top of page
  • Writer's pictureMyprecious-Siamese

Intussusception In Cats

A personal experience

'An intussusception is the telescoping of one part of the intestinal tract into an adjoining segment of intestinal tract. It commonly involves the small intestines. Intussusception can cause narrowing or obstruction of the lumen (inside diameter) of the intestines, resulting in an acute emergency. Intussusception can also cause waxing and waning signs if the intussusception is periodically relieved by the affected segment of intestine moving back and forth from a telescoped position into a normal position.'

In short, its where the bowel folds back on itself, causing a blockage, which ultimately results in death of the affected intestine.


  • Idiopathic (unknown cause)

  • Secondary to enteritis (inflammation or infection of the intestinal tract)

  • Intestinal parasites

  • Previous intestinal surgery

  • Intestinal mass

What to Watch For

Clinical signs and disease progression vary markedly depending on the location and degree of blockage associated with the intussusception. Some signs may include:

  • Vomiting

  • Vomiting blood

  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)

  • Depression

  • Diarrhea

  • Weight loss

  • Abdominal pain

  • Signs of shock, collapse, and sudden death within several hours with complete obstruction of the intestinal track

Diagnosis of Intussusception in Cats

The clinical signs associated with intussusception can be vague and nonspecific, so several tests are often necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Such tests include:

  • Complete history and thorough physical examination. Careful palpation of the abdomen may reveal a firm, sausage-shaped mass.

  • A complete blood count (CBC), biochemical profile, urinalysis and faecal examination

  • Thoracic (chest) and abdominal radiographs (X-rays) to eliminate a foreign body of the gastrointestinal tract or other disease process

  • Abdominal ultrasound

  • Barium study of the upper gastrointestinal tract

  • Endoscopy of the gastrointestinal tract

  • Possibly surgical exploration of the abdomen

Treatment of Intussusception in Cats

Patients with an intussusception require hospitalization and aggressive treatment, as clinical deterioration may be rapid and can be fatal. Most of these cases are surgical emergencies.

Aggressive intravenous fluid and electrolyte therapy is also extremely important. Antibiotics are usually prescribed and your veterinarian may also recommend a specific post-operative diet.

Home Care

The prognosis for patients with an intussusception is variable, depending on the severity and degree of the intussusception and the associated clinical signs. Most cases of intussusception cannot be prevented.

Administer all medication and recommended diets as directed by your veterinarian. If your pet has a recurrence of signs, which is most likely within the first week of surgery, contact your veterinarian at once.

Above info with thanks to:

Myprecious Prima Ballerina - aka Lizzy Longlegs 04/05/21-13/06/23

We took Lizzy to the vet Monday, she presented with no pain or discomfort. she acted normally and had bright eyes. Her only sign of something wrong was that she stopped eating. Extremely unusual for Lizzy.

Tuesday she was admitted to the vet, put on a drip and bloods were done. Bloods showed high levels of white platelets.

Wednesday they did an x-ray, and operated immediately. It was too late to save 6 inches of intestine.

Friday she came home with antibiotics and high calory soft food.

Saturday/Sunday she had sub q fluids administered at home because she still did not eat.

Monday she was admitted to the vet.

Tuesday, exactly one week after her first admission, we said goodbye to Lizzy.

A disease that presented with only one symptom visible to us. She stopped eating.

As meezer owners, we are all conscious of the fussiness of their eating habits, their constant puking of undigested food or furballs into the most inaccessible places! We are forever tutting and getting the cleaning products out, muttering to ourselves, or putting something over the top, with the intention of 'doing it later, when its dry'.

We never ever expect to loose them so very quickly.

31 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page