Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats (cont.)

Granulomatous (Regional) Enteritis

This is a rare disease, similar to Crohn's disease in humans. There is thickening and narrowing of the terminal small bowel due to inflammation of surrounding fat and lymph nodes. Macrophages, which are cells, found in tissues, that fight infections, are found when the colon is biopsied. The diarrhea contains mucus and blood. Biopsies are processed with special stains to exclude histoplasmosis and intestinal tuberculosis.

Treatment: Corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs are used to reduce inflammation and scarring. A course of metronidazole may be of benefit. Surgery may be required for a strictured bowel.

This article is excerpted from “Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” with permission from Wiley Publishing, Inc.