Inflammatory Bowel Disease Average Cost

From 467 quotes ranging from $500 - 3,000

Average Cost

$1,400

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What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Cats with this disease exhibit a chronic infiltration of inflamed cells in the intestine. This infiltration invades the walls of the gastrointestinal tract, causing them to thicken and disrupting the intestine's normal functioning. When inflammation continues over a long period of time, normal tissue is sometimes placed by a very fibrous scar tissue. 

In addition, chronic indigestion has long-term effects on your cat's immune system, the bulk of which is located in the GI tract. If inflammatory bowel disease continues, your cat's ability to absorb necessary nutrients from his food will be compromised. IBD can also lead to lymphoma of the intestinal tract. 

There are many suspected causes of inflammatory bowel disease, including genetic factors, food allergies, and sensitivity to bacteria. While there is presently no specific cure for IBD, there are several treatment protocols that can be used very effectively in giving your cat a long and happy life.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common gastrointestinal condition in cats and humans alike for which no single cause has been found. It affects many cats, however Siamese cats and cats of middle age and old age are particularly susceptible to this condition. 

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

While there are common symptoms that your cat might exhibit when they have developed inflammatory bowel disease, signs might not be apparent at first. Cats often hide their symptoms and then exhibit sudden weight loss because of a significant buildup of scar tissue in the intestinal tract. Another important thing to note is that symptoms of IBD are typically cyclical in cats. They might exhibit vomiting and diarrhea for a few days, then be symptom-free for a few weeks, and then have a recurrence. Some of the more common symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • More frequent defecation
  • Blood in the stool
  • Fever
  • Cat stops using litter box
  • Lethargy
  • Appetite fluctuation from ravenous to no appetite
  • Ravenous eating without weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Thickened intestines

Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

A single cause of inflammatory bowel disease is “idiopathic” or unknown. However, there is a variety of possible causes including: 

  • Extreme sensitivity to bacteria
  • Food allergies 
  • Genetic factors
  • Abnormalities in the immune system
  • A response to elevated stress 
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Chronic infection 

Diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

Making a diagnosis of IBD requires an extensive examination and combination of tests because the symptoms of IBD are common to many feline conditions. Your vet will likely recommend a full blood panel, a urinalysis, and a fecal examination. In addition, an ultrasound or an x-ray can help point out whether the intestinal walls have significantly thickened. 

The most definitive diagnostic tool for IBD is biopsy. Either an endoscopic biopsy (a non-invasive camera sent into the cat's intestinal tract) or a full thickness biopsy, under anesthesia, can be performed. Tissue samples are collected which show the types of inflammatory cells present in the intestinal wall.

Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

There are several treatment options for IBD depending on the symptoms exhibited by your cat. Often several milder treatment protocols are chosen before moving to a more aggressive treatment. The most common protocols involve a combination of dietary change plus use of medication. 

Since food allergies are a common cause of IBD, your cat might be placed on a hypoallergenic diet such as a novel protein diet or a grain-free diet. This first type of diet will include a protein source that your cat has not eaten before such as venison or duck. Many cats with IBD respond well to a grain-free diet. 

Many vets also prescribe a high-quality pet probiotic to help the cat heal the gut and build up a healthy colony of gut bacteria (the intestine's first line of defense against foreign invaders, parasites, and toxins). Other therapies include B vitamin supplements and fatty acid supplements, both shown to reduce inflammation of the bowel. 

Various immunosuppressants are often prescribed because they reduce the number of inflammatory cells. For most cats, especially extreme cases, steroids are highly effective in suppressing the immune system and reducing the symptoms. Medication may be administered orally, or if your cat has severe vomiting, by injection. Antibiotics are often prescribed to fight bacteria which are potential causes of the IBD. 

Recovery of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

Inflammatory bowel disease can be effectively treated and controlled so that your cat can continue a healthy life. Proper management of medication and diet, close monitoring of symptoms, and regular check ups at the vet are essential for a good outcome. Supplements to counteract nutritional deficiencies and rehydrating fluid therapy can greatly help resolve symptoms. The symptoms will wax and wane, but in partnership with your veterinarian, relapses can be assessed and adjustments in the treatment protocol. 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Muggsy
Cat
12 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Abdominal pain no appetite

My 12 year old cat was said to have chronic severe IBD that started 3 years ago (misdiagnosed for 3 years), or lymphoma of the intestines. He gets a flare up about twice a year, and his current is the worse one yet. He has really stopped eating except for a few bites of food for 3 days, and had continuous vomiting- bile, foamy pink. This vet visit he was given a steroid injection, crenia injection, and some pain medication as he howls when his abdomen is touched. That was over 24 hours ago, and the vet said the injection of steroids should make him hungry. He is not, and still eating a very small amount of food- 4 bites or so all day. I have tried all types of food- you name it I have tried it, and still nothing. The vomiting has stopped, however he still looks like he is having reflux issues every time he does something (like jumps on the couch, something comes up and he has to lick his mouth). I am wondering is the steroid working because he is still not eating and in pain? Or does he not have IBD and it’s lymphoma? I do not want to put my cat through the endoscopy so we are trying to treat with the best educated information we had. If the steroid should have worked for IBD, and it’s not then is it safe to say that his condition had progressed to a more serious condition?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2468 Recommendations
I really cannot say what the cause is, if the cause is inflammatory bowel disease it may just not be responding to treatment. You should visit your Veterinarian tomorrow if there is no improvement in pain or appetite and keep Muggsy as hydrated as possible. An x-ray and blood test may be valuable here as a non-invasive (as much as endoscopy or surgery) which may help point in one direction or another. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jasper
Ragdoll
9 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Stomach Pain

My cat was diagnosed with mild IBD last week. He had lost weight over the past year and was vomiting more than usual for the past 3 or 4 weeks. He gets hairballs quite a bit, so I just thought he was having an especially bad case, and he's very active, so I thought he lost weight because of his increased activity. He is strictly an indoor cat. The vet put him on the Prescription z/d diet and flagyl. I been giving him this food, slowly decreasing is old food, switching him over to Rad Cat's raw diet because I believe the z/d diet isn't good for long term, and I'm giving him a daily probiotic. He's eating pretty well, playing and hasn't vomited. He continues to do the crouching position and his stomach gurgles occasionally. Am I expecting too much, too fast? I just thought he'd turn around quickly once the new diet was started with the medication. Should I add a grain-free canned food that is a novel protein, like rabbit? He is also getting B12 shots weekly for six weeks. I'm really worried I'm not doing everything right because I thought he'd be back to himself very quickly. Thank you for any advice.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1046 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. One reason that he may not be responding as well as you might like is his diet. Z/D is specifically formulated to remove antigenic stimulation from the GI tract, and is a perfectly adequate long term diet. It might help to slowly adjust him on to that diet, as that is part of the long term plan that your veterinarian has recommended. I hope that he does well.

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Millie
Maine Coon
3 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting, weight loss,

My 3 year old cat has a severe case of vomiting. The vet thinks she has Feline IBD. She is now on Calibra wet food diet. We add a few gms of probiotics to her food. Probiotics have helped her keep her food inside, but not always. She still has a few vomiting spells. We cannot find a pattern on why she vomits even though she is on wet food and a probiotic diet. She has lost a lot of weight. She is hungry all the time and she craves for milk/curd.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2468 Recommendations
Cases of inflammatory bowel disease can be difficult to manage, however dietary management is important and a hypoallergenic diet which is high fibre, low fat and easily digestible is usually the best approach; however not all cases respond to dietary management but you should ensure you give two or three months to look for improvement. There are some options for medical management, but that depends on the underlying cause of the condition; I cannot really recommend anything else. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Mason
Cat
16 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Constipation
rapid weight loss
Lethargy

Medication Used

Prednisolone

I have a senior cat, 16 yrs. old who was obese that has become lethargic, and had stopped eating and pooping. He urinates fine but I am at this time taking him to the box. After lots of blood work, a night in the ER Cat hospital for additional blood work & fluids there was nothing other than the Albumin slightly off. He had seemed to stop "pooping" as well (no food) and I noticed him struggling to go and nothing, He has not once stopped drinking water. He drinks a ton and always has. My vet just knew it was diabetes, thyroid or something but again... The tests were all negative. Moving forward, I brought him home, got him checked again by my vet and we decided perhaps we'd treat the treatable and I would not put him through ultra scan or biopsy but my vet thought maybe IBD. I opted for an injection of Prednisolone instead of pills at this time because he is NOT eating and not well . I didn't want to fight him with swallowing pills. We can use pills later if he feels better. The last thing the vet noticed was a little jaundice in his mouth that was not there two weeks ago. I was overwhelmed with emotion and not sure if he talked about the jaundice much. I might mention my cat had weighed 20 lbs plus and now is at 14.7 and I believe it came off within the last 7 months. This morning, not quite 24 hours after injection he seems to have had a better appetite, a little better licking gravy from food. I've tried every food imaginable . He also has some more energy. Can you help with your opinion after reading my story. I am so scared he hasn't pooped almost 4 days.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2468 Recommendations
If Mason hasn’t been eating, then there may be nothing there is defecate; for me the concern is if your Veterinarian noticed some jaundice, then another blood test would be required to look at red blood cell numbers as well as liver enzymes. In general a loss of appetite is a vague symptom and is common with numerous different conditions, I cannot pick one specific condition out of a sea of conditions if the blood tests etc… is normal. I would however keep an eye on the jaundice and recommend another blood test. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tyler
Tabby
8 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

won't hydrate
Yellow Eyes
vomitting bile frequently
rapid weight loss
won't eat,

How do I know that I should take my cat to get tested if it's so expensive?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2468 Recommendations

I would recommend you visit your Veterinarian since Tyler has jaundice which maybe indicative of destruction of red blood cells, infection, parasites, liver disease or bile duct obstruction; also, if Tyler isn’t drinking he may need to be put on an intravenous drip to maintain hydration levels, he may also require oxygen therapy if the level of red blood cells get too low. Tyler will need a minimum of blood tests and possibly x-rays too. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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