Diverticulitis in Dogs

Diverticulitis is a chronic disease that affects the dog’s large intestine. Diverticulitis develops as the small pouches located on the dog’s large intestine get infected and then rupture. The condition is associated with pain in the abdominal area, typically on the left side. The pain varies in intensity according to the severity of the disease.

Diverticulitis in Dogs

Diverticulitis is a chronic medical condition that consists of the infection and the rupture of the diverticula (small pouches) located in the dog’s large intestine. When the fecal matter cannot be eliminated, it stays in the colon causing sore spots, which develop into pockets. These can easily get infected and rupture. Diverticulitis causes pain and discomfort to your dog. The pain varies in intensity according to the severity of the disease. Left untreated, diverticulitis can cause serious medical conditions to your dog such as infections, bleeding, bowel perforations or intestinal blockage. It can also cause a fistula. A fistula develops when 2 separate damaged tissues stick together after getting into close contact.

Symptoms of Diverticulitis in Dogs

The symptoms of diverticulitis are similar to those of colitis. Dogs suffering from diverticulitis manifest the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the left side of the abdominal cavity
  • Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Spasms
  • Fever and chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

The dog experiences pain in the abdominal area, on the left side. It is generally associated with cramps and bloating. The severity of the pain and the cramps will vary according to the seriousness of the disease. The abdominal pain may result in spasms.

The dog needs to defecate frequently and the stool is watery and loose. Sometimes it can be bloody. This happens if a small blood vessel in the colon ruptures. The infection of the small pouches can cause fever and chills in your dog. These symptoms are common to other disorders of the intestinal tract (colitis, bowel disease). It is important that you take your dog for a veterinarian checkup and have him diagnosed correctly.

Causes of Diverticulitis in Dogs

Doctors believe that diverticulitis is generally caused by a diet that is low in fibers. There might also be some genetic predisposition for developing this disease. Another cause of diverticulitis can be constipation. If your dog has had trouble defecating, feces could gather in the large bowel and cause infections and irritations.

Treatment of Diverticulitis in Dogs

Generally, the treatment for diverticulitis consists of dietary changes and antibiotics to fight the infection. The diet usually involves liquid or wet food that is rich in fibers and which can be easily digested. Seeds and other types of food that could irritate the colon should be avoided. The veterinarian might also recommend pain relief medication if the pain is severe. If the disease is more serious, surgery is necessary. The veterinarian will perform a resection of the part of the colon which is affected. There are also herbal remedies for diverticulitis. Visit a holistic or a homeopathic veterinarian to find out the treatment options for your dog.