Intestinal obstruction in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Intestinal Obstruction In Cats: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment And Prevention

Bowel obstruction can be partial or total. It manifests itself by a obstruction of the colon or small intestine preventing the normal circulation of gases, liquids and solids. In other words, the intestinal transit is interrupted. The cat victim of this intestinal blockage must be taken care of urgently because it risks complications, such as peritonitis or, more seriously, a generalized infection called septic shock. Let’s do a check in.

What Are The Causes Of Intestinal Obstruction In Cats?

Some cats suffer from compulsive licking syndrome, which means that they constantly lick each other, far beyond the norm. Such behavior necessarily leads to the ingestion of a very large quantity of hairballs that the animal does not regurgitate entirely. The hairs gradually clump together in the colon or in the small intestine and lead to a blockage.

The owner is generally alarmed when his cat suffers from fecaloid vomiting from which an odor of faeces emanates. This testifies that these matters rise in the stomach. You don’t have to wait to take your cat to the nearest veterinary clinic or to the vet’s office.

The Two Distinctive Forms Of Intestinal Obstruction In Cats

There are two forms of intestinal obstruction, namely:

  • There subbite which is a partial occlusion: it is not an emergency case, but it still requires a veterinary consultation.
  • severe dehydration responsible for poor organ perfusion, I’ total obstruction a case of absolute urgency because it leads to:

In case of total intestinal obstruction, the life of the cat is in danger.

Intestinal Obstruction In Cats: Symptoms

An intestinal obstruction can be suspected when the cat shows one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever,
  • A total cessation of stool emission with episodes of liquid stools,
  • A very tense abdomen,
  • abdominal pain,
  • Frequent vomiting with a generally foul odor
  • A cough,
  • anorexia,
  • weight loss,
  • Apathy.
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It is extremely important to take your pet to the veterinarian in the following hours (less than 24 hours) because if it is a total intestinal obstruction, the vital prognosis of the animal is engaged.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Intestinal Obstruction In Cats

The cat’s owner must be able to communicate to the veterinarian the list of the various symptoms, their seniority, their duration and their intensity. It is also very important to be able to tell him if the cat is licking compulsively or quite normally. Every detail counts to allow the practitioner to make a quick diagnosis. It should be noted that low obstruction is more difficult to identify than obstruction in the upper part of the digestive tract, the latter leading to more significant symptoms.

In addition to the auscultation of the small feline, it may be necessary to carry out additional examinations. A ultrasound allows you to locate the occlusion and reliably check whether it is due to a foreign body or not. The cat could very well have swallowed a small part of a toy, for example. It is in any case a hypothesis that no veterinarian should rule out and which requires that the obstructing object be removed by natural means. It should also be checked that the cat does not suffer from an underlying disease.

The Management Of Total Intestinal Obstruction In Cats Requires:

  • general anesthesia,
  • A surgical intervention (digestive surgery) to open the intestine or the stomach, acts which are called respectively enterostomy And gastrostomy,
  • A resection of an area of ​​the intestine when it is necrotic,
  • Post-operative follow-up.
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This is a heavy processing which leads to major expenses. As no cat is immune to intestinal obstruction, it is strongly recommended to insure your little companion as soon as possible with a mutual health for pets.

Can Intestinal Obstruction In Cats Be Prevented?

It is essential to avoid recurrences in a cat that has already been treated for an occlusion. It is also necessary to be vigilant with young cats, in particular because they are the most exposed to the risk of occlusive phenomenon. In any case, the cat’s diet must be sufficiently rich in fiber. Specific food supplements can be advised by the veterinarian.

Finally, the animal’s master must ensure that brush your cat’s hair very regularly, two to three times a week for a short-haired cat, every day for a long-haired cat. This avoids ingesting too much hair. And if the cat compulsively licks itself, maybe it is bored? It is useful to put different toys at his disposal to divert his attention and allow him to occupy himself. Finally, if nothing helps, it is better to seek advice from behavioral veterinarian.

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