Colitis in dogs is a pathology caused by inflammatory processes of the colon. Knowing the characteristic symptoms, the owner will be able to timely notice the health problem of the pet and show it to the veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis, treatment and recommendations for proper care.
Causes of pathology
In the dog’s body, the large intestine ensures the digestibility of nutrients, the absorption of water and the formation of feces. It can become inflamed as a result of the influence of the following reasons:
- Improper nutrition is one of the most common causes. A large number of raw vegetables and fruits, fatty or salty foods, poor-quality food, as well as too large portions provoke inflammatory processes.
- External injuries of the abdomen and internal injuries of the colon due to the ingestion of foreign objects (bone fragments, accidentally swallowed parts of toys, etc.).
- Infection with parasites (especially nematodes), whose vital activity can cause inflammation of the intestines and severe pain in the dog.
- Infectious diseases associated with exposure to bacteria, viruses, and simple microorganisms (salmonella, clostridia, parvovirus, coronavirus, giardia, trichomonas).
- Food intolerance and allergic reactions (to drugs, feed). The disease develops as an organism’s response to a specific protein, increased fat content or the presence of certain additives in the feed.
- Colon neoplasms (benign and malignant).
- Imbalance in the intestinal microflora, provoked by prolonged use of antibiotics.
The main symptom of colitis is the painful frequent urge to defecate, associated with an overdose of colon receptors. They often turn out to be futile or a small amount of feces (mixed with blood and mucus) comes out, which is why dog owners confuse such conditions with constipation. To eliminate it, enemas are given or laxatives are given, which only exacerbates the situation.
Among the characteristic symptoms of the disease are also:
- vomiting (with severe inflammation of the walls of the colon);
- upset stool;
- belching, rumbling in the intestines;
- lethargy and apathy;
- a sharp decrease in appetite;
- noticeable discomfort during palpation of the abdomen;
- inflammation of the anus;
- exhaustion (anorexia).
Particularly attentive to such health disorders should apply to pets of breeds most prone to intestinal pathologies. These include: boxers, bulldogs (English, French), sharpei, German shepherds.
Colitis can occur in dogs in two forms:
- acute - manifests itself with pronounced symptoms (frequent stools up to 10 times a day, vomiting, lethargy, fever, refusal to eat);
- chronic - there is a general weakness of the body due to dehydration, periodic indigestion and lack of appetite.
The transition of colitis from acute to chronic is often associated with an incorrect diagnosis in the early stages of the disease or the lack of timely treatment.
Diagnosis and treatment
If the pet has some of the above violations, it is advisable to show it to the veterinarian for examination. He will conduct an examination and the necessary diagnostic procedures:
- laboratory tests (blood, urine, feces);
- radiograph of the chest and abdomen;
- Ultrasound diagnosis of the abdominal cavity;
- colon endoscopy.
Treatment will be directed to:
- elimination of the main cause that provoked the pathology;
- restoration of normal bowel function and its microflora.
One of the main directions in the treatment of colitis is a special diet. The first 24-48 hours, it is recommended to remove all feedings before the dog has diarrhea, but monitor sufficient water intake. After improvement, you can add to the diet:
- meat of chicken, turkey, rabbit;
- low-fat dairy products;
- heat-treated vegetables (carrots, turnips),
- a small amount of rice, buckwheat.
In the process of treatment, any food from the table, flour, canned food, stew, fatty meat, bones, strong broths, butter, whole milk, sour milk should be completely excluded from the diet.
If it is not possible to feed the dog with a natural one, you should consult your veterinarian regarding the selection of therapeutic food to restore the intestinal mucosa and provide the body with the necessary nutrients. The best for these purposes are considered special diets from ProPlan. Hills, Eucanuba.
In any case, you should adhere to 4-5 times feeding in small portions. The duration of a therapeutic diet is usually about 1-2 months.
Medicines in the treatment of colitis are selected according to the diagnostic results. Depending on the symptoms, to eliminate the causes of the disease and restore the normal functioning of the body, the following are prescribed:
- Antibiotics: Kanamycin, Cobactan, Sinulox, Enrofloxacin.
- To eliminate diarrhea: Loperamide, Imodium.
- To combat dehydration: solutions of Ringer, glucose, sodium chloride (subcutaneous or intravenous administration);
- For the destruction of parasites: Furazolidone, Dekaris, Piperazin.
- To suppress inflammatory processes: Sulfasalazine, Prednisolone.
- To eliminate spasms: No-shpa, Papaverin, Baralgin.
- To restore normal microflora: Colibacterin, Bifidum-bacterin, Linex.
- As adsorbents: Polysorb, Enterosgel.
As a rule, therapy can significantly improve the condition of the dog in 2-3 days, but a specially selected long-term diet will help to cure the pet completely and fix the result. If the owner of the dog does not adhere to the correct diet, relapses in colitis and the need for re-treatment may result.
Ignoring the disease is fraught for the dog, not only with acute pain, exhaustion, anemia, but also fatal. But treatment, especially when identifying the root cause, gives, as a rule, a favorable prognosis. The exception applies to animals with cancer pathologies, when the outcome will depend on the type of cancer cells and their response to therapy.
To prevent the development of colitis and the subsequent unpleasant consequences for the dog, it will help:
- a balanced diet without feeding foods from the table;
- Feeding according to breed characteristics and weight, without overfeeding;
- a ban on picking up various objects from the ground during walks;
- selection of safe places for walking;
- timely periodic deworming of the body;
- hygiene control;
- elimination of things that can harm the animal’s health (from household chemicals, medicines, and litter that is not delivered on time).