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Idiopathic Canine Colitis        

Common names or abbreviations:

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Idiopathic Canine Colitis (ICC)

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) [basically an umbrella term to cover any disease of the digestive system]

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Large Intestinal Diarrhea

 

 

Description or Definition:

 

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Chronic idiopathic colitis (ICC) is one of the most common causes of chronic diarrhea in dogs.  It is a type of colitis that appears to involve an allergy to something in the diet, which causes the colon to become markedly inflamed.  Large intestinal diarrhea is often referred to as colitis, which means inflammation of the colon.  Dogs with large intestinal diarrhea produce small amounts of stool and have increased urgency. These dogs may also have blood and/or mucus in their feces.  In contrast, small intestinal diarrhea is characterized by large volumes of watery stool and can be accompanied by the other signs of illness.  The main functions of the colon are to absorb water and store feces until the animal defecates. In dogs with colitis, water is not effectively absorbed, and the ability of the colon to store feces is impaired. Excessive amounts of mucus, and even blood, are often passed with the feces of dogs affected with colitis because of damage to the protective mucosa lining.

According to Dr. George Padgett, any breed of dog can get ICC, usually around the age of 8, but it is undetermined as to whether ICC is genetic.

Symptoms:

 

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In general, colitis is not difficult to diagnose, because the clinical symptoms are very specific for large bowel inflammation. As mentioned above, those symptoms include straining to defecate, production of scant amounts of watery feces that may contain mucus and/or blood, and increased urgency to defecate.   

 

Diagnosis:

 

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There are many different causes of canine colitis. Diet, parasites, bacterial infections, and even stress are among the more common causes of colitis in dogs. Fiber-responsive colitis describes large bowel diarrhea that resolves by adding fiber to the diet. In some instances, hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to certain components in the diet can cause a disease called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) of the colon.

Dietary Factors:

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Protein hypersensitivity

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Unabsorbed fats, hydroxy fatty acids

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Deconjugated bile acids

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Excess or deficient dietary fiber
 

Parasites:

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Trichuris vulpis

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Goardiases

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Hookworms

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Coccidia
 

Infection:

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Clostridial Infections

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Salmonella

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Campylobacter


Genetic:

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Boxers, French bulldogs

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Golden Retrievers


Stress:

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Irritable bowel Syndrome


Immune Mediated:

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Increased permeability

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Reduced immune tolerance


Autoimmune:

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60% of human inflammatory bowel disease patients have antibodies to colonocytes

Treatment:

bulletIt is very important to ensure that there is no concurrent systemic or small intestinal disease associated with colitis because such cases will fail to respond to treatment for colitis until the underlying cause is addressed. When a specific cause of colitis can be identified as shown above, specific treatment will usually affect a complete cure. However, in the majority of cases, the etiology is not known; thus, treatment remains symptomatic. Such therapy normally involves both drug and dietary management and although it may provide a clinical remission, it will rarely affect a cure. Long-term remission is now possible using diet alone in the majority of cases.

 

Dietary Management:

 

ICC is one of the commonest causes of chronic diarrhea in the dog. In order to reduce the amount of inflammation in the large bowel, your veterinary surgeon may again advise a "hypo-allergenic" diet. These diets reduce the number of potentially allergenic materials reaching the colon and therefore minimize allergenic stimulation.  Food should be withheld for an initial 24-48 hr in animals with acute colitis in an effort to "rest" the bowel. When feeding is begun, the protein source used should be one to which the animal has not previously been exposed.  In particular the value of "novel" protein diets, fermentable fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids is receiving the most attention.  It is now possible to maintain patients in long-term remission and to modify the severity of colitis by using diet alone.  Your vet will recommend a diet that is unlikely to stimulate an allergenic response.  These diets are highly digestible, so the number of potentially allergenic particles reading the colon is fewer.  They also contain a single meat protein source and a single source of carbohydrate.  What this does is reduce the number of potentially allergenic materials reading the color and minimize the possibility of triggering an allergenic response.

 

The specific nature of an appropriate diet for ICC has been the subject to considerable debate.  Some researchers have reported minimal success with any diet, others have had some success with highly digestible, relatively hypoallergenic diets and other have seen promising effects with predominately meat based, fiber-supplemented diets.

 

Drug Therapy:

 

Anti-inflammatory medication is often required, at least in the early stages of the disease to quickly decrease the inflammation and improve the clinical signs. In certain types of colitis, such as ICC, dietary management can reduce the necessity of long-term anti-inflammatory medication.  Drugs that are used in the treatment of colitis: http://www.nutrition.org/cgi/content-nw/full/128/12/2717S/T5

 

Prevention:

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The origin of colitis is not known, but there is a general agreement that an immune-mediated response to an antigen is involved in the majority of cases and/or that diet is considered to play an important role.  An antigen is any substance that when introduced into the body stimulates the production of an antibody. Antigens include toxins, bacteria, foreign blood cells, and the cells of transplanted organs.  In working dogs, this condition is frequently associated with some stress factor, although highly nervous and excitable dogs may also exhibit similar clinical signs.

Recent studies have placed considerable importance on the value of diet in the prevention, immediate and long-term therapy of colitis in dogs.

Links to sites about this disease:

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http://www.wsgenetics.com/articles/inflammatoryboweldisease.html

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http://www.gooddogmagazine.com/colitis.htm

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http://www.awsaclub.com/healthgenetics/caninegen.htm

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http://members.aol.com/smplyschnz/health/padgettlist.html

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http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/24200.htm

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http://www.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/128/12/2717S?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hi

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http://www.mypetstop.com.au/NR/exeres/00016574lmicgckbsdplnuyp/MainArticleTemplate.asp?NRMODE=Published&NRORIGINALURL=%2fAU%2fDogs%2fHealth%2bCare%2fGrooming%2fCaring%2bfor%2bdogs%2bwith%2bChronic%2bDiarrhoea%2ehtm&NRNODEGUID=%7b3AB981BC-1971-463C-9C66-153EAB91D4ED%7d&NRQUERYTERMINATOR=1&cookie%5Ftest=1

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http://www.vetdigest.com/NIP/fibregi/

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http://www.petz.co.uk/vetontheweb/new/article10.html

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http://www.antechdiagnostics.com/clients/antechNews/1999/pdf/4-99.pdf

 

 

Dedicated to improving the health of ISSR Shiloh Shepherds.

 


Copyright 1998 - 2009. Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America.
All rights reserved. Revised: January 2008

The information on this website was written by ISSR breeders and other concerned individuals, however we are are NOT veterinarians. This information is being provided as a general overview, from information we were able to find about each disease through our own research. These summaries are not intended to be relied upon as medical or veterinary advice, nor do we consider ourselves experts in the veterinary field or in any of these conditions. While we do our best to provide the most up to date information, new research is constantly being done on these diseases. We recommend that you do further study and talk to your veterinarian on any topics you see here, as we cannot guarantee that the information posted here is the most current information available.  This site was originally designed and maintained by Debbie Knatz.