Gastrointestinal ulceration in cats: symptom and treatment

Gastrointestinal ulceration in cats: symptom and treatment

Gastrointestinal ulceration in cats

A gastrointestinal ulceration in cats refers to inflammatory lesions that happen in the deeper layers of the gastrointestinal tract. They go beyond the mucosa and cause lesions that are distinguishable from erosions. This type of condition is not very common in cats.

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Causes of gastrointestinal ulceration in cats

There are not really too many documented cases of gastrointestinal ulceration in cats. Given that it is not very common, the potential causes are hard to pin down. The following are some of those potential causes of this cat disease:

  • Metabolic disease
  • Drugs
  • Stress
  • Neoplasia
  • Foreign objects
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Lead poisoning
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Major medical conditions

Symptoms of gastrointestinal ulceration in cats

These are some of the signs that you should look at and are an indication of a gastrointestinal ulcer:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Tarry stool containing digested blood
  • Vomiting, sometimes with blood
  • Weakness
  • Pale gums
  • Collapse
  • Shock
  • Sudden death

As you probably noticed, some of these symptoms are easy to detect while others are not. As a good cat owner, you are able to notice any change in your cat’s behavior and routines. Check for the most obvious signs and take them to the veterinarian quickly.


The veterinarian must take several tests in order to determine if there is an ulcer present and what are the effects of this ulcer to the body. These tests include screening abdominal radiographs, a complete blood cell count, abdominal ultrasound, and gastroduodenal endoscopy among others.

If the gastrointestinal ulcer presents itself with minimum symptoms and no systemic effects, it can be treated at home. This happens especially if the source of the ulcer is known. Treatment for this type of condition include an easily digestible diet and reintroduction of cat food in small pieces. Food has to be withdrawn if cat vomiting is present. The vet will also prescribe acid blocking and stomach-coating drugs.

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