August 2009 Issue

Feline Digestive Disorders

Inflammatory bowel disease is most common.

Digestive system disorders in general are among the most frequently observed health problems in cats. While many of these disorders are primarily associated with organs such as the liver, pancreas and gall bladder ó all of which play a crucial role in the digestive process ó plenty of them are centered in the alimentary canal, the long tube leading from a catís mouth to its anus. Most Common. By far the most prevalent feline digestive tract disorder, says Dr. Bartges, is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The condition, characteristically evidenced by chronic vomiting and diarrhea, is widely thought to be the consequence of several different disorders involving the feline immune system. The changes that are consistently found upon microscopic analysis in the lining (mucosa) of an affected catís intestines ó a superabundance of immune system cells, for example ó suggest that abnormal immune system activity may precipitate the disease.

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