Wellness Center - Articles
Colitis - Cat and Dog Colitis Treatment
by Darleen Rudnick, B.S.W., M.H.N.
Have a pet suffering from Colitis? Learn how to treat it naturally feeding your pet the right diet, making life style changes and adding high quality supplements.
Colitis refers to inflammation of the large intestine (colon) and can be caused by a primary disease, irritation of the bowel, antibiotic use, parasite infestation or ulceration.
Symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal bloating
- Increased intestinal gas
Two Major types of Colitis are Ulcerative Colitis and Ischemic Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease of the colon, the large intestine, which is characterized by inflammation and ulceration of the innermost lining of the colon. Ulcerative colitis affects only the colon.
- Progressive loosening of the stool
- Bloody stool
- Crampy abdominal pains
- Severe urgency to have a bowel movement
- Skin lesions
- Pain in the joints and failure to grow properly
An inflammation caused by interference with the blood flow to the large intestine.
- Severe abdominal pain
- Bright red blood in the stool
- Muscle pain
Treatment for Colitis
Because Colitis can be similar to Irritable Bowel Disease and can be triggered by many factors, it is important to have a thorough examine done by a veterinarian. If you decide to seek natural methods, Purely Pets recommends a consultation with our on-staff nutritionist.
A consultation will include a personalized diet and holistic program suggestions, all custom-tailored to your pet's personal needs. This is particularly imperative with pets suffering from Colitis.
The nutritional program and other recommendations outlined in this article are designed for pets that have been diagnosed with Colitis, but do not apply to every pet.
Feed What is Right for Your Pet
Good nutrition is essential in any chronic disease but especially in this illness,
The most important thing to remember when choosing a food for your pet is to choose a food that is right for YOUR pet, not what other people think is right. Raw diets are great, and home cooking is wonderful, but if your pet doesn't do well on it, then you should not feed it.
When choosing a dry food avoid synthetic preservatives such as butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol and ethoxyquin. Avoid animal fats (found in many pet foods), high fat treats, processed foods, spicy foods, sugar and dairy products. These foods may aggravate the problem. In many cases, feeding a very simple diet helps.
Feed small, frequent meals instead of one large one and offer all food at room temperature for best digestion.
Use Bottled Water. Toxic metals such as lead, copper, mercury, and aluminum are often found in drinking water and some pets are very sensitive to these metals.
Rule out a Parasite Infestation. A parasite infestation can lead to colitis and irritable bowel disease, so it is very important to rule this out. Symptoms of an infestation include -- vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, inability to absorb nutrients, bad breath, skin problems, chronic ear infections, yeast infections, foul odor to the stool, and many other minor and major ailments.
Eliminate Toxins in the House, Yard and on your Pet.
Avoid the following:
- Carpet powders
- Air fresheners
- Toxic shampoos
- Toxic flea collars
- Rawhides - Many are dipped in a solution of salt and bleach. Safe alternative chews and treats.
- Cheap painted pet toys
- Red food dye
Supplements to Control Colitis Naturally
Purely Pets does not recommend discontinuing traditional medications cold turkey or discontinuing them at all. This is YOUR decision based on how the following program works. We highly recommend you work closely with your veterinarian.
Although medications can be very effective, some may cause side effects that can eventually lead to other symptoms. Many pet owners are now looking into other methods for treating Colitis. A more natural approach is outlined below.
Since Colitis can be triggered by an inadequate amount of digestive enzymes, adding them to your pet's diet cannot be stressed enough. A lack of enzymes can lead to decreased energy, excessive gas, allergies, poor skin condition, loose stool, consumption of their own stool, foul breath and/or body odor. Without digestive enzymes even the most nutritious foods will not be of any use to the body.
Digest Zymez are capsulated enzymes which can be fed orally or opened and mixed directly into the food. This product reduces intestinal gas and cramping and is very helpful in treating Colitis.
Yucca is a natural steroidal supplement containing steroid saponins which are nature's most powerful anti-inflammatory agents. This product reduces pain without gastric side effects and is effective for arthritis, bone and joint problems, soft tissue swelling and digestive and bowel problems.
Mega Pet Daily
This is our most outstanding multiple nutritional supplement. Higher potency, easy to feed gel cap provides daily support of important vitamins and minerals, including the A's, B's, Selenium, Chromium, Zinc, and Choline, all the vital nutrients for optimum immunity and health.
Exercise Your Pet Daily
Exercise increases the efficiency of the immune system and helps with muscle development, digestion and overall health. A well-conditioned body will work and perform better and increase the ability to carry blood and oxygen to muscles. Exercising burns fat and increases your pet's metabolism.
Be sure your pet gets at least an hour of exercise every day. However, age, health and weather should be taken into consideration when exercising. Do NOT over exercise older pets, or pets suffering from hypoglycemia, epilepsy, heart problems, during bouts of diarrhea, etc. Pets suffer from exhaustion just as humans do.
Conclusion and Tips for Treating Colitis
- Feed what is right for your pet.
- During bouts of diarrhea, Pedialyte and baby food may help. Plain yogurt replenishes the intestinal tract with friendly bacteria and does help in some cases. Rice can be helpful for bouts of diarrhea, but this is not true in all cases. Large breeds that eat off the floor from a bowl are forced to gulp down their food and this may cause bloating and slow down digestion. Raising the food bowl for them eases the digestive process and causes less discomfort.
- Feed small, simple meals throughout the day.
- Test for Giardia and other parasites at least 3-4 times.
- Eliminate any food or supplement which seems to upset the digestive tract or aggravate the symptoms.
- Exercise your pet regularly as this helps with digestion.
- Give supplements to strengthen the immune system and most importantly give digestive enzymes before or during each meal.
- Avoid using toxins on or around your pet.
- Offer only bottled water.
IMPORTANT! The recommendations in this article are general suggestions for treating your pet naturally. It is important to look at each pet individually and determine what works best for YOUR pet.
I would highly consider an in home consultation or phone consultation. A consultation will include a personalized diet and holistic program suggestions, all custom-tailored to your pet's personal needs. This is particularly imperative in pets with complicated health issues, or if you've done outside reading and have conflicting information.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Purely Pets today!