Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

August 22, 2019 11:00 pm Published by

We know your cat’s health is important to you, and you want to do everything you can to ensure your cat’s comfort and help him or her to live a long and healthy life. There are many diseases that can affect cats in Alexandria, VA. One that can cause your cat significant discomfort is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This disease causes the walls of the GI tract to become inflamed, which affect the way your cat digests food. If your cat suffers from IBD, read on to learn what this means and how to best care for your feline friend.

Causes and signs

You may be wondering how you know if your cat is suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, as they cannot complain to you of stomach aches the way your children do. You’ll have to look for physical signs of the disease, including vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, bloody stool, lethargy and decreased appetite. The frequency and severity of the signs can vary depending on the unique feline affected. The most common signs will depend on which part of the cat’s GI tract is inflamed. If the cat’s stomach or small intestine are inflamed (gastritis or enteritis), your cat may largely experience vomiting, whereas if the colon is inflamed (colitis), your cat is most likely to experience diarrhea.

The cause of IBD in cats isn’t known, but evidence suggests that it results from a combination of the immune system, diet and intestinal bacteria. Genetics may also be at play. The most common form of IBD is called lymphocytic plasmacytic enteritis, which affects the small intestine.

Diagnosis and treatment

It’s difficult to diagnose IBD because many of the signs and symptoms could indicate a variety of diseases in cats in Alexandria, VA. Your vet may recommend blood work, fecal exams, X-rays, abdominal ultrasound and other tests for specific diseases such as parasitic or bacterial infections in order to rule them out. Measuring the levels of B vitamins can also be a good indicator, as IBD prevents the absorption of these vitamins from the GI tract. A definitive diagnosis requires a gastric biopsy.

To treat your IBD-afflicted feline, you should treat your cat for intestinal parasites and modify your cat’s diet. Your vet will recommend dietary modifications, as well as medications that can help mitigate symptoms. There is no single best treatment approach, so it may take some trial and error to determine what works best for your cat. You may also consider a food trial with hypoallergenic diets. Metronidazole, which is an antibiotic, can also prove helpful, as it has anti-inflammatory and antiprotozoal properties.

If your feline has been experiencing signs of inflammatory bowel disease or other diseases in cats in Alexandria, VA, bring her into Kingstowne Cat Clinic for a full checkup and diagnosis. We administer wellness exams, surgery, dental care and more, and are here to help your cat live a happy, healthy and full life. Call us today to make an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and your cat!

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