Cat Stomach Ulcers

A cat stomach ulcer is a condition that occurs when there is too much buildup of gastric acid in the stomach. When an excessive amount of gastric acid builds up, it tends to deteriorate the lining of the stomach, causing an ulcer to form.

While cat stomach ulcers are painful, they are not the type of condition that appears erratically on their own. An ulcer is a sign that an underlying health condition exists and has thus caused the ulcer to form.

Causes of Cat Stomach Ulcers

There are many health conditions which can contribute to the development of an ulcer. Some of the more common reasons for cat ulcers include tumors, inflammatory bowel disease and bacterium in the gastrointestinal tract. Stress is another issue that can cause an ulcer to develop, but most cats don't experience a great level of stress which would be powerful enough to create an ulcer.

Tumors are very dangerous no matter where they are located in a cat's body. Ones that develop in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to the development of stomach ulcers. The buildup of cells in a tumor causes an excessive release of gastric acid in the stomach. When this over-release of stomach acid becomes too much, it begins to erode the stomach lining and an ulcer is born.

Inflammatory bowel disease is one of the more common reasons for a cat to develop a stomach ulcer. Inflammatory bowel disease is most commonly developed by a bacterium in the rectum or colon, and the end result is an excessive amount of diarrhea. A prolonged bout of diarrhea means that there is a lot of gastric acid passing through the stomach - meaning that a stomach ulcer is likely to develop.

Signs of a Stomach Ulcer

In order to get prompt treatment for a cat, the best thing to do is to be aware of the signs of an ulcer. Any of the following signs can be indicative of a stomach ulcer:

  • Persistent vomiting; blood may appear in the vomit
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Blood in the stool

Methods of Diagnosis

The only way to fully diagnose the presence of a stomach ulcer is to perform x-rays and sonograms of the stomach. These testing methods will clearly show the presence of the ulcer, how large it is and whether or not it is bleeding. Diagnosis of the ulcer will give way to more testing in an effort to detect the underlying condition which has caused it.

Treating a Stomach Ulcer

The best treatment method for a stomach ulcer is always to treat the underlying condition. Once the underlying condition has been determined and can be treated effectively, it will help the ulcer heal naturally on its own. In the meantime, however, a cat may be given a strong prescription antacid to reduce the acid in the stomach, and to help shrink the ulcer.