Blood In Cat Stool
"Blood in cat stool is usually not an emergency if you see specks of blood or small streaks in the feces or diarrhea. If the blood is bright red and in a significant amount then the problem could be more severe. Color of the blood can indicate the type of problem your cat has."
Blood in cat stool can show up in two different ways? Knowing the difference between the two can be important to your pet's health. In general, cat blood in stool can be either bright red or dark, tarry black. Each of these has its own cause and treatment.
Bright Red Blood in Cat Stool
Blood in cat stool that is fresh, bright red, and relatively liquid is called hematochezia. It is usually caused by bleeding in the colon or rectum. One occurrence of hematochezia may not be a problem, but if more than one episode occurs, you should take your pet to the doctor. Repeated events of this nature can be a sign of serious health issues including cancer in older animals or parasite infestation in younger pets.
Tarry Color Cat Blood in Stool
If you notice cat blood in stool that is black, tarry and more or less non-fluid, this can be sign of melena, which is what happens when the digestive fluid in your cat starts to work on the blood. The unusual color and consistency of this type of blood in cat stool can indicate old blood that has been digested much higher up in your cat's intestinal tract.
Some of the other reasons for cat blood in stool include such things as bacterial infections, allergies, polyps in the colon or in the rectum, injury to the anal area or injury to the lower bowel, colitis and other inflammatory bowel problems, and parasite infections.
Symptoms of Cat Blood in Stool
In addition to seeing blood in feline stool, you may also notice some other symptoms or signs. These might include your cat straining hard when defecating or more bowel movements than usual. Your cat may also be more thirsty than usual or they may show signs of vomiting and diarrhea.
Tests for Cat Blood in Stool
There are several tests your veterinarian can do to determine why there is feline blood in the stool. Some of the more common ones include: rectal exams, blood tests, urinalysis, abdominal ultrasound, x-rays, coagulation profiles, fecal lab exam, and colonoscopy. The underlying reason for blood in cat stool can be determined by these tests.
Treatment for Cat Blood in Stool
Prescription Medications: Antibiotics will be prescribed if the condition is caused by bacterial infection. De-worming may be needed in some cases. Your veterinarian may also try medications that protect the stomach (mucosal protectants) such as antacids and HS blockers.
Diet: Since this is a problem of the digestive system, your cat's diet will be reviewed for problems. Your veterinarian may recommend a starvation diet where you limit food intake/. If IBD (irritable bowel disease) is suspected as the cause of the blood in cat stool than changes in diet will be recommended such as a switch to what is known as a hydrolyzed dry diet (chicken or soy based) or one that is hypoallergenic. Diets are usually based on a single protein, are low in fat and gluten free. Not all cats do well with this type of diet so some experimentation is needed. You can also consider a basic home cooked diet such as a basic and chicken and rice diet.
Vitamins: Vitamin B12 levels that are not normal is associated with poor response to other forms of treatment.
Dietary Supplements: Several natural remedies are associated with helping restore balance to the digestive system while helping the overall health of your cat. Ingredients such as Plantago major (Plantain) is known to support the health of the digestive system and mucous membranes. The major constituents in plantain are mucilage, iridoid glycosides (particularly aucubin), and tannins. One product to research and discuss with your veterinarian that is made specifically for this purpose is Pet Alive RunnyPoo Relief which is a natural remedy containing herbal and homeopathic ingredients which are known to maintain digestive balance, firm stools and healthy bowel functioning.
Treatments will vary according to the cause of the blood in cat stool. Be sure to see your veterinarian as soon as possible.