Prognosis for Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Our vets often treat dogs with Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and although there is no cure for this condition, in many cases IBD can be successfully managed. Today we look at the prognosis for dogs with IBD. 

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs?

IBD is a chronic condition which can affect your pup's gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) including the stomach and intestines. IBD impairs your dog's ability to absorb nutrients and pass waste normally. This inability to process food properly can lead to a number of uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, lethargy, fever and weight loss.

How is IBD in dogs treated?

Currently there is no cure for IBD in dogs however,  your vet can prescribe medications and dietary modifications which may help to control the condition. One important aspect of IBD treatment is that it can take time to find the right combination of medications and diet to address your pup's symptoms. Once the condition is being managed effectively, many dogs are able to stop taking medicine daily and may need it only when symptoms flare-up.

Below are some of the treatments most commonly used to control inflammatory bowel disease in dogs.


Parasites and bacterial infections can lead to IBD in dogs, and fecal exams can sometimes miss the presence of these issues in your dog's GI tract. Deworming can be an effective way to reduce your dog's IBD symptoms.


Symptoms of IBD in dogs can often be successfully managed by maintaining and nurturing the microbiome in your pet's GI Tract (the billions of bacteria that live in your pup's intestines). Your dog's microbiome can be improved through supplements such as prebiotic fibers or postbiotic end products and good nutrition.

Prescription diets are often helpful in treating IBD in dogs. Every dog is different and these diets can take a number of different forms depending on your pup's symptoms and what is causing your pet's IBD. Some of the different formulas available to help treat dogs with IBD include:

  • Foods that are more easily digestible
  • Novel proteins (avoiding typical chicken and beef formulations)
  • Hydrolyzed protein formulas (a protein that has been broken down into small components less likely to cause an adverse food reaction in some dogs)
  • High fiber

B12 Injections

B12 is an essential vitamin for dogs. If your pup's GI tract isn't absorbing nutrients as it should, your dog could suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 injections can help to keep your canine companion feeling energetic and happy. 


Many dogs can be successfully treated through diet alone, however, in more severe cases medications may be required. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed by vets to help treat IBD in dogs. Antibiotics may help to reduce inflammation and restore the normal balance of microbiome in your dog's GI tract. In some cases, steroids may also prove helpful in fighting inflammation.

What is the life expectancy for dogs with IBD?

For the best possible treatment outcomes it’s important to have IBD diagnosed, managed and closely monitored as soon - and as much - as possible.

If your dog is diagnosed with IBD the trick will be to stick with the trial and error phase of treatment until just the right combination of treatments has been established. If your pet's IBD can be managed successfully the prognosis is good.

By keeping your dog on the modified diet that works best for them, over time you may be able to reduce your pup's medications, and possibly even stop daily medications with the supervision of your vet. 

Many dogs will do well for a number of years on the same diet and medication treatment, whereas others may require changes to their treatment every few months. Sadly, some dogs do not respond to treatment.

Diagnosis is essential when it comes to your dog's symptoms of IBD since severe forms of the condition can eventually progress to intestinal cancer. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is suffering from the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease contact our Charlotte vets today to book an examination for your pup. At Sharon Lakes Animal Hospital our vets offer a range of services to help keep South Charlotte pets healthy and happy.

Life expectancy for dogs with inflammatory bowel disease in dogs. Charoltte vet

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