Antacids for Cat Stomach Problems

Cat stomach problems may be mild due to food intolerance or more severe as in the case of kidney failure. The medication varies according to the type of stomach problem present. Most cats exhibit gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and lack of appetite. Pet owners should seek medical help to determine the type of stomach problem and its severity.

Causes of Stomach Problems

  • Parasite or worm infection
  • Cat hairballs
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Chronic renal failure (CRF)
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Heartburn
  • Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
  • Pancreatitis

Treatment of Cat Stomach Problems

Stomach problems may be a symptom of other diseases such as FIP or CRF. In order to cure gastrointestinal problems associated with such health conditions, it's necessary to first treat the primary condition. Antacids are medicines used to treat stomach problems related to CRF and stomach ulcers. They lower the amount of phosphorous circulating in the blood of pets suffering from CRF. Although various types of antacids are available as over the counter drugs, it's best to use them in accordance with vet instructions.

Function of Antacids

Various conditions such as stomach ulcers and intestinal inflammation, cause an increase in the amount of acids present in the stomach. Antacids work to reduce the amount of these acids present. The medication is safe for use in pets if administered according to the given dosage instructions. Pet owners should also avoid discontinuation of the drug unless otherwise directed by the vet.

Commonly Used Formulations

  • Amphojel
  • Maalox
  • AlternaGel
  • Pepcid AC
  • Milk of magnesia

Precautions When Using Antacids

Antacids should be administered for the duration specified by the vet. In addition, pet owners should inform the vet about any other prescription drugs that the cat is currently taking. Antacids have several drug interactions with medicines such as cimetidine, pancrelipase, tetracycline and phenothiazines. Although the medicines are relatively safe for use on cats, few pets develop certain side effects such as electrolyte imbalance, diarrhea and constipation. Antacids that contain magnesium are not formulated for use in cat's suffering from kidney failure and stomach obstructions. It's also best to administer antacids along with food when treating elevated phosphorous levels in the blood.

Usual Antacid Dosage for Cats

Antacids such as Pepcid AC are usually administered as a daily dose for a specified number of days. Milk of magnesia is also given orally every 24 hours. Since drug overdose increases the risk of developing severe side effects, pet owners should measure liquid antacids adequately before administration. Tablets should also be ground and mixed with food to make it more palatable. The duration of medication is decided according to the severity of the stomach problem and the cat's response to the drug.

Prevention of Cat Stomach Problems

Along with antacid medication, it's important to determine the cause of increased acids levels in the stomach and follow preventive measures. Pet suffering from acid reflux may require dietary adjustments such as the incorporation of low fat and low protein food. Cats treated with antacids for CRF will require additional treatment for accompanying conditions such as calcium imbalance and anemia. If the CRF progresses to an advanced stage, pets may succumb to the disease.

Although several antacids formulated for human use are administered to cats, it's best to discuss treatment options with the vet to prevent toxicity and overdose.