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Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Dogs


This hard to diagnose disease is discovered after a process of elimination. After eliminating other infectious, inflammatory, and  certain parasitic diseases, a presumptive diagnosis of IBS is suggested. Related to the similar disease in humans, where it is called spastic or nervous colon, this disease affects the large bowel. The clinical symptoms include-passage of small amounts of mucoid stool with or without painful defecation and increased frequency of defecation. Stools can be soft, formed, or watery diarrhea. Additional symptoms include bloating, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

The most commonly prescribed treatment is supplementation with dietary fiber. A good suggestion is to add crushed flaxseed to the raw food diet. A dog needs about 5% fiber in the diet to adequately form the stools and provide proper bowel function.  In fact ,dogs that are regularly fed this way will likely have less chance of ever suffering from this condition.

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2 Comments  comments 

2 Responses

  1. Lynda

    This article is dated 2008. According to a friend of mine, current research suggests that flaxseed is no longer considered healthy for dogs. Any comments or other food suggestions?

    • cynthia

      Hi Lynda, Thanks for the comment. We have not heard of that research regarding flaxseed, do you possibly have a link to it? We have have not seen any problems with using flaxseed, however you could replace with fish body oil, such as salmon oil or krill oil. It’s important to note that fish body oils are not fish liver oils. Fish liver oils are very rich in essential fatty acids, but they are also very high in vitamin D. Your pet has a much lower requirement for vitamin D than you do, and an overdose can result in urinary stones and mineralization and calcification of tissues and organs.

      Hope that helps. Let us know if you have any other questions!

      -Cynthia Corpuz
      BARF World

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