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Inflammatory Bowel Disease by Frank Utchen, DVM

Dr. Utchen: My cat vomits several times a week, but seems okay otherwise. Is this just furballs?


It is not likely that this is just furballs. Although cats do get furballs, and will sometimes vomit as a result, most cats will not vomit several times a week from this. There are a number of problems that can cause frequent vomiting cats, and only a veterinarian can diagnose these problems. Usually this requires X-rays and blood tests, and sometimes ultrasound. Less commonly, more invasive diagnostics like endoscopy and intestinal biopsies are necessary.

O... Read More

Feline Pancreatitis

What is pancreatitis?

The pancreas is a vital organ located in the right side of the abdomen. It has two functions:  1) to produce enzymes that help in digestion of food and, 2) to produce hormones such as insulin. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, the condition is called pancreatitis. It is a disease process that is seen commonly in the dog and occasionally in the cat. There is no age, sex, or breed predisposition for pancreatitis.

There are two main forms of acute pancreatitis or sudden onset pancreatitis:  1) the mild, edematous form and, 2) the more severe, hemorrhagic form. The inflammation associated with pancreatitis allows digest... Read More

Feline Diarrhea & Questionnaire

What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is the passage of feces as unformed or loose stools, usually in increased volume and frequency of passage. It is a result of increased speed of passage of fecal material through the intestine combined with decreased absorption of water, nutrients and electrolytes. There are many causes of diarrhea. Diarrhea may occur as the only sign or in combination with other signs of more widespread disease, or with symptoms that result from prolonged or severe diarrhea.

How can I tell if my cat has diarrhea?

If your normally well-trained cat suddenly starts ha... Read More

Cat Nutrition by Frank Utchen, DVM

Nutritional advice is plentiful these days. Flip on the TV or log on and the ads for what is best to eat—and what medications to take if your will power won't power you to eat that way—are as abundant as the health risks purportedly associated with many of our favorite foods.

So what about our pets? We're not starving for advice here, either.

The thing that veterinary nutritionists have come to realize is that a cat is not just a smaller version of a dog. And while many of the fundamental constituents of cat food are the same as dog food, the proportions of each should be significantly different to meet the special requirements of cats.

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