Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Excessive Bacteria in the Small Intestine in Cats

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

 

While it is common for small intestine to have bacteria, it can become a problem when the count is too high. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is a disorder which causes an abnormal amount of bacteria to accumulate in the small intestine, which can then affect the normal intestinal functions, causing loose stools and weight loss. Often clearing up within a few days, but up to a few weeks; treatment options for this bacterial infection give an excellent prognosis.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

Common symptoms include loose stools, rapid weight loss, diarrhea, occasional vomiting and intestinal tract sounds (gurgling caused by gas).

 

Causes

 

Inadequate levels of thyroid, low pancreatic production of enzymes, low levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and intestinal disease are some of the known causes for this bacterial overgrowth.

 

Diagnosis

 

Veterinarians will often perform blood work and bacterial cultures to determine the causes of the intestinal condition. In some cases a more invasive procedure, such as an endoscopy, will be required to view the intestine internally.

 

 

 

Treatment

 

Treatment is commonly given on an outpatient basis and improvement can occur quickly, typically within a few days and up to a few weeks. It is often recommended that the patient be placed on a highly-digestible diet to create less of an impact on the intestines during the healing. Antibiotics are also commonly prescribed to treat the bacterial growth.

 

Living and Management

 

It is important to monitor your cat's weight and protein levels (albumin) over time and ensure progress is being made toward a full recovery. Diarrhea must also be observed because if prolonged, it can lead to severe dehydration. In addition, repeat treatments may be required. The prognosis of this disease is positive when it is not associated with other serious medical conditions, such as intestinal cancer.

 

Prevention

 

There are currently no known preventative methods for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

 

 

Related Articles

Acid Reflux in Cats
The uncontrollable reverse flow of gastric or intestinal fluids into the tube connecting...
READ MORE
Lack Of Digestive Enzymes in Cats
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) develops when the pancreas fails to produce...
READ MORE
Intestinal Obstruction in Cats
Gastrointestinal obstruction refers to blockage that may occur in the stomach or...
READ MORE

Does your pet have an identification tag or microchip?

  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search cat Articles

 

 

Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM