Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition of intestines that refers to spasms in the intestines and results in diarrhea and/or constipation among other symptoms. Also known as spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome is different from inflammatroy bowel disease (IBD) in that unlike IBD, irritable bowel syndrome does not affect the whole of gastrointestinal tract and does not cause ulceration, bleeding or other conditions. Neither does it lead to cancer, permanent damage to the intestines or other gastrointestinal diseases including IBD. Though the two conditions have similar symptoms, they differ in the severity. While Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS is usually characterized as a functional disease or syndrome with a diagnosis made on a cluster of symptoms in the absence of notable structural abnormalities, Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD is a very similar disorder, but does differ in that it is a collection of disorders characterized by chronic mucosal and/or inflammation of the intestines.
IBS results in chronic painful spasms in the colon that produce cramping, bloating, diarrhea and consti­pation. Having been classified as functional gastrointestinal disorder, which means there is some type of disturbance in bowel function (a change in how GI tract works), the condition is not a disease, but rather a syndrome, defined as a collection of symptoms.
IBS can occur in any dog of any age, sex or breed. Common signs associated with this disorder include chronic, occasional large bowel diarrhea and constipation. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting and nausea.