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Need Dr. House for kitties - super long, sorry

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
About 6-7 weeks ago I adopted a new kitty into my one-kitty household. After a week of hissing and growling, they grew to tolerate eachother and are now best buds - grooming eachother and hanging out together.

So...here's the timeline as it relates to the new kitty, Pico, coming into the household.

Week 1: OK, nothing to report.

Week 2: OK, nothing to report.

Week 3: Loose stool from the new guy. He was negative for any parasites but was sent home with dewormer just in case. Vet noticed mild gingivitis and told me to keep an eye on it because he may have Bartonella (Cat Scratch Disease).

Week 4: I came home one night from work and noticed Pico was extremely lethargic. He would just lay wherever I set him. I brought him some food and he ate it and watched him all night. I took him to the vet the very next day and the Dr. suggested I have him tested for Bartonella. She sent me home with Doxycycline, which is a strong antibiotic to kill any strong bacteria and to stop the spread of Bartonella, should he have it. After the first dose, he was back in action.

Week 5: Pico had been vomiting every other day or so. The vet told me to stop the antibiotic for a couple of days and administer Pepcid. He vomited two more times so I took him back to the vet. He was x-rayed just to find out that he was extremely constipated. The vet gave him an enema and he was clean as a whistle. She sent me home with azithromycin because Pico was in fact Bartonella positive. I had my other one (Merlynn) tested for Bartonella just in case.

Week 6: Merlynn's positive and Pico is still vomiting, oh and with loose stool - not too bad, but loose...ay yay yay. So I picked up Merlynn's medicine and I took Pico in to be examined. I also brought in a sample of his stool with what appeared to be a string or worm. The doctor said it was a string and that I needed to find out what he was getting into. The Dr. suggested taking more x-rays to see if his intestines were placated (getting bunched up by string only to be cut up by the string, causing death). X-rays came back ok. No problem. Went home, found that he had been eating away at my rattan chair. Purchased bitter apple spray and sprayed the chair. I haven't seen them near it, so we'll see what happens.

Merlynn had soft stool after the first dose of her meds. I waited to see if it would get better just to find out that it turned into runny diarrhea yesterday and today.

I am at a complete loss as to what to do with these little characters. It seems like every time I turn around, something else is wrong. The vet suggested I stop the medication for Merlynn for a couple of days and give her Immodium to see if it clears up. He says that he's never heard of any cats having diarrhea from Azithromycin. Merlynn is very, very sensitive so I'm kind of hoping it's just the medication.

I don't know how it could be a bacteria that they are giving eachother seeing that they've both been on antibiotics and...I don't know, just kind of at a loss. Haven't changed their diet or litter. Haven't moved. No new furniture or toys. Maybe Pico has taught Merlynn to eat the chair as well???

ANY SUGGESTIONS ARE VERY WELCOME!!! PLEASE!
post #2 of 23
the potty box may be where they are sharing bacteria .... they could be grooming each other.... I would advise seeing a new vet for a second opnion ...
post #3 of 23
The problem with starting and stopping antibiotics without running the full course, is that the remaining bacteria that aren't killed will start building up a tolerance to the antibiotics. My guess it your kitties still have some bugs running amok in their guts.

The other problem (probably where the diarrhea is coming from) is that the antibiotics will kill off the good gut bacteria that help with digestion. You can replace this bacteria by either giving your kitties some Bene-Bac (from vet), yogurt or by using the human grade supplements that contain the good bacteria.

Also to help with the diarrhea, you can try giving a tbsp of pumpkin (the pure pumpkin you find for pies) which is great fibre and absorbs alot of the excess liquid.

Don't give up, we've all been through times like this where you want to rip out your hair in frustration!! Give your kitties hugs for me.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I'll dump out the litter and start with brand new litter today to rule that out. I usually completely change it every week and a half, and scoop it twice a day, but I'll take care of that today, just to start fresh.

Merlynn is SUPER DUPER lactose intolerant, so I don't think I can try the yogurt. Is there lactose-free yogurt? I know the vet I used to go to suggested yogurt when she was having runny diarrhea. (That was due to Innova Evo - the cottage cheese really did not do her any good.)

Does Pepto or Immodium have the same effect in replacing good bacteria? I have Pepto at home and the vet suggested Immodium. Merlynn won't eat pumpkin...I tried to give it to her as a small treat before when I was giving it to Pico for his diarrhea and she wasn't having it.



These are great suggestions. Keeps my mind busy instead of focusing on the probs at home...
post #5 of 23
bene bac or probios are likely low to no lactose .... you can use a human supplement many of those are lactose free
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
This may be a dumb question, but what are the human-grade supplements called? Thanks.
post #7 of 23
Go to the health food store... there are about 75 different one s at the small store I go to.... get the capsules so you can just sprinkle the powder on or in the food
post #8 of 23
Pepto Bismol is an absolute NO for cats. It is highly toxic. What are you feeding?
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy View Post
Pepto Bismol is an absolute NO for cats. It is highly toxic. What are you feeding?
Whoa! Thanks for that! I feed California Natural Chicken and Rice. She has had absolutely no problem with this and has been on it for months now.
post #10 of 23
cal natural is a great food but not if she may have developed an issue with chn..

How old are they???
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Merlynn is 11 months and Piccolino is 8 months old. I've been doing a little more reading and it turns out that Azithromycin causes diarrhea because it is an antibiotic and like Renny mentioned it kills good and bad bacteria. My vet has never heard anyone complain about their kitties having diarrhea from the Azithromycin but he suggested stopping for a day or two and giving Immodium to see if it is in fact the medication. It just has to be the meds because this started with her when I started her on the meds.

At least I've figured out why Pico's been vomiting and having soft stool (that rattan-eating monster). So now, I have to see if it's the meds or some sort of bacteria they keep tossing about to eachother. Can the bitter apple spray cause adverse effects in cats?

post #12 of 23
I believe Acidophilous is the name of the supplement you want to help with keeping the beneficial bacteria in the system.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renny View Post
The other problem (probably where the diarrhea is coming from) is that the antibiotics will kill off the good gut bacteria that help with digestion. You can replace this bacteria by either giving your kitties some Bene-Bac (from vet), yogurt or by using the human grade supplements that contain the good bacteria.
you can get Bene-bac at pet stores. acidolphilus you can usually find in health food or vitamin stores. i've added links to the ones i've used with success.
good luck!
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
you can get Bene-bac at pet stores. acidolphilus you can usually find in health food or vitamin stores. i've added links to the ones i've used with success.
good luck!

Thanks, I'll stop by PetCo on my way home. I hope my baby will be okay.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Merlynn is very lactose intolerant. I can't even give her a small treat of cat's milk. Do you think I could try to give her yogurt? Has anyone given yogurt to a lactose-intolerant cat with any luck? I've been reading about yogurt and it says that the bacteria produces the lactase enzyme to help breakdown the lactose...anyone? I'd much rather try something natural versus another medication. Thanks.
post #16 of 23
DONT give lactose intolerant cat yogurt ( unless it is goat )

Immodium has changed the formula your vet may not be aware ... it now contains Asprin like meds...PLEASE DONT GIVE it
post #17 of 23
Jarro-dophilus works like a charm. Here is a link on probiotics

http://www.evitamins.com/healthnotes...tentID=2901004

Heres a link to the product on kitten was on

http://www.jarrow.com/product.php?prodid=144
post #18 of 23
I am so sorry you are going through this with your babies. I too began having health issues with my two, Kabou and Brandon right after I adopted Brandon. It seemed like it was one thing after another and I thought it would never end. It is so frustrating when you can't figure out the cause of the symptoms. My two have been fairly healthy for a couple of months but Brandon was just diagnosed with Bartonella also. He too is fairly young, almost two, but his gingivitis became worse over the last year despite good nutrition, which is why he was tested for bartonella. I'm starting him today on the same antibiotic your kids were given. I'm hoping it doesn't cause diarrhea, but am so glad I read your post and the responses as a heads-up.

Hang in there and it will get better.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your replies. It is so hard to watch these poor babies and their "what-seems-to-be" persisten problems. And they all started with the new kid. But I don't, not for one second, regret adopting him. They have the best time together. I just want to get them better.

I ended up contacting The Cat Network and they said that perhaps all of the antibiotics they've been taking are just putting a strain on their systems and that they may not have had time to recoup. She also thought it was strange that the doctor did not suggest probiotics. She told me I should take them off the antibiotic and get them some Fortiflora and Kaolin Pectin (which she would provide) and after they have had consistent regular BM for 2 weeks, to start them on the antibiotics again.

For another opinion, I contacted A Country Cat House, which is a family-owned and operated cats-only boarding house. I left my Merlynn there over Christmas break and they were really great with her. They've been in business for 18 years, so I can trust them. I spoke with the owner and she told me that she would suggest NOT taking them off the medication because it is very important to get rid of the Bartonella and if I take them off, I'll just have to start from scratch and there is a good risk that the antibiotics then will not work. She said to give yogurt (a tiny bit) to the new guy, but not to Merlynn (who is lactose intolerant) and to buy the Hill's r/d diet to give them for 2-3 days. She says that this prescription diet is usually given for kitties who are overweight, but that the fiber in the diet helps when she has kitties with diarrhea. Oh, and to give them just half the prescribed dose of the meds.

So I ran home, gave Pico some yogurt, gave them both their meds (1/2 dose) and the r/d, which they started gobbling up. No diarrhea in the box as of today, so that's good.

Crt: I do hope your baby's stronger than mine. But just in case, it wouldn't hurt to have some probiotics on hand because it is a strong antibiotic and I'm sure they prescribed your baby to be on it for 21 days. I've been reading more and more about Bartonella and it says that this medication works well on getting rid of the disease, but that also most kitties get over the disease with or without meds. Go figure! Good luck...
post #20 of 23
Great to hear your babies are doing better in the litterbox area...I am going to day to have Stanley tested for the Bartonella. He too is young, has suspect teeth and a URI that just won't go away. He's been sick since we adopted him, but I don't regret a minute because he's the sweetest creature I've ever encountered.

Poor baby. I just want him to get better! I'm already armed with a big tube of Bene Bac thanks to this thread.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm already armed with a big tube of Bene Bac thanks to this thread. [/quote]


Glad I could help. And I am VERY happy to report that they both had regular bowel movements this morning. yayayayayayay

My boyfriend said, "You get excited about the weirdest things." Well, I'm excited because I don't have to get to the vet again (at least not yet) and they are feeling better.

So this is what I finally did. I purchased the Hill's r/d dry and mixed that with their regular dry California Natural and added in some Fortiflora powder. I gave Piccolino 1 tsp of yogurt and gave each only 1/2 the dosage of the prescribed medicine.

I am super happy. Thank you everyone for your great suggestions. I'll definitely have this Fortiflora on hand for the next week and will continue to sprinkle it in for a few days, along with the r/d for another day.

Good luck with the Bartonella test. The good thing with Bartonella is that it's treatable! That's a plus.

Let me know about the results!
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by merlynn's mom View Post


Glad I could help. And I am VERY happy to report that they both had regular bowel movements this morning. yayayayayayay

My boyfriend said, "You get excited about the weirdest things." Well, I'm excited because I don't have to get to the vet again (at least not yet) and they are feeling better.

So this is what I finally did. I purchased the Hill's r/d dry and mixed that with their regular dry California Natural and added in some Fortiflora powder. I gave Piccolino 1 tsp of yogurt and gave each only 1/2 the dosage of the prescribed medicine.

I am super happy. Thank you everyone for your great suggestions. I'll definitely have this Fortiflora on hand for the next week and will continue to sprinkle it in for a few days, along with the r/d for another day.

Good luck with the Bartonella test. The good thing with Bartonella is that it's treatable! That's a plus.

Let me know about the results!
You tell your boyfriend that we quite regularly have poop and pee parties on this site, thank you very much!
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
You tell your boyfriend that we quite regularly have poop and pee parties on this site, thank you very much!
hahahahahhahahaha....can't stop laughing...that was great. it is VERY exciting!
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