Our three year old Lakeland Terrier has been diagnosed with colitis. She tends to have a bout of it every 2-3 weeks or so, which usually take about a full day to recover. She sometimes has blood and/or muscus in her poo.

She has been on different medications from our vet, but nothing seems to work. She is on Burns Sensitive dry food at the moment, which we mix with a small amount of boiled chicken breast (otherwise she won’t eat the dry food).

I have been looking at the Canagan, and Eden dry foods on this site, and have been wondering if this type of food may help her,Canagan has been recommended by a supplier of these foods.
Has anyone tried either of these food on a dog with colitis, or any other ideas which may help?


Keith, we have many examples of Eden helping dogs with recurring Colitis. Often its the grains, sometimes intolerance to chicken, so chicken free varieties help.

Join the Edenpetfoods Facebook group to speak to other customers about their experiences. The staff will also help go through the options with you. You can also get samples from the website to check she likes it.

Hello and welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear about your Lakeland’s colitis problem. A few years ago one of my terriers had it for quite a long time (until she died) so I know how awful it is. I recall that my dog eventually needed ongoing medication, including courses of Prednisolone (steroid).

I wonder if you could supply us with some more information?:
I see you have consulted your vet and your dog has had medication. Did he or she say what was causing the problem?
Have you noticed any trigger factors?
Between bouts of colitis, what is her general health like?

Colitis can be exacerbated by food substances but the devil is in the detail - finding out what it is that is causing the problem. To this end, many vets would prescribe an exclusion diet where you start with food that has ingredients that are known not to cause intolerance. Gradually different things are added in and the dog’s response noted. This can take several months and it may be helpful to have the support of the veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse.

Regarding the Burns Sensitive, is it the one with pork and potato? If so, having just checked it does have cereal in the form of maize: Potato (35%), Maize (27%), Pork Meal (17%), Pea Starch, Peas, Pork Fat, Seaweed, Vitamins & Minerals. If your dog is having problems with grain this might not be the best food for her due to the maize in it.

I have read that wet food is better for dogs with this sort of problem (sorry, I don’t have a reference for that). There are quite a few grain free wet foods and these can be located by use of the filters on the Dog Food Directory of this website.

My friend who has a Chihuahua with colitis has had very good results with Natures Menu Country Hunter wet food in tins. Since starting this in the autumn of last year he has had only one bout and that was brought upon by the medication given by the vet for kennel cough. Another grain free wet food can be found in the Wainwright’s range at Pets at Home.

If you check out the Naturediet website here you will see the frequently asked questions and one of them refers to colitis. To the right of the page there is a link for information documents which are very helpful. Naturediet does contain a small amount of rice and while some dogs can be sensitive to this, many are not. Naturediet Sensitive has the advantage of containing very little in terms of additives - their recipes are quite plain, which can be an advantage when trying to find out what the dog cannot tolerate.

One other alternative is to consider feeding raw food. This is quite easy these days due to the complete meals that some companies are manufacturing e.g. Natures Menu, Natural Instinct and Nutriment.

As David says, grain/cereal is often thought to be suspect in cases like yours but there are others, including certain protein sources such as chicken and poultry.

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Thanks Dottie and David for your reply.

The vets say “It’s a mystery” which is absolutely no help at all to us, or our dog
They have tried different types of drugs on her including Amoxycillin. Sulphasalazine, and Zantac,plus a fibre powder to add to her food.

Like I said in my last email, the bouts only last about a day, which I suppose compered to other dogs I have read about who have Colitis, it’s not that bad really.

We will know as soon as she wakes up that she has a bout of it, as she paces around the house at first, and looks like she’s in pain,
she will then try to eat grass from the garden, which we try to avoid. After the first hour she will then sleep most of the day, and will not be bothered to do anything.
She will not eat anything until after 7pm, then when we know she’s hungry, we give her a bowl of boiled chicken, and brown rice, then she’s back to being a well Bronte again. Any poo’s she will do through that day will be very soft, and occasionally mucus or blood in it.

In between bouts she is really healthy, she runs around the park chasing her ball for well over an hour at a time, in fact the vet said that could be a cause on it, but we have tried to limit her exercise, but this did not have any effect on reducing the bouts of colitis.

Thanks again


My dog had various medications too - mostly Metronidazole. It is a problem when the vets don’t know what can be done to prevent it. I used to rack my brains thinking of what I could do to help my little dog. It is a horrible thing for them to suffer with.

At least you have made a bit of progress - she seems OK with chicken and brown rice. Would it be helpful to try a home made diet for a few weeks? There are plenty of recipes on line and if you stick with these ingredients, maybe alternating the meat with white fish and add in a few vegetables you would at least know exactly what she was getting.

There are also plenty of commercial dog food containing brown rice and chicken. The food that I give to mine is based on these ingredients; it is a cold pressed one called Gentle. It may be worth a try but read up about it first. The Gentle website is here and we have a thread running on cold pressed dog food here. If you are minded to try it, give the owner a call or send an email and she might send you a sample to try.

Forthglade also use brown rice and chicken in their wet food.

From experience, I think that it may help if you could divide her food into three meals and spread it out throughout the day so the gut is not empty any longer than it needs to be. Definitely think about giving something last thing at night - perhaps hold back a small amount of her food. Might also be worth asking the vet about pre and pro biotics. I don’t know much about them but I used to sometimes give a teaspoonful of Yeo Valley organic natural yoghurt in her food. If you make any changes to your dog’s diet and have the opportunity to evaluate it please could you post back? This is such a common problem these days and it may be helpful to someone else.

Edit - I recall the vet prescribing the anti spasmodic drug Buscopan. I found this to be helpful.

My chihuahua suffers from colitis and where we used to have a bout once every 3 months we now have a couple per week, i have tried lots of different foods and am completely at a loss now as to which direction to go in. I have just seen another vet this morning to seek a second opinion on his diagnosis as I’m not entirely convinced it’s colitis in my dogs case, we don’t have any blood or mucus in his stools which is a big factor in colitis in animals or humans for that matter. I can control his bouts with buscopan and he usually recovers about 1 to 2 hours after taking it, but i feel we are only covering up the symptoms and not dealing with the cause.
I have tried burns, canagan, nature’s menu, burgess, and the barf diet, nothing stops it entirely and in fact it’s getting worse, I am going back to the nature’s menu country hunter tins as I have had the best results from this food so far, i am looking for a pre biotic and we are getting fecal and blood tests done, and also allergy testing from his hair, i will try anything to get to the bottom of this as i can’t bear seeing him so ill, and I know that his little body can’t take being ill so regularly which is going to shorten his lifespan so i have to keep at it to find the best foods for him, please post if anybody finds something that really helps their dog i would be really interested to hear

Sorry to hear your chi is having ongoing problems. From the description you give, and the things you have tried this looks to be a particularly trick case. It does seem that something in the food is causing an adverse reaction, though be aware that the tests are, at best, 25% accurate and give many false positives and false negatives, doing elimination trials is the only way to know for sure.

You have clearly tried various grain free options so it looks like one, or more, of the protein sources is the issue.

Without knowing what you have already tried, I would avoid chicken as about 2% of dogs can be intolerant to chicken, or the antibiotics etc used in their farming, so my first thought would be to try white fish, which is a natural antiinflammatory, with nothing else, see if that sertles things down or not. If it is still OK after a few weeks, then you can start adding other proteins, one by one, you’ll soon know which ones cause issues.

Please feel free to contact the Eden offices and speak to our nutritionist, he will go through things in more detail (they breed and show chis too, so you’re in good hands)

Hope you find a solution quickly

Keith - that is exactly how my Labrador is! He has sickness with it too. But it starts in the morning with pacing and grass eating. Followed by him being sick, having loose stools with mucus, blood and grass. He also needs to go poo more frequently, but with not much coming out after a few goes… He was on collards and was fine (perhaps with too many and loose stools) but then got a really bad bout at 8months which seemed to start it all off. We changed to akela and his stools improved but still had these bouts (once every week to 2 weeks ish). I’m going to try him on a wet diet - as he seems to enjoy this even if he is ill. I’ve decided to try a fish and rice one… Fingers crossed as the next step is endoscopies and biopsies… I hope you find something to help your dog!

Last week my friend (who also has a Chi with this problem) was telling me that she has seen some improvement with a raw diet. However, it is tripe that seems to be best. She adds uncooked vegetables to it.

This is an update for Bronte my Lakeland terrier’s Colitis.
Up to the end of Feb we were going to the vets every two weeks, with a minimum spend of £54.
We had switched to different foods has suggested on this site, but nothing seemed to help her.
It was our dog groomer, who suggested we try Canagan Game dry food, as she had a customer, whose dog had Colitis, and it seemed that Canagan Game worked for her dog.
I bought a 2k bag, not expecting the food to help Bronte, but I can honestly say we were amazed by the improvement.
It’s been six months now, and apart from her booster, she hasn’t been to the Vets since February.

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That is great news. Thank you for the update. I hope the food continues to suit Bronte.

Thank you very much for the feedback and it is good to hear that your dog is so much better.

So glad he’s finally well. I just went through colitis also and it’s one of the most frustrating illness’s for my dog and myself especially when mine was in full drop coat! That’s another story lol
Hope he continues to be symptom free :slight_smile: