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Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

Eosinophilic Enterocolitis

On biopsy, eosinophils may be found in the stomach, small intestine, or colon, and the eosinophil count in the blood may be elevated. Some cases are thought to be associated with food allergy or the tissue migration of roundworms and hookworms.

Treatment: Treatment involves the use of high-dose corticosteroids, such as prednisolone, that are tapered as symptoms are controlled. The cat should be tested for food allergies and intestinal parasites and treated accordingly. Dietary changes, as described for lymphocytic-plasmacytic enterocolitis, may be beneficial. This form of IBD is the most difficult to treat successfully and has the poorest outlook.

Granulomatous (Regional) Enteritis

This is a rare disease, similar to Crohn’s disease in humans. There is thickening and narrowing of the terminal small bowel due to inflammation of surrounding fat and lymph nodes. Macrophages, which are cells, found in tissues, that fight infections, are found when the colon is biopsied. The diarrhea contains mucus and blood. Biopsies are processed with special stains to exclude histoplasmosis and intestinal tuberculosis.

Treatment: Corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs are used to reduce inflammation and scarring. A course of metronidazole may be of benefit. Surgery may be required for a strictured bowel.

 

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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