (which is the same), make sure that your dog can tolerate it. Antibiotics are a very common treatment option because they work by inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria in the intestines where inflammation occurs.
In more severe cases, your vet may recommend steroids as a possible treatment. They also may recommend immunosuppressants that fight against inflammation. Moreover, it’s important to know that the vet sooner or later will recommend surgery for dogs that are unable to control their IBD symptoms despite medication and dietary changes. Your vet surely knows the best, so just follow their suggestions. And it’s important to note that even if there are treatment options for IBD, it may not be completely cured or eliminated just like that. There is a chance that your dog can experience a recurrence of the symptoms at one point or another in its life.
What Are Some Dietary Changes You Should Make?
Your vet can make dietary changes to help reduce your dog’s symptoms of IBD. Dogs with IBD are more likely to get diarrhea, so it’s important that you make sure their food has the right balance of fiber and protein. Avoid feeding them too many veggies or fruits because these types of foods can worsen their symptoms. The only veggies you should consider are low-fiber ones like carrots or green beans. It’s also important to make sure that they are eating an appropriate amount of food. Avoid overfeeding them or under-feeding them because this can affect your dog’s health. Also, you should pay special attention to their water intake. Make sure to have fresh, clean water available for them at all times. Fresh water is very important because it helps your dog’s body absorb the nutrients they need from their food.
Can Exercise Be Helpful?
You should be letting your dog exercise because doing so can help their symptoms. The only thing you should avoid doing is over-exercising them and putting them in dangerous situations (e.g., strenuous activities or long walks during extremely hot weather). This is because too much exercise can worsen their symptoms of IBD, especially if they aren’t eating well. However, there’s no need to worry because just a moderate amount of exercising will do the trick! Also, you should take your dog out for walks often, since it stimulates their bowels and helps relieve them naturally.
Is Prevention Possible?
While there’s no known cure for IBD, it doesn’t mean that you can do nothing to prevent it. You should still look out for things like avoiding spicy foods and introducing new types of food slowly into your dog’s diet. You also should avoid feeding them too many treats, especially ones that are processed. You should not overfeed your dog either because this can result in obesity. A lack of exercise is another possible cause of the disease, so make sure you find a way to get your dog moving! If you have any questions or concerns about IBD, talk to your vet ASAP.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has many symptoms, but the most common ones are diarrhea and vomiting. You should take your dog to a vet as soon as possible if you think they have the condition. If you take your dog to the vet and determine that they do indeed have IBD, it doesn’t mean that they will automatically be prescribed medication or surgery, those are only for more severe cases of IBD. However, if your dog does need medication or surgery, the sooner you seek the right treatment for them, the better their chances of recovery are. There are many types of medication your vet can prescribe to help ease their IBD symptoms, but depending on how severe their condition is, they might also recommend something like steroid shots in the short term. With IBD, it’s also important that you watch carefully what your dog eats. The vet can give you a special diet plan to ensure that they’re eating the right foods and getting all of the nutrients they need. We hope this article was helpful to you and whatever you do, make sure your vet has approved it!