Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
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Colitis is inflammation of the colon (large intestine). It can be either acute (lasting only a few days) or chronic (lasting for weeks).
The reason for the inflammation is often idiopathic (unknown). Some possible causes include:
The main symptom of colitis is frequent diarrhea with mucus or blood. This is because colitis causes the body not to be able to absorb water properly. The body cannot either store feces in the colon.
Other signs may include:
You may also notice vomiting and weight loss, but only rarely.
Your veterinarian will:
Your veterinarian may do other teststo rule out other conditions, including:
Most cases of colitis cannot be cured. However, you can manage your dog's colitis with a special diet and medicine that your veterinarian may prescribe.
Diet: You should feed with pet easily digested foods that are high in fiber. Many dogs will have to remain on this diet for life.
Medication: The exact medication depends on the cause of the colitis:
There is no way to know beforehand which dog might develop colitis. Once a pet is susceptible, you can prevent flare-ups with a bland and easily digested diet that is high in fiber.
In most cases, there is an excellent prognosis with a change in diet and some medication. You can manage your pet's colitis to the point where it can live a happy, comfortable life for many years.
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