Cat Diarrhea and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
It is not always possible that whatever a cat eats is easily digested. Sometimes the reason of cat diarrhea could be the bacterial infections, poor and unhygienic food, over-eating and above all gastrointestinal problems. Irritable bowel syndrome, however, is a disease that has nothing to do with infections or unhygienic food, rather it is inability of the food to get digested and travel through the intestinal tracts without any troubles.
The intestinal tract is either damaged or the reflex of the tract does not allow the bowel to pass out easily. Although IBS is common in humans and animals both, its only treatment is related to changes in the diet plan. Whatever a cat is eating, would help her to easily discharge it in form of feces lately. If IBS is ignored then cat would keep on going through pain, weight loss, depression and in no less time cat might lose her life.
Humans could easily communicate their IBS related problems but when it comes to cats, IBS becomes hard to diagnose. Mostly it happens because cats could be having diarrhea, vomiting or other digestion issues due to other problems, for example, hair ball. The difference between other digestion problems and IBS is that IBS is chronic and its symptoms are long lasting before it is detected (some cat owners are quick to understand and respond to IBS). The role of vet in diagnosing IBS is also very important. The vet would prescribe the right kind of food and other dietary essentials to help with IBS.
Major Causes of IBS
The causes of IBS could be physical as well as emotional. Cats are sometimes very sensitive. Any change in their environment, death of companion or owner and any accident could leave cats under stress. Just like humans, stress could affect any physical functioning. Digestive system, being extremely sensitive and having a long process, could be damaged from anywhere.
Similarly another major cause of IBS could be non-functioning of colonic activities. The chemical and neural changes could also play major role here.
Another major cause of IBS is the bad food. Food that contains no fiber provides low level of nutrition and contains preservatives which are not easy to digest, is a big contributor in IBS.
Symptoms of IBS
The symptoms of IBS include extremely irregular stools. Sometimes cat diarrhea would lead along with nausea and vomiting. Other times extreme constipation with lack of appetite and lethargic behavior. The stools would be frequent and very small because feces are not able to pass out at once. The reflexes of colon do not work and the stools are not normal.
Even if vomiting stops sometimes, the irregularity and trouble of stools would carry on and the chronic nature of this disease come to be known as IBS.
Cats also experience lack of appetite and severe weight loss. The hair fall will increase a lot and cat would be under stress all the time. Some cats start grooming themselves increasingly which also causes hair ball and eventually vomiting.
The abdominal pain in IBS is usually excruciating. The pain leads to weakness and reclusive behavior in cats. Cats stay disinterested in every activity and their overall appearance suggests that they are suffering a lot.
Treatment of IBS
Cat diarrhea is usually linked with IBS which is not correct. IBS is a chronic form of diarrhea in cats. Secondly, there is a difference between irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel syndrome. The difference is that when the gastrointestinal tract is inflamed due to presence of any virus, parasite and any other physical condition, it is inflammatory bowel syndrome. The irritable bowel syndrome happens due to non-functioning of the tract. The bowel movement is affected because the bowel itself is deprived of many colonic chemicals and it is not easily passable.
In order to treat IBS, it should be made sure that cat is correctly diagnosed for it. Sometimes relevant diseases are also showing similar symptoms as IBS and it becomes hard to determine if cat really has IBS or some other problem. Once presence of IBS is assured, the treatment should be discussed with vet in detail. IBS is not a disease that is easily gone or healed by using few medications. The treatment of IBS includes a lot of suffering, patience, time, energy and strength. The cat would be getting weaker day by day, so it is duty of cat’s owner to keep her alive. Proper feeding and dealing with abnormal and irregular stools is hard. Cat would not be able to make it to her toilet. There would be a lot of mess and uncleanliness. Yet there is no other option but to wait till cat starts responding to the right type of food.
Several members of purrsngrrs have wrote their stories where they mentioned that how their cats were simply skipping away from life and being cat owners, they stood strong and never gave up. After years of efforts, finally their cats responded to the foods (which came out right for them) and showed solid bowel movements. Although it is no less than a miracle that cat responds to the treatment during IBS, one should be determined and ready to try every possible option. This is so irritable far best and most reliable treatment for IBS. Food choices differ from organic to inorganic. It is up to the owners and their vets as well, that which approach they consider best for their cat.