Common names or abbreviations:
Canine Colitis (ICC)
Bowel Disease (IBD) [basically an umbrella term to cover any disease of
the digestive system]
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
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.
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.
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.
fats, hydroxy fatty acids
or deficient dietary fiber
of human inflammatory bowel disease patients have antibodies to
|It 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.|
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.
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.
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
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.
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: