Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatment for Dogs

Inflammatory bowel disease treatment is dependent upon your pet's specific condition. Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is actually a collection of different related diseases. These conditions all have in common the fact that the gastrointestinal tract is invaded by inflammatory agents like white blood cells. However, the potential causes and results of this invasion are different in unique cases. While there are a number of treatments that are regularly suggested for inflammatory bowel disease in canine patients, it may take you and your veterinarian some experimenting in order to find the treatment that will work best for your dog.

Modifying the Diet

The most common way of addressing the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease is through dietary modification. There are several reasons why your pet's diet may influence his bowels in this way. Dogs that eat too much non-dog food (i.e., human table scraps) may have IBD as a result of the high fat content of the human food they eat. Other animals will eat non-food items, such as certain plants found outside. Still other dogs will have an allergy to one or more ingredients in the dog food that they eat. In any case, a diet that is low in fat and high in fiber is often the best place to start when attempting to solve your pet's IBD.

Antibiotic Treatments

In some cases, IBD can be brought about or worsened by bacterial infections. In order to help address these issues, and to make sure that your pet's case of IBD doesn't progress into something more serious if it is complicated by an infection, many vets will recommend using antibiotic treatment methods.


Corticosteroids are powerful medicines that are used for a variety of conditions and to help reduce inflammation. These medicines are not frequently used in cases of IBD, unless the condition is quite serious and chronic. Corticosteroids work to eliminate the chemicals in your dog's system that lead to inflammation and pain. The result is that his bowels will not be able to become inflamed, and the symptoms of IBD will be lessened. However, corticosteroids also come with a number of different potentially serious side effects, so you must weigh the risks of this treatment method.

Immunosuppressive Drugs

In most cases, inflammatory bowel disease will come about as a result of an overactive immune system. When your pet eats a food that he shouldn't, for instance, his body reacts to the invading item by stimulating the production of immune system white blood cells. These cells can invade the bowels and cause inflammation and other distress. If you provide your pet with certain drugs to limit the response of his immune system, you can avoid this reaction. However, limiting your pet's immune system can leave him susceptible to a wide variety of other illnesses, so once again the total risks associated with this treatment should be considered.