Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in Dogs - Page 1

My Pet: FREE Tools to Care for Your Pet and Connect with Others

Over 10,000 Vet Approved Articles Search All Articles

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in Dogs

By: Dr. Erika de Papp

Read By: Pet Lovers
Email To A Friend Print
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an intestinal disease of humans that involves diarrhea and abdominal cramping of unknown cause. It is not a well-defined disease process in veterinary medicine, but is believed to be associated with some sort of functional disorder of intestinal motility or movement, rather than an infectious, inflammatory, or cancerous problem.

It is a chronic (long term) problem with intermittent clinical signs and is primarily a disorder of dogs. There are no breed or sex predilections. Some authors suggest that stress plays a role in the disease process, because IBS has been noted in high strung dogs and performance and working dogs.

What to Watch For

  • Intermittent bouts of diarrhea or soft stool
  • Increased frequency of defecation
  • Passage of small volumes of stool
  • Straining to defecate
  • Abdominal distension/bloating
  • Excessive gas
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Occasional nausea and vomiting


  • History and physical exam
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal tests for parasites, protozoa and bacteria
  • Fecal cytology
  • Tests for bacterial overgrowth in the intestine
  • Food trial
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Endoscopy and intestinal biopsy


  • Dietary modification
  • Anti-diarrheal drugs
  • Anti spasmodic/tranquilizer combinations for abdominal bloating and pain
  • Drugs to minimize gastrointestinal gas

    Home Care and Prevention

    Give all medications as prescribed by your veterinarian. Careful adherence to dietary recommendations is crucial. Feed only the prescribed diet. Do not feed table scraps or other foods, including natural chew toys (rawhides).

    Observe for inappropriate response to treatment or worsening of clinical signs at home. Persistent diarrhea, lack of appetite, abdominal discomfort, and lethargy should prompt a call to your veterinarian.

    Because of the possible role that stress may play in this disease process, potential stressors in the home environment should be identified and minimized when possible.

  • Comment & Share
    Email To A Friend Print
    Keep reading! This article has multiple pages.

    Dog Photos Enjoy hundreds of beautiful dog photos Let's Be Friends Follow Us On Facebook Follow Us On twitter


    Email to a Friend

    Article to eMail
    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in Dogs

    My Pet
    Coming Soon

    Tools to Care for Your Pet and
    Connect with Others!

    Be the First to Know.
    Notify Me