Colitis in Dogs / IBS in Dogs, you Have to Treat the Cause Not the Symptoms…
After recurring skin and ear issues, recurring gastrointestinal upset in dogs, often diagnosed as IBS or colitis by your vet, is one of the most common reasons for visiting a vet today. Unfortunately, as most conventionally trained vets never suspect it is the awful, ultra-processed muck that the dog is being fed, they rarely fix the issue for their clients. For this reason, dogs with recurring gut issues are common visitors to our site and we’ve become very good at helping you out. And the answer is so simple. Give my advice a go for a week, tell me I’m wrong.
I’m Dr Conor Brady, a canine nutritionist with a lot of experience solving stubborn gut issues in dogs. Below I tell you everything I know, including not only why your dog is likely sick but how to fix it. There’s also a summary video at the end. How do I benefit? For the most part, articles like this get folk on to my site and it gets me some attention. If you need specialised help you can book me for a consultation. I might link to some natural products if they are needed for his recovery. If so, that link will be tracked, meaning if you buy it I will get tiny, tiny bit of that sale.
Symptoms of a dog with recurring gut issues
Many of the following points likely describe your dog:
- Dry Fed: When your dog’s problems began he was eating a wheat based dry food. He’s either still eating it or now eating a grossly over-priced bag of “prescription” dry food. While unlikely, you may even have tried raw but it didn’t work.
- Soft, Stinky Stool: Your dog’s system is not tolerating whatever is being fed and is getting rid of it as quick as possible resulting in soft poos / diarrhoea which stink badly
- Mucousy Stools, Possibly with Blood: The mucous is the inner lining of his intestines coming out on the poo. If this continues the capillaries can be exposed and you will see blood in the stool.
- Poor Body Condition: Your dog is in poor condition. A result of all the digestive upset is that none of the good stuff gets in. He is underweight, with a poor coat, permanently hungry and depressed.
- Anal gland issues: If you see a dog bottom-scooting / dragging their bum he might have impacted anal glands.
- You likely have a white or light coated dog such as Westie or Bijon, though all dogs are affected.
- You have been to the vet multiple times and have received repeat prescription steroids, antibiotics, anti-spasming drugs, to name but a few. But it doesn’t cure the problem so you keep going back.
You Need to Treat the Cause of Colitis in Dogs, Not the Symptoms
First off, the occasional bit of diarrhoea in dogs is easily treated with some minor considerations. This is not occasional though. A dog with IBS / colitis will be suffering recurring and severe bouts of diarrhoea and is likely losing considerable condition as a result.
While IBS and colitis in dogs are two separate diseases we are going to treat them as the same thing, largely as we strongly suspect that what the vets are seeing is the same thing. Certainly, the symptoms coming into us are identical, as is the cure.
If a dog has a recurring gut issue then it suggests that something is constantly going into the dog that is causing the gut to complain. If the culprit is not found and then removed from the dog’s life they will always have the symptoms that are seen on the surface. If the cause of these symptoms is not treated then visits to the vet for drugs (the powerful synthetic drugs that tell the immune system to quit complaining but don’t actually cure the disease) will be frequent. Like a plaster on gangrene, this is not the route to good health but the route to steadily poorer health.
The vast majority of dogs reporting to us with a recurring gut issue are dry fed and with the majority of these dry fed dogs, it is the result of eating wheat. Simply cutting this one ingredient out completely sorts out a large amount of these poor troubled dogs. However, though, there are other causes too, including cooked chicken, beef and too many unnecessary chemicals. Drop all the products, all the pet store treats, anything with a picture of a dog on it to be honest. Move him to a plain, fresh diet and watch his issues evaporate.
For a deeper understanding of what’s going with your dog, I highly recommend reading our article Allergies in Dogs. It is the most popular article on our site. It will explain the cause of your dog’s recurring gut upset and crucially, the simple, natural cure and correct diet advice.