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Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital
Akron Veterinary Internal Medicine/Oncology Practice
1053 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road
Akron, OH 44321
Phone: 330-666-2976 or 330-670-2351
Inflamatory Bowel Disease
Client Handout
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic and recurrent syndrome where the
gastrointestinal (GI) tract is infiltrated with inflammatory cells. There is no apparent age,
sex, or breed predisposition for IBD in dogs or cats. However, middle-aged pets are most
often diagnosed with this disease.
Animals affected with IBD may suffer from the following clinical signs: diarrhea,
vomiting, weight loss, abdominal pain and decreased appetite. Clinical signs depend on
the are and severity of the GI involvement. These signs may be persistent or may wax
and wane over a period of weeks months, or years.
IBD is a diagnosis of exclusion and other potential causes for the GI signs your animal is
experiencing must first be ruled out. Diagnostic tests may include: bloodwork, urinalysis,
fecal examination, radiographs, +/- feline viral infectious screen (Felv/FIV). If these tests
do not provide a definitive answer, gastrointestinal biopsies should be pursued. Biopsies
of the gastrointestinal tract can be obtained via surgery or endoscopy. These tissue
samples are then sent off to a pathologist to be examined at the cellular level under a
There are various treatment options available. Your doctor will formulate a treatment
regimen based on the location, extent, and severity of the disease. Therapy may include
dietary modification to a commercial hypoallergenic diet or a home-cooked diet and fiber
supplementation (Metamucil or high fiber diet). Medications may include antibiotics,
anti-inflammatory drugs and/or immunosuppressive drugs, such as prednisone.
The prognosis for most cases of IBD is good control, but poor for a cure. This disease
often requires life long therapy and commitment.