More and much more reports say that there's a connection between the (or lack thereof) from the microbiome (the collection of microorganisms in the gut) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in dogs. (1)
There's still a great deal to be discovered what probiotics can do to improve the health of the microbiome and symptoms of IBD in dogs but research does indicate that probiotics may be effective in dogs with IBD.
What the Research Says
Inflammatory bowel disease in dogs describes “chronic, relapsing inflammatory disorders from the gastrointestinal tract”. It also shows that inflammatory bowel disease is “remarkably similar” in humans and animals. (2)
The proven fact that it's similar in people and animals is good in this instance, considering that clinical evidence supports the use of probiotics for IBD in people. (3)
Researchers happen to be seeing more and more correlations between imbalances of the gut microbiome and illnesses, diseases, even mental health.
Research has also shown that some probiotics do have benefits for several IBD conditions. For example, a 2012 study found that probiotics were effective in achieving “clinical responses and remissions in patients with mild-to moderately active UC”. (4)
A 2007 study discovered that probiotics were effective in treating pouchitis, which is inflammation occurring after surgery for ulcerative colitis. (5)
Other studies have found that probiotics were effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease. (6) (7)
You can't automatically think that probiotics or any supplement/vitamin/medication works exactly the same in one species because it does in another plus some from the studies mentioned here were completed in other animals and humans. However, it's not unreasonable to consider an educated reckon that probiotics are likely beneficial in dogs because inflammatory bowel disease acts similarly in other species.
Signs of IBD in Dogs
If you suspect your dog may have IBD, here are some of the symptoms they may display:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in stool
Check with your veterinarian if you think your dog has the the signs of IBD.
What We are able to Conclude
We do not have 100% definitive answers as to whether probiotics for dogs with IBD will be beneficial. There's just haven't been enough studies done about this specific subject to be sure yet.
On the bright side, probiotics do help with the symptoms of IBD in other animals and humans, so there's a pretty good possibility they provide respite from the signs and symptoms of IBD in dogs too. Plus, the probiotic strains known to benefit dogs have a very good safety profile, so regardless of whether they benefit your canine's IBD, they will be safe and may provide other health benefits unrelated to IBD.
If you notice the signs of IBD inside your dog, giving them probiotics for dogs might be beneficial for them. Just be sure to talk to the vet.