Ask Seth: What is Colitis in Dogs?

I boarded my dog while we were on a 10-day vacation. When we picked him up from the kennel, they mentioned that he had some loose gooey stools the last few days. They also said I should probably take him to my veterinarian. What could cause this problem?  I called my veterinarian and they said it sounded like my dog could be experiencing acute colitis. What is acute colitis in dogs?

Colitis is the inflammation of the colon and usually results in gooey diarrhea in dogs which contains mucus or blood. The stool may begin normal and then finish soft. Colitis often comes with an urgency to defecate, accompanied by cramping and gas. Vomiting may also occur in extreme cases. Acute colitis has sudden symptoms and is probably stress-related (common after boarding, moving, severe weather, or getting into the garbage). These episodes are usually cleared up with a short course of medications like metronidazole or sulfasalazine. A basic fecal examination by your veterinarian can rule out any parasitic infestation. Usually during this treatment of medication, your dog may have to be on a bland diet for a few days. Your veterinarian can provide the best course of action.

Do you have experience with canine colitis? What did your veterinarian reccomend for treatment? Share the story with us in the comments!

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1 Response

  1. PW says:

    I take issue with your advice to go immediately to the veterinarian for every ailment, and I see why you do:
    "… brought to you by Pet Assure Veterinary Discount Plan."

    Intestinal ailments are usually pretty easy to resolve with probiotics, superior fresh foods, and sometimes fiber, just like in people, and with worm prevention. Of course, some vet visits are necessary, but just like with human doctors, I hardly ever take my dogs to the vet or me to the doctor. I spend far less on highly costly vet visits and meds than recommended, and my animals have always been overall very healthy. Then when I actually need to take them, I am more likely to be able to afford it. I have had animals that lived from eight to 21 years with no vet visits except for the initial exams and sterilizations, and sometimes euthanasia at the end. I can hear shocked voices replying and saying, "but what if?!"
    Building strong health is the best way to stay healthy, whether human or nonhuman. I don't get pet vet insurance, either, because it costs far more than I spend on vet bills in the life of the animal.

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