Don't you wish your furbaby could tell you when he's feeling sick? Well, until cats learn how to talk, you're going to have to determine your kitty's need for medical attention the old fashioned way -- through detective work. If you notice your kitty is experiencing some unusual gastrointestinal problems, he may have a peptic ulcer. Here's what you need to know about peptic ulcers in cats.
What is a Peptic Ulcer?
A peptic ulcer is a sore that forms on the soft lining of the cat's stomach, duodenum or esophagus. It usually is formed as a result of cat's digestive juices being overly acidic, or it can develop as a result of other health problems.
One of the first signs that your cat may have a peptic ulcer is that he will not be as energetic as he usually is. He also may experience a loss of appetite and weight loss, and he may intentionally try to avoid you whenever you attempt to pick him up. If his ulcer is bleeding, then you may notice blood in his stool or in his vomit, and his gums will appear pale. His stool may appear black and tarry or, if he has irritable bowel syndrome in addition to an ulcer, then he most will likely be experiencing a prolonged bout of diarrhea.
If you think that your furry baby has a peptic ulcer, then a trip to the vet is needed, because not only does the ulcer need to be treated, it actually could be a side effect of several other health concerns, like irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal tumors or certain bacterial infections. In most cases, the vet will administer several tests, including blood and urine analysis, an x-ray and an ultra-sound, to determine the nature of the ulcer and whether there are any underlying causes of your kitty's ulcer.
The veterinarian will provide a course of treatment for your kitty, which will be based on the cause of his ulcer. For instance, if his ulcer was caused by another medication, like aspirin, then he may prescribe a different pain medication for your cat along with an anti-ulcer medication to help reduce the level of acid in his digestive juices. If the ulcer is a result of a serious health concern, like gastrointestinal tumors, then the condition will be treated first, followed by a treatment plan for your cat's ulcer.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Based in Atco, NJ, Dave Donovan has been a full-time writer for over five years. His articles are featured on hundreds of websites, and have landed him in two nationally published books "If I Had a Hammer: More Than 100 Easy Fixes and Weekend Projects" by Andrea Ridout and "How to Cheat at Home Repair" by Jeff Brendenberg.