We love our pets and house guests, but sometimes, the two don’t always vibe well together. Before getting frustrated with our pets, it’s important to take a moment to understand things from their perspective.
Having house guests can be stressful to us, so it should be no surprise that it can cause equally as much stress on our pets. While they may not be the same types of stress, it’s essential to recognize that changing environments from quiet and laidback to loud and rambunctious can be pretty alarming.
Stress Colitis in Pets
Physical or mental stress and anxiety can bring about stress colitis in both dogs and cats. While house guests may not come unexpectedly to you, remember that they are always unexpected to our pets. Something like house guests over the holidays is more than enough to spark up stress colitis in your pets.
Pets experience the same adverse effects stress has on their bodies just like people. Stress can lead to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the intestines (causing diarrhea linked to stress colitis) cause inflammation throughout the body, and weaken a pet’s overall immune system.
Identifying Stress Colitis in Your Pet
Stress-induced colitis typically brings about diarrhea in pets, which may include any of the following characteristics:
Loose or runny stool
Stool containing mucous
Stool containing bright red (fresh) blood
Increased urgency to defecate
They may not make it to their usual spot to eliminate
Specific to Cats
Change in social behaviors
Diagnosing Stress Colitis
Your regular veterinarian will use a combination of methods to diagnose stress colitis in your pet, including:
Fecal tests (ensuring no parasites)
Physical exam findings
History (other stress-inducing circumstances)
Treatment of Stress Colitis
Depending on a few circumstances surrounding your pet’s stress colitis, there are a few different treatment methods:
Antibiotics (if bacterial overgrowth is present)
Ultimately, the duration of the high-fiber food, probiotics, and potential antibiotics will vary and be determined by the veterinarian in each individual situation.
Help Ease Your Pets’ Stress with Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture
There is no denying the benefits of veterinary acupuncture when it comes to developing pain management plans for your pets, but did you know it can also be an effective stress management technique as well?
If you are interested in learning more about how veterinary acupuncture can help your pet, Dr. Kho is happy to discuss your concerns with you and determine whether your pet may benefit from acupuncture treatments.
Ultimately, the goal is to help your loved one have the best quality of life with you, and if you are unsure if they may be suffering from chronic pain, Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture can help!