Dogs with inflammatory bowel disease have chronic gastric problems characterized by loose stools and vomiting. Inflammation in the bowel interferes with nutrient absorption and the organ’s ability to move contents through the system. The disease may also be called colitis, regional enteritis, granulomatous enteritis, or spastic bowel syndrome. It may also be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a stress-induced gastroenteritis. Diagnosis is generally made by ruling out other possible causes of gastroenteritis through non-invasive testing and then confirmed with a biopsy.
IBD is a type of autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are genetically predisposed; if a dog has the disease, it has the genes. Dogs affected with IBD should not be bred. Their near relatives should not be bred to mates with a family history of any autoimmune disease.