Due to its difficult diagnosis and complicated treatment, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in dogs is a challenge for the veterinarian. Several aspects connected with pathological changes during IBD still remain unknown. Since one of these aspects is the participation of intestinal innervation in the evolution of the disease, the aim of this study was to demonstrate changes in the number and distribution of intramucosal colonic nerve fibres immunoreactive to substance P (SP) arising as the disease progresses. SP is one of the most important neuronal factors in intestinal innervation which, among other tasks, takes part in the conduction of pain stimuli. Using routine immunofluorescence technique, the density of nerve fibres containing SP was evaluated within mucosal biopsy specimens collected from the descending colon of healthy dogs and animals suffering from IBD of varying severity. The results of the study indicate that during severe IBD the number of nerve fibres containing SP located in the colonic mucosal layer increases in comparison to control animals. The number of SP-positive intramucosal nerves amounted to 10.99 ± 2.11 nerves per observation field in healthy dogs, 14.62 ± 2.86 in dogs with mild IBD, 14.80 ± 0.91 in dogs with moderate IBD and 19.03 ± 6.11 in animals with severe IBD. The observed changes were directly proportional to the intensity of the disease process. These observations may suggest a role of this neuronal substance in pathological processes occurring during IBD. Although the exact mechanism of the observed changes has not been completely explained, the results obtained in this investigation may contribute to improving the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, as well as the staging of canine IBD in veterinary practice.