Patients with colitis (inflammation of the colon/large intestine) strain to defecate and may have mucus and/or small amounts of fresh blood. Pets with colitis should still have a good appetite and energy level. If your pet is lethargic, not wanting to eat, or the stools are of a watery consistency, your veterinarian should be contacted immediately. Common causes of colitis are dietary intolerance (e.g.: new treats or type of food) and parasitic infections. Other causes include: infections (e.g.: bacteria, protozoa), inflammation (e.g.: inflammatory bowel disease, foreign bodies), and tumors. Diagnosis of colitis is based on symptoms. After examining your pet, your veterinarian will begin by testing your pet’s feces for intestinal parasites. Cases of chronic colitis may require further diagnostic testing such as blood work, fecal testing, and imaging (x-rays and abdominal ultrasound). Treatment for colitis includes identifying the underlying cause and treating specifically if possible. If a specific underlying cause is not found, pets may be treated with an antibiotic, a deworming treatment, and/or nutritional support to promote intestinal health and hasten the recovery process.

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