Diagnosis for Angel

Our Pup, Angel was just diagnosed with stress-induced Colitis.   does not only affect humans. It seems to affect pets as well. It seems Angel & I have been suffering the aftermath of stress.  I have Bell's Palsy, which is sometimes brought on and definitely aggravated by stress - this is my 6th day with it.  About the same time I was experiencing small symptoms of it...Angel was experiencing stress of her own. She was either stressing over what was happening to me or something else.  The effects of stress on our body and our dog's body can vary ; however, one of the most common effects of stress in a dog, is an abrupt bout of acute diarrhea.  Stress is an emotional state of mind that causes physical and mental tension. A dog with stress induced diarrhea therefore, presents diarrhea as a result of stress.

How Stress Induced Diarrhea Arises
  • When a dog undergoes a stressful event, its intestinal tract will contract more than usual causing the formation of more bowel movements than normal. Food may not be processed as usual, ultimately causing loose stools.
  • Causes of Diarrhea Due to Stress
    • Dogs may undergo stress for different reasons, the most common entailing some sort of change. Dogs whose owners are ill, dogs that are boarding, left at a friend's house, in the process of moving, newly adopted or qualifying at a dog show may easily become victims of diarrhea.
    Treatment of Diarrhea Due to Stress
    • Once the dog is withdrawn from the stressful event, the diarrhea should gradually subside. A short-term fast ranging from 12 hours for puppies to 24 for adult dogs followed by a bland diet may help the dog recover.
What is colitis?
Colitis simply refers to inflammation of the large intestine or colon. Colitis is most commonly used to describe diarrhea or loose stools associated with the large bowel. Large bowel diarrhea is also used synonymously with colitis.

What are the clinical signs of colitis?
Most dog owners report seeing frequent, small volumes of semi-formed to liquid feces. Many dogs will exhibit straining during and after defecation, and small amounts of bright red blood will often be passed near the end of defecation. Mucus or fat is seen in many cases of chronic colitis. Vomiting occurs in less than a third of the cases of colitis or large bowel diarrhea. Weight loss is rare.
What causes colitis?
The causes of colitis include stress, infections (including Salmonella, Clostridium, and E. coli), and parasites (including, GiardiaCryptosporidium and whipworms), trauma, allergic colitis and primary inflammatory bowel disease (lymphoplasmacytic, eosinophilic, granulomatous and histiocytic types). Colitis may also occur after ingesting contaminated food, being in contact with infected dogs or after chronic exposure to a wet environment.
"Inflammation in the colon results in reduced water absorption and decreased ability to store feces in the colon."
Whatever the cause, the inflammation in the colon results in reduced water absorption and decreased ability to store feces in the colon. This causes the classic symptom of frequent small amounts of diarrhea, often with mucus or blood.
If your pet is showing these symptoms or is in pain do not wait. It's better to contact your local VCA Veterinarian.
How is colitis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of colitis is based on your pet's clinical signs and istory, microscopic evaluation of the feces, rectal examination, cytology and blood tests. Additional testing such as radiographs to examine the colon and intestinal tract, colonoscopy and colon biopsies, fecal cultures, barium enemas or ultrasound evaluation of the abdomen may be necessary. These tests are important to rule out conditions such as colonic tumors or polyps, irritable bowel syndrome, cecal inversion and ileocecocolic intussusception (a condition in which the intestines 'telescope' or fold into themselves).

How is colitis treated?
The specific cause of colitis will dictate the appropriate treatment. Non-specific treatment includes fasting for 24-48 hours, feeding a low residue or hypoallergenic diet, increasing dietary fiber content, and adding fermentable fiber such as psyllium, beet pulp or fructooligosaccharides (FOS) to the food. Antimicrobial drugs may be indicated, depending on your dog's diagnosis. Anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive drugs may be used in cases of inflammatory or immune-mediated colitis. Drugs that modify the colon's motility may provide symptomatic relief.
What is the prognosis if my dog has colitis?
"For most dogs diagnosed with colitis, the prognosis is excellent for a speedy recovery."
For most dogs diagnosed with colitis, the prognosis is excellent for a speedy recovery. Stress colitis is one of the leading causes of colitis in dogs and with a simple change in diet and medication to resolve the inflammation or infection in the colon most dogs are back to normal within three to five days. Chronic, severe or recurrent cases should have further diagnostic tests performed to determine the exact cause and proper treatment. For many dogs with chronic colitis, strict dietary control and judiciously used medications keep the condition under control.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..


  1. I'm sorry it's been such a difficult week for not only you, but for sweet Angel as well. I do hope you are both doing better. I can personally attest that dogs do indeed get stressed. You are so right, stress does some nasty things to us, mentally and physically. I will continue to pray for both of you. Big hugs!

  2. Hi Jan,
    I was so completely stressed out today it's a wonder I didn't have another heart attack with all the yelling and sobbing I did. Sigh...
    I hope little Angel is getting better. I'd rather be sick myself than have Josephine be ill. So I can deeply empathize with your stress over the little one. Doesn't make you any better, either. Oh, for something to break the cycle! I hope and pray.
    ((hugs)) m & jb

  3. Hi Jan, yes, you are so right about stress. It can do awful things to our bodies, mind and overall health. I so hope that Angel is doing better and you as well. It sure has been a trying week for you.
    Keeping you and Angel in my prayers.
    God Bless

  4. Jan,
    Visiting today and I am so so sorry you are feeling stressed. Stress can really hurt our bodies, minds and souls. I am praying that you and your sweet Puppy dog are feeling better today and that whatever was happening in your life to cause you stress-is now behind you.
    God Bless, with Love,