Esophageal diseases in cats can range from mild to very severe as there are several different forms and each one of them can cause your pet a tremendous amount of stress.
In severe cases, they may threaten their life and the two most dangerous symptoms to watch for are regurgitation and coughing.
Coughing is not normal in a cat at any time, but when it involves a complication in the esophagus, it is especially dangerous.
The esophagus in your cat is a tubular shaped organ that when operating at full capacity, is very muscular.
It connects your cat’s mouth to their stomach, and as it leaves the mouth it than follows an almost direct path through their neck and chest areas.
It than passes very close to the heart and through the diaphragm muscle, and it finally ends in the stomach.
The walls of your cat’s esophagus are made up of several muscles which move in unison wave like rhythms.
These rhythms help to push food that has been eaten into the stomach for digestion and then absorption.
When no food is present and it is operating properly, these walls close up and collapse on each other.
This makes it a closed space unless something goes wrong in the process.
When this does occur, there are very distinctive symptoms that will immediately alert you that something is wrong with your cat.
Esophageal diseases in cats will show some very distinctive symptoms that something is not right and may be the start of some very serious health problems for your cat.
The first symptom to appear will be a sudden salivation in your cat, or drooling.
While drooling in many dogs is quite normal, in cats, it is a real warning sign.
It is almost always an indication that either your cat is producing too much saliva, or they suddenly no longer have the ability to retain saliva and as a result, cannot swallow.
Because of this, the next symptom will be a sudden loss of appetite to the point that it becomes anorexic.
The next symptom will be an excessive or persistent gulping where your cat is trying to swallow, but they cannot.
This is than followed by regurgitation, which is not abnormal in a cat, but this form of regurgitation becomes almost constant.
But the most chilling symptom of esophageal diseases in cats is coughing.
This is perhaps the most frightening symptom your cat can demonstrate. Cats should never cough, and when they do, it signals to you that something is wrong, seriously wrong.
There are several different types of esophageal diseases in cats, with the most common being Mega-esophagus.
Mega-esophagus is a situation where the walls of the esophagus have suddenly lost both the movement as well as the muscular contractions.
As a result, your cat can not get the food that they are trying to eat into their stomach.
Because of this, your cat will suddenly start to regurgitate.
This type of an esophagus problem can be present at the birth of a kitten and will become very apparent after they wean and start to eat any type of solid food.
However, it can be acquired later in the life of your cat.
In most cases when it is acquired, something is either blocking the esophagus, or causing it to narrow.
The next form Esophageal diseases in cats is Esophagea, which is an inflammation of your cat esophagus. This form can and does affect all breeds and at any age.
It is a very painful situation and can make it very difficult for your cat to swallow.
However, it can also affect their breathing.
This inflammation can be the result of an acidity that has built up in your cats stomach that has been caused by either numerous bouts of regurgitation or vomiting, or both.
It can also be the result of a severe infection or the result of some type of a chemical such as fertilizer or pesticide that has inflamed the esophagus.
What makes this form especially dangerous, however, is the effect on your cats breathing which can stress your cat and affect several other organs.
However, it may also be a tumor or a Hiatal hernia that has caused the inflammation. If this inflammation is left untreated, it may cause permanent damage to your cats esophagus.
A Hiatal hernia in your cat is almost identical to that in a human and it is estimated that this type of esophageal diseases affects roughly forty percent of all cats.
However most cats will display very few or no symptoms until they get older.
This is a condition where the upper portion of their stomach protrudes into their chest cavity through an opening called the esophageal hiatus.
This opening is only large enough accommodate your cats esophagus, but the pressure placed by the protrusion weakens the muscles and allows for upward passage of the upper stomach above the diaphragm.
This causes drooling, regurgitation, as well as coughing to occur in your cat as it can be extremely painful.
The last major type of esophageal diseases in cats is neoplasis, or cancer.
This type of growth in your cat is an abnormal proliferation of cells and the clone effect exceeds and is uncoordinated with the normal tissues that are around it.
It usually causes a lump or a tumor, and this form of cancer can be benign, pre-malignant, or malignant.
However, it is believed that over two thirds of all forms of this cancer in cats are malignant.
As this cancer advances, it will show all of the symptoms, but the most profound will be a sudden coughing in your cat.
Esophageal diseases in cats can and will range in severity, but they all have one thing in common; the symptoms.
This is a very stressful and potentially dangerous set of diseases that can attack you cat.
Understanding the symptoms very early will not only save your cat a lot of potential health issues, it may also save their lives.