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Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

In recent years, information about inflammatory bowel disease in humans has become increasingly common, and most folks are aware of what was once a relatively obscure medical condition. But did you know that dogs can also suffer from inflammatory bowel disease? And that it can strike any dog at any time? This is particularly true when their diet has been changed or they have other health problems that could potentially exacerbate their condition to the point that you can now notice something is wrong.

Well, if not…

Then please take the time to read our following article, all about inflammatory bowel disease in dogs, where we hope to shed some light on what it’s like to own a dog diagnosed with this disease. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Inflammable bowel disease (IBD) defined

Inflammable bowel disease, or IBD, is an immune response disease, meaning that we believe the small intestine swells up in response to some infection. This irritation in the small bowel has adverse effects on your dog, which may cause vomiting. The problem is that the intestinal tract is notoriously challenging to treat because of where it is in the body, and topical anti-inflammatories won’t treat this condition.

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea on a large scale,
  • Dehydration,
  • Lethargy,
  • And lack of appetite.

In the most severe cases, your dog will refuse water, which is a sure sign that your dog needs to be taken to a vet immediately! Things can get complicated because the phrase “inflammatory bowel disease” actually relates to and covers more than just one “bowel disease.”

For example:

Lymphocytic-plasmocytic enteritis is one such disease and is considered to be the most common variant. This strain of inflamed gut bacteria is believed to be the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Protein-losing enteropathy is another disease that falls under the term IBD. This involves damage to the gut wall, making the dog struggle to retain fatty acids or to find a protein source.

Most Commonly Affected Breeds

Any dog at any age and in any condition can catch this disease. This is mainly because there are so many factors that could cause inflammatory bowel disease; it could be:

  • A food allergy could potentially repetitively set it off,
  • A lack of a balanced diet,
  • Or too much human food might also be to blame.

Sometimes, a dog might suffer from this if it has eaten bone shards that tear on the way out. Also, once in a while, the dog will suffer from this regardless of what you do, and poor genetic makeup is the only thing we have to blame.

Treatment Options for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Treatment for this condition is complex. First, your vet will want to confirm the diagnosis through a biopsy of your dog’s gut. Then, once a confirmation has been achieved, your vet will typically present you with several treatment options for you to consider. Depending on which type of IBD your dog has, your vet may want to make dietary changes. For example, putting them on a diet with high protein might help pups struggling to keep any protein in their bodies.

Your vet…

You will also probably want to treat your pet with any drugs that have anti-inflammatory effects. Hydrolyzed protein and anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed periodically. Because it’s important to remember that while inflammatory bowel disease is treatable, it isn’t something that will be “cured.”  This means that this will be a condition that both you and your dog need to manage for the remainder of their life.

Which brings us to…

We want to remind folks that we at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals. We are all a bunch of folks passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them. This is why if you feel like your pet may have inflammatory bowel disease (or any other health issue), you’ll first want to have them checked out by a vet ASAP!


An early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering them, but beyond that, diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs! This is also why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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