Inflammatory Bowel Disease In Dogs

When a dog’s intestines and stomach wall hosts numerous inflammatory cells, then the pet is suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. These inflamed cells usually change the lining of the digestive system thereby disrupting normal absorption and proper passage of food. Note that, inflammation bowel syndrome has similar symptoms to irritable bowel syndrome but the two diseases are very different.


The cause of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs has not yet been identified. As a matter of fact, most veterinary doctors believe that it’s not actually a disease but the body’s way of reacting to other conditions. However, there are numerous variables that have been known to contribute to this condition in dogs. These include food allergies, genetics, bacteria, parasites and abnormal immune systems. It’s very difficult to identify the exact cause of the disease in each pet. That’s why the vet will simply base future treatment and care depending on how the dog responds to treatments.



If your lovely pet is suffering from IBD, you will notice chronic vomiting. It’s a very common sign that signals to the fact that the inflammation has affected the stomach and the intestinal areas. Also, you may notice other symptoms such as prolonged diarrhea which might involve some mucus, loss of appetite, fever and rapid weight loss.


Once the vet has observed and evaluated any of the above symptoms in your dog, he/she will suspect inflammatory bowel disease. However, the best way to differentiate it from irritable bowel syndrome is by performing a biopsy. Of course, the biopsy can only be performed once the vet has ruled out other underlying conditions such as organ disease or parasites. The results of the biopsy should reveal the amount of inflammatory cells in the dog’s intestines and stomach. Other diagnostic tests that can be performed by the vet include ultrasound, bloodwork, radiographs, microscopic stool examination.

Dogs That Are Immune To IBD

Of course, any dog can fall victim of inflammatory bowel disease. However, there are some species that have proven immune to the disease. Therefore, if you have a soft-coated wheaten terrier, basenji, German shepherd or a shar-pei, you can relax because your pet is immune to the disease.

Treatment Options

Currently, there is no cure for inflammatory bowel disease. However, the symptoms of the disease can be controlled accordingly through medication and diet modifications. Naturally, there is a lot of trial and error involved in order to find the right combination of diet and medication that works for each particular pet.

However, it’s important to practice patience as well as working closely with the vet. That way, a normal routine will be established and it’s easier to take care of the pet accordingly. There is some good news. Eventually, some dog species might not need to be on medication all through except only when there are bad episodes.

In conclusion, you should make arrangements to see the vet if you notice chronic vomiting or prolonged diarrhea in your dog as well as rapid weight loss or poor appetite before the condition gets worse.