CATS AND HAIRBALLS
Guess what? If your cat vomits once a week, most people think that is normal for their cat, especially if that cat has long hair. Well you guessed wrong!! Any cat that vomits even once a week–and a hairball may be within the vomit–is not normal. Recent feline research has found that abnormal MOTILITY of the gastrointestinal tract may trigger an episode of vomiting, especially when hairballs are observed. Cats, like dogs, can have IBD, inflammatory bowel disease. Often signs can be anorexia, vomiting and-or diarrhea. Biopsy of abnormal appearing intestine may be required for diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Notice I said “abnormal appearing” intestines. This means your pet undergoes abdominal surgery to view the entire intestinal tract. Ultrasound cannot replace visualization of abnormal intestine by the veterinarian’s eye at time of surgery. Also, endoscopic biopsy is just a “guessing game'”– a veterinarian may biopsy a normal piece of intestine with an abnormal segment nearby. Good luck with an endoscopic procedure. Yes, it is less invasive but a negative result does not rule out a disease of the gastro intestinal tract. If your veterinarian suggests a biopsy of your cat’s gastro intestinal tract, after a negative non invasive workup including fecal tests, blood chemistry tests , complete blood counts, etc., and you can afford it and not compromise your cats health, please allow the veterinarian to do the biopsy. The information gained may ensure a healthy and happy life for your beloved feline family member!!