• Webinar recorded on Thu 23rd February, 2012
  • 0 hours 56 mins
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This discussion is based on the premise that there is an increase in the incidence of clinical problems related to the colon. The importance of the colon as a “storage organ”  and its role in fluid balance is crucial to production of normal faeces.

The discussion will be limited to chronic diarrhoea which can be defined as a diarrhoea that has been present for three weeks or longer. The initial approach is to attempt to localise the condition based on the appearance of the faeces which may allow the clinician to determine whether the clinical problem originates in the small or large intestine.

The most common lesion in the intestine of the dog is an increase in cellular infiltrates in the lamina propria which is one definition of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This can affect both the small and large intestine and much of the current research is aimed a determining the underlying cause of IBD. An understanding of the mechanisms that allow the digestive system to classify the antigens presented to it as “friend” or “foe” is crucial to determining treatment strategies for IBD. Abnormalities of this immune tolerance have been implicated in the development of a wide range of GI problems including IBD, Food Allergy, Antibiotic Responsive Diarrhoea, Protein Losing Enteropathy and even Peri-anal Fistulae.

The use of molecular techniques analysing 16S bacterial rRNA have shown that large numbers of the intestinal bacterial flora cannot be cultivated by standard techniques. These new techniques combined with a greater understanding of intestinal immunology have led to a new perception of the role of bacteria in development oh chronic intestinal problems and whether this is a change in the composition of the intestinal flora or whether it reflects an abnormal host / flora interaction. Of even greater importance, is the discovery that these conditions may have a genetic basis based on investigation of the canine genome e.g. the role of mutated receptors in the German Shepherd Dog. The condition of Antibiotic Responsive Diarrhoea will be discussed in the light of these recent findings

A range of intestinal conditions like Cobalamin Deficiency, Protein Losing Enteropathy and Tritrichomonas in cats will be discussed as well as the problems involved in dietary and therapeutic management of IBD. This section involves current thoughts on Fibre-Responsive  Colitis and Granulomatous Colitis of Boxers.

Finally, the presentation will consider the proposal that Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects dogs as well as humans.

David worked as a lecturer in Internal Medicine in the Small Animal Departments of Glasgow and Liverpool Universities. For the last few years, he has been in Practice seeing both First Opinion and Referral cases in Gastro-Enterology and is a recipient of Blaine Award. He has lectured extensive in the UK and Europe and has contributed to several text books.

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