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Helicobacter Infection in Cats

By: Dr. Arnold Plotnick

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Helicobacter is a stomach-associated spiral shaped bacterium that has been linked to peptic ulcer disease and cancer in humans. The organism can be isolated from the stomach of some cats and dogs, but whether it induces any disease is controversial.

The organism is found in a large percentage of normal healthy cats, vomiting cats, research laboratory cats and animal shelter cats. The organism has been isolated from other species besides dogs and humans, such as cats, pigs, cheetahs, ferrets and non-human primates.

In a majority of cases, infection of cats with helicobacter is not accompanied by clinical signs. In a few cases, infection leads to mild gastritis (stomach inflammation).

What To Watch For

  • Occasional vomiting
  • Poor appetite

    Diagnosis

  • Culture
  • Microscopic tissue analysis
  • Impression smears
  • Urease test
  • Electron microscopy
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Serology
  • Urea breath and blood test

    Treatment

  • Antibiotics
  • Antibiotics in combination with gastric acid inhibitors
  • Other agents

    Home Care and Prevention

    Administer all prescribed medications and carefully monitor your pet for vomiting or a poor appetite.

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