Feline Gastroenteritis

The term gastroenteritis describes inflammation in the lining of the stomach and intesting leading to vomiting and diarrhea. There are many causes of gastroenteritis, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, all of which can be transmitted through contaminated environment or from one infected animal to another.

Causes of severe or chronic gastroenteritis are determined based on the history of the illness, physical examination and blood, urine and fecal analysis. Treatment depends upon the causes. This can include drugs, surgery, and supportive care. Dietary management is almost always an important part of treatment. The cat with an upset stomach does this on his own when he stops eating for a day. Dietary management usually means withholding food and/or water so the gastrointestinal tract can rest and begin to heal. It also means feeding highly digestible, carbohydrate-based diet with a single source high-quality protein, low in fat and low to moderate in the amount of fiber. Some diarrheas respond to higher fiber diets than others. Both home-cooked and prescription diets are used.

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