Inflammatory Bowel Disease in a Dog
Patient: 2-year old, MC Boston Terrier
Chronic vomiting with weight loss of 1 kg over 6 months
Non-responsive to dietary trials and antibiotics; referred to Iowa State for further diagnostic evaluation
- Body Condition Score of 3/9, fluid-filled small intestinal loops on palpation, and rectal examination was WNL
- After clinical and laboratory evaluation, an endoscopic evaluation of the upper gastrointestinal region was performed.
- Routine diagnostic testing — CBC, biochemistry, urinalysis, fecal examination, survey abdominal radiographs, and resting cortisol (screen for Addison’s disease) — showed no metabolic/systemic abnormalities as a cause for the dog’s clinical signs.
- Diffuse gastric erosions
- Marked diffuse granularity to the duodenal mucosa
- Histopathological assessment confirms severe lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteritis
Left: Marked mucosal granularity in the proximal duodenum.
Below: Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using molecular probes which target adherent bacteria in the colon of a dog with IBD. The bacteria “stain” intensely yellow and are in close proximity to the mucosal immune system.
Other Important Questions
Which product do I use?
Comparative trials for canine IBD have not been performed. It is most likely that high potency (billions of organisms), multi-strain cocktails are most efficacious as previously demonstrated in humans with IBD and animal models.
Are probiotics useful in preventing relapse (flare) of IBD?
Not known in companion animals but most likely this is the case based on studies in human IBD (ie, ulcerative colitis).
Can I use probiotics in combination with antibiotic therapy, such as with metronidazole or tyrosine?
Good question and not presently known whether antibiotics kill off beneficial bacteria when administered together with probiotics. My recommendation is to stop the antibiotic while using the probiotic since concurrent use may mitigate the potential benefits of probiotic products.