vomiting

by Ashley
(Texas)

What does it mean when my 15 year old cat is vomiting black liquid?

RESPONSE:

Cats typically vomit because of fur balls, grass that irritates their stomach or sometimes intestinal parasites are the culprits. However, when the cat vomits black fluid it is usually partially digested blood that resembles the color of coffee grounds. This indicates a bleeding point somewhere along the path between between the mouth and upper small bowel.

Your cat could have swallowed something that has done damage or is still present internally…or it could be a sign of something more serious like a gastric problem or disease. Either way, you should get your cat to the vet as soon as you can. The dark fluid (blood) commonly indicates internal bleeding in the stomach. The most prevalent reason is an ulcer but it could be other gastric issues.

Make note of any other changes in your cat such as diarrhea, lethargy, not eating, and also if your cat has vomited regularly prior to the black fluid, etc. This will help the vet determine what the problem is with fewer tests. If it is an ulcer then your vet will probably prescribe a specific diet and drugs to help make the blood in his stomach clot and help the healing process.

The fact that your cat is 15 years old makes it all the more critical that you get professional help for him as soon as you can. If money is short, especially at this time of year, see if your vet will work out a payment plan for you. It is important that your pet gets help.

I send positive wishes for you both.

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Randall L. Norstrem, DVM of Crestwood Animal Hospital (253-839-4744)


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