Meet October pet of the month - Vito
When this two year old Birman presented with vomiting he had been off his food for a couple of days and it would of been easy to assume that he'd simply developed a hairball. He was a Birman after all! But the signs were more worrying than this because he had been sick repeatedly, vomited blood and displayed pain when we examined his abdomen. This made it fairly easy to spot the need for further investigation.
We admitted him and took some radiographs which showed his stomach to be empty but with a very thickened wall that concered us even more. Based on this appearance we progressed to gastroduodenoscopy.
Our video-gastroscope yielded the attached images, which show a necrotising gastric ulcer of the gastric body surrounded by haemorrhagic mucosa. The dark center of the ulcer is at the point where it is at risk of rupture. These changes represent severe pathology and would be completely unexpected in a cat especially of this age. We were able to investigate the underlying cause by taking biopsies using flexible cup forceps via the endoscope. The detailed pathology report ruled out cancer and infection but listed possible traumatic and toxic causes that we worked through by discussion with the owner. In all likeihood this ulcer actually was the result of simply developing a hairball which had passed! Which makes you think!!!!
Vito recovered and the ulcer healed very quickly with medication. He is now fed on a special hairball control diet and free to groom as often as he pleases.