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Colitis Symptoms in Dogs

Colitis Symptoms in Dogs

Many dogs suffer from colitis and curing it is not that easy. Lets us understand the various colitis symptoms in dogs and how to identify them...
Rohini Mohan
Colitis in dogs is the inflammation of the colon. The colon is situated above the dog's small intestines and it has three basic functions. They being the absorption of water, storage of waste matter or stool and the further digestion of unabsorbed nutrients. The colon has higher bacterial density as compared to the small intestine. The cause of most dog health problems is the adverse reaction of bacteria as well as parasites in the dogs digestive system. We will discuss the various symptoms of colitis in dogs, in this DogAppy article.


Diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms of this condition among dogs, here are some other signs that may show that your dog is suffering from colitis:
  • The stool becomes liquid and is accompanied by mucus and sometimes even blood.
  • The dog suffers from stomach aches, gas and the urge to relieve itself often.
  • The dog may go through bouts of vomiting as well.
  • The dog will lose its appetite and try and feed on fresh blades of grass so as to help itself in digesting its food.
  • The stool will either be loose or will eventually turn looser as the dog relieves itself.
  • Weight loss is not considered to be a mandatory part and parcel of this disease, though chronic colitis will eventually lead to weight loss as the symptoms have persisted for a few weeks to some months. During which time the dog has not been eating regularly or in wholesome proportions.
Acute Colitis
Most cases of acute colitis, the dog suddenly falls ill. The reasons could be stress related, such as unbearable weather conditions. Dogs are very sensitive to heat therefore being exposed to unbearable hot weather conditions usually makes them sick. The sickness could also be due to parasites such as whip worms and giardia, which pass into the dog's system through rotten food stuff from the garbage bin as well as living in unhygienic conditions. Acute colitis in dogs usually gets cured with a short course of medicines that have been prescribed by the veterinarian. During this course the dog must be fed bland food with minimal oil and spice content, meat of any kind, must be avoided though, boiled chicken meat can be a suitable alternative.

Chronic Colitis
This condition occurs when the dog has been suffering from colitis for several weeks or a few months, with the symptoms reappearing and being as severe as the last bout of attack. Another reason for the constant reappearance of colitis could be because of simple dog food allergies, which may be due to the chemicals and artificial ingredients in the food. The whip worms may have overtaken the colon and may be causing severe trauma. The dogs stool must be clinically treated immediately as this condition will turn life-threatening if allowed to persist. Get the dog checked through a colonoscopy with biopsies so as to clarify the diagnosis.

Ulcerative Colitis

This type of colitis is also known as the 'Boxer Colitis' because the Boxer dogs are very prone to it. This is an ulcerative colitis that forms ulcers known as 'Histiocytes' that appear in the colons inner linings. This leads to bleeding and a lot of pain while defecating. These dogs are believed to have low immunity against the bacteria present in the colon which leads to this severe condition. Dogs with this disease begin to show signs of illness by the time they are 2 years of age and these symptoms become stronger with age.

Ulcerative colitis affected dogs do not respond well to conventional anti-inflammatory, dog medications such as Metronidazole, Tylosin as well as Sulfasalazine, each of which have proven to have excellent results on normal colitis in dogs. Though Enrofloxacin is one of the rare antibiotics that does show immediate improvements in the dogs condition. This antibiotic is the most effective for killing gram negative bacteria that are the major reason for causing this colitis.

Colitis in dogs need to be checked through biopsies. Tough the wiser decision would be to regularly de-worm your dog so as to prohibit the growth of worms. Secondly try to avoid feeding the dog foodstuffs with artificial flavorings, chemicals and ingredients. It is far safer to feed your pets home cooked grub that is free from toxic and harmful substances.