Inflammatory Bowel disease is a condition that is found in both cats and dogs. This condition occurs when a large number of inflammatory cells infiltrate the intestine, effectively making it their home and interfering with the natural absorption of food as well as the natural process of the passage of food. This physiological abnormality often causes chronic diarrhea and vomiting, not mention continuous discomfort.
Inflammatory Bowel disease is generally characterized by consistent diarrhea and vomiting, however afflicted pets may also display depression, loss of appetite, fever and weight loss. If your pet consistently demonstrates any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for an examination. After evaluating your pet’s symptoms and ruling out any other conditions that may have caused your pet’s symptoms, your veterinarian will perform a biopsy in order to diagnose Inflammatory Bowel disease. Before performing a biopsy, your veterinarian may recommend an ultrasound procedure, blood test, radiograph or fecal examination.
The cause of Inflammatory Bowel disease is not well-known or properly understood by the veterinary and medical community; there are hypotheses that Inflammatory Bowel disease may not even be a disease, instead a defensive response to other conditions within the body. Although there is no definitive cause for Inflammatory Bowel disease, veterinarians have attributed several different factors to contribute to the development of Inflammatory Bowel disease, including nutrition, infectious agents, genetics, and abnormalities of the immune system.
Because there is no definitive cause for Inflammatory Bowel disease, many veterinarians recommend methods of treatment to control Inflammatory Bowel disease, rather than cure it. Your veterinarian will likely recommend a specialized dietary plan for your pet, as well as some form of medication. Medications used to treat Inflammatory Bowel disease range from immunosuppressant medications, which reduce the number of inflammatory cells within the intestines, to antibiotics, which could potentially reduce the number of bacteria that could possibly be causing your pet’s Inflammatory Bowel disease. Other treatment methods may include cobalamin supplements (vitamin B), deworming, anti-diarrheal drugs and other supplements.