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House Guests and Pets

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

  • Discolored 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

  • Vomiting

  • Poor appetite

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:

  • High-fiber diet

  • Probiotics

  • 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!

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