Feline and Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a condition that exists when white blood cells line the digestive tract and inhibit nutrient absorption causing severe weight loss and other symptoms common to intestinal disorders.
Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs and Cats
Symptoms of IBD in cats and dogs include:
- Severe weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Distended abdomen
- Blood or mucous in the feces
- Difficulty with bowel movements
Causes of IBD in cats and dogs
IBD may be caused by poor diet, food allergies, parasitic infections or adverse drug reactions. In recent years, more pets are being diagnosed with IBD and some veterinarians feel the increase is a result of pets being over-vaccinated and and/or excessive use of antiobiotics and steroids.
Many holistic veterinarians recommend probiotic and digestive enzymes to help restore healthy gut flora, herbs to soothe inflammation and other nutrients to heal the intestinal tract.
Gastrointestinal disorders in dogs and cats often present very similar symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite) and if the symptoms persist, a trip to the vet should be scheduled to rule out more serious conditions of the liver or kidneys. A fecal exam will show the presences of parasites, giardia or a bacterial infection. A biopsy of the intestinal lining will indicate whether or not your pet has IBD.
Natural Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs and Cats
As with most GI disorders, including Inflammatory Bowel Disease, a change in diet is the first step. A rice-based fresh food diet with added protein such as tofu is suggested or a high-quality canned food diet. Avoid dairy, wheat, corn or animal based products until the symptoms subside.