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Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Dogs and Cats

Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Dogs and Cats (Spastic Colon)

Herbal treatments to help address chronic Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and to help address symptoms of digestive disorders.

A healthy digestive tract is critical to overall health and well-being. The digestive health of an animal can impact not only breakdown and absorption of nutrients, but can also have a significant impact on the excretory, digestive and immune systems, the liver, kidneys, bone marrow as well as the endocrine system for its effects on the adrenal and thyroid glands.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), also known as spastic colon, commonly affects dogs and cats. Irritable Bowel Syndrome refers to gastro-intestinal disorders that cause the mucous membranes of the digestive tract to become inflamed and irritated, causing chronic (ongoing) inflammation in the bowels. Inflammation can occur in the large intestine (known as colitis), the small intestine (known as enteritis), or the stomach (known as gastritis). 

Inflammation and irritation can lead to abdominal pain, constipation, chronic diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, bloating, and flatulence. In some cases, pets start to lose their appetite, also known as cachexia.

There are a variety of reasons that can cause or lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, including: 

Diet intolerance (related to poor diet commonly found in low quality commercial foods corn wheat, soy, inferior proteins, fillers, soy, additives, colorants, preservatives=check your pet's ingredient list) 

Food allergies


Overuse of antibiotics

Viral infections

Bacterial infections


Spoiled food

Eating too fast

Over eating

Vigorous exercise

Exercising too soon after a meal

Swallowing foreign objects

Toxic chemicals such as household detergents, pesticides or fertilizer

Sudden diet changes

Intolerance to certain foods such as lactose




Ingesting medications

If your pet displays signs of IBS then consulting a veterinary is necessary. While IBS is seldom life threatening, it is important to rule out other serious conditions and to help manage your pet’s unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms.

Helpful suggestions:

Start with diet. Many dogs and cats have intolerance to certain ingredients in their food and you may need to experiment with a variety of diets before finding one that suits your pet’s needs. Opt for high quality, balanced diets filled with quality nutrition and avoid diets that include corn, wheat, soy, preservatives, additives and colorants, which are found in most commercial dog and cat foods. 

Avoid feeding your pet human food, including table scraps, eliminate all treats until you have IBS under control. Known triggers of IBS include diets high in fats, spicy foods, processed foods, dairy products, preservatives and sugar.

Skip tap water. Give your pet fresh, filtered water or bottled water daily.

Parasites are a common trigger for IBS, especially in young pets. Make sure your pet is checked for parasites if you suspect infection and treated. Pets should be de-wormed every 3 – 6 months

Limit stress. Pets can detect our stress so be mindful about what kind of environment you are creating both inside and outside the home. 

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies function as digestive tonics which help soothe and support the stomach lining, esophagus and entire digestive tract; help nutritionally support mucous membranes throughout the body; help to address symptoms of colitis, enteritis and gastritis; help soothe stomach bloat and help provide symptomatic relief of digestive problems in the digestive tract; help soothe gastric mucus membranes and stomach bloat; help promote digestive and gastrointestinal system health and overall health and well being and help reduce the imbalance in the body’s systems in dogs and cats.

I Feel Good –  (learn more) promotes healthy immune response, reduces all types of inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy), for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobility; plus contains prebiotics and probiotics useful in balancing digestive health and function plus much more. 

Body Bliss – (learn more) is used holistically as a plant based, full spectrum Omega 3; for its anti-inflammatory, auto-immune, antioxidant and free radical scavenging (disease preventive) actions; for its heart healthy effects; as a potential heart and blood vessel disease preventive; for its essential fatty acid content which may be help to prevent blood clots (thrombus); to help address myocardial infraction and cerebral apoplexy; for its effects to lubricate mucous membranes found throughout the body; may help address symptoms of Crohn’s disease, disseminated sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, for its nutritive content which may help to nourish the body and strengthen and revitalize skin; for its nutritional value to help protect and promote bone, eye, teeth, joint, ligaments and connective tissue health while keeping your pet's coat healthy and glowing, from the inside out.

Joint Ease Super Dog & Cat – (learn more) contains a synergistic blend of plant and marine extracts that promote preventative and reparative support to rebuild tissue, joints, bones and muscles; supports balanced immunity and limits whole body inflammatory response while promoting systemic healing; as a holistic, natural treatment for rheumatism; for arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), Intervertebral Disk Disease (IDD), Degenerative Myelopathy, arthrosis and related inflammation and pain; for muscle pains, strains, injuries and other degenerative joint related diseases; as a pain reliever for swelling and lack of mobility; for overall optimal health and function and as a natural alternative for tumors and cysts. Contains herbs and marine extracts recognized by the World Health Organization as some of the most important ingredients in the natural treatment of all forms of arthritis.

Seal ‘Em & Heal ‘Em – (learn more) promotes healing for all types of wounds, including hot spots, abrasions, bites, cuts, scrapes, skin irritations, infections, bleeding & hemorrhaging conditions, ulcers, GERD, esophaghitis & other degenerative conditions of the larynx & throat; provides cellular support of tissue, skin & coat; for gastrointestinal distress; as a neurasthenic that blocks the activation of nerve fibers & tissue response to inflammation, supporting the body's tissue repair mechanism to stop mutations (important in the treatment of all types of Lyme disease, including Lyme borealis, burgdorferi, borreliosis & Chronic Lyme disease (CLD).

Conventional Remedies:

A physical examination as well as blood tests, urine samples, feces analysis, and x-rays may be taken to determine the cause of IBS. Sometimes additional testing which includes an abdominal ultrasound, radiograph or endoscopy may also be performed.

Depending on the cause of gastritis your vet may prescribe various medications. If your pet has been vomiting for more than 24 hours, he will most likely be dehydrated and require fluids to rehydrate his body. Your vet may also prescribe antibiotics, pain relievers and anti-emetics to relieve fever, vomiting and nausea.

Your vet may also recommend that food and water be withheld for a certain period of time, followed by a bland diet like rice and chicken. In cases of chronic gastritis, your pet may require a change in diet permanently.

Consider adding belly soothing herbs to help settle your pet's digestive and to promote balanced, native gut flora. Yummy Tummy from Natura Petz is a good option.




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