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Ask Dr. Altman Your Own Question
Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11878
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My dog has IBD with symptoms being diarrhea and weight loss.

Customer Question

my dog has IBD with symptoms being diarrhea and weight loss. what is best treatment? what are side effects of treatment? is condition manageable?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and happy to answer your questions today.
I am so sorry that your dog is showing signs of IBD. There are many causes of IBD including food allergy, immune mediated causes, or unknown. Depending on the cause the treatment may vary:
http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/diseases-conditions-of-dogs/stomach-intestine-liver-or-pancreas/inflammatory-bowel-disease-in-dogs
If it is food related then a hypoallergenic diet is advised such as hill's z/d ultra or royal canin h/p formula. When eating this food dogs cannot have ANYTHING else and if this is a food allergy as a cause often the stool will normalize within a 1-2 week period (sometimes supplements or antibiotics are warranted to treat the other issues associated with IBD such as the bacterial flora being off balance or clostridia to name a few)
When it is immune mediated the treatment is going to often be steroids and another medication (azathioprine or cyclosporine to name a few) until the signs are reduced, weight is maintained, and hopefully stools normalize then SLOW tapering of medications over months to find the lowest effective dose of medication to control symptoms.
Ideal is going to be an intestinal biopsy to rule this out as a possibility but if this is not a viable option the food trial is an alternative. Dogs food allergy is primarily to the meat versus common thought that it is the grain. So these foods are formulated so that the protein is broken down beyond the point of the body recognizing the protein and therefore will not react to the food. My dog is on one of these diets and if she gets anything outside of the regular food she will break with diarrhea. In fact, she had a greenie two weeks ago and has had loose stool since! She is on antibiotics and probiotics and we have yet to control her symptoms again from her one greenie!
I hope this information makes sense but please let me know how else I can assist you both today
If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks!
If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. Altman..." or "Dogdoc4u..." and others will leave the questions for me. Good luck to you both!!!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What are side effects of steroid treatment?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does it always work?
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
Depending on the dose used and how long (the hope is that the dose can be reduced after 2-4 weeks): increased water and food intake, urination, increased panting, swollen belly, thin coat and thin skin, weight gain but muscle loss, lethargy, sometimes aggression, iatrogenic cushing's disease.
Does it always work? If this is the true diagnosis yes it does work but unfortunately there can be relapses, especially if the dose is tapered too quickly and then it is much more difficult to control a second or third time there is a relapse
Please let me know any additional questions I can assist with today
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
I am on-line another 15 minutes tonight if I can be of any further assistance to you both.
If you are satisfied with our chat please rate or accept so I may be compensated for my time. Thank you!