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What causes a cat's stomach to bloat

Bloating can occur after ingesting too much of anything, including food, grass, or even indigestible parts of a plant.

Bloat is often associated with eating large amounts of food, but it can also be caused by consuming large amounts of any type of food – including a balanced, complete diet.

Bloat is sometimes called gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV). This is the technical term used by veterinarians and scientists to describe a life-threatening condition in which the stomach twists and the contents spread to the rest of the abdomen.

GDV is a medical emergency. If the condition is not treated immediately, it can be fatal.

What are the symptoms of bloat?

The first symptoms of bloat usually occur shortly after eating. They include:

Panting

Lethargy

Vomiting

Diarrhea

Abdominal pain

How is bloat diagnosed?

Your veterinarian will perform a complete medical history and perform a physical examination.

Your veterinarian will examine you for signs of pain, lethargy, and vomiting.

Your veterinarian will palpate (feel) your abdomen to check for bloated distension.

Your veterinarian may give you a barium swallow test if your veterinarian suspects that your stomach is twisting.

Your veterinarian may take x-rays of your abdomen to check for any signs of abdominal pain or bloating.

How is bloat treated?

Your veterinarian will work to determine the cause of bloat.

Treatment might include:

Warm, gentle massage of your abdomen to reduce abdominal distension

Medication to relieve pain

Antibiotics to treat an infection

Feeding a special diet – usually to reduce the amount of food you will eat

You may need surgery to correct the condition. This is a very serious condition. It is often treated with surgery, but some cases are treated with surgery and medication.

How can I prevent bloat?

Avoid overfeeding.

Only feed a cat the amount of food that it can easily eat in a reasonable amount of time.

Don't force your cat to eat something that it doesn't want to eat.

Don't give your cat large quantities of any type of food on the same day.

Don't allow your cat to drink water or other liquids that are too cold

Don't let your cat eat food or drink water that has been left for the cat to eat or drink for an extended period of time.

How can I tell if my cat has bloat?

If your cat has bloating, vomiting, lethargy, and an abnormal gait, your veterinarian will treat it immediately.

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