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Diarrhea for 3 weeks?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I'm kind of new here, I have a question regarding a stray cat who has adopted us. We have decided to keep him, have taken him to the vet, had him neutered, shots, dewormed, etc. He was found to be FIV positive with a Snap Combo test. The problem is that he has had diarrhea/loose stools since we took him inside about 3 weeks ago. At the clinic where he was neutered they said to give him wet food to prevent dehydration, but when I called the full-service vet for an appt. they advised me to give him only dry food, that this would help with the diarrhea. They also advised me to try not giving him any food for 12 hours (I did, it didn't work), also just feed him some plain cooked chicken for 1-2 days (he still had diarrhea). The only thing that seems to firm up his stools a little is mixing a small amount of pumpkin in with the canned food. I couldn't get an appt. w/full service vet until Thursday 26 June, but in the meantime I was wondering if there's anything else I could try to give him some relief, sometimes he misses the litterbox and what comes out is very watery. Also, he seems to eat A LOT, like he can't get enough. I'm wondering if this is due to the FIV, or possibly a parasite such as Giardia or Coccidia. Prior to moving inside he was living under our front porch, and drinking out of an abandoned fountain across the street (yuck!) so who knows what he picked up. Any thoughts on how to treat this until June 26 gets here?
Also, how reliable is the Snap FIV/FLEV test? I've read it can give false positives, should I ask to have him retested using a DNA test when we see the vet next week?
Thanks in advice for any advice,
post #2 of 11
PLEASE call up all the vets in your area ... and get in ASAP...
post #3 of 11
I agree you should get him to a vet asap.

Regarding the SNAP test, it does have a high # of false positives. My Oliver tested +'ve for FIV on the SNAP but was -'ve on the DNA test.

Having said that, however, I did have a FIV+ cat who had chronic diarrhea, it's one of the most common symptoms, along with teeth and gum problems. Whenever he had a bout of diarrhea the vet would recommend withholding solid food for 24 hours then starting with bland chicken.

If it would put your mind at ease I would get the DNA test done.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a call in to the other vet near me, will try to get him in ASAP. Also Spookzilla, could you tell me please how much the DNA test for FIV costs? Money is a little tight right now and my husband is not too keen on me spending so much on a stray. We really can't afford another cat but he was just so pathetic-looking I couldn't leave him outside like that on his own. We think he was abandoned by some neighbors who moved away and he looked like he wasn't used to surviving on his own. I wasn't counting on him having all these health problems, but now that he's here we've grown attached to him and I'm afraid if we take him to a shelter he will be PTS because of the FIV+. I don't know anyone else that would take him in, all our friends/family already have cats or can't afford one that might involve frequent trips to the vet. Plus the cat we've had for 14 years has developed CRF and her special food and vet visits for that are already straining our budget. Oh well, time for another trip to the Citi!
I will take your advice about the chicken, I don't think I can make him fast because after his neuter surgery, when he got home he was so hungry he was crazed, I'd never seen anything like it. He had been without food for 20 hours and the way he acted you'd think he hadn't eaten in a month.
post #5 of 11
The reason this kitty needs to be seen immediately if not sooner is because diarrhea can very quickly dehydrate a kitty. Even a short bout of it can become dangerous very quickly. Three weeks, now that's SCARY! I'm shocked this Vet's office has repeatedly advised you to try handling this in various ways at home knowing that nothing is working. He needs to be seen now! Please tell them this is urgent and that he needs to be worked in, he is in serious need of professional treatment. If they don't understand this, it's time to get a new Vet!
post #6 of 11
Oliver had the DNA test done by the rescue organization I adopted him from so I don't know how much it cost. It would definitely be more than the SNAP test which is typically around $50-60, so maybe $100? Hopefully someone else has an idea.

I should have mentioned that when my FIV+ cat (Spook) had severe diarrhea I did take him to the vet and she usually gave him some medication and would tell me to also withhold the food for 24 hours. I agree that if it is severe then it can quickly cause dehydration.
post #7 of 11
Hi - I hope you were able to get in to see a vet. Hope all turns out well.

re: FIV test - I work at a cat shelter and they test the cats when they come in, then they wait 3 months and retest to be sure
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Great news! The other vet returned my call and they can see him this Thursday afternoon. In the meantime I'm going to feed him only boiled chicken. I've been monitoring him for dehydration (using the skin test they showed me at the spay/neuter clinic) and so far his skin goes back in place pretty much immediately. Has anyone had any luck using slippery elm powder to treat the big D? I read somewhere that it's soothing to the digestive tract. I would be so happy if he turns out to be FIV negative. I will have him retested in 3 months and if still positive will consider the DNA test. THANKS A LOT for all the support and advice. This site is wonderful!
post #9 of 11
You could try cooked white fish instead of the chicken.
Our rescue kitty Milly has suffered from terrible D since we have had her, went through fasting and followed that with chicken and rice but still came back, fasted her again and fed white fish D was cured, back to dry food D came back, back to white fish D cured, poop tests all came back clear so we decided to check ALL dry foods to see what ones contain chicken no matter what flavour the food is supposed to be and we were left with just James Wellbeloved White Fish so we are giving that a go and so far early indications show it to be working!

Let us know what the vet says
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Bgoff1, that's a brilliant idea. It just occurred to me when I read your post that every food I've tried him on, canned or dry, has had chicken in it. Maybe that's the source of the problem. Thanks so much. I'm anxious to get him to the vet to get the results of the fecal testing, maybe it's just a bug that can be knocked out with some antibiotics. In any case, whitefish will be my next option for food. Will definitely be back to post what the vet says tomorrow. BTW, does anyone know if the stool sample results are available immediately or does it usually take a few days?
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by FormerMermaid View Post
...the cat we've had for 14 years has developed CRF and her special food and vet visits for that are already straining our budget...
I certainly wouldn't want to suggest anything that would upset something you already have in place and which is working for you. Considering that, it might benefit you to know that many people are able to manage their CRF cat's health without the use of the "Prescription Diets". It might also be possible for you to finer tune those Vet visits. There are groups of CRF pet parents who meet online and these issues are commonly discussed. If you think this could be useful, you can find one of those groups here and another here.
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