Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease present with many of the same symptoms, however they are completely different illnesses. One is a functional disease of the GI tract and the other is literally all in your pets head!
Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and nausea but let’s look at the illnesses and how they differ.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS
IBS is a psychosomatic disease, which means it is primarily mental! No, you should not rush your fur baby off to a therapist, but you will have to do some work to find out why your pet has the syndrome.
Usually, it is due to some type of stress or anxiety so your main job is to identify exactly what is stressing your pet.
In cats something as simple as moving their litter box can cause stress issues so be on the look out for the simplest things and changes. Ask yourself if your schedule has changed and is now more inconsistent, have you moved recently or introduced any new pets or people into the home?
IBS is treated through medication from your veterinarian to bring some homeostasis back to the gut but ultimately you will have to and remove or ameliorate the stressor if possible.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBS
IBD is a pretty common gastrointestinal disorder in both dogs, cats and humans for that matter. In fact it is the most common cause of chronic vomiting and diarrhea dogs.
In humans the majority of times it presents as ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease but in dogs it often presents as Lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteritis and Eosinophilic gastroenteritis. Basically cells that deal with immune responses flood the GI tract wreaking havoc on the intestinal wall and this creates immense inflammation.
The inflammation in the intestines can result in a number of symptoms depending on where the inflammation appears. Our article, Irritable Bowel Disease in dogs, important things you need to know goes much further in depth about IBD so make sure to read it if your pet suffers from the disease!
Treatment for IBD also often includes prescription medication from your vet in addition to lifestyle changes such as a life long dietary change, these are some things you may consider adding to your dogs diet if they are diagnosed with IBD.
Does your pet suffer from either IBS or IBD, how have you dealt with the diagnosis?