Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs (cont.)

Granulomatous (Regional) Enteritis

This is a rare disease, similar to Crohn's disease in humans. There is thickening and narrowing of the terminal small bowel due to inflammation of surrounding fat and lymph nodes. Macrophages, which are cells found in tissues that fight infections, are found on biopsy of the colon. The diarrhea is the chronic large bowel type, containing mucus and blood. Biopsies are processed with special stains to exclude histoplasmosis and intestinal tuberculosis.

Treatment: This involves the use of corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs to reduce inflammation and scarring. A course of metronidazole may be of benefit. A strictured bowel requires surgery.

Neutrophilic Enterocolitis

This inflammatory bowel disease produces acute and chronic large bowel diarrhea (see page 284). The inflammatory infiltrate is composed of mature white cells in the tissues and blood vessels. Diagnosis is based on a colon biopsy and stool cultures to exclude bacterial infection.

Treatment: Antibiotics and/or corticosteroids are used to control the disease.

Histiocytic Ulcerative Colitis

This inflammatory bowel disease occurs almost exclusively in Boxers. Signs usually appear before age 2. Affected dogs develop severe, unrelenting diarrhea that contains mucus and blood, and corresponding weight loss. The diagnosis is based on a colon biopsy.

Treatment: Treatment is similar to that described for lymphocytic-plasmacytic enterocolitis.

This article is excerpted from “Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” with permission from Wiley Publishing, Inc.