PetMD Seal

Colonic or Rectal Inflammation in Dogs



If your dog is dehydrated from chronic diarrhea, it will need to be hospitalized for intravenous rehydration. If the inflammation is sudden and severe, your veterinarian may have you withhold food from your dog for 24 to 48 hours, to allow the colon to relax. Meanwhile, if chronic inflammation and scar tissue has formed in the colon, surgical removal of the most severely scarred segments may be required. Inflammation from a fungal infection may also require surgery.


Prescriptions for medications will be based on the cause of the inflammation. For example, if the inflammation is the result of whipworms or hookworms, anti-parasitic drugs will be prescribed. Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs may be prescribed if the cause is an autoimmune reaction. Some types of colitis respond poorly to medical treatment; in these cases, surgery may be necessary. Consult your veterinarian as to your best option.


Home treatment will most likely be focused on diet. Your veterinarian may suggest a protein diet that is either prepared by you at home, or pre-packaged, store bought item. Supplementing with unfermented fiber, such as bran, may be used to increase fecal bulk, improve muscle contractions in the colon, and draw fecal water into the feces. On the other hand, some fermentable fibers may be beneficial. The fatty acids produced by the fermentation may help the colon heal and restore normal bacteria in the colon. Some fibers, such as psyllium, may act as laxatives, and may not be the best remedy for a condition that causes diarrhea, so it is important to consult with a veterinarian before beginning any course of treatment at home.


Living and Management


Your veterinarian will need to see your dog for follow-up exams, at least for a while. Some of these checks may be done over the phone, as you can describe your dog's progress to the doctor. If medications are prescribed, you will need to take care in following your veterinarian's instructions.




To prevent recurrent inflammation of the colon and rectum, avoid exposure to other dogs, contaminated foods, and moist environments. Avoid sudden changes in diet, as well. Repeated recurrences of inflammation can be expected when it is related to autoimmune conditions, though this is not always the case.



Related Articles

Colonic Ulcer in Dogs

Histiocytic ulcerative colitis is an uncommon disease characterized by ulcers in the lining of the colon, and inflammation with periodic acid-Schiff...

Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus in Dogs

The rectum is the terminal end region of the large intestine, with the anus serving as an extension of the rectum, opening to allow digestive...

Constipation (Severe) in Dogs

Megacolon is a condition in which waste is remaining in the colon, causing the diameter of the colon to become abnormally enlarged. It is typically...

Canine Coronavirus Infection in Dogs

A canine coronavirus infection (CCV) is a highly contagious intestinal disease that can be found in dogs all around the world. This particular...