Canine Diabetes Wiki
IBD and Dogs-ACVIM.

Inflammatory bowel disease or IBD or can affect cats and dogs. The primary symptom is frequent diarrhea and/or chronic vomiting (more than once every couple months or even less). IBD is not a single diagnosis and there are many variations to this disease. It usually means instituting a restricted diet, after lots of testing, which in combination with diabetes can mean a very restricted diet and perhaps and owner prepared diet. IBD can also cause nutritional deficiencies. It's also possible for the malabsorption of IBD to cause hypoglycemia incidents, as the dose of insulin is dependent on X amount of food being eaten, digested and absorbed properly. [1]

Neuropathy can affect the bowels, which can lead to constipation and possibly other bowel symptoms.


Mucosal system

Normal, non-irritated mucosal system of the colon.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Illustration of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

If you or your veterinarian suspects IBD there are several diagnostic tests that may be warranted.[2] A full blood workup including CBC, blood chemistry, and full fasting GI panel (TLI, PLI, B12/cobolamine & folate) can assist in the in the diagnosis [3]. Frequently, the CBC and Chem panel will display unspecific anomalies. [4]

Parasites can play a role in IBD and they should be searched for and eliminated as a cause if possible. Fecal analysis is frequently used to find parasites.

PCR testing is a noninvasive means to test the saliva (or other) of an animal for Helicobacter (or other organisms). [5] This pathogen may have some connection with IBD.[6] In PCR-based testing, nucleic acid - DNA or RNA - is isolated and then tested for known target pathogen sequences. There are many other applications to this emerging technology. Presently PCR testing is done at research centers and it is available though limited private labs. A PCR test for Helicobacter is available directly to the consumer (no veterinarian required) through Zoologix.

An ultrasound may also be warranted particularly in the identification of thickened bowels and intestines. Lastly, invasive diagnostics may also be warranted including endoscopy or exploratory surgery via laparotomy.


Treatment for this disease is dependent on the type of IBD the animal may have. IBD can involve parasites, infections, cancer and/or food allergies among others. [7]

The elimination of grains in the diet such as but not limited to oats, wheat or rice and/or grain products like wheat gluten, among others, are thought to potentially help in the control of this disease.[8] Also, novel protein or hypoallergenic protein diets or are frequently recommended with varying degrees and lengths of success.

If parasites are present, they should be eliminated.

If Helicobacter is present it is usually treated with antibiotics. Recent success [100% eradication] has been shown in a limited trial treating H. pylori with amoxicillin, metronidazole and clarithromycin. [9] However, this protocol might cause greater upset stomach than other protocols.

If steroids are used in the treatment of your non-diabetic pet's IBD, their connection to diabetes should be considered. Further, if your pet is already diabetic then steroids may increase your pet's insulin resistance. I16

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  1. Greco, Deborah (2009). Dietary Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs and Cats. DVM 360. Archived from the original on 2013-10-16.
  2. Washabau, Robert J. (December 2005). The Eight Principles of Therapy of Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease. District of Columbia Academy of Veterinary Medicine.
  3. Guilford, Grant (2001). GI Function Tests: Why Clinicians Should Use Them. WSAVA.
  4. IBD in Dogs. Pet Education.
  5. PCR Testing. Zoologix.
  6. Simpson, Kenneth, Neiger, Reto, DeNovo, Robert, Sherding, Robert (2000). The Relationship of Helicobacter Spp. Infection to Gastric Disease in Dogs and Cats. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  7. Jergens, Albert E. (2002). Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the Dog and Cat. WSAVA.
  8. German, A. J., Hall, E. J., Day, M. J. (2003). Chronic Intestinal Inflammation and Intestinal Disease in Dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
  9. Simpson, Kenneth W. (2006). Helicobacter in Dogs and Cats--What's New?. WSAVA.

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