In general, whenever you’re looking at a medical term that ends in “itis” you can basically assume that you’re looking at a term that means “inflammation of”.
And in the case…
Of Colitis, we’re going to be talking about the “inflammation of” the colon. And when we’re talking about Canine Colitis we’re actually going to limit our discussion to when this “inflammation” occurs in dogs.
Now the good news is…
That if your dog has been diagnosed with canine colitis, this “diagnosis” by itself isn’t necessarily a big deal in and of itself. But if… this inflammation is a sign or symptom of something else, then it can be a sign that your dog has a serious medical condition that is going to need to be immediately attended to.
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet wanted to take a moment to discuss what it means when your dog is diagnosed with canine colitis so that our readers might have a better understanding of what they will need to do to help their pet get better.
So, what is Canine Colitis?
As we already mentioned it’s an inflammation of the colon, or large intestine, which can happen in dogs or cats (or even us humans). It is not an infection of the small intestine. So, what causes it? Well, there are a lot of things that could cause your dog to have colitis, including but not limited to:
- Stress (this is hopefully the easiest to remedy!)
- Viral infection
- Diet issues and/or dog food allergies
- Irritable bowel disease (IBD – yes dogs get this too!)
- Eating grass or something else foreign that dogs should not be eating!
And the worst case scenario…bowel cancer. But this normally only takes place in older dogs.
Symptoms of Colitis
But first thing’s first – how do you know if your dog has colitis? Your dog can’t tell you what his symptoms are, so you’re going to need to be able to “recognize” some common symptoms first. The good news on this front is that because the “symptoms” are pretty “severe” it’s not like they will go unnoticed by any loving pet owner.
For example, common symptoms of colitis will likely include:
- Large bowel diarrhea (not as frequent)
- Bloody stools
- Frequently needed to go to the bathroom
- Vomiting (though only in 30% of cases)
- Unexplained weight loss (rare)
Most of the time symptoms are how your vet will be able to diagnose colitis in your dog. If it seems serious, an ultrasound or colonoscopy may be administered as well just to confirm their “hunch”.
Treatment for Colitis
Thankfully, colitis isn’t all that serious if treated. Most dogs will recover within a matter of days. Some treatment options might be:
- Fasting from food for 1-2 days
- Hypoallergenic diet for a few days
- Low-fiber diet
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
Now these does seem…
To be some evidence that probiotics can help treat ulcerative colitis in humans which is why some dog food companies have choose to include some probiotics in them so don’t be surprised if your veterinarian recommends that you change your dog’s diet after he or she diagnoses colitis in your pet.
Probitics alone usually won’t do the trick on their own, which is why it’s best to ask your veterinarian’s advice about using this along with some good ol’ fashioned anti-inflammatory medication.
Now if your dog…
Has acute colitis, it’s probably going to be a one-time thing that will be easy and fast to treat. However, if your dog has chronic colitis, then it could be an autoimmune problem that will take a lot of patience to find a long-term solution.
In cases like these…
The most difficult part in treating your animal will be determining what is the “root” cause of your dog’s inflammation? And how can that be treated/avoided?
Now it may…
Be just matter of finding the right diet for your dog. Some foods will irritate some dogs, and it’s your job (along with your vet) to find a diet that’s suitable for your pet. Or it could be that your dog is suffering from a viral infection or just experiencing too much stress in his or her life.
One never knows…
Until you slowly begin to rule out possible causes which will then allow you to begin “fine tuning” your treatment options.
One thing that is certain is…
That regardless of why your dog is suffering from colitis, this is definitely not a condition that you want to try to “self” treat. And by “self” treat we mean, trying to determine the cause on your own and not seeking the advice of a trained veterinarian.
Because it’s important…
To remember, that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or even trained medical professionals. All we are is a bunch of folks who are passionate about animals and only want what is best for them. And in this case, that is for their owner to have them physically examined to determine the cause of their symptoms.
And chances are…
The cause of your dog’s colitis is likely to be a simple one, and one that can be easily treated once recognized.
Which brings us to…
That last topic we want to discuss when it comes to canine colitis which is pet insurance. You see, here at IndulgeYourPet because we understand just how expensive veterinarian care can become if your furry little loved one does become seriously sick or injured, we always like to recommend that your readers take a moment and see what it might cost for them to purchase a pet insurance policy on their loved one.
Now will a pet insurance policy be “right” for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you know what these policies will and won’t cover and until you know what one might cost you, how will you be able to determine if purchasing a pet insurance policy is “right” for you?
In our opinion…
You can’t. This is why we decided to write our Best Pet Insurance Companies article so that you can get a better idea of what the pros and cons of owning such a policy are and determine for yourself if getting one makes any sense for you!