Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis in Cats What to Know About Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis

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Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (EG) is an uncommon inflammatory condition that affects the stomach and intestines of cats. We discuss more on this here.

Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (EG) is a rare inflammatory disorder that affects the stomach and intestines of cats. This condition is characterized by the infiltration of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, into the wall of the cat’s gastrointestinal tract.

In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for eosinophilic gastroenteritis in cats.


It is unclear what causes Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (EG) in cats. However, a variety of potential reasons have been put out, such as:

  • Allergic reactions: EG is thought to be an allergic reaction to certain proteins or allergens in the diet.

  • Parasitic infections: EG may be caused by parasitic infections such as hookworm or Giardia.

  • Immune-mediated disorders: EG might result from an aberrant immunological reaction when the immune system inappropriately attacks the digestive tract.

  • Idiopathic: The illness is termed idiopathic when the origin of EG is unknown.

  • Environmental factors: Some cases of EG may be caused by exposure to certain environmental toxins or irritants.

  • Other underlying conditions: EG may develop as a result of many underlying diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, neoplasia, or other chronic diseases.

The cause of EG can vary between cats, and in some cases, multiple factors may contribute to the development of the condition. A diagnosis of EG should be made by a veterinarian after a thorough examination, diagnostic testing, and elimination of other causes of the signs.


Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (EG) in cats can cause a wide range of symptoms, which can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the specific area of the cat’s gastrointestinal tract affected. Common symptoms of EG in cats include:

  • Vomiting: Cats with EG may vomit frequently and may bring up undigested food or bile.

  • Diarrhea: Cats with EG may have diarrhea, which may be bloody or contain mucus.

  • Weight loss: Even though they have a normal or increased appetite, cats with EG may lose weight.

  • Abdominal pain: Cats with EG may appear uncomfortable or in pain when their abdomen is touched.

  • Anorexia: Cats with EG may lose their appetite and stop eating.

  • Lethargy: Cats with EG may be less active and have a decreased energy level.

  • Dehydration: Cats with EG may become dehydrated due to vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Abdominal distention: Cats with EG may have an enlarged abdomen due to inflammation and fluid accumulation.

These symptoms can be caused by other conditions as well, so you should consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. In severe cases, EG can lead to life-threatening complications such as obstruction or perforation of the cat’s gastrointestinal tract, so prompt veterinary attention is important if your cat is showing any of these signs.


The symptoms of eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EG) in cats often resemble those of other gastrointestinal conditions, making a diagnosis challenging. To identify EG in cats, the following tests and procedures may be used:

  • Physical examination: A veterinarian will perform a physical examination of your cat and may palpate the abdomen to check for any signs of inflammation or discomfort.

  • Blood work: A complete blood count (CBC) and serum chemistry profile may be done to check for signs of anemia, inflammation, and other abnormalities.

  • Fecal examination: A fecal examination may be done to check for the presence of parasites or other abnormal findings.

  • Radiography: X-rays may be taken of your cat's abdomen to check for any abnormalities in the cat’s gastrointestinal tract, such as obstruction or perforation.

  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound may be used to check for any abnormalities in the cat’s gastrointestinal tract, such as thickening of the wall or fluid accumulation.

  • Endoscopy: A veterinarian may use an endoscope to look inside your cat's stomach and intestines for signs of inflammation, ulceration, or other abnormalities.

  • Biopsy: A biopsy of the affected tissue may be taken to confirm the diagnosis of EG and to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.

The diagnosis of EG in cats can be challenging and may require multiple tests and procedures to confirm. It may also be helpful to have a specialist in feline medicine to assist in the diagnosis.

Treatment Options

Depending on the severity of the ailment and the underlying cause, there are many therapy options for Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (EG) in cats. Treatment choices might be:

  • Diet change: Cats with EG caused by a food allergy may need to be put on a special hypoallergenic diet. Your veterinarian may recommend a diet that is free of common allergens, such as beef, dairy, and wheat, or a hydrolyzed protein diet.

  • Medications: Cats with EG may be prescribed medications to reduce inflammation and control symptoms. These may include corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to suppress the immune system and antihistamines, like chlorpheniramine, to reduce itching and inflammation.

  • Parasite control: If a parasitic infection is found to be the underlying cause, your cat may be treated with appropriate deworming medications.

  • Nutritional support: Cats with EG may require nutritional support to maintain their weight and overall health. Your veterinarian may recommend a moderate to high-calorie diet or supplements.

  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove any blockages or to repair any perforations in the cat’s gastrointestinal tract.

  • Immunosuppressive therapy: In some cases, immunosuppressive therapy may be needed to help reduce inflammation and prevent the recurrence of the condition.

However, the treatment of EG in cats may require long-term management and close monitoring by a veterinarian. In some cases, the condition may be manageable but not curable, so the goal is to control the symptoms and maintain the cat's quality of life.

Preventive Measures

Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (EG) in cats is a rare condition, and the exact cause is not well understood, so preventive measures can be difficult to implement. However, here are some general measures that may help prevent the development of EG in cats:

  • Diet: Feeding a well-balanced, high-quality diet and avoiding common allergens such as beef, dairy and wheat may help reduce the risk of developing EG.

  • Parasite control: Regularly treating cats for parasites such as hookworm and Giardia may help prevent infection and reduce the risk of EG.

  • Environmental factors: Minimizing exposure to environmental toxins or irritants may help prevent the development of EG.

  • Early detection: Regular veterinary check-ups and monitoring for any signs of gastrointestinal issues can help detect EG early and improve the chances of successful treatment.

  • Immunosuppression management: If your cat has a history of EG or other immune-mediated disorders, your veterinarian may recommend management plans to minimize the chances of recurrence.

Nevertheless, despite taking preventive measures, some cats may still develop EG, and it's not always possible to know what causes it. It's important to work closely with your veterinarian to manage and monitor the condition and to provide the best quality of life for your cat.

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