Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats


What Is IBD in Cats?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a group of gastrointestinal diseases for which no single cause is known. IBD results in the inflammation of the intestines. In afflicted animals, chronic symptoms are seen to be related to the gastrointestinal system. Siamese felines have actually been found to be predisposed to IBD.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Depression
  • Chronic periodic vomiting
  • Gas (flatulence).
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Rumbling and gurgling abdominal sounds.
  • Intense red blood in stool.
  • Distressed coat hair.

Causes IBD in Cats

Though no single cause is understood, more than one cause is suspected. Hypersensitivity to bacteria and/or food allergic reactions are believed to play a major role in this disease. Food irritants suspected to contribute in this disease consist of meat proteins, food ingredients, artificial coloring, preservatives, milk proteins, and gluten (wheat). Hereditary elements are also thought to contribute in IBD.


Your vet will take a comprehensive history and ask you questions concerning to the duration and frequency of symptoms. A total health examination will be carried out and after the examination your veterinarian will carry out regular lab tests, including total blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. The outcomes of these routine lab tests are often typical. In some patients, anemia and abnormally high number of leukocyte (as in infections) might exist. In cats with IBD, unusually levels of proteins and liver enzymes might likewise be discovered. Fecal examination, meanwhile, is performed to validate the existence of parasitic infection(s).

Your vet might carry out tests to figure out cobalamin and folate levels in blood to examine small intestine functions. Routine X-rays are typically typical in these patients. Your vet might carry out Barium Contrast Studies for a more in-depth evaluation. Barium enhances the presence of organs. It is generally provided orally, followed by a series of X-rays as barium moves downward in gastrointestinal tract. Intestinal tract wall abnormalities, like increased thickness, may show up through barium contrast research studies. Likewise, ultrasound can be of assistance in figuring out the changes in the intestinal tract wall. More particular testing to rule if any food allergen may be the reason for this condition is conducted. Taking a small tissue sample from the feline’s intestinal tract by surgical methods can validate the diagnosis, too.

Treatment for IBD in Cats

In a lot of cats, IBD can not be “cured” but can be successfully controlled. Nevertheless, after complete recovery, regressions are common. Major objectives of treatment are the stabilization of body weight, the amelioration of gastrointestinal symptoms, and the decrease of the immune system’s reaction. Therefore, immunosuppresive drugs and antibiotics are key parts of the therapy. Additionally, cobalamin is given up some cats to combat shortage.

In cases of dehydration, fluid replacement therapy is started to get rid of the fluid deficit. Cats with continuous vomiting are normally not given anything orally and might require fluid therapy up until vomiting resolves. Dietary management is another important part of therapy, with hypoallergenic diets being the most suggested. Usually two weeks or two are provided to see the reaction of your feline to such a diet.

Living and Management

The short-term prognosis in most felines is outstanding, however in cases of severe disease, prognosis is frequently extremely poor. Again, it is necessary to keep in mind that IBD can not be “cured,” however can be handled in many felines. Be patient with the types of treatment suggested by your vet and strictly abide by diet suggestions made them. In stabilized patients, an annual examination is often required.


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