Gastroenteritis is a common disease in cats caused by a wide range of microorganisms. It is characterized by diarrhea and vomiting, and can be life-threatening if left untreated. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about gastroenteritis, including how to treat gastroenteritis in cats effectively.
Gastroenteritis in cats is an infection of the intestines and digestive system system. It may result from a serious underlying disease or spoiled foods.
What Is Cat Gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis is an infection of the intestines and stomach. It develops when the stomach or intestines get inflamed and can’t properly absorb nutrients or break down food.
If there is bleeding in the digestive tract, gastroenteritis will develop into hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HE).
Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HE) which is also known as acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome (AHDS) is a type of gastroenteritis that mostly affects dogs and is known as bloody diarrhea. Symptoms include blood in vomit and diarrhea.
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List Of Gastroenteritis Symptoms In Cat
- Loss of appetite
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Stomach ache
The main symptoms of gastroenteritis are intermittent vomit and diarrhea attacks, which is seen in many diseases of the digestive system.
Also gastroenteritis can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and gas, which in turn can cause the cat to become lethargic and lose its appetite.
Some cats may become nervous or scratch when you hold them or touch their bellies, which usually indicates abdominal pain.
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What Are The Causes Of Gastroenteritis In Cats?
The pet can get gastroenteritis due to various reasons. We can summarize some of these reasons as follows:
Viral infections: including Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), Feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and Feline mononucleosis virus, can cause gastroenteritis.
Fungal infection: Among the infectious elements, there are fungi as well as parasites.
Change of diet or foreign objects: Changes in food and swallowing foreign objects such as garbage and string are among the causes of gastroenteritis.
Bacterial infections: Infections such as Escherichia coli and Clostridium can cause gastroenteritis.
Poisoning and toxins: Cats can be poisoned by substances such as plants, chocolate, cleaning chemicals, and xylitol. Inflammation in the intestines and stomach can be caused by toxins.
Parasitic infections: which can cause inflammation of the intestines and stomach, due to parasites such as whipworms, giardia, and others.
Medication side effects: Medications like antibiotics, NSAIDs, and steroids can cause inflammation in the intestines.
- Intussusception (involvement of part of the intestine, folding)
- pancreatitis, liver and kidneys
- Cancerous tumors
- Gallbladder disease
- Spleen torsion
- Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV)
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How Is Gastroenteritis Diagnosed In Cats?
If your cat shows signs of gastroenteritis, take him to the vet immediately. Your doctor will ask you for your cat’s medical history and perform a detailed physical exam.
At this point, your cat’s medical history is of great importance for an accurate and rapid diagnosis. So, what information should you pay attention to for a detailed medical history? Let’s examine it in detail:
- Does your cat have a long-term disease?
- What did he consume in food and drink over the last two days?
- How often does the current diet plan feed? How much does it eat?
- Have you given your pet any medication, vitamins, or supplements in the past month?
- Has it had any illness recently?
- Have you made any food changes? Does it eat treats?
- Have you been exposed to substances such as medicines, cleaning products, or pesticides in the home recently?
- Has it had contact with a new animal or person in the past?
- Have your cat experienced previous episodes of diarrhea and vomiting? What was the cause and what treatments have been applied?
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After taking a detailed medical history, it is time to conduct tests to confirm the diagnosis. However, the specific tests that the veterinarian will perform will vary based on the severity of the case, its duration, and the cat’s medical history and physical exam.
Your veterinary may recommend a complete blood count (Hemogram) to detect any dehydration, anemia, toxins exposure or infection in the cat.
A stool analysis can identify parasitic, bacterial, or fungal infections of the intestine.
An abdominal x-ray will determine whether there are any abnormalities or obstructions in the stomach or intestines. This technique is very successful at controlling causes or foreign bodies that can lead to gastroenteritis. Contrasting x-ray may be requested in case of any suspected foreign body.
An abdominal ultrasound detects any obstruction in the intestine and the presence of abnormal conditions such as cancer.
Urinalysis in urinary tract infection and kidney disease as well as diabetes determines the presence of disease or dehydration.
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How To Treat Gastroenteritis In Cats?
Treatment for gastroenteritis is planned based on the underlying cause of the disease.
If your cat has symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting, these symptoms will be immediately controlled by antibiotics, antiemetics (anti-nausea medications), fluid supplements, and antidiarrheals.
After specific therapy, a treatment plan will be applied according to the underlying cause of the condition.
There are many other treatment options, including surgery, dietary changes, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory or anti-parasitic drugs and some substances that protect the gastrointestinal tract can be used to prevent stomach ulcers.
You should not give your cat any medication that your vet has not prescribed.
How To Prevent Gastroenteritis In Cats?
The most common causes of gastritis include eating a new food, exposure to toxins, and ingesting foreign objects. For this reason, you should keep harmful things your cat shouldn’t eat in a place it can’t reach.
If you’re going to switch to a new diet, make sure to mix in the new food slowly with the old food. Start by increasing the amount of old food, then increase the amount of new food.
Regular veterinary checkups, fecal scans and blood tests may detect a possible disease that can cause gastroenteritis. Additionally, to reduce your cat’s risk of gastroenteritis, you should make regular internal and external parasite protection practices, cleaning practices and prevent contact with foreign pets.
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When Should I Call The Vet?
Unless there is a serious problem underlying gastritis, a rapid recovery is often seen with the right treatment and care. If your cat does not recover from vomiting and diarrhea within 24-48 hours after treatment, you should definitely call your doctor.
Ryan Colon started out as a freelance writer four years ago. This was a great move for me because I got to write about the topics I was passionate about and I got to connect with pet owners in a new way. My current focus is on pet-related lifestyle and home products.