Diagnosing Cat Bloated Stomach Problems

Cat bloated stomach problems can be very serious in nature, and may indicate a late-stage terminal illness. In other cases, however, a bloated stomach may be a sign of a potentially less serious condition as well. It is important to make the distinction between potential causes of a bloated stomach as soon as possible so that you can provide your pet with the treatment that he requires. In diagnosing a bloated stomach, it is crucial that you react quickly to any sign of symptoms and that you take careful note of any concurrent signs of illness or pain. Your veterinarian will make a diagnosis based in part on the other warning signs that you detect.

Potential Causes of a Bloated Stomach

One of the most common causes of a bloated stomach in cats is a worm infestation. Worms may cause a buildup of fluid or air in your pet's abdomen that can be both painful and unsightly. Although a worm infestation is treatable, it can also cause serious harm to your cat if left unattended. Beyond worms, a bloated stomach can also indicate fluid collection for other reasons. End-stage kidney and liver failure can cause this buildup of fluid in your pet's stomach. In these cases, there is little that can be done to save your pet's life, but your veterinarian may be able to recommend a treatment program or a way of easing his discomfort.

Diagnostic Procedure

If you notice that your pet appears to have a bloated stomach, take him to a veterinarian immediately. Your vet will diagnose his condition by first examining him physically. He will look for signs of other symptoms that may clarify which condition is causing the bloating. These include the following:

  • Discolored gums, nose or tongue
  • Panting or drooling
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Open sores
  • Unusual discharge
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Blood or mucous in stool
  • Other signs of indigestion

Your pet's concurrent symptoms may be enough to give your vet a good idea of the ailment that is affecting your cat. In order to confirm his ideas, or if his findings are inconclusive, he will continue by running a series of additional tests. A complete blood count can help to determine whether your pet has an organ disease of some kind, and a stool sample and urinalysis can also be helpful in these cases. A stool sample is also the primary way of determining whether your pet is suffering from worms or not.

Having made his diagnosis, you can work with your vet to address your pet's bloating. If the bloating is severe, your cat may require emergency surgery or other procedures in order to stabilize his system. Otherwise, your veterinarian may recommend pain medication or a drug designed to clear out worms from your cat's body. The latter may result in diarrhea, but will help to eliminate the source of your pet's bloating. In these cases, you should begin to see results in a matter of days.