IBS in Dogs
Inflammatory bowel disease refers to the condition that results when cells involved in inflammation and immune response are called into the lining of the GI tract. This infiltration thickens the bowel lining and interferes with absorption and the ability of the bowel to contract and move food. With abnormal ability to contract and abnormal ability to absorb, the bowel’s function is disrupted. Chronic vomiting results if the infiltration is in the stomach or higher areas of the small intestine.
Unfortunately, the causes of inflammatory bowel disease are not well understood. Usually, a cause is not found. The basic theory is that “something” is leading to a chronic stimulus of inflammation. This could be an allergy against a food protein, the continuing presence of a parasite, inflammatory products produced by the normal bacteria living in the intestine of your dog or there may be an underlying problem with the immune system in your affected dog. There may be different causes in different dogs or a combination of the possibilities mentioned above which may be working together.
In most of the cases suppression of the inflammation can effectively control IBS. In milder cases of large intestinal inflammatory bowel disease, it may be controlled with the help of mild medication. In the cases where the inflammation is excessive antibiotics are used to control infection and to support the dog’s immune system to fight off the disease.
The best way to fight IBS in your dog is to control it through diet. This can be achieved by avoiding fat content in your dog’s food. Fat prolongs the time food spends in the stomach which tends to promote nausea. There can also be undesirable interactions with fats and the bacteria of the intestine.
The second step in using diet for controlling this condition is to use a protein source with which your dog has no previous experience. Such a novel diet is considered “hypoallergenic” and removes any immunological stimulation by dietary properties. While there is no “hypoallergenic diet” that is appropriate for all patients, many food companies have recognized the need for diets such as these and something may be specially ordered. Such diets are typically based on duck, venison, or rabbit proteins.
IBS in dogs can become a chronic disease with which your dog has to live for a long time. You as a care giver must keep an eye on your dog’s routine and note any changes or abnormal behavior. This will help your vet to manage your dog in a better way.