Ascites in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment What Causes Ascites In Cats and How Can It Be Treated

Ascites in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Cats are susceptible to the condition known as ascites, which is defined by an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. Learn more about this condition in this article.

Ascites is a condition that can occur in cats and is characterized by fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity. There may be several underlying explanations for this syndrome, ranging from liver disease to cancer. Ascites might indicate a dangerous underlying medical condition that must be treated immediately. As cats are prone to hide their symptoms, it might be difficult to diagnose ascites in them.

We will look at the causes, signs, diagnosis, and management of feline ascites in this article. We'll also look at strategies to stop it from happening.

Cat Ascites Causes

The following are some possible causes of ascites in cats:

  • Liver illness: Liver disease is a common cause of ascites in cats, and it can be caused by various reasons such as infection, inflammation, or malignancy.

  • Heart illness: When the heart struggles to adequately pump blood, heart disease can cause fluid to build up in the abdomen cavity.

  • Kidney disease: In cats, fluid retention brought on by kidney disease can result in ascites.

  • Cancer: Cancer can result in fluid buildup in the abdomen due to growing tumors or cancer treatment.

  • Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP): A virus-based illness that can result in fluid accumulation in the abdomen.

  • Trauma: A buildup of fluid can result from blunt trauma or abdominal injuries.



Here are some symptoms of ascites in cats:

  • Abdominal distension: The most seen symptom of ascites in cats is the noticeable distension or cat swollen belly.

  • Breathing problems: As the abdomen fills with fluid, the cat may find breathing more difficult because the diaphragm may be compressed.

  • Appetite loss: Cats with ascites may lose their appetite, which can cause them to lose weight and become malnourished.

  • Vomiting: Cats with ascites may experience nausea and vomiting, worsening their situation.

  • Lethargy: Cats with ascites may develop a lethargic, sad, and uninterested demeanor.

  • Dehydration: Cats may have dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities due to fluid buildup in the belly.

  • Trouble urinating: In some situations, the pressure of the stored fluid might make it difficult or even impossible to urinate.

Ascites In Cats Treatment

The therapy choices for feline ascites are determined by the underlying etiology of the illness. These are some possible treatments for feline ascites:

  • Medication: Diuretics, such as furosemide, can boost urine production and decrease abdominal fluid retention.

  • Changing its diet: A low-sodium diet can assist cats with ascites to have less fluid retention.

  • Paracentesis: This treatment involves inserting a needle into the abdomen to remove excess fluid. Cats with acute ascites may have quick alleviation after this operation.

  • Surgery: Surgery can be required to remove the growth in cases where the ascites are brought on by a tumor or other masses in the abdomen.

  • Treatment of the underlying problem: The management of ascites depends on successfully treating the underlying ailment causing it, such as liver disease or heart disease. Digoxin and liver supplements may be prescribed, as the case may be.

  • Supportive care: Cats with ascites may need supportive care such as fluid therapy and electrolyte replacement to control electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.

How To Drain Fluid From Cat abdomen

The steps in the process are as follows:

  • Preparation: To lessen discomfort and anxiety, the cat will be put on a table and sedated or anesthetized. Shaved and washed with an antiseptic solution, the region around the abdomen.

  • Fluid location: The veterinarian will utilize ultrasound or other imaging techniques to locate the fluid in the abdomen.

  • Insertion of needle: The veterinarian will pierce the abdominal wall with a sterile needle to access the abdominal cavity. A little incision, often between the final two ribs, will be used to implant the needle.

  • Fluid collection: The abdomen's fluid will be drained using a syringe or vacuum container hooked to the needle. To avoid problems, the veterinarian will monitor the amount of fluid evacuated.

  • Removing the needle: The needle will be removed after the desired volume of fluid has been extracted, and pressure will then be administered to the insertion site to stop any bleeding.

  • Care after the procedure: The cat will be watched for any signs of discomfort or complications, and medicine may be given to reduce pain or stop an infection. To identify the reason for the fluid buildup, the fluid sample may be sent for analysis.

Prevention Tips

There are certain preventive steps cat owners may take to lower the likelihood that their cats will develop ascites, even if they may not always be able to do so:

  • Frequent veterinary checkups: Constant visits to the veterinarian can help detect and manage health conditions that may lead to ascites in cats.

  • Proper nutrition: Giving your cat a balanced diet can help them stay healthy overall and lower their risk of becoming obese, which can lead to fluid retention.

  • Keeping an eye out for symptoms of illness: Observing your cat's behavior, appetite, and look can help you spot health problems early on before they worsen.

  • Treatment of fundamental issues as soon as possible: Ascites risk can be decreased by swiftly treating underlying illnesses like liver or heart disease.

  • Toxin reduction: Preventing liver and kidney damage, which can result in ascites, can be achieved by limiting your cat's exposure to hazardous substances such as pesticides, household cleaners, and pharmaceuticals.

  • Managing chronic conditions effectively: managing chronic conditions with medication, diets, and regular exercises, such as diabetes and kidney disease.

Ascites In Cats Prognosis

The prognosis for ascites in cats is determined by the underlying cause of the ailment, the degree of the fluid buildup, and any problems that may occur. In some situations, such as those brought on by advanced liver, renal, or cancer illness, the prognosis may be poor, and the condition may be challenging to treat.

However, with quick diagnosis and treatment, some cats with ascites might have a positive prognosis.

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