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Stomach Issues With Cats

Q: My cat is losing weight even though she eats normally. We had an abdominal ultrasound and she was diagnosed with IBD. Is that the same as IBS?

A: I’m sorry your cat is ill. IBD is generally an abbreviation for either Infiltrative Bowel Disease or Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The latter term is more of a subcategory of the Infiltrative Bowel Disease. Cats that have abnormal infiltrates and thickening of their intestine are usually presented for vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. These feline diseases have no relation to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in humans.

Infiltrative Bowel Disease is initially diagnosed by an ultrasound that reveals abnormal thickening of the small intestine. A definitive diagnosis is reached via endoscopic biopsies of the stomach and small intestine. With Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the lining of the intestine is full of inflammatory cells that prevent proper absorption of nutrients. This is often treated by using a hypoallergenic diet.

Lymphoma is another manifestation of Infiltrative Bowel Disease. It is noted when endoscopic biopsies of the intestine reveal cancerous lymphocytes. This is often treated with steroids and Chlorambucil, an oral chemotherapy drug.

For further information, go to and search Infiltrative Bowel Disease in Cats.

By Dr. Frank Lavac, MS, DVM

If you have any questions, you can contact Dr. Lavac at 310-828-4587.

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