What is Feline IBD?:
Feline Irritable Bowel Disease (disorder, or syndrome) are terms that describe a group of gastrointestinal disorders which display as inflammation of the lining (mucosa) of the digestive tract. Feline IBD can occur in the large intestine (colitis), the small intestine (enteritis), or the stomach (gastritis).
What are the Symptoms of Feline IBD?:
The most common symptoms of Feline IBD are chronic vomiting and diarrhea, symptoms which can be present in a number of other conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, chronic renal failure, or pancreatitis. In some cases, inappetance, accompanied by weight loss, may occur. These symptoms are also common in other conditions.
Since older cats may be afflicted with one or more of these conditions, it is important for the cat's owner to investigate continuing symptoms, rather than to assume they are caused by the existing disease.
How is Feline IBD Diagnosed?:
- Rule out Other Conditions
with blood tests, x-rays, radiographs, ultrasound, and/or stool examination.
- Palpation of the Abdomen
Although not definitive, sometimes the bowel inflammation can actually be felt as thickness of the bowel, as was the case with one of my cats.
To confirm the diagnosis.
- Fibreoptic Endoscopy
A small biopsy sample can be obtained through this method, which is performed under general anesthesia.
How is Feline IBD Treated?:
- Medical Therapy
A combination of drugs may be used, including corticosteroids (such as prednisone) to relieve the bowel inflammation, an anti-emitic (our cat gets Reglan) to control vomiting, and in some occasions, antibiotics.
Since Feline IBD reflects some cats' inability to tolerate certain foods, dietary changes play a large part in control of the disease.
- Cornell Feline Health Center: Feline IBD
- Winn Feline Foundation on IBD
- Balanced Homemade Diets and Feline IBD
- Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), By Margaret Muns, DVM
- PetEducation.com on Feline IBD
- Yahoo Feline IBD Mail List
Disclaimer: As with all medically-related articles, I must inform you that I am not a veterinarian. This article is not intended to be a definitive answer to any questions you might have about Feline IBD, but is meant to give you a starting place to do your own research so you can make an informed decision, should it ever become necessary. I suggest you start with the more detailed articles referenced above, as well as those in the "Suggested Reading" sidebar.