Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a chronic condition in cats that leads to irritation and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. This article covers the causes and treatment of the disease.
According to Digestive Medicine Research (DMR), there has been an increase in the incidences of inflammatory bowel disease globally because of industrialization that has led to environmental and lifestyle modifications.
Inflammatory bowel disease in cats is a disease that can cause severe gastrointestinal tract issues. The condition is caused by an inappropriate immune response in your cat's intestines, causing chronic inflammation and ulceration.
This article will explain how this disease affects your pet's body and what treatment options are available.
What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a general term for two different conditions. The first type of IBD affects the small intestine, and the second type affects any part of the digestive tract. Both types are caused by inflammation in your cat's bowel wall. It can be caused by several things, some genetic and some environmental factors.
How Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease Caused
According to Medical News Today, up to 80,000 children in the US may have IBD.
Inflammatory bowel disease is the name given to a group of conditions that cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. These conditions can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, immune system dysfunction, and environmental factors like diet or stress.
There are several types of IBD in cats, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and colitis.
Each type of IBD has its characteristics, but all tend to involve an uncontrolled immune response that leads to chronic inflammation in the intestine.
In cats with IBS, there is no evidence of intestinal damage, while with IBD, there is marked inflammation involving multiple areas within the wall lining.
What Are the Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is not a single disease. Instead, it is a collection of symptoms that can be caused by several different digestive system issues. These signs may include:
How Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease Diagnosed
Inflammatory bowel disease is diagnosed through a combination of blood tests, x-rays, and endoscopy. Endoscopy involves the use of a long tube with a camera at the end to look inside your cat's gastrointestinal tract. A colonoscopy is similar to an endoscopy but goes further into your cat's colon.
Blood tests can show if there has been an increase in white blood cells (which indicates inflammation), a decrease in red blood cells (anemia), or increased levels of liver enzymes (damage).
An x-ray will show if there are any changes in the shape or size of your cat's organs that might be related to inflammatory bowel disease. A biopsy may also be done, where tissue samples are removed from the intestines and examined under a microscope for evidence of inflammation or infection.
What Are the Treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
There are multiple treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, including:
A special diet. The most common treatment is a special diet that helps manage inflammatory bowel disease signs. These diets are often hydrolyzed ( like Purina cat food) or grain-free food and may be supplemented with probiotics (like revolution plus for cats), prebiotics (like Glandex), and antibiotics for cats if necessary.
Immunosuppressive medications like steroids, metronidazole for cats (Flagyl), or azathioprine (Imuran) control symptoms associated with chronic inflammation or pancreatitis caused by IBD.
Surgery to treat complications of IBD, such as rupture or obstruction of the intestines caused by scarring and thickening of intestinal walls due to chronic inflammation caused by IBD
Cats make beloved pets. According to The Zebra, more than 58 million pet cats are in the US.
Inflammatory bowel disease in cats is a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening complications. If your cat has been diagnosed with IBD, it's important to treat them with the correct medication and avoid any foods that may cause flare-ups of symptoms.