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Tang Talk – February 2013

Vomit……. Every cat does it but no one likes to talk about it. This is a
Tangerintervention. Even I, the amazing Tang, vomit. I don’t vomit very
often… I like to puke up a hairball once every few months.

My slaves (clinic staff) say that vomiting may or may not be a medical
problem. Frequency of vomit is helpful to determine the cause of vomit
and, therefore, if it is a serious concern. Content of the vomit, time since
eating, appetite and overall attitude matter too.

Vomiting once a week is less serious than vomiting every day. Vomiting
every day is even more serious if the cat won’t eat or is not acting normal.

Vomiting food 3 hours after eating often has a different cause than vomiting
5 minutes after eating.

Acting painful (being vocal or flinching when the tummy is touched) or
antisocial often indicates a more serious problem.

What diseases can cause vomiting?? Hair accumulation in the stomach
and intestine is my favourite cause. Liver disease, kidney disease,
pancreatitis, foreign object(s) in the GIT (cat toys, shoelaces, foam from ear
plugs, etc.), constipation, hyperthyroidism, food allergies, poorly digestible
diets and IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) are some of the common
causes of vomiting.

What can mere humans do for their furry friends?? I know it sounds crazy
but going to the vet is for your own good. The vet team will take a history
(your human can talk to them while you snoop around the exam room)
and do an exam. Yes, they might even use the dreaded thermometer.
What next?? Blood tests can show us liver, kidney, and some pancreatic
diseases. Radiographs can show constipation and help show foreign
bodies. Ultrasound can show us pancreatitis and hint at IBD.

A diet change is often needed to diagnose and treat food allergies and food

Once the vet has enough info to have a potential diagnosis, treatment can
be started (or surgery is done if the diagnosis is a foreign body!). Antacids,
motility modifiers, anti-inflammatories, and a new diet are often a part of

So, that is the end of the class Vomiting Cats 101 … any questions?? If so,
call the vet – I need to go nap … you can never get enough beauty sleep.