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Chronic loose stool/diarrhea

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone -

I have a 13-month old cat who has chronic diarrhea. She eats and drinks and plays like there's no tomorrow; she is not dehydrated and seems totally healthy and happy. She uses her litterbox correctly and doesn't use it any more or less than I'd expect.

We have tried several diet changes over the course of the last 8 months, including grain-free, and low-residue. We have tried yogurt, pumpkin, and Fortiflora.

My regular vet finally sent me to an internist for help. She has been tested for giardia, coccidia, and tritrichomonas, and everything else under the sun.

The internist says the cat has a sensitivity to her own bacteria.

The only thing that seems to get her stool back to normal is Metronidazole. Witin 2 days of ceasing the medication, she is back to the runny stool.

The internist suggests that we simply keep her on a low dose of Metronidazole forever. (I'm not home right now, so I can' tell you exactly, but the dose is a quarter of a tablet per day - I just can't remember, off-hand, the size tablet!)

Any thoughts on whether it's really safe to keep her on this los-dose of the drug indefinitely? Any other good ideas?

Thanks ...
post #2 of 26
Could she have food allergies? My Bugsy is allergic to chicken, and his digestion improved considerably since I removed chicken from his diet.
Have you tried a limited ingredients diet, like duck and green pea, venison and green pea?
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick response ...

We did try the "duck and green pea" diet - there was no improvement, and she also lost weight because she didn't like it very much. Since then, we have added this canned food: AvoDerm Natural Select Cuts Tuna and Crab Meat.

The Fortiflora seems to help a little, but not enough.
post #4 of 26
Digestive enzymes might be worth a try. When Coco had chronic loose stools I started giving her Holistic Solutions and her stools firmed up within 2 days. HS has probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes. I've always suspected it was only the digestive enzymes she needs. Since you've already tried FortiFlora (a probiotic) and it didn't do the trick. maybe a digestive enzymes only product would work for you. Products that might be easy for you to find include Dr. Goodpet and ProZyme.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
Digestive enzymes might be worth a try. <snip> Products that might be easy for you to find include Dr. Goodpet and ProZyme.
Thank you for that sugggestion. I will give it a try!
post #6 of 26
My cat had chronic diarrhea/loose stools for YEARS. He seemed very normal like your cat. I went from the vet prescribed foods for sensitive stomachs straight to a raw diet. The raw diet is the best diet I could feed him. And ever since starting him on a raw diet October/08 he has been diarrhea free - yay!

Like the other poster suggested....there may be some ingredients in the foods you are feeding that your cat is allergic to. The hard part is finding what the ingredient is...this can be hard when feeding a commercial pet food. Some people find the problem right away but others take much time....t could be anything from the guar guam or carageenan to the protein source to the veggies to the grains.....

Have you thought of giving a human probiotic instead of the Fortiflora? The reason why I suggest this is the Fortiflora has other ingredients other than the probiotics in it. Human probiotics is just straight good bacteria. A digestive enzyme like "Prozyme" is a good idea as well.
post #7 of 26
Wow, metronidazol? that's a pretty harsh one!! my doctor prescribed that to me when I had a gut infection. The doctor I was dating at the time told me it basically 'wipes you out', restarting your system of sorts (bacteria speaking)... and advised me to take a pro-biotic, since all the bacteria (good and bad) gets wiped out with it...

Indeed, if you can get your hands on a good whey/animal-based probiotic, that might help.
post #8 of 26
Actually metronidazole is a great one for diarrhea in cats, as it is not only an antibiotic, but also kills protozoa (i.e. giardia), and works as a GI tract anti-inflammatory. As with any antibiotic, it shouldn't be used long term though.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denali View Post
My cat had chronic diarrhea/loose stools for YEARS. He seemed very normal like your cat. I went from the vet prescribed foods for sensitive stomachs straight to a raw diet. The raw diet is the best diet I could feed him. And ever since starting him on a raw diet October/08 he has been diarrhea free - yay! <snip>
What kind of raw diet do you use? Is it stuff you make or is it something purchased specifically for that purpose?

Thanks!
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Alrighty ... here are some more questions about my poor poopy kitty:

The internist recommended an on-going small dose of metronidazole, and also a probiotic.

But that seems counterproductive to me - isn't one of the benefits of the probiotic that it helps normalize the imbalance caused by too much antibiotic?

It seems to me that if we are trying to find a probiotic or digestive enzyme that helps, then we should not be giving metronidazole at the same time...because the effects of one would counter the effects of the other.

Also - I've seem some reconmmendations to switch to a completely wet food diet. Currently, we feed 3oz wet in the AM and 3oz wet in the PM (Avoderm Select Cuts), and we free-feed Natural Balance Green Pea/Duck dry food.

(As I mentioned earlier, the vet has ruled out "bad" stuff as the cause of the loose stool, so we're now going down the digestive/allergy/sensitivity road. A daily dose of Metronidazole really takes care of the problem. The vet said it was OK to use it on a long-term basis, but that just doesn't seem like a good idea!)

Thanks for all the good ideas!
post #11 of 26
Did they test for tapeworm? My kitten had diarrhea/loose stools from the time we adopted him until we figured out tapeworm was irritating his system. It didn't show up in all the other worm tests they did at the vet. The Science Diet prescription diet from the vet worked well. He's on Duck & Pea dry now and is mostly better, although he seems to have a sensitive system and gets loose stool if I change his wet food too often or occasionally from any type of wet food.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonPie View Post
Alrighty ... here are some more questions about my poor poopy kitty:

The internist recommended an on-going small dose of metronidazole, and also a probiotic.

But that seems counterproductive to me - isn't one of the benefits of the probiotic that it helps normalize the imbalance caused by too much antibiotic?

It seems to me that if we are trying to find a probiotic or digestive enzyme that helps, then we should not be giving metronidazole at the same time...because the effects of one would counter the effects of the other.
Besides all the nasty things metronidazole kills it also kills the "good" bacteria in the gut. It's an unfortunate side affect. The probiotic helps replenish the "good" bacteria.

Quote:
Also - I've seem some reconmmendations to switch to a completely wet food diet. Currently, we feed 3oz wet in the AM and 3oz wet in the PM (Avoderm Select Cuts), and we free-feed Natural Balance Green Pea/Duck dry food.

(As I mentioned earlier, the vet has ruled out "bad" stuff as the cause of the loose stool, so we're now going down the digestive/allergy/sensitivity road. A daily dose of Metronidazole really takes care of the problem. The vet said it was OK to use it on a long-term basis, but that just doesn't seem like a good idea!)

Thanks for all the good ideas!
Some have had success curing loose stools by switching to an all wet diet. You might have to do a lot of experimenting though to find the wets that work for your kitty.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
We have tried several diet changes over the course of the last 8 months, including grain-free, and low-residue. We have tried yogurt, pumpkin, and Fortiflora.
What types and flavors have you tried?
Canned or dry food?
How gradual were the changes to the new food?

Quote:
My regular vet finally sent me to an internist for help. She has been tested for giardia, coccidia, and tritrichomonas, and everything else under the sun.

The internist says the cat has a sensitivity to her own bacteria.
It is great that you have ruled out parasites. Has the internist recommended sensitivities and food allergies? What options did this internist go through wioth you as far as food options?

Quote:
The only thing that seems to get her stool back to normal is Metronidazole. Witin 2 days of ceasing the medication, she is back to the runny stool.
Same here for my cat Bishop. But I finally made a switch to a raw diet. I realized that I didn't respond to your question about raw diets. I will email you privately to send you to a few good websites Sorry!!!!

Quote:
The internist suggests that we simply keep her on a low dose of Metronidazole forever. (I'm not home right now, so I can' tell you exactly, but the dose is a quarter of a tablet per day - I just can't remember, off-hand, the size tablet!)
Forever???? That sounds ridiculous to me.....Your kitty is only 13 months - why not try to find out what your kitty may be allergic too instead. Because to me it sounds like an allergy. It is so sad to me that most vets would rather throw harsh medications to band aid a problem rather then finding a solution.

On a side note - fish is a huge allergen in cats!

I would rather you try a human grade probiotic or Prozyme first before the medication....

The other posters had some good ideas
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denali View Post
Same here for my cat Bishop. But I finally made a switch to a raw diet. I realized that I didn't respond to your question about raw diets. I will email you privately to send you to a few good websites Sorry!!!! <snip>
Denali - Thanks for all the good information (I tried to respond to your private message, but got a note saying that I wasn't allowed to send you private messages!)

I will keep posting on my progress.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for your good ideas.

A combination of metronidazole (quarter tablet, every other day) and Holistic Solution power with every meal seems to keeping the loose stool at bay. SO, that's good.

However, I'd like to find the problem instead of continuing to treating the symptoms.

I started a thread over in the Cat Nutrition section looking for wet food recommendations (chunky, not pate, and something without fish).

I am intrigued by the "raw diet" concept - in many ways, it seems like a good idea. However, I would be happier if I could find a commercially canned food that suits her and is high-wuality. If I can't, then I'll probably go down the "raw road".

Thanks!
post #16 of 26
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonPie View Post
Thanks to everyone for your good ideas.

A combination of metronidazole (quarter tablet, every other day) and Holistic Solution power with every meal seems to keeping the loose stool at bay. SO, that's good.

However, I'd like to find the problem instead of continuing to treating the symptoms.

I started a thread over in the Cat Nutrition section looking for wet food recommendations (chunky, not pate, and something without fish).

I am intrigued by the "raw diet" concept - in many ways, it seems like a good idea. However, I would be happier if I could find a commercially canned food that suits her and is high-wuality. If I can't, then I'll probably go down the "raw road".

Thanks!
I wish you luck with finding processed foods that help. I was exactly where you are with Coco at one time except I never used metronidazole, just the HS. I also didn't like the idea of treating the symptom rather than finding and correcting the root of the problem and set about trying to find processed foods she would do well on without the HS.

I tried literally over a hundred different varieties of canned foods before I gave up. Of course Coco wouldn't even eat some of them but of the ones she would eat, none helped with the loose stool.

I came to the conclusion that it was the digestive enzymes in the HS that were helping her. Processed foods are subjected to very high heat which destroys the digestive enzymes that occur naturally in raw meat. The bodies of cats, like us, are able to produce digestive enyzmes to compensate for what is missing in food consumed. But some cats, again like humans, aren't able to produce the enzymes in the quantities needed to properly digest processed foods. Hence a digestive enzyme supplement helps fill the gap that no processed food, by their very nature, can.

In other words, IMO, it is the processed foods that are the problem and you might find that the only non-supplement solution is to eliminate the processed foods although you might be able to find some processed foods that are better tolerated than others.

You say you want to try chunky, not pate style foods. I took the opposite approach. I wanted only pate style foods because the chunky styles are almost always higher in carbs and cats have a very limited ability to digest carbs. For the same reason I stayed away from foods containing fruits and veggies. But, again, I never found any processed canned foods that helped.

Coco stayed on the HS for about 3 years until very recently when I finally got her switched to raw. It's only been a little over a week that she has been eating exclusively raw but so far she hasn't needed the HS.

You might be interested in this article:

"The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats" http://www.catinfo.org/zorans_article.pdf

Disclaimer: My conclusions are mostly conjecture based on my own limited experience and on my interpretation of research I have done. Those conclusions could be *so* wrong!
post #18 of 26
You might want to try Merricks canned (Thanksgiving Day Dinner or Granny's Pot Pie). Those are the 2 I use because Bijou wouldn't touch any other brand and thank goodness they are a quality food.

Since his system is so sensitive, I would not be changing foods very often and even then I would recommend a very gradual change, i.e., adding only a small amount of new food to the regular food and gradually increasing the newer food.
post #19 of 26
All of this is good to know b/c I have a foster cat - Archie - who came in with loose stools and GI issues. We tried Albon twice, did nothing. Now he is on metronidizole for 2 weeks and panacur powder for a week... after several days he is having the first somewhat normal looking and smelling poos since I took him in on June 17.

I am worried that the metro is only a temp fix, tho. We shall see. A cat with a digestive issue is harder to place and Arch already has one big strike against him in that he is a black cat.
post #20 of 26
Please look up and discuss with your VET or Specialist

Slippery elm

Marshmellow root

Apple Pectin

Just curious what foods are you feeding??

I do agree with supplementing with probiotics and enzymes but NOT with the "flaygl" as it will kill them off ..
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
We are currently feeding Avoderm Select Cuts Tuna/Crab (3 oz can, 2ce daily) along with Holistic Solution powder at each feeding and we also free-feed Natural Balance green pea and duck kibble.

We are also givine a small dose of the "metro" drug every other day.

I know this is not a good long term solution, which is why I'm trying to figure out where to go next.

I believe the current diet is grain-free. I have not tried a fish-free diet.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonPie View Post
We are currently feeding Avoderm Select Cuts Tuna/Crab (3 oz can, 2ce daily) along with Holistic Solution powder at each feeding and we also free-feed Natural Balance green pea and duck kibble.

We are also giving a small dose of the "metro" drug every other day.

I know this is not a good long term solution, which is why I'm trying to figure out where to go next.

I believe the current diet is grain-free. I have not tried a fish-free diet.
while it is whole grain free I believe you have starches of potato and tapioca ... potato can be a allergen as can things like guar gum
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thought I'd post an update on our kittens' chronic loose stool issues. We are finally making some progress!

Our kittens, now 16 months old (does that make them cats, or are they still kittens?) have had chronic loose stool issues since we 1st got them. Having ruled out medical issues, we’ve been working on dietary changes, supplements, etc. Wow – that is SO difficult!! You make a change, and then you wait, and repeat …

Last I posted, we had been keeping the loose stool under control by giving Metronidazole and also FortiFlora – which seemed counterproductive, and I didn’t want to keep giving them the meds long-term.

Since then, we have weaned them off the Metronidazole, and have changed their diet and supplements, and are cautiously optimistic that we have a solution that works for them, as well as for us.

We are now feeding a combination of several wet foods, a pre-mixed raw food, a digestive enzyme, and some kibble. It might sound complicated, but it really isn't, and best of all, it seems to be working – yea !! Good quality poop!!

It’s about 50% wet, 25% raw, and 25% dry, and I think it averages out to (hopeully) a low-grain, low-fish diet, reasonably well-balanced diet.

Wet foods: Instinct Prairie Homestyle stews, Taste of the Wild, Meow Mix Wholesome Goodness, and Fancy Feast pate
Raw food: Nature’s Variety Rabbit & Venison
Dry food: Natural Balance Duck & Green Pea
ProZyme digestive enzymes

Thanks to everyone for your advice and ideas.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for continued good quality poop!
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonPie View Post
It’s about 50% wet, 25% raw, and 25% dry, and I think it averages out to (hopeully) a low-grain, low-fish diet, reasonably well-balanced diet.

Wet foods: Instinct Prairie Homestyle stews, Taste of the Wild, Meow Mix Wholesome Goodness, and Fancy Feast pate
Raw food: Nature’s Variety Rabbit & Venison
Dry food: Natural Balance Duck & Green Pea
ProZyme digestive enzymes

Thanks to everyone for your advice and ideas.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for continued good quality poop!
Congrats! Healthier poops mean healthier kitties!
post #25 of 26
I have found the "rotation" diet to work best in my house too... GLAD progress is being made
post #26 of 26
Glad things are going well. If they start going downhill again, you might want to have your kitty tested for TF, http://www.highgait.com/page/page/3485008.htm .
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