Melena (Blood in Stool) in Cats - Page 2

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Melena (Blood in Stool) in Cats

By: Dr. Bari Spielman

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A thorough history and physical examination are often helpful in determining if melena is present and in suggesting an underlying cause. To determine the exact cause, additional tests are usually necessary and include the following:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal examination
  • Abdominal and chest radiographs (X-rays)
  • Serology for certain infectious diseases
  • Coagulation profile
  • Abdominal ultrasonography
  • Upper gastrointestinal barium series
  • Endoscopy


    There are several things your veterinarian might prescribe to treat your pet symptomatically while results of diagnostic tests are pending:

  • Individuals with melena may be treated as outpatients if there are minimal systemic signs, especially if there is a known cause that can be removed immediately.

  • Dietary recommendations vary depending on the cause; however, a bland diet that is easy to digest may be recommended.

  • Avoid all gastrointestinal irritants like corticosteroids and aspirin drugs.

  • Drugs that block the production of stomach acid and coat the stomach may be recommended.

  • In severe cases, hospitalization is warranted for intravenous fluid therapy, blood transfusions, and supportive care.

    Home Care

    Administer any prescribed medications and follow all dietary recommendations as directed by your veterinarian. Observe your pet's general activity and appetite, and watch closely for the recurrence of melena, and/or presence of blood in any vomitus. Additionally, report any other signs to your veterinarian.

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