Colitis In Dogs: Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment
Colitis in dogs is a painful and unpleasant condition that can cause your canine companion to have diarrhea and stomach upset. Thankfully, with proper treatment, colitis can go away quickly.
Read on to find out more about the symptoms of colitis in dogs, how to distinguish colitis from a simple stomach upset, and the treatment options that you have available.
Pro Tip: Trips to the vet can be expensive without financial assistance. Pet insurance offers pet parents the ability to provide better medical care for their loved ones by reimbursing a portion of covered veterinary expenses paid out-of-pocket.
What Role Does Diet And Nutrition Play In Ulcerative Colitis
Diet does not cause the development of ulcerative colitis nor can any special diet cure the disease. However, the foods you or your child eat may play a role in managing symptoms and lengthening the time between flareups.
Some foods may make symptoms worse and should be avoided, especially during flareups. Foods that trigger symptoms are different from person to person. To narrow down what foods affect you, keep track of what you eat each day and how you feel afterward .
Problem foods often include:
- High sugar foods and drinks.
- Carbonated beverages.
- High-fiber foods.
In addition to the problem foods listed above, infants, children and teenagers can also experience issues with:
- Dairy products.
Keep a careful eye on your childs diet and nutrition. Their appetite may decrease during a flareup and they might not eat enough to stay healthy, and grow. Also, the inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis may keep their digestive tract from absorbing enough nutrients. This can also affect your childs health. For these reasons, you may have to increase the amount of calories your child consumes.
Its best to work with your provider and nutritionist to come up with a personalized diet plan if you or your child has ulcerative colitis.
Stress: Pathways And Pathophysiology
More than 80 years ago, Hungarian endocrinologist Hans Hugo Bruno Selye first defined the medical term stress as the physiological adaptive responses of organisms to adverse threats , which are endogenous or exogenous, psychological or physical, real or perceived . To maintain homeostasis under threat, organisms have evolved an extremely complex system, called the stress system, which involves physiological and behavioral adaptations via appropriate central and peripheral neuroendocrine responses. When exposed to long-term or severe stress, the organisms may reach a state called cacostasis, in which many vital physiological functions are impaired, and may develop many acute and chronic diseases . Stress-induced disorders occur in multiple systems throughout the body, among which the gastrointestinal tract is a sensitive system.
When the brain receives stress input, multiple pathways containing the autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis are activated . Stress from different sources results in modifications of the brain-gut axis, which eventually leads to the progression of a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders. The frequently involved diseases include IBD, irritable bowel syndrome , peptic ulcers, food antigen allergic reactions, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The potential mechanisms are summarized in the following sections .
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Painful And Strenuous Defecation
With colitis, dogs will strain while passing stool. This will cause pain. These are usually displayed when the dog squats to defecate. It will do so with a sense of urgency and display signs of discomfort and pain, unlike times when it is okay.
Flatulence, pronounced squatting and hunching, weight loss and disinterest in food are additional symptoms.
Identify Habits That Might Cause Stress
Identify your habits, healthy and unhealthy, that may impact your ability to manage stress. Several lifestyle habits could contribute to stress. If you engage in any of these, you may want to reconsider them for the sake of your stress management:
- Drinking too much caffeine
- Smoking cigarettes
- Using illegal substances
Kicking my drinking/smoking habits. Obviously, alcohol has a very negative effect on my digestion, wrote one MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam member. Aside from contributing to stress, alcohol and cigarettes may also impact UC symptoms directly.
Its a good idea to evaluate your practice of any of these habits and whether you feel like you can stop them. Your doctor may be able to help you identify resources for quitting smoking or drinking, or eating a more balanced diet.
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Symptoms Of Ulcerative Colitis
The main symptoms of ulcerative colitis are:
- recurring diarrhoea, which may contain blood, mucus or pus
- needing to empty your bowels frequently
You may also experience fatigue , loss of appetite and weight loss.
The severity of the symptoms varies, depending on how much of the rectum and colon is inflamed and how severe the inflammation is. For some people, the condition has a significant impact on their everyday lives.
What Causes Ulcerative Colitis Flareups
When youre in remission from ulcerative colitis, youll want to do everything you can to prevent a flareup. Things that may cause a flareup include:
- Emotional stress: Get at least seven hours of sleep a night, exercise regularly and find healthy ways to relieve stress, such as meditation.
- NSAID use: For pain relief or a fever, use acetaminophen instead of NSAIDs like Motrin® and Advil®.
- Antibiotics: Let your healthcare provider know if antibiotics trigger your symptoms.
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Managing Daily Life After Surgery
Flatulence is a common problem following surgery. People may need to avoid insoluble fiber foods, such as popcorn, olives, and vegetable skins, which can obstruct the stoma. Some pouching systems have filters that can help limit flatulence.
It is important to increase fluid intake, and include not only water but also broth, sports drinks, and vegetable juice to maintain appropriate levels of sodium and potassium.
Ileostomy and ileoanal anastomosis do not interfere with bathing or showering or most physical activity except for contact sports. As a rule, the surgeries do not impair sexual function.
Outcome And Complications From Ileoanal Anastomosis
Complications are common with any intestinal operation. In a small percentage of IPAA procedures, complications occur that require conversion to an ileostomy.
Inflammation of the pouch is the most common complication of the pouch procedures. Symptoms include rectal bleeding, cramps, and fever. It can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics such as metronidazole or ciprofloxacin .
Bowel obstruction may occur although it is less common than pouchitis. With most people, this condition can be treated by avoiding food for several days and administering intravenous fluids. In some cases of bowel obstruction, surgery may need to be performed to remove the blockage.
Pouch failure occurs in a small percentage of people. It requires permanent removal of the pouch and use of ileostomy.
Irritable Pouch Syndrome
Irritable pouch syndrome is a problem that includes frequent bowel movements, an urgent need to defecate, and abdominal pain. However, there are no signs of inflammation as there are with pouchitis. Stress and diet play a role in this condition, and it is usually relieved after a bowel movement.
IPAA can cause infertility in women because the surgery can scar or block the fallopian tubes.
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Talk With Others Who Understand
Another great tool for managing stress is connecting with others, and especially those who understand what youre going through. Joining an ulcerative colitis support group, whether in-person or virtual, can help address your stress levels and improve your quality of life.
MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam is the social network for people with Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis and their loved ones. On MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam, more than 139,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with inflammatory bowel disease.
Are you living with stress and ulcerative colitis? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.
What Causes Colitis In Dogs
There are many factors which cause colitis in dogs. Majorly, it is caused by the following:
Parasitic Colitis is caused by parasites commonly, of whipworms which reside in the upper colon. Whipworms are intestinal parasites. They live in the upper colon and are capable of growing up to two to three inches long.
The whipworm is one of the most common intestinal parasites of dogs. The presence of few whipworms in your dogs intestines rarely causes a problem, but if they multiply into the great number they can cause irritation and inflammation of the intestine.
Other parasites that may cause it are Roundworms, Hookworms, Tapeworms, and Heartworms. Each worm has different means of making its way into your dogs digestive tract and causes inflammation.
Your dog may become infected with whipworms by swallowing infective whipworm eggs in the soil and other substances that may contain dog feces.
Roundworm eggs, on the other hand, may be transmitted from the mother to the puppy for its dormant larvae in their tissue.
Hookworms can be transmitted from feces or directly through the skin when the dog walks through wet grass or sand where the larvae are active.
Protozoans, Flukes or trematodes can also cause parasitic colitis.
Bacteria which cause colitis include Salmonella and Campylobacter. The bacteria can be derived from other animal feces which has the bacteria present.
- Foreign Bodies or Dietary Indiscretion
- Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease
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Acute Psychological Stress Experimental Stress And Systemic Immune And Inflammatory Function
Examining the in vivo effects of psychological stress is difficult as stress is a subjective experience which is hard to define objectively and to simulate in a controlled experimental environment. Placing patients under sustained psychological stress would also be unethical. Despite these limitations, various experimental models have been designed which are capable of inducing mild acute psychological stress, as assessed by the ANS and HPA response.
The dichotomous listening test, where different auditory inputs are played into the subjects ears, has been one of the commonest techniques used to assess the effects of psychological stress on human gastrointestinal physiology. Difficult mental arithmetic tests , which include negative feedback and varying degrees of auditory distraction, are also used and are easily reproducible. The Trier social stress test involves an oral presentation in front of a critical audience while the Stroop word-colour interference test involves identifying the colour of ink used to write a word which is different to the meaning of the word itself for example the word blue written in red ink.
Acute stress has also been shown to cause a leucocytosis in both healthy subjects and patients with quiescent UC, with a rapid redistribution of the lymphocyte population. There is a rise in the percentages of CD8+ cytotoxic T cells and NK cells, and a corresponding increase in their cytolytic activity, as assessed by chromium release assays.
Points To Remember: Psychological Stress In Ibd
Recent studies indicate that chronic stress, adverse life events, and depression can cause relapse in patients with IBD.
The effects of stress on inflammation in IBD are likely to be mediated through changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function, alterations in bacterial-mucosal floral interactions, activation of mucosal mast cells, and peripheral release of corticotrophin releasing factor.
The symptoms of IBD may be exacerbated by the effects of stress on gut motility and fluid secretion.
There is a need for further controlled studies of the potential benefits of stress reduction therapy in IBD.
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What Should I Ask My Doctor On Behalf Of My Child Or Teenager
Ask your healthcare provider the following questions in addition to the ones listed above:
- What vitamins should my child take?
- Will my other children have pediatric ulcerative colitis?
- Is my child at risk for other conditions?
- Can you recommend a psychiatrist or therapist to help my child with emotional issues related to pediatric ulcerative colitis?
- Is my child growing at a normal rate?
- What can I do to help my child cope at school?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
When you have ulcerative colitis, its essential to work closely with your healthcare team.
Take your medications as prescribed, even when you dont have symptoms. Skipping medications youre supposed to take can lead to flareups and make the disease harder to control. Your best shot at managing ulcerative colitis is to follow your treatment plan and talk to your healthcare provider regularly.
What Causes Ulcerative Colitis
Researchers think the cause of ulcerative colitis is complex and involves many factors. They think its probably the result of an overactive immune response. The immune systems job is to protect the body from germs and other dangerous substances. But, sometimes your immune system mistakenly attacks your body, which causes inflammation and tissue damage.
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Is Colitis In Dogs Deadly
Colitis is also very treatable and preventable.
Find out more here about what causes Colitis and how to make sure that your dog doesnât get it.
Colitis in dogs is an irritation of the colon and is a common malady.
The big ones are stress, infection or parasites, allergies, or any of several bowel diseases.
What To Feed A Dog With Diarrhea From Colitis
If your veterinarian has confirmed the diarrhea is from colitis, he or she will likely recommend an easy-on-the-gut diet for a period of time.
Drugs that suppress diarrhea dont solve long-term problems, so its in your dogs best interest to figure out what caused the problem.
Knowing what caused your Cocker Spaniels colitis will help prevent it in the future. However, if food is the culprit, an acute condition can become chronic. Think about a new car that you fill up with the wrong type of gasoline. Sooner or later, things will break down.
I fed Dexter boiled lean organic ground beef and gave it in small quantities several times a day with boiled white rice, again in small quantities.
As we eased back into regular food, I added Dr. Harveys Canine Health to his lean organic ground beef, which I continued to boil for a week. A lot of dogs develop hypersensitivity to dog food, so I took great comfort in feeding Dexter his normal food as his gut healed.
Dogs who relapse after antibiotics stop may find themselves in a vicious cycle. I know because my first Cocker Spaniel succumbed to complications of IBD. If the colitis returns, your dog may need further testing like x-rays, a scan, or even a colonoscopy.
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Traveling With Ulcerative Colitis
Doing some research and planning ahead of time can help make trips go more smoothly. Here are a few tips:
Talk to your healthcare team about your travel plans. They may be able to offer advice and information about any necessary precautions or immunizations.
Take along your healthcare teams contact information and copies of insurance cards.
Remember to bring enough medicationpreferably in its original packaging. And make sure the sizes of liquids can go through security.
If you have an ostomy bag, make sure you tell TSA personnel before you go through security. Check out the TSAs page for people with medical conditions.
Research your destination. Know as much as possible about where youre going so you know what to expect. Aside from activities, places to stay, and where to eat, you might want to find out about nearby restrooms, when pharmacies are open, and if water is safe to drink.
Your diet when you travel should be as close as possible to your diet at home. Bring along dry, packable foods and follow the same precautions when eating out as you would when not traveling.
Use helpful resources that are availablelike a Restroom Request Card, which can let you discreetly communicate your condition and gain access to restricted bathroomsto be prepared in case you have sudden symptoms away from home.
Bowel Disorders Part 2 Colitis
When it comes to bowel disorders there are many reasons why we suffer needlessly. First and foremost is that many disorders, like colitis, share symptoms with other illnesses like the flu and food poisoning. Then there is the issue of self-diagnosis, a recent phenomenon that only serves to exacerbate the problem and prolong treatment. There is a major difference between a simple upset stomach and a serious bowel disorder, but it is better to be safe and seek treatment than be sorry that you didnt.
Specifically I want to focus on colitis because people often go for long periods of time without seeking treatment and that can lead to lifelong colon problems. The good news is that colitis isnt so dangerous as to be life threatening, but the symptoms are uncomfortable and unpleasant that youll want to treat the colitis right away and prevent it when you can.
Before you can even begin to talk about treating or preventing colitis you need to know what it is, what it looks and feels like and the causes of colitis.
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Complications Outside The Intestine
Ulcerative colitis, and the corticosteroid and immune-suppressing drugs used to treat it, can cause osteopenia and osteoporosis . Osteoporosis is more common with Crohn disease than with ulcerative colitis.
Liver and Gallbladder Disorders
In severe cases, IBD can cause problems with the liver and pancreas and increase the risk for gallstones. In addition, patients with IBD are at increased risk of developing primary sclerosing cholangitis. This is a disease of the bile ducts in the liver that eventually leads to liver failure and the need for liver transplantation.
People with inflammatory bowel disease are at higher risk for blood clots, especially deep venous thrombosis where blood clots form in the legs. They are also at risk for pulmonary embolism, when a blood clot travels from the legs to the lungs.
Urinary Tract and Kidney Disorders
IBD may increase the risk for urinary tract and bladder infections. People with IBD have an increased risk for kidney stones.
Delayed Growth and Development in Children
Children with ulcerative colitis are at slightly higher than average risk for delayed growth, but their risk is lower than with Crohn disease.