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Foul stool odor and occasional blood - HELP

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My cat who is approximately five years old, and who appears to be in great health - appetite, energy etc. is good, has had daily bouts of extremely foul stool - at times loose, as well as blood in the stool. Most of the time, there is a small amount of blood around his rectum and not in the stool, but at times there are traces of red blood in his stool as well.

I took him to the vet several times and had his stool checked for parasites - all negative, and the vet is telling me that blood in the stool from time to time may be quite normal. Plus, I've changed his food to the Sensitive Stomach brand and although that initially seemed to help, the symptoms are recurring.

If anyone can shed some light on this - I would greatly appreciate it. I feel as if I've hit a wall with the vet and the information I can get from the Internet.

Thank you.

Jesse's mom
post #2 of 21
Jesse's mom - IMHO I don't think blood in the stool occasionally is "quite normal". I agree when you say you've hit a wall with this vet. I'd get a second opinion for Jesse.

I'm not familiar with Sensitive Stomach food. Blood can come from parasites, and even though his tests so far have been negative, you may want to run another test specifically for coccidia, which I've learned from a TCS member can be difficult to detect.

If Jesse's stools are very hard and dry at times, it might explain the blood around the rectum since difficulty passing them could cause irritation. Try more fiber and liquid in his diet if you think that's a possibility. If he's eating only dry food, try a high quality canned food instead. Try poultry flavors since beef is difficult for some cats to digest and can cause food allergies as well.

The extreme odor you describe could mean something is off kilter with his system -
he could be having trouble digesting his food, he could have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or even pancreatitis. Take Jesse to a feline internal medicine specialist, and see if he/she can get an accurate diagnosis of the cause of his trouble so you can start to help him feel better as soon as possible. No sense beating your head against the wall with the same vet who can't figure out what the problem is.
post #3 of 21
I can't say it any better than the message above!
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I will heed your advice and take him to the vet tomorrow. In case it's not coccidia or any other parasite, can you or any other forum member recommend an internal medicine feline specialist in the New York/New Jersey area that is somewhat in proximity to Staten Island, NY?

I did suspect Irritable Bowel, which is why I changed his diet to a sensitive stomach brand - Nutro. Plus, he does get wet food twice a day and drinks plenty of water. I have printed out your reply so I can bring it to the vet's office.

Thanks again.

Susan
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessesmom
My cat who is approximately five years old, and who appears to be in great health - appetite, energy etc. is good, has had daily bouts of extremely foul stool - at times loose, as well as blood in the stool. Most of the time, there is a small amount of blood around his rectum and not in the stool, but at times there are traces of red blood in his stool as well.

I took him to the vet several times and had his stool checked for parasites - all negative, and the vet is telling me that blood in the stool from time to time may be quite normal. Plus, I've changed his food to the Sensitive Stomach brand and although that initially seemed to help, the symptoms are recurring.

If anyone can shed some light on this - I would greatly appreciate it. I feel as if I've hit a wall with the vet and the information I can get from the Internet.

Thank you.

Jesse's mom
For a couple of weeks, I had the same problem with Kionu. I took him to the vet several times, had fecal tests done, they did some other tests for allergic reactions to food, etc. and all of the results were negative. We later found out it was due to parasites/worms that were not taken care of when he was first de-wormed. The parasites affected his digestive system and caused irritation in his anal glads, which is why his stool came out soft or runny. He was de-wormed again, and I've also changed his diet. At night I feed him a mixture of dry, canned and a couple tablespoons of pumpkin (baby food). So far his stool has been fine and the odor seems normal.

P.S. I got the pumpkin remedy from a few people on this board.
post #6 of 21
Here is the site for the American Association of Feline Practitioners:
http://www.aafponline.org/find.php
You should be able to find a feline specialist near you. It sounds as if your cat may have inflammatory bowel disease. To get a diagnosis they have to do a biopsy of the bowel, so call before you chose a vet and see if they are familiar with that procedure, so you don't have to then get another referral. Something you might try before going to that level is a simple diet of something like California Natural, which has one protein, chicken and one carb, rice with the necessary vitamins, etc. If trying that for 4-8 weeks doesn't help, an unusual diet like venison and peas, a prescription diet, or a prescription diet, z/d, which is sort of predigested, may help, but it takes 4-8 weeks on a diet to tell if it is going to help. Hope this helps. Becky
post #7 of 21
Susan, you can try Becky and Shanna's suggestions first and see if they help.

I can recommend the Animal Medical Center in NYC for a specialist. It's one of the top animal hospitals in the country - nine floors of specialists and the latest technology. There are two GI (gastro-intestinal) specialists in particular you could request: Dr. John Broussard (hope I spelled it correctly) or Dr. Evelyn Hahn. One of the best things about taking your cat there is that each doctor is part of a medical service, or group of doctors, who all discuss the case and advise a course of treatment. So, your cat has the benefit of several good minds at work! They aren't cheap, but neither are most local vets. My experience has been that for the level of care and expertise, it was well worth the money, and costs for some meds and procedures were actually less expensive than they would have been at my local vet.

Best of luck, hope Jesse's doing better soon. Please let us know.
post #8 of 21
Interesting. I wonder if Dakota has something like IBS. Sometimes her #2's just smell awful, I mean to the point of making my eyes water. I'm not expecting roses or anything, but I mean...WOW. Also, it seems a little runny, sometimes. I know this because tonight, some of it ended up on my shirt (ewwww...I know). I picked her up and was holding her, then noticed it on my shirt. When I looked at her bottom, it didn't look swollen, inflamed or anything like that, but there was some of what looked like a "mucus" in the hair around her bottom, it was just a little bit, so I got a paper towel and gentlely cleaned her up. This is not the case all the time, but a couple times it's been pretty bad.

I feed her Iams kitten food, dry. Perhaps I need to change up the food or mix it with something? Since my other kitten comes home this weekend and will have to make a vet visit in a week or so after that, is it ok to hold off and just take them both in at the same time? Or is this something I should have looked at as soon as possible?
post #9 of 21
You can probably wait as long as she isn't having frequent loose poops. She may not be tolerating the carbohydrates in the dry food. You might try changing her to a good quality canned food like Felidae, Wellness, Evolve, Active Life, Natural Balance, Chicken Soup or that type. If those are out of you price range, I have heard good things about the Nutro pouches. If you think your kitty might have an infection, however, you might want the vet to take a look at her stool before you bring another kitten into the house, just in case it is contagious. Oh, and if you do decide to change to canned food, which I think all cats should be on, you should do it over a week to ten days because a sudden food change can by itself cause upset tummies. Becky
post #10 of 21
Thanks for the input. I'll research those foods. We'll try a gentle diet change to see if that clears things up. Kinda stinks though, since I just went and bought a new big bag of kitten food, since I'll have 2 mouths to feed.

Yeah, like I said, it's not everytime. And her stools, for the most part, have been solid, just smell really bad and even then it's not everytime. And I know if it smells bad for me, it's probably 10x worse for her.

Do you think perhaps it's because she eats too much and her little body can't process all the food she takes in?

Also, how would you go about slowly changing the food? Mix in some canned with the dry, then slowly reduce the amount of dry while increasing the canned?

The other thing is, I know canned food can dry out after it sits out long enough. Because I work weird shifts, like I'm at work now and it's 1:00 am, I really can't feed them at a set time every day. I have to free feed them. Are there time released feeders that will keep canned food fresh?
post #11 of 21
Carbohydrate intolerance causes the foul smelling stools even without diarrhea. It has to do with the fermentation of the starches in the gut, causes methane and sulphur and all sorts of nasty gases.
If she is eating too much it is probably because she is not digesting the food well. Or because she is a pig, but we won't go there.
I would start adding maybe 1 table spoon of canned with each feeding, then increase it slowly. If you can't be there to offer her 3-4 feedings a day, (I am assuming she is a young kitten), then offer the canned when you are home and leave the dry down for when you are gone. She may do fine on part canned and part dry, since it will significantly decrease her carb intake overall. A higher quality dry food from one of the above companies may be better because most of them are made with rice instead of corn, and corn can be hard for some kitties to digest.
Here are a couple of sites about feeding cats you may be interested in:
http://www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm
http://www.blakkatz.com/dryfood.html
I think they are in favor of raw food, which I am not, but the problems with dry are well stated.
There are feeders that are on timers that open on a schedule, but the food is still at room temp the whole time so it may not be safe after a couple of hours. But someone may have invented a way to keep it cold on ice packs with one of those feeders or something like that. You will have to do a search on Google for timed feeders and see what you come up with.
Becky
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeye23
Thanks for the input. I'll research those foods. We'll try a gentle diet change to see if that clears things up. Kinda stinks though, since I just went and bought a new big bag of kitten food, since I'll have 2 mouths to feed.

Yeah, like I said, it's not everytime. And her stools, for the most part, have been solid, just smell really bad and even then it's not everytime. And I know if it smells bad for me, it's probably 10x worse for her.

Do you think perhaps it's because she eats too much and her little body can't process all the food she takes in?

Also, how would you go about slowly changing the food? Mix in some canned with the dry, then slowly reduce the amount of dry while increasing the canned?

The other thing is, I know canned food can dry out after it sits out long enough. Because I work weird shifts, like I'm at work now and it's 1:00 am, I really can't feed them at a set time every day. I have to free feed them. Are there time released feeders that will keep canned food fresh?
I don't think there are any time released feeders for canned food. I imagine that would compromise the food if it's left sitting for too long. Maybe you could try a little bit of dry and canned food (or a few tablespoons of pumpkin) before you leave for work, do the time released dry food while you're at work, then canned when you come home.
post #13 of 21
Becky,
My brain is just taking a break tonight, you've been doing such a great job answering this, I've sat back. But I'm pleased to say I actually found a feeder with ice packs - 5 day timed feeder with ice packs I'm still not sure it would keep food chilled enough, but it does say it holds x amt dry in a compartment, OR a 5.5 oz can of food.
post #14 of 21
I knew someone must have invented that. I don't know if I would feel good about using it though. The food would be cold, which is good to prevent germs, but hard on kitties tummies, or so I have read. Becky
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanniesmom
Carbohydrate intolerance causes the foul smelling stools even without diarrhea. It has to do with the fermentation of the starches in the gut, causes methane and sulphur and all sorts of nasty gases.
If she is eating too much it is probably because she is not digesting the food well. Or because she is a pig, but we won't go there.
I would start adding maybe 1 table spoon of canned with each feeding, then increase it slowly. If you can't be there to offer her 3-4 feedings a day, (I am assuming she is a young kitten), then offer the canned when you are home and leave the dry down for when you are gone. She may do fine on part canned and part dry, since it will significantly decrease her carb intake overall. A higher quality dry food from one of the above companies may be better because most of them are made with rice instead of corn, and corn can be hard for some kitties to digest.
Here are a couple of sites about feeding cats you may be interested in:
http://www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm
http://www.blakkatz.com/dryfood.html
I think they are in favor of raw food, which I am not, but the problems with dry are well stated.
There are feeders that are on timers that open on a schedule, but the food is still at room temp the whole time so it may not be safe after a couple of hours. But someone may have invented a way to keep it cold on ice packs with one of those feeders or something like that. You will have to do a search on Google for timed feeders and see what you come up with.
Becky
I'm not sure how young you consider young, but Dakota is 7 months old. Xena when she comes home this weekend will be 6 months old. I may try what you suggested. Canned food when I'm home, dry when I'm gone. I should probably pick up 2 more bowls then.

Thanks for the links and the help!
post #16 of 21
Oh, big little kitties. Well, at that age they do just fine on two feedings a day. They should be as scheduled as you can make them. My guys get canned only, two feedings a day with maybe a quarter cup in the treat ball once or twice a week that all four have to share. Of course, only Sally can figure out how to get the food out of the treat ball, so the others watch and wait until she gets a couple of pieces out and then they try to steal it from her. Great entertainment for all involved.
If you are away from home for more than 12-14 hours, then I would leave some dry down, but a measured amount, so that they don't over eat. They are at an age to start getting overweight if they free feed, especially if they are spayed/neutered.
Becky
post #17 of 21
I work 12 hour shifts, 3 days a week, plus every other Sunday, so I would have to leave some dry out while I'm gone. Unfortunately, I haven't been measuring the amount I've been leaving for her (D'oh! I'm a newbie at this whole cat thing still), but I will definitely start doing that now.

I guess what I can do is put some canned food down an hour or so before I leave, then leave some dry food when I do leave, then pick that up when I come home and give them some canned.

I'm going to say that after a certain period of time, the canned food that the cats leave should be discarded. Say I give them a certain amount at 9 a.m., by 10 a.m. (just throwing a time out there) it should be thrown away?
post #18 of 21
You've got the right idea. If you feed them an hour before you leave, just pick up the leftovers before you go and leave down the dry. I just stopped working 3 12's last month after 4 years and I fed twice a day and mine did fine on all canned. Even as teenagers. I really don't like dry, though and I know a lot of people are more OK with it than I am. I have done a lot of research on it and just think cats don't need carbs and you can't make dry food without a lot of carbs. You just want to watch their weight and don't let them get overweight. They will still gain, of course for the next few months, but they should still have palpable ribs.
You are doing just fine, and sound like a good cat parent.
Becky
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeye23
I work 12 hour shifts, 3 days a week, plus every other Sunday, so I would have to leave some dry out while I'm gone. Unfortunately, I haven't been measuring the amount I've been leaving for her (D'oh! I'm a newbie at this whole cat thing still), but I will definitely start doing that now.

I guess what I can do is put some canned food down an hour or so before I leave, then leave some dry food when I do leave, then pick that up when I come home and give them some canned.

I'm going to say that after a certain period of time, the canned food that the cats leave should be discarded. Say I give them a certain amount at 9 a.m., by 10 a.m. (just throwing a time out there) it should be thrown away?
The first time I fed my cats canned food, I took notes on how much they ate, and how long it takes them to eat it. After about 5 times, I got their amount and time and fed them according to that. Hopefully that trick works for you.
post #20 of 21
I've fed Dakota canned about 3 times now. I used 1/3 of the can each time. She wasn't able to finish it all. I think if I reduced it to 1/4 of a can instead, that she would finish that (based on what I recall from how much I left her and how much was left when she was done). Thanks for the tip though, it's definitely worth a shot.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
I just returned from Miami so I haven't been able to respond to the plethora of wonderful posts and suggestions. Thank you all for providing these recommendations and for providing me with the doctors' names for the Animal Medical Center in NYC. I hadn't realized that this hospital was considered one of the top vet hospitals in the country. Due to my vacation, I haven't been able to track Jesse's bowel movements, but before I left I had a conversation with my vet and he told me that he is almost certain that he has IBS which can be confirmed by a stomach ultrasound. I am going to try acidophilus caplets as well as pumpkin baby food as others have suggested. I read on this forum that yogurt is a natural way to get acidophilus in his system but unfortunately, he doesn't like the taste of it. Again, thanks to all. I will post an update shortly.

Susan
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