Worldwide medical and scientific journal for animal health professionals

Issue number 27.1 GI tract

Chronic enteropathy in cats

Published 27/06/2019

Written by Suliman Al-Ghazlat and Christian Eriksson de Rezende

Also available in Français , Deutsch , Italiano and Español

Chronic gastrointestinal disease in cats is often due to either inflammatory bowel disease or intestinal lymphosarcoma, but differentiating between the two can be problematic; Doctors Al-Ghazlat and Eriksson de Rezende offer some pointers for the clinician.

Chronic enteropathy in cats

Key Points

Clinical signs, physical examination, bloodwork and imaging findings for inflammatory bowel disease and small cell intestinal lymphoma often overlap, but treatment and prognosis for the two diseases are different, and accurate diagnosis is essential.


Definitive diagnosis of both conditions requires histopathologic evaluation; full-thickness tissue samples appear to be superior to endoscopic biopsy samples. Adding advanced diagnostic methods to traditional histopathology may improve the accuracy of diagnosis.


Novel or hydrolyzed diets may ameliorate the symptoms of IBD, but corticosteroids may be necessary to sustain disease remission.


In cases of refractory IBD, the clinician should consider lack of client compliance with treatment, other comorbidities, or a misdiagnosis before altering therapy.


Owners should be aware that cats with small cell lymphoma can have a favorable prognosis.


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