Management of canine inflammatory bowel disease

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11 Scopus citations


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the most common cause of chronic vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, involves a group of idiopathic gastrointestinal disorders that are characterized by histologic infiltration of inflammatory cells in the lamina propria of the small or large intestine. Hypersensitivity to luminal dietary or microbial antigens plays an important role in the cause of IBD. Nutritional and pharmacologic therapy of IBD is aimed at removing antigenic sources of inflammation and suppressing the cell-mediated inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract. Commercially available hypoallergenic diets or homemade diets can be selected based on dietary history. The ideal diet for dogs with IBD is based on a highly digestible single protein and carbohydrate source that is free of gluten and moderately fat-restricted. Pharmacologic therapy with corticosteroids and metronidazole is recommended for dogs with moderate to severe enteritis; sulfasalazine is more effective for managing colitis that is refractory to dietary modification. Azathioprine is a useful adjunctive therapy in severe or refractory cases of IBD. In most dogs, the prognosis for IBD is favorable with judicious dietary and pharmacologic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-331
Number of pages15
JournalCompendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • veterinary(all)


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