Ulcerative Colitis in Cats

Ulcerative colitis is one of the most common types of colitis. Colitis is a disease which involves the inflammation of the colon or the large intestine. There are 2 main types of colitis which affect cats: ischemic colitis and ulcerative colitis. Ischemic colitis is caused by a deficiency of blood supply to the large intestine. Ulcerative colitis is the inflammation of the colon associated with ulcerations located on the large intestine’s mucous membranes. Ulcerative colitis causes serious health problems in cats. If you suspect your pet has ulcerative colitis, you should take him to the veterinarian for a checkup.

Ulcerative Colitis in Cats

Ulcerative colitis is a medical condition which affects cats. It is not very common in cats. Colitis causes a series of unpleasant symptoms. Ulcerative colitis consists of the inflammation and ulceration of the large intestine. In the incipient phase it affects the mucous membrane of the intestine. In time, the ulcerations can expend to the subjacent structures of the large intestine and cause more complex symptoms.

Ulcerative colitis can be triggered by a series of factors. Most frequently, ulcerative colitis is associated with the inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). The ulcerations on the colon can be caused either by ischemia (improper blood supply) or by external factors, such as bacterial infections.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Cramps and abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Loose and bloody stool
  • Frequent defecation
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of appetite and weight loss

The cat might also experience joint pain and develop skin lesions. The cat may also display a lethargic behavior.

A correct diagnosis should be based on a series of tests which should rule out other possible diseases which could manifest through symptoms similar to those of ulcerative colitis.

Complications of Ulcerative Colitis

Left untreated, ulcerative colitis can have severe consequences, damaging your cat’s health. Ulcerative colitis can cause:

  • Septicemia
  • Acute peritonitis
  • Internal bleeding

Septicemia occurs when blood gets into direct contact with the contents of the large intestines. The contents are full of bacteria and these infectious agents can easily spread all over the body. If the ulceration perforates the intestinal wall, the content of the intestine penetrates the peritoneal cavity and inflates the peritoneum and the surrounding structures. This results in acute peritonitis. If the ulceration reaches and destroys a blood vessel, it will cause internal bleeding and anemia.

It is recommended that you consult your veterinarian as soon as you notice any of the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and have your cat diagnosed correctly.

Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis in Cats

In order for the treatment to work, the correct cause of ulcerative colitis needs to be identified. If there is an infection, the veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Anti-parasitic medication should also be used to make sure that there are no parasites in the intestines. Besides the main treatment, you should also respect the dietary recommendations of your veterinarian.