[Frontiers in Bioscience E4, 1404-1419, January 1, 2012]

Inflammatory bowel disease in veterinary medicine

Albert E. Jergens1, Kenneth W. Simpson2

1Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50010 and 2Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Etiopathogenesis of IBD
4. Clinical findings and diagnosis of IBD
4.1. Clinical presentation
4.2. Differential diagnoses
4.3. Fecal examination
4.4. Hematology
4.5. Serum biochemistry and specialized serologies
4.6. Diagnostic imaging
4.7. Endoscopy and mucosal biopsy
4.8. Histopathology of IBD
4.9. Clinical activity indices
5. Treatment of IBD
5.1. Nutritional therapy
5.2. Drug therapy
5.3. Probiotics and prebiotics
6. Biomarkers and outcome assessment in IBD
7. Conclusion and future directions
8. References


Canine and feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) denotes a heterogeneous group of idiopathic, chronic, relapsing inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract that are immunologically-mediated. While their exact etiologies remain unknown, results from basic science and clinical studies suggest that interplay between genetic factors and enteric bacteria are crucial for disease development, owing to abnormal host responses directed against the commensal microbiota. Key clinical signs include vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss, and histopathologic lesions of inflammation may involve the stomach, small intestine, or colon. Recent advances in molecular tools, disease activity indices, and biomarker development now permit objective assessment of IBD severity at diagnosis and in response to various therapies. Treatment of IBD involves both dietary and pharamacologic interventions as well as therapeutic manipulation of the enteric microbiota through the use of antibiotics and soluble fiber (prebiotic) supplements. Here we provide a comprehensive overview on the etiopathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis strategies, current treatment recommendations, and outcomes from veterinary studies in dogs and cats with IBD. We also offer scientific comparison between human and canine IBD.