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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Dogs & Cats

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in dogs and cats is a broad term that covers various chronic conditions of the gastrointestinal system that tends to affect the middle aged and older. Inflammation of the lining of the stomach, small intestine, and/or colon is thought to be an abnormal response by their immune system, a hypersensitivity to gut bacteria, or even food allergens.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease symptoms include chronic (recurrent) vomiting and/or diarrhea, weight loss, lethargy, fatigue, abdominal pain and gas. You may hear gurgling or rumbling in the pet’s abdomen and may even see blood in the stool. Watch for any straining while defecating.

Breed Specific

Cat breeds genetically predisposed to IBD are Purebred and Siamese.

Dog breeds genetically predisposed to IBD are the Basenji, Boxer, French Bulldog, German Shepherd, Irish Setter, Rottweiler and Shar-pei; however, susceptible to any dog breed.

Common Treatment Protocol

Inflammatory bowel disease in dogs & cats is usually treated with immunosuppressive and antibiotic medications. Intravenous fluid may be needed if bouts of severe vomiting or diarrhea has caused dehydration. It may be recommended that your pet be switched to a hypoallergenic diet (which is available at Safari). In most cases, this treatment method will not “cure” IBD in dogs, but will help by stabilizing body weight, alleviating gastrointestinal symptoms and reducing the immune system’s response. However, even after complete recovery, relapses are common. Follow-up visits to your vet and ongoing drug intervention will likely be required.

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