What is it?
•Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is caused by an infiltration of inflammatory cells into the walls of a cat’s gastrointestinal tract
•The symptoms of OBD can also vary depending on the area of the digestive tract that is affected by the disease
•Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, lethargy, and poor appetite
•Some cats experience gas, bloating, flatulence, and perhaps even constipation
What causes it?
•IBD occurs when immune response cells are called to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract •Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract can occur as a result of a specific disease, such as parasitic or bacterial infection or food allergy
•However, the cause of IBD in many cases is considered to be “idiopathic,” or unknown
What tests are needed?
•Routine laboratory test •Fecal examination for parasites
•Specialized test of intestinal function
•Abdominal x-ray / ultrasound •Biopsy of intestinal tract and microscopic evaluation of tissue collected is diagnostic
How is it treated?
•The first treatment pet owners should try is a change in the animal's diet
•The treatment of IBD usually involves a combination of change in diet and the use of various medications
•Your veterinarian may recommend a hypoallergenic diet •It may take several weeks or longer for cats to improve after diet change and/or antibiotics
What follow-up care is needed?
•Follow up exams and laboratory testing will likely be needed to monitor responses to treatment
•If no improvement is seen in 6 weeks with change in diet and steroids, the dosage of steroids may be increased
•After symptoms cease it may be possible to slowly wean the animal off the medication with advice from your veterinarian
•For most cats, the prognosis is good and they respond well to prescription drugs and medication