Hairballs are frequently passed by cats, which is common. However, if your cat has ever experienced hematemesis—a disorder marked vomiting blood—it may be exhibiting signs that want immediate veterinary attention.
Hematemesis might manifest in one of two totally different ways. If the blood is coming from the upper small intestine, esophagus, or stomach, bright crimson streaks could be visible. If the blood is coming from further down the GI system, it will resemble coffee grounds. Because some of the blood has already been digested, this has happened. Whatever the cause of the blood in the GI tract, vomiting blood can be an indication of a number of medical conditions that your veterinarian can help you diagnose and treat.
Digestive tract ulcers
Like people, cats can develop open sores on the mucous membrane lining of their esophagus or stomach. Gastrointestinal ulcers are uncommon in cats. Depending on the findings of their physical examination, testing, and the symptoms your cat is exhibiting, they may decide to operate on your cat right away or keep them hospitalized on IV fluids while they are watched to see if the object can pass on its own with only supportive treatment. They may also cause fatigue, pale gums, appetite loss, black stools, and bloody diarrhea.
If you believe that blood vomiting from an ulcer is the cause, take your cat to the doctor as soon as you can. Then, your vet will be able to create a treatment plan specifically for your cat.
Rat poison consumption
Traditional rat poisons pose a serious threat to children and pets. The majority of people are unaware that even after a rodent drinks rat poison and dies, the poison is still lethal. Actually, a cat (or any other animal, domestic or wild) that eats a dead mouse that has consumed rodenticide may be just as harmful as a cat that eats rat poison directly.
A cat poisoned with rat poison may experience hematemesis in addition to breathing difficulties, appetite loss, lethargic behavior, increased water consumption, and excessive bleeding. If you believe your cat may have taken rat poison, take it as soon as possible to the doctor.
Take a little sample of the vomit with you if you can in case your veterinarian has to examine it. When you arrive, the vet may want to do blood and urine tests to establish that you have been poisoned with rat poison. Depending on how poisonous your cat is, your veterinarian will start therapy to get rid of the poison and restore its health.
Disorder with Inflammation
Rarely, the hereditary condition hemophilia in cats can affect them. This is an uncommon blood disorder that interferes with the body’s normal clotting process to prevent blood clots from forming. Depending on how serious the bleeding is, your veterinarian may decide to hospitalize your cat for blood and plasma transfusions.
Continual Bowel Disorder
GI disorders including Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can affect cats. Medical professionals generally believe that although the actual reason is unknown, it will either be brought on by food allergies or a hypersensitivity to good gut bacteria. IBD is a chronic ailment, hence veterinary medicine can only manage the signs of the condition. For cats, this condition can also result in decreased appetite, bloody feces, diarrhea, and weight loss. Your veterinarian will want to perform blood tests to check your cat’s organ function and Vitamin B levels if IBD is the cause of their hematemesis before starting a treatment regimen for the problem.
Canine parvovirus and feline panleukopenia (FP), a highly infectious and potentially lethal virus, are closely linked. It is a part of the vaccination known as “feline dwill betemper,” which also offers defense against calicivirus and the feline viral rhinotracheaitis. A common name for it is feline distemper. If you keep your cat’s vaccines current, they will be shielded from feline parvovirus (FP).
If FP is the cause of your cat’s hematemesis and they are late on their vaccines, your doctor may recommend hospitalizing them on IV fluids. The best method to treat panleukopenia is with supportive therapy, just like with puppies who contract parvovirus.
Cat lovers may be surprised to learn that although heartworm disease is a common and politely addressed concern among veterinarians and dog owners, our feline friends can, sadly, also contract this terrible parasite. Heartworm disease is a serious concern even though it affects cats less frequently than dogs.
While there is a treatment for canine heartworm illness, there is currently no cure for feline heartworm disease (albeit a costly and painful one). Cats with heartworm might develop a disorder known as heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD). Anorexia, weight loss, coughing fits resembling asthma, vomiting (including food and blood), and coughing are all possible HARD signs.
A fast blood test can quickly determine whether a dog has heartworms, but it only checks for the adult worm. However, because cats are a little more resistant to heartworm infection than dogs, the majority of cats with heartworm infection do not have any adult worms. Instead, your vet will want to conduct both an antigen and an antibody test if your cat seems to have HARD. While the antigen test makes sure there are no adult worms present, the antibody test can detect exposure to heartworm larvae.
Cats receive the same monthly heartworm prevention as do canines. Since there is now no treatment for HARD in cats, prevention is crucial. The many preventative methods that are available as well as the exposure risk for your cat may be discussed by your veterinarian.
A foreign object in the GI system might cause an intestine perforation or inflammation. Keep string and thread out of your cat’s reach because these are the foreign objects that cats come into contact with most frequently. Food that encounters an intestinal obstruction brought on by a foreign object in a cat induces vomiting because it can no longer go through the GI system. If there is a hole or any related inflammation, vomiting blood is possible. Foreign body obstructions demand urgent veterinary care.
Recognition and Treatment
If your cat’s hematemesis is brought on by a foreign object in the GI system, your veterinarian will want to run blood tests, imaging (such as an x-ray and/or ultrasound), and imaging (such as an ultrasound). Although they are usually connected to feline cancers, the exact source is sometimes unclear.
Hematemesis can occur for a variety of reasons, some of which require immediate attention more than others. Your veterinarian can help you determine the medical issue your cat is dealing with and provide a plan of care that will have them feeling better soon.