Thursday, August 7, 2008

Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Terms: Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Cat IBD/Feline Irritable Bowel Disease

If your cat has been diagnosed with feline inflammatory bowel disease, this is a term that describes a variety of gastrointestinal disorders which can occur in the small or large intestine or stomach. While the diagnoses is characterized by inflammation of the mucosal lining in the digestive tract, pet owners may simply observe symptoms such as weight loss, vomitting, lack of appetite or diarrhea. What can be frustrating to pet parents is that their cat may have eaten a variety of foods for many years and now with age, the cat is displaying this intestinal discomfort. For some cats, the symptoms appear when they are young kittens but many times, it appears in older cats. Sometimes the symptoms can be a sign of another health disorder such as pancreatitis, kidney disease, intestinal lymphoma, for example, so it is very important to see your veterinarian right away if your cat is displaying any of these symptoms. Please don't just disregard it as simple pickiness or hairballs, there could be an underlying serious problem.

Many times, this is good wake up call for a pet parent. This is especially true since feline inflammatory bowel disease can often respond well to dietary changes. I have spoken with many pet parents who for years were feeding lower quality (albeit popular name--well advertised) commercial brands without ever looking at the ingredients. Now, that their cat is having problems, for the first time, they are finally realizing that feeding foods just because their kitty "likes it" isn't always the best for their cat's health. It can be tough to transition your cat away from some of these brands, in the same way as it it tough to take a child off junk food and introduce fresh fruit in place of candy. But, it can be done and many, many pet parents have been amazed at how much better their cats look and feel. Sometimes it means eliminating poultry, fish and a variety of other potential allergens. Each case is different however, so for best results, it is recommended that you seek the advice of your veterinarian or pet nutritionist. Click here for more information about feline inflammatory bowel disease at AskAriel.