Among the many different health issues that can occur in dogs is one that is also relatively common in humans. It is a digestive problem known as colitis. This condition results in irritation and inflammation in the large intestine (colon). Just as it does in humans, it results in diarrhea that may be an ongoing problem in many dogs. Not all digestive problems that happen in dogs, however, fall under this category.
Colitis tends to occur in one of two different ways. One common way that it takes place is known as acute colitis, which means that it occurs suddenly and typically without any prior warning. The colitis may also be chronic, which means that it could last for weeks or it could continue to recur time and time again. At times, a case of acute colitis in dogs may turn chronic.
There are many different underlying issues that could lead to a problem of colitis with dogs. Included among those conditions are intestinal parasites, a reaction to medications, pancreatitis, infection, a foreign body in the area, bowel cancer and the possibility for another issue, known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Interestingly, the symptoms of colitis can also be brought on by stress in the dog’s life. Many people who suffer from colitis also recognize that stress is a major trigger that can cause the symptoms to display themselves. If your dog suffers from colitis, keeping them calm may be one way that you can help to control the symptoms.
Typically, a dog that suffers from colitis will have diarrhea and may have to strain in order to defecate. They may also go more frequently than normal, either compared to their own habits or the habits of other dogs. Along with diarrhea and straining, there may also be red blood and mucus that appears in the stool as well. If you notice these issues, along with weight loss, poor appetite or other health problems, it’s a good idea to seek veterinary assistance.
If your dog suffers from colitis or any type of digestive issue that is similar to colitis, there are some things that can be done to help correct the issue. There is not a cure for colitis, either in dogs or in humans, but taking the proper steps can help to make your dog more comfortable and reduce the diarrhea and straining they may be experiencing.
Prior to making any lifestyle changes that could affect the dog seriously, it’s a good idea to talk to a veterinarian. They will help to give you some guidance and can test a stool sample to see if there are additional underlying problems that will need to be corrected. They will likely recommend dietary changes and perhaps even restrict being around strange dogs in public places.
Canine colitis can be a serious problem and it is one that can make your dog quite uncomfortable. With the proper lifestyle changes and some TLC, however, they will often be able to deal with the symptoms effectively.