Treatment for Fur Ball Problems at Our Austin Veterinary Center
One minute your cat is having a peaceful nap or lounging in the sun, and the next, he's retching and vomiting up balls of matted hair. Production of the occasional fur ball can be considered a natural consequence of a cat's self-grooming routine, and normally they're just a disgusting annoyance to owners. In some cases, however, fur balls can mean health complications that require veterinary attention. That's when you'll want to pay a visit to our Austin vet hospital, Dessau Clinic.
What Are Fur Balls and When Should You Worry about Them?
Fur balls, also referred to as hairballs, are clumps of hair and semi-digested food that haven't succeeded in making it smoothly through your cat's digestive tract. Cats groom themselves constantly, licking their fur and inevitably ingesting some of it. Usually the fur passes through the cat's body harmlessly, but sometimes it gets stuck at the pylorus, a valve in your cat's stomach. This blockage causes the stomach to eject the fur ball through the cat's mouth.
An occasional fur ball is no cause for alarm. It simply indicates that your cat's digestive system is successfully responding to potential blockages. If your cat is regularly throwing up fur balls, there may be other factors involved. For instance, your cat's digestive system may be impaired by a condition such as inflammatory bowel disorder, lymphoma, or some other issue that reduces its ability to move objects through the intestines. If your cat is always trying, unsuccessfully, to produce a fur ball, the fur may have actually caused a dangerous internal blockage. Watch for other signs of trouble such as diarrhea, lethargy, and/or constipation. If these symptoms continue for more than 24 hours, treat it as a veterinary emergency.
Our Animal Hospital Can Provide Your Kitty with Expert Pet Care
If you're concerned about your cat's fur ball production, bring him to our Austin animal hospital. Our vet team can perform diagnostic imaging and run other evaluations to check your cat's overall health and look for internal obstructions. We may discover an underlying disease or syndrome that requires treatment. We can also prescribe ongoing fur ball management using techniques such as medications, laxatives, and foods designed to encourage efficient passage of the fur balls through the body. We may also suggest special hair brushing products or techniques as part of your cat's pet care regimen.
Ask Your Austin Veterinarian about Your Cat's Fur Balls
Don't dismiss excessive fur ball production as "normal." Make sure your cat is okay by calling (512) 339-3177 and scheduling an appointment with either Austin veterinarian on our team!