I adopted my 5 year old kitty (4-6 years) Socks 1.5 months ago. His owner died of cancer last year and he was in foster homes/petco for about a year. He is my first pet ever.
I saw many threads about chronic diarrhea on this forum, so I have been following some advice on it.. I decided to post Sock's own situation here as well to get more insight.
When I first adopted Socks, I was told that he eats Hill's science dry during the day, and some Hill's science wet food at night, and that Fancy Feast should be fine. I got some dry food to go that Socks had been eating.
When he first arrived, even before I fed him his first food (Fancy Feast), he had diarrhea. Then he ate half a can of his Fancy Feast, came to bed to sleep with me.
The next morning, I gave him the dry food from the foster mom. In the evening I fed him the second half of Fancy Feast. He had an explosive diarrhea and also threw up Fancy Feast, not digested at all.
I decided to put him on the dry food only that he was eating before. I thought combined with the stress of moving and a sudden introduction of Fancy Feast may have caused this. I asked the foster mom if he had this issue before and she said he did not. However, I did note that he had diarrhea before I gave him fancy feast and that he came with matted hair in the rear end with what seemed to be poo crust (When he had diarrhea, the poo ran down his fur, and I could see that if that was not cleaned properly, the hair would get matted). Also, would it be possible that she did not notice, because the nice lady is fostering many cats who share litter boxes? (I am not intending to blame anybody here!!). His loose stools and foul gas (twice a day?) continued.
Anyhow, I took Socks to see a vet within a week, and he was prescribed Metronidazole. When I came back from the vet, Socks generated mostly solid poo (tootie rolls with some loose around it). This was before giving him the first dose. I thought, maybe it really was the stress. I still followed instructions and religiously gave him the medicine for 5 days while keeping him on his old food from the foster mom. His stool got better for 2 days, then it was back to loose.
I called up the vet and said after Metronidazole, his loose stools persisted, and another diarrhea. But I was not seeing the tootsie rolls. The vet suggested Hill's science w/d and FortiFlora. I put him on the diet and FortiFlora, he had loose stool for 3 days into these new things, then mostly solid for 2 days, loose again, then one day he had a completely solid stool, which I had to take a photo of and send to my boyfriend because I was so excited. Unfortunately, ever since then, he has been producing only loose stools.
When I saw mucusy blood on his loose stools several times, I had to call up the vet again. After reading several forums, I asked for a fecal panel to test for T. foetus and other organisms. The test came back negative. They took his blood, the blood test came back negative. The vet said the platelet count was low, but nothing to worry about. They gave me more metronidazole to give him at a lower dose. If he does not get better, doc says bring him in for x-ray or ultrasound. He said if Socks does not respond to metronidazole, which is the best med for diarrhea, it is something not overcome by the drug, possibly cancer (I cant believe this) or autoimmune disease. He does not think pancreatitis is likely. My cat is happy, active and so cute and sweet (aka no other signs of illness but could he be hiding well??!)
I am a graduate student and I am way beyond my budgets with the vet visits at this point. I have a pet insurance, but I am not sure if everything will be covered since no diagnosis was made (24petwatch), I will bring him in again when I sort out my current bills. Mentally it's been tough to, trying to catch him going into the box so that I can wipe the dribbling poo on the fur and the butt. Last weekend was particularly tough with him stepping on his watery poo and not wanting his paw cleaned.
In the meantime, after reading different forums, I ordered Nature balance duck and green peas, grain free limited ingredients to try changing food. I am not eager to jump into wet food (I know he likes it! He comes running when I open cans), because I am afraid of explosive diarrhea and want to get this poo situation under control- I also ordered Naturvets digestive enzymes with pre and probiotics (has anybody used this?) because FortiFlora has animal digest in it, and not sure if that can cause problems too. And I ordered more cat wipes for his rear end.
I tried to change litter types too to see if that helps. Put away all the plants. I clean the house to make sure no food is left behind.
I cannot afford X-ray and ultrasound quite yet, what can I do to ease his problems?
Does anybody have any advice? I desperately need it. Sorry I wrote a very long post, I really appreciate you taking time to read this and giving me advice.
I pray this goes away soon. On a good side, Socks has been very cooperative with butt cleaning, and he never misses the box. That is blessing.
Thank you -