what does it mean when a cat throws up blood

Symptoms of Vomiting of Blood in Cats

If blood in your cat’s vomit is bright red, it is fresh and may have been caused by external trauma to the esophagus, such as swallowing a foreign object, or an oral condition. Darker blood may indicate issues lower in the digestive tract.

Why Your Cat Is Throwing Up Blood

Cats can throw up blood for many reasons. Here are some of the most common:

  • Cats with a history of vomiting episodes are said to have chronic vomiting. Numerous underlying medical conditions that can irritate the GI tract and result in bleeding can be the cause of chronic vomiting.
  • Blood may be vomited by cats who swallow bones or anything else that gets stuck in their mouths, esophaguses, stomachs, or small intestines and causes damage to them.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Severe IBD can cause the GI tract’s lining to become so damaged that it bleeds.
  • Cancer: Blood vessels may be harmed by benign and particularly malignant GI tract cancers. GI bleeding can also occasionally result from cancers that are not related to the digestive system, such as mast cell tumors.
  • Kidney Disease – Cats with kidney disease frequently vomit. Blood from ulcers or GI tract irritation may be present in the vomit.
  • Infections by Bacteria, Viral Pathogens, and Fungi: Salmonellosis, panleukopenia, and other GI tract infections can harm the lining and result in bleeding.
  • Blood Clotting Disorders: gastrointestinal bleeding can result from illnesses or poisonings (like some rodenticides) that interfere with normal blood clotting.
  • Medications and Toxins: Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can impair blood coagulation or induce gastrointestinal ulcers, especially when taken in excess. GI bleeding can also be brought on by exposure to certain toxins, such as caustic cleaning agents.
  • Postoperative Complication: Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract and blood in the vomit can occur after gastrointestinal surgery.
  • Shock: The gastrointestinal tract can be damaged and bleed as a result of heat stroke, burns, exposure to animal venom through bite or sting, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), bleeding, complications from anesthesia, severe infections, and anything that causes very low blood pressure and shock.
  • Brain Injury or Disease: Circumstances that cause an increase in skull pressure can activate the vagus nerve, which increases stomach acidity and increases the risk of bleeding gastrointestinal ulcers.
  • Liver disease: Liver disease can cause persistent vomiting and occasionally affect the blood’s capacity to clot.
  • Swallowing Blood: Your cat may vomit blood after becoming queasy due to having swallowed blood from an oral cut, nosebleed, or respiratory illness.

How Do Vets Diagnose Vomiting Blood in Cats?

A veterinarian will ask a series of questions, such as the following, to begin sorting through the various reasons why a cat might be vomiting blood:

  • Has your cat previously been diagnosed with any health problems?
  • Has your cat had any recent traumatic events or surgeries?
  • Does your cat receive any medication from you, or could they have ingested any poisons or drugs?
  • Has your cat eaten anything unusual?
  • Could your cat have gotten into anything outdoors?
  • When did your cat first start vomiting?
  • Did it come on gradually or suddenly?
  • Did you notice the blood right away when they puked, or did you notice it later?
  • What other symptoms does your cat have?

The veterinarian will then conduct a physical examination to search for any physical signs of a blood-clotting disorder, such as bruises or an abdominal mass. Laboratory tests are also usually necessary. A blood chemistry panel, a complete blood cell count, x-rays, an ultrasound examination, an endoscopy, surgery, and tissue biopsies are a few examples of these.

How Is a Cat Throwing Up Blood Treated?

Two stages of treatment are typically involved: supportive care and addressing the underlying cause.

Supportive care for a pet may involve some or all of the following therapies, depending on their needs:

  • Antacids.
  • Stomach lining protectants.
  • Anti-nausea medicines.
  • Fluid therapy for dehydration and electrolyte balance.
  • A special food for sensitive stomachs.
  • A blood transfusion, if the loss is severe (this is less common and only for severe blood loss)

Remember that some medications can be harmful to pets, so never give them to them without first consulting your veterinarian.

Supportive care reduces the amount of bleeding and vomiting and makes the cat feel better. Furthermore, a blood transfusion may be necessary in extreme circumstances to preserve a pet’s life, regardless of the initial cause of the bloody vomiting.