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Colitis in dog

Dog Colitis

Colitis is a common disease in dogs.

This is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the dog’s colon, which is the lower portion of the large intestines. Colitis can be of two types – acute of chronic. The condition is considered acute when the onset of the symptoms is sudden and the duration is very short. However, if the dog has been experiencing distress and has been suffering from the symptoms for quite some time, the disease is considered chronic.

Certain dog breeds like boxers, poodles and Great Danes, are more susceptible to developing dog colitis than others. This exact cause of this predisposition has not yet been identified. However, scientists have been able to discover cures for colitis, both acute and chronic. With medication, the symptoms can be controlled and the disease can be completely cured.

Dog Colitis Symptoms, Causes

Dog colitis symptoms are not very specific. You may not notice a change in the behavior of the dog. It has been seen that most dogs suffering from colitis show no symptoms till the disease has taken a turn for the worse. The dog may feel some digestive distress and may avoid food. There is a likelihood that the dog may begin to lose weight and become lethargic. In severe cases, dogs experience abdominal pain and may not be able to get up and participate in the daily activities. There may occasionally be the presence of blood or mucous in the stools passed by the sick dog. The dog may also occasionally run high temperature.
Dog colitis causes range from bacterial infections to irregular food habits. It has been seen that dogs who are fed table scraps or have a habit of eating from the garbage, develop colitis more frequently. Parasites and bacterial infections may also cause the colon to inflame. Food allergies and colon spasms, caused due to large intervals between meals are some of the other causes of colitis. It has also been seen that dogs may develop colitis if there is a sudden change in their diet and the new diet doesn’t suit them well.

Though usually colitis doesn’t pose a huge risk to the dog’s life, it can become serious if the dog also develops ulcers. As long as the medication is given to the dog regularly and the treatment is correct, the dog will be able to function normally. Dog colitis treatment includes anti inflammatory drugs and a change of diet. The vet may see it fit to prescribe a bland dog diet. If the colitis is acute, treatment can usually last up to 14 days. However, for chronic colitis, steroids are prescribed and it may take some time for the dog to get cured completely.

  Submitted on May 19, 2010  

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