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Stomach Infection with Helicobacter in Cats




As this disease is not fully described in animals, there is no single regimen accepted for treatment. If there are no apparent symptoms treatment is usually not conducted. On the contrary, in humans treatment is started if a Helicobacter infection is found, no matter whether clinical symptoms are present because such an infection can lead to stomach cancer in. However, this does not appear to be the case with cats, so further action is not taken unless the symptoms warrant it. If there is chronic vomiting or inflammation of the gastric lining, treatment will be directed toward easing those symptoms. Typically, fluid therapy will be carried out to compensate for fluid loss.


Antibiotics, along with acid controlling drugs are the recommended course of treatment for cats found to be infected with a Helicobacter spp. Treatment generally consists of a two week course. Your will need to return to your veterinarian several weeks after the initial treatment for a follow up exam to verify whether the treatment was successful. In many cases, the infection or presence of bacteria returns, but it is not known if this is due to recrudescence (a renewal of the infection after a dormancy), or to reinfection from an outside source.


Living and Management


Cats that are infected with the Helicobacter bacterium are more vulnerable to stomach upset, so it is suggested that their diet be changed to food that is easily digestible. In addition, if gastritis (inflammation of the gastric lining) is present, your veterinarian can instruct you in conducting an elimination diet so that you are able to avoid the foods that are most disruptive to your cat's digestive tract.


This disease is common where animals are kept in overcrowded and unhygienic conditions. If you keep many animals, be sure to provide them with enough space and a clean environment. Because this bacteria has been found to infect surface water, it is best to try to prevent your animals from drinking from streams, ponds, or rivers.


If you or your cat have been diagnosed with the Helicobacter pylori infection, talk to your veterinarian and your family doctor about the zoonotic potential of this organism and follow the guidelines given by your health care professional.

Image: Alekzandr Kurganov via Shutterstock


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