"What To Expect When You Go To The Vet"
if your pet should have a problem with ...
To include Femoral Head Removal, Hip Dysplasia, Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries, Panosteitis, Radiographic Demonstrations, Disc Disease, and Bone Surgery
Strokes, Vascular Diseases, Anemias, DVT, DIC, Blood Parasites, Rat Poison, & Bleeding disorders
Cardiology Heart disease in Cats, Cardiac Hypertrophy, Valvular disease, Cardiac Insufficiency, Congestive Heart Failure, Heartworm Disease, and a little history about the milestones in treating heart disease Cats: general information page and directory of diseases and problems specific to cats including vaccine recommendations, leukemia, feline viral infections, feline upper respiratory disease and cats that just aren't feeling well. Dermatology: Skin problems including allergies, rashes, bacterial infections, and itching. Hair Loss, Yeast Infections, Hormonal Problems Heart disease; Cardiac diseases, vascular diseases, stroke, & heartworms Hormone Diseases: Diabetes, Thyroid Disease, Cushing's Disease or Hypercortisolism, Addison's disease or Hypocortisolism, Pancreatitis, obesity as a disease Infectious Diseases Colds, Distemper, Parvo, Leptospirosis, Bruceellosis, Panleukopenia, Feline AIDS, Leukemia, Hepatitis, Kennel Cough, Ringworm, Rabies, FIP, Canine Herpes, Toxic Shock Syndrome, & More Intestinal problems: diarrhea, constipation, torsion, indigestion, and gas. Also pancreatitis, vomiting, esophagitis, colitis, parvo and other types of dysentery Metabolic Diseases: Diabetes, Thyroid Disease, Cushing's Disease or Hypercortisolism, Addison's disease or Hypocortisolism, Pancreatitis, obesity as a disease Parasite Problems Fleas, Ticks, Heartworms, Intestinal Worms, Mosquitos, Lice, Mites, and other welfare recipients Poisons Snakes, Insects, household chemicals, plants, and foods that might poison your pet Skeletal-Muscular Problems Arthritis, Fractures, ACL, Ligament Injuries, Disc Disease, Pannus, and many other problems of the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments Skin Problems: allergies, rashes, bacterial infections, and itching. Hair Loss, Yeast Infections, Hormonal Problems Surgery: Spays, Castrations, Testicle Recipes, Soft Tissue Surgery, Hard Tissue Surgery (Bones), C- Sections, Declawing, Tumor Removal and Cancer Surgery
Other Topics on This Site
Zoonotics: Diseases, worms, and parasites people get from pets.
Includes information about Prescription diets used to treat disease, and a discussion about the pet food industry
Includes information about feline and canine heat or estrus, breeding, C-Sections, pyometra or Infected Uterus, dystocia, no milk, mastitis, & brucellosis
Also newborn care, undescended testicles, and alternative to spaying and castration
WildLife Page: Taking care of baby bunnies, squirrels, and birds. A very funny story about beavers, and other misc information Our Dog Page: a directory of problems of concern in dogs including parvovirus, distemper, canine herpes, and other diseases
Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix which is a pouch attached to the intestines at the site where the small and large intestines meet. In some species, this pouch is huge (horses and rabbits) and called a cecum. In humans, the appendix is about the size of your thumb and sometimes causes deadly serious disease needing immediate surgery. In dogs and cats, this is a very rare occurence.
Pets with colitis often also have enteritis. After all, the intestines are connected so the distinction between enteritis and colitis is often just academic. I'm sure your dog doesn't care. "Just get me better" !
Causes of lower bowel inflammation include:
Excessive hair in the bowel. As you know, dogs and cats groom themselves with their tongue. And if they ingest large quantities of hair because of compulsive grooming or because they're shedding excessively... often because of underlying skin disease, skin allergies, and fleas... then it's not surprising that all this hair in the bowel can cause irritation and inflammation.
Fremented wads of hair can make pets miserable.
Intolerance to diets, snacks, table scraps, or vices such as eating excessive amounts of grass, sticks, bark, road kill, etc
Lack of fiber in the diet
Food allergies more common than you might think and to the foods you have been feeding for months.
Stress and anxiety
Note: new evidence suggests that irritable bowel disease is mainly a matter of the immune system not keeping in check the numbers of bacteria in the bowel. Yes, bacteria in the bowel is normal, but in a healthy bowel the numbers of bacteria are not overwhelming. This is why so many cases of inflammatory bowel disease respond well to amoxicillin and other antibiotics.
Intestinal Parasites to include nematode worms, tapeworms, Giardia, and Coccidia
Bacterial and Fungal infections
As you can see, the causes range from minor irritants to cancer.
This fact makes it tough on your veterinarians; do we treat gut cases casually and inexpensively on the assumption that this is probably yet another minor case .... or do we recommend blood work, radiographs, endoscopes, and ultra sound because of the possibility that this particular case is something serious. Making this decision will depend on the history, the severity of the signs, your budget, and usually in the end, how your pet responds to initial treatment.
Symptoms include blood and mucus in the stool, gas, restless behavior, discomfort, straining to defecate, more frequent defecation and so forth.
Diagnostic workups typically include:
- Fecal exam for parasites, mucus, and blood
- Blood work to rule out metabolic diseases
-Endoscopy and biopsy may be appropriate in severe or unresponsive cases
Treatment, of course, depends on the cause. Sometimes it's necessary to treat seemingly unrelated problems like excessive shedding due to fleas. There are links to your left to pages where we discuss many of the diseases and parasites that result in diarrhea.
Most of the time, some combination of medications that control the diarrhea and fluid replacement are needed along with parasite medications, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medications.
We often recommend special diets... especially in patients with frequent or chronic gi problems
Probiotics, pancreatic enzymes, and other digestive supplements are often helpful... sometimes very helpful. (beware of poor quality, near useless generics when buying probiotics)
Weight loss, dietary habit changes, and stress management may also be appropriate
Laser therapy, acupuncture, and holistic-herbal therapy... maybe?
And unfortunately, sometimes chemotherapy is needed.