Colitis in Pets

Colitis is the term for inflammation of the large intestine (colon). Inflammation decreases water absorption so feces don’t remain in the colon causing frequent bouts of diarrhea sometimes with mucous and/or blood.

Colitis has several causes, among them stress, infections, other illnesses, contaminated food, parasites, trauma, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), contact with infected pets.

Symptoms of colitis are frequent small amounts of unformed to liquid feces, straining with defecation, mucous and/or fat globules in feces. There have been cases of vomiting but weight loss is rare.

Diagnosis is made through pet’s history, blood tests, rectal examination, feces cultures, x-rays, ultrasound, possibly biopsies. The tests are necessary in order to rule out other conditions.

Once the cause of colitis is determined, t24-48he appropriate treatment can begin. Usually your pet will undergo a 24-48 hour fast. Your vet will then recommend the proper diet for your pet and may prescribe medications for the relief of symptoms.

Prognosis for most pets is excellent, recovery in 3-5 days. Chronic or severe colitis requires further testing to determine the cause and then treatment will be prescribed.

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