Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Disease in Dogs

Irritable bowel disease is a very common condition for both dogs and cats. Occasionally abbreviated as IBS, this medical condition results in your pet not being able to process the food that he eats in a normal and healthy way. While irritable bowel syndrome is almost never a medically serious or life threatening condition, it can nonetheless make many aspects of your pet's daily life quite unpleasant, both for him and for you. Due to the frequency with which dogs of all breeds and ages contract this condition, as well as the ease of the symptom identification process, you will do well to learn about the symptoms of irritable bowel disease.

The Vomiting Symptom

One of the primary symptoms of chronic irritable bowel disease is vomiting. Your pet's stomach lining changes as a result of an imbalance of cells that protect against inflammation. When this happens, your pet's stomach is no longer able to process food in the same way that it would be normally. Because of the reaction to the food that he eats, your dog may be more inclined to vomit. While virtually every dog will vomit occasionally as a result of eating certain types of foods or other items that disagree with him, pay attention to the frequency with which you notice your pet vomiting. Excessive vomiting episodes may be a symptom of irritable bowel disease.

The Diarrhea Symptom of IBD

Another very common symptom of chronic irritable bowel disease is regular diarrhea. Again, though diarrhea is relatively common in dogs and can be expected occasionally, there are certain indicators that your pet's diarrhea may be indicative of an underlying condition like irritable bowel disease. For instance, if your pet has regular diarrhea that continues for a week or longer, he may be suffering from this condition. Also, if you have carefully monitored your dog to ensure that he eats only regular dog food, and he still has diarrhea that doesn't cease after one or two bowel movements, he may be affected by IBS.

Loss of Weight

A more subtle symptom of irritable bowel disease in dogs is gradual weight loss. This tends to happen over a longer period of time and as a result of the other symptoms on this list. When your pet can't process the nutrients in the food that he eats as well as he would healthily be able to, he oftentimes can't get all of the benefits of those foods. Over time, he may become somewhat malnourished and may even lose weight. Keeping track of your pet's weight when you take him to the vet will help you to be aware of any changes of this kind.

If you suspect that your dog may have irritable bowel disease, take him to the veterinarian for immediate testing. The diagnostic process generally consists of a blood or stool sample in order to determine the presence of anti-inflammation cells in your pet's intestines and stomach.