In fact, my own cat, Mittens, has IBD
of the stomach. Other signs, such as
decreased appetite and weight loss
might accompany the vomiting.
Most affected cats tend to be
middle-aged or older, although
any age cat can be affected. To
make a definite diagnosis, biopsy
specimens from the stomach are
required. These can be obtained via
surgery or by endoscopy.
Endoscopy is a procedure where
a long, snake-like tube with a camera on the end is inserted down the
esophagus and into the stomach,
and biopsy samples are obtained.
This is how my cat’s IBD was diagnosed. Treatment with anti-inflam-matory medications often brings the
vomiting under control.
7. The “C” word. Cancer of
the stomach can occur in cats.
Although it can strike cats of any
age, it is mostly seen in older cats.
Lymphoma is the most common
stomach cancer, but other types
such as gastric carcinoma and mast
cell tumors can occur.
If the tumor involves a discrete
area of the stomach, surgery to
remove the cancerous part of
the stomach might be feasible.
Lymphoma is considered to be a
systemic disease, and chemother-
apy is the treatment of choice. I
treated a cat named Beowulf with
chemotherapy for high-grade stom-
ach lymphoma. He remained in
remission after a year of treatment,
so we stopped the chemotherapy.
Three years later, he appears to be
cured of his cancer.
8. Just treat it. Some of the
medications we use to treat stomach disorders in cats are similar to
the ones we use to treat people. If
excessive stomach acid is believed
to be contributing to a cat’s symptoms, we prescribe drugs like
cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine
(Zantac), and famotidine (Pepcid).
Cats needing a stronger antacid can
be given omeprazole (Prilosec).
You should NEVER administer
any over-the-counter medications without consulting your
veterinarian, because the dosages for cats will vary.
Dr. Arnold Plotnick is the
founder of Manhattan Cat
Specialists, a feline-exclu-
sive veterinary practice on
Manhattan’s upper west side.
He is also an author of The Original CAT
FANCY Cat Bible. Dr. Plotnick is the former
Ask the Veterinarian columnist for CAT
FANCY magazine and is a frequent con-
tributor to feline publications and websites,
including his own blog Cat Man Do. He lives
in New York City with his cat, Mittens.
Most cats affected by IBD tend to
be middle-aged or older, although
any age cat can be affected.