Thursday, August 4, 2011

Causes of Colitis & Bloody Stools in Dogs: Diet Changes Will Help

What is causing your dog's Colitis?

Q: What would help a dog with colitis, that sometimes has straight bloody stools?

A: There are many reasons why a dog might have colitis, bloody stools and/or inflammatory bowel disease. Some of the reasons are parasites, worms, viruses, bacterial infection, allergic reactions, cancer or even stress. It is very important to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if your dog is having bloody stools as dogs can become very weak and dehydrated quickly. Your veterinarian will do a fecal test to try to determine the cause. Worms and parasites, for example, can cause colitis and bloody stools in a dog. Giardia is a very serious parasite that requires immediate attention as it can be spread to humans. Parvovirus can cause dogs to have bloody stools and colitis and can be fatal---urgent veterinary attention is needed.

If all of the above reasons for colitis and bloody stools have been ruled out, and no obvious cause is determined, your veterinarian may diagnose your dog with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which can be characterized by a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms including vomiting  diarrhea, bloody stools, nausea, loud abdominal noises, colitis, abdominal pain and more. Inflammation builds up which can lead to bleeding in the intestinal tract. In this situation, the usual culprit is the diet that you are giving your dog. Take a close look at the label and be sure your dog is not getting grains such as wheat, corn, oats or grits---these can be irritating to some dogs and cause an allergic reaction.

If your dog has been diagnosed with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), holistic care and a diet change can help greatly. There is no "one" perfect diet for IBD because dogs can be allergic to different foods.  Ask Ariel will provide a free diet suggestion on the packing slip that comes with your order.  Please be sure to include your pet’s diet on the order form at checkout.

 As a general rule of thumb, use a higher protein diet that is grain-free and avoid treats that contain byproducts and chemicals. Many times pet owners are using good dog food but are giving treats that contain a variety of ingredients that can be triggering the attacks. Pet owners may notice that their dog has occasional flareups and oftentimes, this is due to the treats.

Supplements For Pets With Colitis
The following supplements have been proven to be effective in helping dogs with colitis.  The supplements are recommended by veterinarians and have been sold in veterinary hospitals since 2005.  They can be used in conjunction with the medications prescribed by your veterinarian.

Power Probiotic ---first line of defense for any dog with digestive problems and colitis.  The Power Probiotic is a multi-strain formula proven to survive a dog's stomach acid.  It helps to repopulate the intestinal tract with friendly bacteria.

K9 Digestive Enzymes  this powerful enzyme formula is especially helpful for dogs with malabsorption, Protein Losing Enteropathy (PLE), liver and kidney disease.  This special enzyme formula contains ox bile and pancreatin which break down protein and fats, reducing the pain of indigestion.  Helps promote firm stool because it contains enzymes and nutrients that help break down and absorb nutrients more efficiently.  Essential for dogs with Exocrine Pancreatitic Insufficiency.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Kit For Cats and Dogs --this simple Kit contains three gentle formulas designed to calm down intestinal inflammation.  The Kit contains:  Power Probiotic, Soothing Digestive Relief and Notatum drops.  Ideal for small pets especially cats and dogs with IBS and IBD.

Colostrum For Pets--Colostrum is essential for pets that have had parasites, worms or giardia.  It helps to repair the intestinal lining, strengthening the pet's immune system and thereby reducing the likelihood of reinfection. 

If your pet has colitis, IBD or digestive problems, please include their diet on the order form at checkout.  Ask Ariel will include a diet suggestion for your pet on the packing slip that comes with the product directions.

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This article has been updated as of 2/17/2017.