Colitis is an inflammation of the colon. It is a common condition that may be caused by bacteria, parasites or even stress. Colitis can affect dogs of any age or breed, although some breeds may be more susceptible to the condition. Dogs that are high-strung or nervous may suffer from colitis. In most cases, the condition poses no serious health threat.
Diarrhea is the most common symptom of colitis. The fecal matter often contains mucus, and may be blood tinged as well. Constipation may also develop.
Although vomiting does not always occur with every case of colitis, it may accompany diarrhea or constipation in some instances.
Frequent bowel movements are also a sign of colitis. Most dogs average one to two bowel movements per day, but those suffering from colitis may experience more frequent episodes of elimination.
The dog may strain during defecation, yet there may be little feces eliminated.
Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Parasites such as whipworms are often the cause of colitis, but there are several factors that can cause the condition to develop. Treatment may consist of dietary changes and/or antibiotics.
Feeding your dog a bland diet of rice and chicken can help rest and relax the colon. As always, it is best to consult your veterinarian if your dog’s symptoms persist.