Animals

Intestinal obstruction in cats - Symptoms and treatment

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When a bowel obstruction occurs, the cat's health will continue to decrease until the condition is life threatening. Early diagnosis and treatment are an important factor in the likelihood of a full recovery.

What is intestinal obstruction in cats?

Signs of intestinal obstruction should be taken seriously and veterinary treatment is strongly recommended. Intestinal obstruction It is a common condition that occurs when the stomach or intestines are partially or completely blocked. The blockage can restrict the flow of nutrients and / or secretions inside the stomach and intestinal area.

The condition is usually very painful and the presence of objects in the intestines can reduce blood flow, which can ultimately lead to tissue necrosis.

Causes of intestinal obstruction in cats

Ingestion of foreign bodies is the main cause of intestinal obstruction and it tends to occur more frequently in younger cats, since they tend to ingest inappropriate objects.

Other possible causes of the condition include:

  • Hair balls not ejected
  • Tumor
  • Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Pyloric stenosis
  • Hernia
  • Intussusception (may be caused by intestinal parasites)
  • Intestinal torsion
  • Polyps
  • Excessive growth of stomach tissue

Diagnosis of intestinal obstruction in cats

After a complete review of the cat's medical history, The veterinarian will analyze the onset of symptoms, the cat's eating habits and if he has access to objects such as ropes and sewing needles. If the owners suspect that the cat may have ingested a particular object, the veterinarian should be notified.

A physical exam will be completed and a standard set of laboratory tests. Often, this will include a complete blood count (CBC), a blood chemical profile, a urine test and an electrolyte panel. Abdominal palpation may indicate swelling or other intestinal irregularities.

Visual diagnoses may be requested, including x-rays or ultrasound images, and an endoscopy is likely to be performed. In addition to providing a visual image of the intestines, an endoscope can also be used to remove tissue samples to perform a biopsy and / or remove ingested foreign bodies.

Recovery of intestinal obstruction in cats

When veterinary care is provided in a timely manner, the prognosis for affected cats is generally positive as long as there are no surgical complications. After surgery, you will be prescribed pain medications and antibiotics and the cat may need to stay in the hospital for several days. Once the cat can contain food and liquids, it can return home.

Then you should keep calm and give a quiet place to recover from children and other pets. Care must be taken to prevent the cat from licking the sutures and an Elizabethan collar may be needed.

Owners should closely monitor the cat for signs of dehydration or infection. Only the soft foods should be administered during the first days to avoid further irritation. Sutures should be removed 7 to 10 days after surgery, and follow-up appointments will be needed to ensure proper healing.

Precautions should be taken to prevent the cat from swallowing objects in the future. This may include covering trash cans and keeping dangerous objects such as ropes and yarns out of reach.

Symptoms of paralyzed intestine in cats

Cats experiencing a bowel obstruction will usually feel bad. If you know your pet well you will notice immediately That something is not going well.

The symptoms of intestinal obstruction in cats are:

  • Threw up
  • Anorexia (the individual does not eat)
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy (extreme fatigue)
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Weightloss
  • Dehydration
  • Abnormal body temperature
  • Electrolyte imbalances (will exhibit a marked increase in thirst and excessive urination / urination)
  • Crying and / or whining
  • Lack of will to lie down
  • Depression

In some cases, due to general malaise, may become aggressive before any demonstration of affection on our part, since you will be in a poorly tolerant state and want to be alone all the time. You should never be angry with your cat, quite the opposite: you should quickly seek the advice of a veterinarian to receive a diagnosis and thus start the most appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis of intestinal obstruction in cats

After a complete review of the cat's medical history, the veterinarian will discuss the appearance of the symptoms, the cat's eating habits and if he has access to objects such as ropes and sewing needles. If the owners suspect that the cat may have ingested a particular object, the veterinarian must be notified.

There will be a physical exam and a standard set of laboratory tests will be ordered. This will often include a complete blood count (CBC), blood chemical profile, urinalysis and electrolyte panel. Abdominal palpation by the veterinarian may indicate swelling or other intestinal irregularities.

Visual diagnoses that include X-rays or ultrasound and an endoscopy is likely to be performed. In addition to providing a visual image of the intestines, an endoscope can also be used to remove tissue samples for biopsy and / or to remove foreign bodies that have been ingested.

Stabilization

If the affected cat is experiencing extreme dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance, it will be necessary to stabilize it before other treatments are given. It is likely that fluids and electrolytes are administered intravenously and, in some cases, can be administer plasma.

Intestinal obstruction - Natural treatment in cats

When the obstruction is caused by a hair ball, the veterinarian may choose to administer laxatives and monitor the cat for several days to see if he ejects the ball before recommending surgery. This treatment option can also occur when the presence of a linear foreign body is detected, such as thread or rope, shortly after ingestion. Laxatives should only be administered under veterinary supervision and owners should never try to remove objects that protrude from a cat's rectum.

In most cases, the veterinarian will attempt to remove foreign objects using a endoscope. This technique is less invasive than surgery, but it is difficult to ensure that there is no residue left in the intestinal tract. Nor can endoscopes eliminate large objects such as rocks.

Operation for intestinal obstruction in cats

When attempts to remove the foreign body using an endoscope have not been successful, it is likely that the surgical removal under anesthesia. During this process, the veterinarian will locate the blockage and make a small incision in the stomach or intestine to remove it. Once the surgeon has confirmed that all foreign materials have been removed, the incisions will be closed with sutures.

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