Lack of Intestinal Motility in Cats

Lack of Intestinal Motility in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
Lack of Intestinal Motility in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Lack of Intestinal Motility?

Lack of intestinal motility in your cat is a condition in which food does not move at an appropriate pace through cat’s digestive tract. While there are many gastrointestinal, or GI, diseases in cats, lack of intestinal motility typically refers to food moving too slowly. The rate of slowdown can range from impairment to complete blockage, depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Lack of intestinal motility in your cat tends to be a symptom of an underlying condition.

Lack of Intestinal Motility Average Cost

From 592 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Lack of Intestinal Motility in Cats

Since there is typically an overall disease or larger cause that is associated with lack of intestinal motility in your cat, it will be important to attempt to isolate the gastrointestinal issues your cat is having from other symptoms that may provide clues to the underlying sickness. The following symptoms may be an indication that your cat is suffering from a lack of intestinal motility.

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite or anorexia
  • Difficulty defecating or urinating
  • Intermittent bouts of diarrhea
  • Bloated or distended stomach
  • Signs of pain or discomfort, especially in the stomach area
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Causes of Lack of Intestinal Motility in Cats

There are many potential causes of lack of intestinal motility and they range from mild to serious. A qualified veterinarian should be consulted in order to determine what underlying condition is causing the symptoms in your cat. Some of the conditions that may cause lack of intestinal motility are:

  • Injury to abdominal area
  • Internal blockage from foreign object
  • Internal blockage due to tumor or mass
  • Lack of hydration or electrolyte imbalance
  • Gastrointestinal disease, including infection or inflammation
  • Post-surgery complications
  • Neurological conditions
  • Use of certain drugs
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Diagnosis of Lack of Intestinal Motility in Cats

When diagnosing lack of intestinal motility in your cat, your veterinarian will first assess the condition to determine its severity. In the most severe cases, the symptoms must be treated so that your cat can be stabilized, before the underlying cause is determined. During this time your vet will conduct a thorough physical exam of your cat. This may also assist in uncovering the underlying cause of the lack of intestinal motility.

After your cat has been stabilized, your vet will request additional laboratory tests such as a full blood panel and urinalysis. This will help your vet determine the presence of any infection or indications of disease. Your vet will also request imaging of the abdominal area in order to rule out any blockages, tumors or other physical abnormalities. Imaging may be done by x-ray, MRI, ultrasound and, in some cases, barium contrast.

It will also be important for you to provide a thorough behavior and medical history of your cat. The onset of any symptoms in relation to potential injury is useful. You should also let your vet know if you cat has recently had any dietary changes or is currently taking any medications or supplements.

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Treatment of Lack of Intestinal Motility in Cats

Treatment of lack of intestinal motility in your cat will depend on the underlying cause. One of the most common causes of this condition comes from lack of hydration or an electrolyte imbalance as a result of improper hydration. To treat this condition, your vet may initially order intravenous or subcutaneous hydration of your cat. This will involve your veterinarian placing a needle under your cat’s skin and attaching a bag of saline solution which will slowly distribute throughout your cat’s body and rehydrate. In these cases, symptoms typically begin to improve immediately.

For blockages, surgical removal will often need to be performed if the foreign or other object is not moving and completely blocking any other intestinal movement. Surgery may also be needed in order to repair damage caused by trauma. In other cases, certain medications may be able to restore intestinal motility initially which may encourage long-term restoration of full and normal function. 

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Recovery of Lack of Intestinal Motility in Cats

The prognosis for recovery from lack of intestinal motility in your cat will depend on the cause or underlying condition. In cases where hydration is the issue, you should see immediate improvement in your cat’s symptoms. It will be important to continue to monitor your cat and your vet may recommend you alter your cat’s diet in order to provide more moisture and to also make sure water is always available.

In the case of surgery, your cat also has an excellent chance of full recovery. As with any surgery, you will need to follow your veterinarian’s post-surgical instructions. You should keep your cat separated from other household animals in a calm place to rest and recover. You will also need to make sure you follow the full course of any prescribed antibiotics to help prevent infection after major surgery.

While recovery will be a case-by-case assessment, with most common causes your cat should make a full recovery and live a long and healthy life.

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Lack of Intestinal Motility Average Cost

From 592 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$500

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Lack of Intestinal Motility Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Domestic Short Hair

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Two Years

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Chronic Vomiting

Our two year old cat has a chronic vomiting issue. It’s often shortly after eating, but if it is later seems to be hardly digested food. We took her to the vet after she lost significant weight and was urinating outside the litter box. He did a barium X-ray and told us it wasn’t a blockage and was probably an allergy. We have eliminated fish from her diet and it seemed to help, however she still vomits often without fish. We have her bowl raised and feed her small portions, anything more than half a can or twice in a few hours and she vomits. Is it really just an allergy?

July 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It is possible that she does have a food allergy, yes. It is also possible that she has chronic hairball problems and if she is not getting a hairball remedy regularly, that may actually help. Chronic vomiting in a cat can be a difficult situation to find the answer to, and if that does not help, it would be best to continue to follow up with your veterinarian, as they know more about your cat and the whole situation. I hope that everything goes well for her.

July 24, 2020

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Autumn

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Bengal

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6 Months

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1 found helpful

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1 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Bile Test Good
Shy But At Times Playful
Slow To Approach Food
Odd Pre-Eating Regurgitate Motion
High Alt Result 163 162

Hi, Our cat, nearly 6 months old, has some signs that may or may not align to an intestinal Motility issue, but here are the signs we have had thus far; When it is time to eat (we feed 4 meals each day) she at times does a regurgitate motion once before eating, and she does not do it all the time. She is more timid and may be the subordinate to her litter sister, but we keep their bowls 3 or 4 feet apart. But she usually sits back and does not go to the food when her sister is already getting into her own food. We usually try to encourage her to come eat, as she stands off a bit. But most times it seems we are trying to get her to come to the bowl. she may smell and walk away, she may just smell for a few seconds, but then she starts eating, until done. They sometimes finish their food, but at times have some leftover which we leave out for an hour. We had some blood tests carried out with only one high reading for ALT at 163 and 162 two weeks later. The vet did a before and after fatty meal test on her and the bile test showed normal, which she tested for to see if possible shunt. We were told by our breeder that without many signs testing could get very expensive if her health seems to be fine.

March 14, 2018

Autumn's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Wthout examining Autumn, I'm not sure that I can offer much insight into her condition, but if she is generally keeping weight on and seems healthy, it may be okay to monitor her, and have her bloodwork repeated in 4-6 weeks. If she is deteriorating, an ultraosound may be the next test that needs to be done. Your veterinarian will be able to guide you more clearly, as they have seen her and know more the details of her health status.

March 14, 2018

Thank you for the recommendations. We were holding off her spay due to the ALT result and the connection between liver function and the anesthesia, for recovery. It was recommended to do an ultrasound as next step, but it is a bit costly, and the symptoms are not severe or worsening at all. In fact had we not done the blood test she would have been spayed at that time. She seems to get better as time passes, not worse, yet still high ALT. So we were recommended to do the spay by the breeders and their contacts. We will test her again if we see any worsening in her condition, but really the only way they say to learn more is liver biopsy and ultrasound. So with those costs well over $1,000, and since she seems fairly healthy otherwise, we were suggested to wait, mostly due to lack of other signs and she seems pretty healthy. She was a smaller kitten; 2/3 the size of her twin, but over the last 3 months she has almost caught up, so again seems healthy. Thank you for the advice, it is appreciated. Troy

March 14, 2018

Autumn's Owner

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Lack of Intestinal Motility Average Cost

From 592 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$500

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