Dog Training

IBD in dogs (tips and treatment options)

What is IBD all about? What are the causes behind the disease and other valuable tips I show you in this post. In addition, we have for this article Advice from veterinarian Emin Jasarevic obtained. So be curious!

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Table of contents

What is IBD?

IBD is the abbreviation for "chronic inflammatory bowel disease", which means "chronic inflammatory bowel syndrome" in German.

So IBD in dogs has to do with the inflammation of their intestines. This is a chronic disease. That is, their symptoms recur over time and are sometimes worse, sometimes less severe.

If you notice this, you should act.

There are dogs that have problems with the slightest change of food and again some that seem to be able to eat anything.

As an attentive and caring dog owner, you are probably already aware of your four-legged friend's idiosyncrasies. This is good and very important.

However, sometimes it happens that you are unsure what could be wrong with your protégé.

Nothing is worse than seeing your loved one suffer but not knowing how to help them.

If you observe that your fur bearer often has diarrhea and vomits, something is definitely wrong. If you then even find blood in the stool or have the feeling that he has pain from cramps, the alarm bells should ring.

Gastrointestinal disorders and digestive difficulties may occur from time to time. This is completely normal. However, if your dog regularly suffers from these symptoms, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian about IBD.

The diagnosis is a bit complicated, as there are no definitive tests for IBD yet. Rather, the veterinarian must rule out other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Are some dog breeds particularly susceptible?

IBD is not selective. Almost all dog breeds and mixed breed dogs can be affected by it. Even the age is not too relevant. Often dogs show corresponding symptoms already as a young animal.

However, there are also cases in which the patient has lived healthy and symptom-free for years and only develops IBD in the last years of his or her life.

This is one of the reasons why IBD is so difficult to diagnose. However, observations show that many of the affected quadrupeds have a light coat color. 

If your furry friend is a golden retriever, a yellow Labrador, or a spirited Jack Russell terrier, you might be more likely to consider IBD. But IBD could also be the cause of symptoms in a light-colored mixed-breed dog.

Additionally, let the vet know from where you acquired your pet. Dogs from shelters or abroad are often more susceptible to diseases. They may also have pre-existing conditions that can weaken the immune system.

What are the causes?

It is believed that there are several causes of IBD. So think carefully about how your pet lives and behaves. 

Is he often stressed and anxious? How is the relationship between you and your dog? Do you often yell at him unnecessarily or do you even ignore him? 

Sometimes your protégé can drive you up the wall. However, you should try not to stress or frighten him. 

It is believed that stress can be a psychological factor in the development of IBD. Therefore, pay attention to a good relationship between you and your dog and try to raise him to a balanced nature. A healthy self-confidence is very important for the psyche and development. 

Another cause of IBD can be harmful bacteria that have settled in your dog's intestine. The disturbed intestinal flora can increase the formation of putrefaction and fermentation products. 

In addition, it is possible that your quadruped has a Intolerance to certain feeds has developed. In advanced cases, this can even lead to allergies to certain substances. 

Therefore, it is best to bring the nutritional information of your pet's dog food with you to the vet. They may be able to tell you from experience which ingredients many dogs react negatively to. 

It is assumed that IBD heritable and is anchored in the genes. IBD occurs more frequently in some dog breeds. Affected dog breeds are for example the Jack Russell Terrier, Australian Shepherds and the German Shepherd. But as mentioned earlier, IBD can occur in all dog breeds, whether pure or mixed, and at any age. 

In summary, however, it must be said that the possible causes of IBD are for the most part speculative and cannot yet be proven with certainty.

The symptoms

The symptoms for IBD can be varied. 

Most dogs develop chronic diarrhea. This can be of different nature and Contain mucus and blood.

Depending on the strength and duration of the Diarrhea you should immediately take countermeasures together with your veterinarian. It must be ensured that your pet stays supplied with all important nutrients and vitamins and receives enough fluids. 

Also, you can observe that your faithful companion has a very changing appetite has. If he eats the same food with relish on some days and completely spurns it on others, IBD may be behind it. 

Often are also occasional vomiting one of the symptoms of IBD. Watch your pet closely and take him to the vet if he exhibits any unusual behavior. 

If the symptoms remain untreated, they can in the worst case lead to the emaciation of your dog. In addition, due to the disturbed nutrient content and the undersupply, his coat becomes shaggy and dull. 

Your protégé can even go under Hair loss suffer. Also a Acute iron deficiency can occur due to the undersupply and must be treated immediately. 

All the pain and discomfort your four-legged friend has to go through can change his nature. Many dogs with IBD are very anxious and jumpy, have phobias or panic attacks.

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosing IBD is difficult. Not every dog that struggles with diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms automatically suffers from IBD. Often the disease also remains undiagnosed. 

It is estimated that IBD affects slightly more than one third of dogs with chronic diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems. However, a diagnosis remains elusive and the disease cannot be attributed. 

In contrast, however, also hasty diagnoses often lead to the conclusion IBD. As a result, many dogs that actually do not have IBD are treated with the wrong means and medications. 

To diagnose IBD with certainty, all other possible diseases must be ruled out. Thus, the pancreas should be examined for inflammation and a harmless feed intolerance should be excluded. 

However, the exclusion of a feed allergy is very difficult.

Clarity can be provided by a Gastroscopy or a Colonoscopy. Usually the veterinarian performs both together. During the procedure Tissue samples and subsequently examined. The result can provide information on whether IBD is present.

However, a major disadvantage of this is that the procedure can only take place under general anesthesia. This is not completely harmless and is always a burden for the quadruped. In addition, the costs for such an operation are relatively high, so that many pet owners cannot afford them spontaneously.

How can I prevent?

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Prevention of IBD is difficult because it is often inherited. 

However, happy furry noses are less likely to get sick. So make sure you provide a good living environment for your pet. 

He needs enough Attention, love, fresh air and exercise. Also, take him to the vet regularly and watch his behavior very closely. Regular Intestinal rehabilitations can promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

So you can quickly notice if there is something wrong with your darling or if he is not well. A balanced diet with high-quality food is also particularly important.

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Can IBD be treated?

Since IBD is a chronic disease, it occurs in relapses. Your pelt-nose can remain symptom-free for a long time. 

However, as soon as he suffers from vomiting and severe diarrhea, you must act immediately. In particularly severe cases, he may even need infusions so that his circulation does not collapse. 

IBD is usually not curable and treatment is ongoing throughout your charge's life. To inhibit the acute inflammation, you can use Antibiotics and others anti-inflammatory drugs be used. If your four-legged friend is also suffering from fever, a antipyretic and possibly cool compresses advisable. 

In addition, the treatment of IBD often involves Cortisone used. Cortisone works against the immune system and weakens the inflammation. However, a big disadvantage is that your pet is then more susceptible to other diseases. 

Make sure your four-legged friend is well and not afraid of anything. His well-being is really important. The symptoms can be weakened by it.

Some veterinarians swear by the effectiveness of Acupuncture and homeopathic remedies. This is to naturally alleviate the pain and symptoms and allow the intestines to recover. 

Whether such a treatment is beneficial for your dog, you can only find out by trial and error. If it helps your furry nose, these natural healing methods are highly recommended.

Our recommendation

Unfortunately, IBD cannot be cured. However, you can still live a long and happy life with your faithful companion if you support him in relieving the symptoms and give him lots of attention.

Please also pay attention to the right nutrition for your dog. Invest in high quality food and observe closely whether he tolerates the food. 

In any case, you should get a dog food that is suitable for chronic gastrointestinal problems. Many veterinarians recommend this dry food from Royal Canin.

Royal Canin Gastro Intestinal dry food
Balanced complete food, which is clearly recommended by veterinarians for chronic gastrointestinal problems.
Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic
Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic

I am a veterinarian and writer on animal health topics. Animals are my passion and it is my personal concern to create medically accurate articles and videos to inform pet owners as much as possible.

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