Colitis in dogs, or in another way, the inflammatory process in the walls of the colon or rectum, proceeds in much the same way as in humans, causing a complex of unpleasant symptoms. There are many reasons that can cause this disease, which determines its prevalence. Medicine offers an effective way to treat it. The owner is required to pay attention to the well-being of the pet and to visit the veterinary clinic with him in a timely manner.
Causes of inflammation
Specialists distinguish between different types of disease. One of the classifications is based on the cause of the inflammatory process:
- The lymphocytic-plasmacytic form is a common type of colitis in dogs, with an etiology not yet fully understood. With its development in the mucosa, the level of plasma cells and lymphocytes increases. Doctors associate its development with a pathological reaction of the immune system.
- The histiocytic form is the pathology of young boxers, experts suggest that this form has an autoimmune origin.
- The granulomatous form is a serious pathological condition that resembles Crohn’s syndrome in humans. With this disease, certain cells appear in the large intestine that provoke inflammation.
- Eosinophilic form - eosinophils appear in the focus of the inflammatory process, which occur against the background of infection with parasites or allergic manifestations.
Quite often, colitis in dogs is infectious, in most cases, the following pathogenic microorganisms are causative agents:
- bacteria - clostridia, salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter, etc.
- viruses - coronaviruses, parvoviruses;
- histoplasmosis-causing fungus;
- parasites from the genus of nematodes;
- protozoa - trichomonas, amoeba, balantidia, lamblia.
Often, intestinal inflammation develops against the background of food intolerance or an allergic reaction. The animal body can react negatively to excess fat, dietary supplements, specific proteins, or lactose.
Another common cause of colitis is malnutrition. A dog can earn a disease by overeating, eating poor-quality food, and sometimes inedible objects. Fatty, spicy or smoked dishes also provoke pathology. In this case, the disease develops in acute form and lasts a short time.
Symptoms of Colitis
If a four-legged pet is regularly disturbed by an upset stomach, then the owner should worry, perhaps his dog is ill with colitis. In addition to diarrhea, the animal has a mucous and bloody admixture in the feces, this is a sign of an exacerbation of the disease.
In a dog suffering from colitis, the act of defecation is accompanied by intense stress. In addition, pathological conditions occur:
- soreness in the stomach;
- frequent, profuse burps;
- loud rumbling in the stomach and intestines;
- periodically occurring vomiting;
- the tongue is covered with a grayish coating;
- subfebrile temperature keeps for a long time; increase no more than by 2-3 ° С;
- heart rate increases;
- an unpleasant odor emanates from the oral cavity;
- increased gas formation, bloating;
- the dog refuses the usual food, during walks begins to actively chew grass;
- body weight of the animal is markedly reduced.
Experts note that with chronic colitis, symptoms may vary, depending on various factors. Colitis is most often accompanied by vivid symptoms, but they can also be signs of a more serious illness, for example, a colon tumor or intussusception, so it is not recommended to treat the pet yourself.
Often, due to untimely treatment or incorrect diagnosis, inflammation is significantly complicated - ulceration, perforated areas, erosion appear on the surface of the intestine. In this case, the acute form of the pathology becomes chronic.
Therapy, first of all, depends on the form of the disease. During the diagnosis, a specialist should not only detect the presence of intestinal inflammation, but also determine its type. If mucous or bloody-mucous inclusions are found in fecal feces, then the pathological process was localized in the large intestine.
Palpation can reveal pain, but pain is not always present with colitis. If colitis developed against the background of another systemic disease, then the results of blood and urine tests provide comprehensive information. In other cases, they only confirm the presence of inflammation in the body.
The veterinarian may prescribe a feces for laboratory testing. The analysis reveals microscopic pathogenic fungi and parasites that live in the gastrointestinal tract. For certain factors, bacterial culture is recommended, with the help of which it is possible to determine the causative agent of infectious colitis and to choose a suitable antibacterial agent.
Using a radiograph of the peritoneum and an ultrasound scan of this area, it is possible to identify most of the possible violations:
- the presence of foreign objects in the lumen of the colon;
- squeezing feces;
- thickening and densification of the intestinal wall;
- an increase in the size of lymph nodes, etc.
It is noted that examination by ultrasound does not always allow one to evaluate the complete clinical picture, increased gas formation in the intestine can interfere with the study.
If during the initial diagnosis, the specialist reveals compaction, neoplasms or excessively enlarged lymph nodes, then in the future more specific diagnostic measures will be applied, for example, colonoscopy.
This technique allows you to more thoroughly and thoroughly examine the area of the colon. The pet is given a drug that has a strong laxative effect in order to empty the intestine as completely as possible, after a probe is introduced into the anus, equipped with a video camera at the end for better visualization.
The image of the internal organ is displayed on the monitor and allows you to better see the damaged mucous membrane and at the same time to localize the active inflammatory focus. Also, the probe has a special device that makes it possible to take biomaterial for biopsy during the procedure, that is, to obtain a small sample of neoplasm tissue or densification, if any.
In addition, specialists can prescribe a minimally invasive procedure - laparoscopy, in which the endoscope is inserted through the wall of the peritoneum. This is the most informative technique.
Dog colitis treatment
Therapeutic measures depend on the form of the disease. In acute inflammation, the pet, first of all, is recommended therapeutic fasting, lasting up to 2 days. This allows you to quickly relieve the dog of diarrhea.
After a diet is prescribed, a diet rich in fiber is included in the diet, and foods high in fat are removed. Fatty meat and butter are excluded from the menu, it is desirable to add vegetable oils to the food. Dietary meats such as rabbit meat, chicken and turkey are best suited for feeding the patient.
During this period, you cannot feed a dog with low-quality production feeds, which include artificial flavors, dyes and other harmful additives. Such components are often the cause of the inflammatory process in the gastrointestinal tract.
The treatment also includes drug therapy:
- a solution of potassium chloride is introduced to the animal - the liquid restores the water-electrolyte balance;
- Loperamide is prescribed - a drug that improves colon mobility;
- Tilosin or Metronidazole medications are recommended for the treatment of a disease caused by clostridia.
Chronic colitis requires a slightly different approach; enemas are given to a four-legged patient. The following drugs can be prescribed: Sulfasalazine, Mesalazine, Prednisolone, etc.
The ulcer form of the disease is most difficult to treat, since most anti-inflammatory drugs in this case are useless. Rapid improvement can be achieved by taking the rare antibacterial drug Enrofloxacin.
If the development of inflammation is associated with malnutrition or allergies, it is important to rid the pet of the irritating factor. It will be necessary to feed the dog according to the prescribed diet, and this causes a number of additional hassles.
When the exacerbation subsides, the pet can be transferred to specialized medicinal feeds that allow you to restore the inflamed intestinal mucosa and provide the body with all the necessary substances.
Similar diets are in the assortment of many manufacturers, but it is better to give preference to products that have already won the trust of veterinarians and experienced breeders. Good food brands Eucanuba, Hills, Pro Plan, Royal Canin and others showed themselves. In addition, they are shown to dogs whose appetite deteriorated due to the disease.
Since the cause of colitis is often the infection of an animal with intestinal parasites, deworming should be carried out in a timely manner using special anthelmintic drugs. If there are other pets in the house, then they should be glistened at the same time.
An excellent prevention is to provide your pet with proper, healthy nutrition. In the case of dry feed, the product must be of high quality. With natural feeding, there are many limitations to consider. Dogs often eat garbage on the street, and if the pet suffers from this bad habit, the owner should be on the alert.
If the pet is prone to intestinal pathologies, then it is worth taking more seriously any manifestations of the disorder. The following breeds are at risk: boxer, shar pei, French and English bulldogs, German shepherd.
Like most other diseases of the digestive tract, inflammation of the colon is best treated at the initial stage. Therefore, it is important to send your pet for diagnosis as soon as possible and rid him of painful pathological manifestations.