Pet health: IBD in cats

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A cat with pet health insurance eats from a dish.
Posted by: HR
For Pets Best Insurance

For years, I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that my cats occasionally couldn’t keep down their food. I accepted it as something cats just did.

After all, they received fine cat health care, and when the vet asked if there was any vomiting and my usual answer was “sometimes,” they never seemed concerned. Friends would tell me it was “just hair balls.”

However, I have since realized that healthy cats really shouldn’t get sick to their stomach so often. According to Dr. Jason Doukas, a veterinarian with the University of Illinois Chicago Center for Veterinary Medicine, vomiting is our cat’s way of telling us that something isn’t right. Because I had pet insurance for my cat, I was able to get him the care he needed without worrying about the vet bill.

“Dogs and cats exhibit different signs of illness,” Dr. Doukas was quoted as saying in a January, 2011 press release on pet health. “Cats will be more likely to not eat and to vomit, whereas dogs may still eat and have a decreased activity level from the same disease.”

When one of my cats started throwing up weekly, I really started researching what the problem could be. Thanks to cat health insurance, some tests, and some diet changing, I learned that he had Irritable Bowel Disease, or IBD.

According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, IBD is essentially inflammation of the cells of the digestive tract lining, and the cause is unknown. For months I just thought he had a “sensitive stomach,” but switching his food to sensitive formulas didn’t help.

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Cornell reports that corticosteroids are commonly used to help treat cats with IBD.
According to their website, corticosteroids have “potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties with relatively few side effects in cats.” Antibiotics are also commonly used, although what ultimately helped my cat was switching him to a grain-free diet.

Ask yourself if your cat is sick more often than may be healthy. If so, consider a visit to the vet for some tests and look into cat insurance to help support your cat’s future health.

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