Canine IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Dogs

Some dogs are prone to gastric distress and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome much more than others are. These conditions may come about because of genetic predisposition, as a result of the foods that your pet eats, because of stress in his environment or his daily life or for several other reasons as well. The key to helping to manage your pet's irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is to recognize the symptoms of the condition and to react promptly when you first see them. This will help to ensure that you can reduce his IBS as quickly as possible and restore him to good health.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Overview

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by spastic convulsions of the intestines and other parts of the lower digestive tract. These are uncontrollable by your pet and will often result in a number of different uncomfortable symptoms. The most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in dogs include the following:

  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Audible stomach rumbling sounds
  • Excessive flatulence
  • Reduced appetite
  • Lethargy and depression

Upon noting any of these symptoms, it's important that you take your pet to a veterinarian as quickly as possible for a proper diagnosis and quick treatment. Be sure to note which symptoms you've seen and how long they have been present for.

Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome in dogs can come about for a wide variety of reasons. This makes it difficult to sometimes categorize the cause of the condition and may make it harder to treat. While your vet can treat the symptoms of the condition through medicines, it will not be sufficient unless you can also reduce the overall cause of the disease as well. Without doing so, your dog is more likely to suffer from repeat bouts of irritable bowel syndrome in the future.

The most common cause of irritable bowel syndrome is stress or anxiety. While it's difficult to tell if your dog is stressed through his visual signs and behaviors, you can often determine if this is a problem based on the environment. Dogs become stressed when new people or animals are introduced to the home, when changes are made to their home environment (like moving or the rearranging of furniture) and for other similar reasons. Work to reduce the potential causes of stress in your dog's life to help reduce the likelihood of his suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. This condition can also be caused by foods that your pet eats or by certain non-food items that he may ingest.

Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome

After your vet properly identifies your dog's condition as IBS, he'll recommend a series of medicines that can help to reduce the symptoms. These will work to ease your pet's gastric system, allowing his bowel movements to return to normal. He will also perhaps recommend a milder diet of dry food for your pet too, because this can help to reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.