If you have noticed that your cat has symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea or lack of appetite, you may be suffering from a picture of gastroenteritis. This disease, so common in humans, is also suffered by felines and is very common among the pathologies that are the subject of consultation in veterinarians.
Let’s start by understanding what is gastroenteritis. This disease is an inflammation of the stomach or small intestine, which causes discomfort in the animal and creates a digestive imbalance. It can occur in any cat, although it is usually more frequent in those with a weak immune system.
From the ingestion of food in poor condition to problems of poisoning with chemical substances, there are several causes that can cause gastroenteritis in cats. Some parasites in the stomach can also cause this disease, as well as a picture of infection, the presence of a tumor or excessive consumption of antibiotics.
That is why it is necessary to take care of what our pet consumes.
Let’s see what are the most common causes that can cause feline gastroenteritis:
- The intake of toxic or spoiled food.
- Eat too much food.
- The use of antibiotic medications.
- An intestinal infection from protozoa, viruses or bacteria.
- The consumption of contaminated water.
- Eat chocolate or treats.
- A chronic stress picture.
- The presence of some underlying disease.
Although, as we indicated, it is a disease that can affect any feline, gastroenteritis tends to occur more frequently among puppies and the elderly; In addition, some cat breeds are usually delicate of the digestive system, so they are more likely to suffer from this pathology.
First actions to combat gastroenteritis in cats
If the cat is diagnosed by the specialist with a gastritis of the common type, the matter should not represent major concern for the owners since there is the appropriate treatment that the veterinarian puts into practice to improve their symptoms and cure the disease.
One of the most frequent risks related to gastroenteritis is that of presenting a dehydration picture resulting from frequent vomiting. If the cat presents this symptomatology, the veterinarian will opt for the placement of serum to help rehydrate the animal.
The presence of fever in the animal can help the veterinarian to determine if the cat has any problem of bacterial or viral infection. If this is the case, the specialist will carry out the complementary tests to determine the type of virus or parasite and the antibiotic to be applied.
If during the next 48 hours the cat has not presented any improvement, it is likely that the picture has been complicated and it will be necessary to take it back to the veterinarian to perform more complete studies and determine why his condition.
¿Hospitalization or outpatient care?
However, although if gastroenteritis is treated in time, it does not usually represent a greater risk among cats that suffer from it, there is a type of gastroenteritis that can represent a risk of death in the animal: porcine gastroenteritis, a pathology that comes from pigs and that is transmitted by birds.
If a more severe picture of feline gastroenteritis occurs, the veterinarian will attend the animal emergency, providing the amount of serum necessary to achieve adequate hydration.
In these cases, it will be necessary to perform a much more thorough examination of the cat that includes blood, urine and feces tests to determine the origin of the infection.
General care to treat feline gastroenteritis
As we have mentioned, common feline gastroenteritis does not usually pose any danger to the animal, usually it is mild and heals without major inconvenience. The treatment to follow consists in concentrating efforts to avoid a dehydration in the cat.
At the time of the first symptoms of feline gastroenteritis, it is convenient that the animal does not consume food for at least the first 12 hours, in order to let the digestive system rest and clean it.
After this fast, it is necessary to feed the cat with a special soft diet, which is composed of some cooked vegetables such as pumpkin or carrot, also cooked white rice and chicken or turkey meat. In the market, there are some feeds for special cats in cases of digestive problems.
Maintaining good hygiene habits at home is convenient for the cat’s rapid recovery. Therefore, it is recommended to disinfect all your rest space and your food utensils.
Keep in mind that, depending on the picture presented by the cat, you can clearly identify if it is a serious case of gastroenteritis or has any other pathology that needs to be identified to attack the root problem.
Thus, if you have a very high fever, have very frequent vomiting, evacuate stool with blood, are fatigued, suffer seizures or lose consciousness, do not hesitate to take it urgently to the veterinary clinic to rule out gastroenteritis or any other disease; The specialist will determine the treatment to follow.
The care in the meals, a balanced diet and the maximum care in the hygiene of the space that inhabits, are essential factors to avoid any digestive problem in the cats. Keep these aspects in mind and you will have a healthy and happy pet.