What is gastritis?
Gastritis is defined as inflammation of the lining of the stomach. It may occur as a short episode (acute) or have a long duration (chronic).
What are the signs of gastritis?
The most common clinical signs associated with gastritis are sudden vomiting and decreased appetite (anorexia). Other clinical signs may include dehydration, lethargy or depression, increased thirst, blood in the vomit or feces, and abdominal pain. Acute gastritis is typically self-limiting and of short (less than 24 hours) duration. The cause is normally not discovered because the clinical signs usually resolve before diagnostic testing is performed
What causes gastritis?
Acute gastritis occurs more frequently in kittens, or in curious cats, who eat things they should not eat (dietary indiscretion).
Some of the common causes or conditions associated with gastritis in cats include:
|Antibiotics||Fungal toxins||Mast cell tumor|
|Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)||Gastrinoma or other cancers||Molds|
|Chemotherapy||Heavy metal poisoning||Pancreatitis|
|Corticosteroids||Idiopathic (unknown cause) gastritis||Peritonitis|
|Diabetic ketoacidosis||Immune-mediated disease||Poisonous plants|
|Dietary indiscretion||Infections (bacterial or viral)||Spoiled food|
|Endocrine disease||Inflammatory bowel disease||Stress|
|Food allergy||Intestinal parasites||Toxins|
|Foreign body||Kidney disease||Uterine infection|
|Fungal infection||Liver disease|
How is gastritis diagnosed?
Tests for gastritis may include blood tests, urinalysis, fecal tests, abdominal radiographs (X-rays), abdominal ultrasound, and endoscopy. In acute cases, only minimal diagnostics such as blood and urine tests are required. If the gastritis is chronic, more involved testing will be undertaken to determine the exact cause of your cat's vomiting.
How is gastritis treated?
Treatment is based on the underlying cause or condition. Most acute cases resolve without medical intervention.
Non-medical treatment guidelines for acute gastritis include:
- Withhold food for 8-12 hours.
- Frequently offer small amounts of water frequently during the first 24 hours. Note: If fluids cannot be given orally without inducing vomiting, seek immediate veterinary treatment.
- If there is no vomiting, feed a small amount of highly digestible, low-fat, low-fiber food.
- Resume feeding with small, frequent meals (usually about half of the normal daily amount of food, divided into four to six meals).
- Gradually increase the amount of food over the next two to three days.
- If vomiting returns, contact your veterinarian.
Medical treatment for cats with gastritis may include:
- Anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) medications, such as maropitant (Cerenia®) or metoclopramide (Reglan®)
- Fluid therapy if the cat is dehydrated
- Gastrointestinal protectants used to prevent stomach ulcers, such as famotidine (Pepcid®) or ranitidine (Zantac®)
What is the prognosis for gastritis?
The prognosis is good for cases of acute gastritis. For chronic gastritis, the prognosis is based on the underlying cause and how successfully it can be treated.