Colitis is inflammation of the colon.
Sudden colitis can be induced by stress and excitement. However,
there are many factors which may cause colitis: dietary hypersensitivity,
infection with parasites, viruses and bacteria.
In acute colitis, the problem comes
and goes, however if the colitis lasts more than 3 weeks it is
said to be chronic.
(different from true diarrhoea, which is very watery)
*Blood in the stool
*Mucus covered stools
*Stool often starts normal then throughout
the day it becomes loose
*Animal may strain to defecate
*Animal may show urgency to defecate
*Animal may want to defecate more frequently
The longer the stool remains in the
colon, the more water is absorbed from it. However, due to inflammation
of the colon there is difficulty in moving the stool along the
colon and therefore a problem absorbing water from the stools.
This means they pass out the animal quickly and with a high water
content. The blood comes from damage to the protective lining
of the colon.
Fibre is suggested because a common
belief is that colitis is caused by a lack of fibre or 'bulk'
in the diet. However, this problem is often seen in low quality
foods, which produce a lot of 'bulk' because they are difficult
to digest (e.g. many foods contain wheat, Soya or dairy products,
these are less easily digested than other ingredients).
An animal suffering from colitis
should be fed small amounts of a highly digestible, low fat, high
quality diet. This should produce smaller stools, which are easier
for the animal to pass.
Colitis may also be caused by dietary
intolerance or allergies. Blood and skin tests are not a reliable
way for testing food allergies, the best way is to use an elimination
Intolerances can result from chemical
preservatives/flavourings or colourings in the food, foods high
in fat or high in protein and certain types of protein in the
pet health problems
John Burns Pet Health