Seeing traces of blood in a pet's stool can upset you tremendously especially if it happens to your cat. Though small traces of blood or streaks in the stool do not signify anything serious, considerable amount of blood that occurs frequently should be a cause for concern. The presence of blood in the stool is termed clinically as hematochezia. Most often people tend to confuse this with melena which is characterized by dark or tarry stools whereas hematochezia has fresh traces of blood in stool.
The reason for the presence of bloody stool may be something minor that can be easily rectified or it may also be indicative of some serious or fatal disorder your pet has. Frequent bowel movements or diarrhea should always be looked into immediately. Some of the most possible causes for bloody stool in cats are listed here.
The most likely cause for hematochezia is the presence of infection. Bacterial infection especially the ones caused by salmonella, clostridium and E Coli cause colitis and diarrhea with presence of blood in the stool. Salmonella and E coli can be identified only by culture tests done on the sample whereas clostridia are easily recognized in fecal sample tests.
Presence of parasites like tape worms, hook worms and round worms in the intestinal walls also lead to internal bleeding and hematochezia. Intestinal parasites can be identified by doing stool sample tests.
The cat may sometimes ingest rat poison or chemicals like house cleaning supplies that are left lying around the house and yard. This will irritate the intestinal wall and cause bleeding which appears as blood in the stool.
Benign tumors like intestinal polyps present in the colon and the rectal areas also cause the appearance of blood in cat stool. Malignancy is another important reason for concern that causes bloody stool in cats. The lower bowel area is the most prone region for malignancy to occur.
Other than the above listed reasons, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis and other intestinal disorders can also initiate bleeding. Allergic reactions, ingestion of antibiotics that the cat is allergic to and foods that cause allergy can also cause blood to be seen in the stool. Coagulation disorders are another important cause for the appearance of bloody stools.
Symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea along with the appearance of blood in the stool should be treated immediately. Get the help of the pet's veterinarian who will suggest a series of diagnostic tests like fecal and rectal examination, radiographs, blood tests, coagulation tests and ultrasound of the abdomen. These will help identify the specific cause for the bleeding.
The treatment given in case of hematochezia is usually a regimen of antibiotics if infection is present and a change in the regular diet pattern of the pet. The diet is changed to a high protein content one with less of fats and more of fibers included. In case of inflammatory bowel disease a hydrolyzed dry diet is given.
When you notice blood in cat stool you should know the various reasons for the presence of blood so that you can take appropriate measures and get veterinary help to treat the condition immediately if it is a serious one.