A gastrointestinal problem occurs when food digestion or absorption is reduced. It can also refer to any disorder that alters food passage through the digestive tract.
In cats, GI disorders are said to affect both intestines and the stomach, and can result not just in pain but other problems as well. Here is what you need to know about gastrointestinal problems in cats as an owner:
Gastrointestinal problems are common in cats but like other disorders, GI problems vary from one cat to another. There are cats that may not be severely affected by the problem. In fact, when they are lucky enough, their GI disorder may clear up in about a few days. Others, however, may need long-term management especially if they have permanent or regular digestive problems.
Some of the most common signs associated with a GI disorder are dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Malnutrition is also a sign of the disorder. Observing your cat as it shows these signs is important. When you do see any of these signs manifesting on your pet, you should bring them to the veterinarian right away.
What you feed your cat is one of the causes. Feeding it food other than cat food will result in GI problems. Infections, food sensitivities as well as a lack of digestive enzymes can also lead to the disorder. You can also blame it on the cat’s breed. Why? This is because of the fact that some cat breeds like the Ragdoll, Rex and Sphynx are more prone to certain types of GI disorders. In all cases, your veterinarian can tell exactly what has been causing the GI problem.
The most commonly diagnosed ones include acute gastroenteritis, colitis, diarrhea and constipation. Pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and small intestine malabsorption are also common. Depending on which disorder your cat has, causes may also differ from one cat breed to another. Remember too that some cats may experience chronic GI problems. When this is the case, your cat will require testing for a proper diagnosis.
Veterinarians will recommend specific treatments depending on the GI disorder. More often than not, however, he will recommend a change in diet. Basically, you will be recommended to feed your cat with easily-digestible food to lessen signs like vomiting or diarrhea. He will also prescribe a nutritional list that can help prevent further irritation in the stomach and intestines. Likewise, you should remember to feed your cat with enough water to prevent dehydration. Some conditions may be ongoing thus long-term nutritional management will also be required.
Do not wait until your cat manifests the more severe signs before bringing your pet to a veterinary clinic in Briarcliff Manor, New York. Remember that wasted time can cause a lot of risks that can result in other health complications for your feline friend. It is better to be safe than sorry!