Cats, just like humans, can suffer from painful symptoms associated with gastric reflux. Also known as GERD gastroesophageal reflux disease, or acid reflux, gastric reflux crops up from a profusion of stomach acid. Luckily, you can help your much loved feline pal find relief simply through a change in diet. Gastric reflux can transpire in cats of any age.
During an incident of gastric reflux, intestinal fluids stream backward from the stomach into the esophagus. Most general after meals, this can cause varying degrees of damage to the esophageal lining. You may observe your cat heaving up undigested food, mucus or fluid. Persistent gastric reflux may make eating painful for your cat, resultant in weight loss. Other symptoms include coughing due to secondary pneumonia or salivation and excessive gulping,
Gastric reflux is quite common in cats; it can crop up at any age. Some of the more common causes for gastric reflux include poor positioning for the duration of an anesthetic procedure or failure to fast preceding the event. Make certain that your cat has correctly fasted preceding surgery can significantly reduce her/his risk of gastric reflux. Gastric reflux also takes place more often in younger cats, because their lower esophageal sphincter muscles are not yet fully developed. As they grow older and their muscles fully develop, this danger is reduced. Certain medical conditions can amplify your cat’s risk of acquiring gastric reflux, like congenital hiatal hernia and cancers of the esophagus. Felines that experience chronic vomiting are also at risk for gastric reflux.
Diagnosing a case of gastric reflux is rather easy. Your veterinarian will odds-on begin with a routine examination, followed up by a urinalysis, complete blood count, and a chest X-ray to check for major medical conditions. To verify the extent of damage, a veterinarian may perform an esophagoscopy when the cat’s under light anesthesia. Using an internal camera, your veterinarian will test out your cat’s esophageal lining for active bleeding or an irregular surface.
Treatment for gastric reflux consists chiefly of dietary changes. Your veterinarian may suggest withholding food for a day or two to permit your cat’s esophagus to heal. Felines who suffer from gastric reflux should eat a low-fat, low-protein, diet served in recurrent small meals. The reason for this is fat decreases the strength of the muscle that runs between the esophagus and stomach. Proteins need to be limited because they stimulate the production of gastric acid. In extreme cases, cats may necessitate hospitalization and nutritional support through intravenous feeding or stomach tube. Your veterinarian may stipulate medication to help pacify your cat’s troublesome stomach problems and improve digestion.