Diarrhea in Dogs: Signs Your Dog May Have IBS

While diarrhea dogs may recover from the diarrhea in a short period of time, some of those dogs may exhibit certain signs of a more serious disorder called Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. Read the following information to determine whether your dog has a mild case of diarrhea or if could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is no longer considered a psychological disease caused by anxiety or stress alone. Irritable bowel syndrome is a functional disorder that is also caused by changes in the activity of the major part of the large intestine. It takes several days for the digestion process to take place. After food is digested by the stomach and small intestine, the undigested material passes in liquid form into the colon. The colon absorbs water and salts. When a dog has IBS, the normal rhythm and intensity of peristalsis (wavelike movements of colon muscles) is disrupted. In some cases, there is too much peristalsis. This can cause diarrhea.

Signs of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is classified as chronic diarrhea. Symptoms include excessive gas, bloating, cramps, abdominal pain, nausea, urgency, and the passage of a mucus-like fluid during bowel movements. Symptoms may rise and fall in intensity, but don't grow steadily worse over time. Some symptoms may not be present at all and your dog may appear to be normal during long stretches of time. The symptoms tend to reappear out of nowhere. Dogs with moderate IBS can actually live a normal life, while dogs with severe IBS must be treated. In order to treat IBS, the condition must be confirmed first.

Testing for Detecting IBS

It may take several months of testing and observations to confirm that your pet has IBS. Your vet will rule out other possibilities in order to diagnose the condition. Your vet will start by ruling out a similar disease, inflammatory bowel disease, as well as bowel infection, bowel cancer or other bowel disorders. There is no single most effective testing method that can confirm or deny IBS.


Treating irritable bowel syndrome takes time. You will have to change your dog's diet, as well as use any recommended supplements, antispasmodic medications, and anti-diarrhea drugs that can bind the stool. Because each dog is different, he may respond to only one treatment or he may require a combination of treatments.