Gastroenteritis in Cats (Felis) | Vetlexicon
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Gastroenteritis

ISSN 2398-2950

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Introduction

  • Uncommon.
  • Eosinophilic intestinal infiltration or part of hypereosinophilic syndrome.
  • Signs: anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • Cause: immune-mediated.
  • Diagnosis: histopathology of gastric and intestinal wall mucosa.
  • Treatment: dietary trial and prednisolone; long-term.

Presenting signs

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea (often bloody).
  • Weight loss.
  • Mucosal infiltration with eosinophils +/- peripheral eosinophilia.

Age predisposition

  • Eosinophilic syndrome occurs in middle-aged cats.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Unknown.
  • Perhaps immune-mediated.

Pathophysiology

  • Eosinophilic infiltration of all layers of intestinal walls.

Diagnosis

Client history

  • Vomiting.
  • Hematemesis.
  • Weight loss.
  • Melena.
  • Anorexia.

Clinical signs

  • Poor body condition.
  • Often palpably thickened intestinal walls due to eosinophilic infiltration.
  • Often palpably enlarged liver, spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes due to eosinophilic infiltration.

Diagnostic investigation

Hematology

  • Circulating eosinophilia may occur.

Histopathology

  • Moderate eosinophilic infiltration in intestinal wall.
  • Helicobacter may be seen on gastric biopsy (?significance) Gastritis: helicobacter.

Parasitology

  • To rule out parasitic involvement.

Definitive diagnostic features

  • Histopathological examination of gastric, small intestine and large intestine biopsies.
  • Moderate eosinophilic infiltration.

Gross autopsy findings

  • Gross lesions may be minimal. Examine and fix samples from all levels of GI tract.

Histopathology findings

  • Fix other organs outside GI tract, including liver, spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes.
  • Eosinophil infiltration in greater number than usual, also beyond mucosa.

Treatment

Standard treatment

Subsequent management

Treatment

  • Taper dose of prednisolone following 4-5 weeks at immunosuppressive doses; attempt to control on alternate day dosage.
  • May try without prednisolone to see if diet alone sufficient to induce control.

Monitoring

  • May repeat biopsies to assess response.

Prevention

Outcomes

Prognosis

  • Long-term prognosis for these cats is often poor if hypereosinophilic syndrome.
  • May require long-term treatment as clinical relapses are common.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Howl J H, Petersen M G (1995) Intestinal mast cell tumour in a cat: presentation as eosinophilic enteritis. JAAHA 31 (6), 457-461 PubMed.
  • Foley P, Bishop-Rayle J (1991) Eosinophilic enteritis in a cat. JAVMA 198 (1), 10 PubMed.
  • Griffin H E, Meunier L D (1990) Eosinophilic enteritis in a specific-pathogen-free cat. JAVMA 197 (5), 619-620 PubMed.