Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats - Page 4

My Pet: FREE Tools to Care for Your Pet and Connect with Others

Over 10,000 Vet Approved Articles Search All Articles

Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

By: Dr. Erika de Papp

Read By: Pet Lovers
Email To A Friend Print

Therapy In-depth

Treatment principles for IBD involve manipulating the diet to try to dampen any hypersensitivity of the immune system to certain foods. Most animals with IBD require treatment with drugs as well. Drug therapy is aimed at decreasing the inflammation associated with the infiltrate of white cells in the gut as well as decreasing the ability of the immune system to cause inflammation.

  • Dietary therapy consists of introducing a diet that the animal has never eaten. The protein source in the diet is usually thought to cause the greatest response on the part of the immune system, thus a highly digestible protein that the animal has not been previously exposed to is recommended. Available protein sources include rabbit, venison, whitefish, duck and others. To keep the diet as hypoallergenic as possible, additives and preservatives should be avoided. A number of prescription pet foods are available through veterinarians. Home-cooked diets are only recommended if appropriate vitamin and mineral supplementation is provided through the help of a veterinary nutritionist. The alternative to feeding this type of diet is to feed a hydrolyzed protein diet. Hydrolyzed proteins are partially degraded (broken down) such that they are less likely to cause an adverse immune response. Common protein sources such as chicken can be used, but the immune system does not recognize the protein as chicken because it is not in its complete form.

  • Addition of soluble fiber to the diet is sometimes recommended for cases of lower GI IBD, as it can normalize fecal consistency, improve the motility of the colon and improve general colonic function.

  • Antibiotics. Metronidazole is a widely used antibiotic for IBD. It has many mechanisms of activity including killing some GI bacteria, which may contribute to clinical signs, killing protozoal organisms, and dampening the immune response. Its effects on the immune system make it a good anti-inflammatory drug to use in management of IBD. Tylosin is another antibiotic that may be useful for treating cats. The drug is highly concentrated so it is not convenient for dosing cats and small dogs. The mechanism by which it acts is unclear, but it is effective for some cats with lower GI signs. Other types of antibiotics may be used as well.

  • Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids such as prednisone are both anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive, depending upon the dose at which they are given. They are an important component of treatment for IBD. By inhibiting the immune system, they help control the influx of white cells and the resultant inflammation in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. Initial doses are generally quite high. Depending on response to therapy, the dose is gradually tapered over weeks to months.

  • Sulfasalazine. This is an anti-inflammatory drug that works primarily in the colon, and is therefore used for cases of lower GI IBD.

  • Other immunosuppressive drugs. There are a multitude of other drugs that also suppress the immune system. Multi-drug therapy with immunosuppressive drugs is sometimes needed in severe cases, or to enable a reduction in the corticosteroid dose. Reducing corticosteroid doses may be indicated if side effects are severe.

  • Comment & Share
    Email To A Friend Print
    Keep reading! This article has multiple pages.

    Cat Photos Enjoy hundreds of beautiful cat photos Let's Be Friends Follow Us On Facebook Follow Us On twitter


    Email to a Friend

    Article to eMail
    Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

    My Pet
    Coming Soon

    Tools to Care for Your Pet and
    Connect with Others!

    Be the First to Know.
    Notify Me