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Need help with chronic diarrhea

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new here. We have a very loving 5 year old Maine Coone mix named Oscar. He's suffered from loose stool/occasional blood in his stool since he was a kitten. He's seen countless vets and undergone numerous tests without ever finding a cure. For years we found somewhat of a balance by feeding him science diet and adding psyllium occasionally to his wet food.

After doing some research and reading through informative forums such as this one, I recently decided to transition him off of the Science Diet light dry food he's been eating out of nutrional concerns. I made the mistake of switching him cold turkey first to Wellness dry food. That's when the really bad diarrhea started.

I kept him on Wellness for at least 3 weeks but the diarrhea never subsided. I then panicked and tried switching him to Nutro Natural Choice (the same brand of wet food he usually eats) but that didn't help. Long story somewhat shortened... it's now been a couple of months of almost non-stop diarrhea and I'm desperate to end it.

He's now eating Natural Balance dry, seems to love it, but still has chronic diarrhea. The past week or so I've started adding psyllium, acidophilos (sp?), and a diarrhea medication (main ingredient - pectin) to his wet food. Haven't seemed to help and I'm desperate for answers. I know I made the mistake of transitioning to new food to quickly but how do I reverse the process? He remains happy and active, so his health does not seem immediately in danger. Should I go back to science diet for the short term until he gets better and continue my round of anti-diarrhea treatments? Or should I continue him on Natural Balance? His diarrhea seems especially bad with this brand despite the fact that he loves it. How will I ever transition him to a healthier "premium" food?

Your help would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 4
If he has chronic diarrhea his health is at issue. Any time a cat has diarrhea they risk going into dehydration because of the amount of fluids they lose. If it is ongoing for a year, that is a long time and you should get the cat to a feline specialist so they can find out why.

Switching foods to quickly will result in diarrhea and stomach upset, you really need to slowly cut back, mix the foods half-and half for a few weeks, then gradually reduce the older food until the cat is just eating the new food.

I realize you are frustrated and probably broke from footing all the costs for vet care, but really a feline specialist would be the way to go.
post #3 of 4
The SD light dry food would probably have a higher fibre content than what he is eating now. If he has IBD -fibre will help his diarrhea. I would go back to the SD Light dry or try another high fibre food (brands I am familiar with include Hills w/d, Medi-cal Fibre formula, and Medi-cal Weight Control ) All of these also have a wet food alternative. If the diarrhea clears up, you can then try switching him to one of your preferred foods slowly (I would suggest the weight control or senior diets of these brands for the increased fibre content). If the diarrhea comes back- stop the new diet. It may just be that he requires a special diet. If you are worried about the preservatives in SD, Medi-cal preserves their diets with vitamin E.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I guess I wan't clear but this has been ongoing for a couple of months and not a year. Yes, still a concern but that is why I'm seeking help.

Dr. Doolittle, switching back to Science Diet light seems like the most sensible thing to do. I've just been hesitant given the bad rep SD has on these forums. I hoped that the added psyllium/slippery elm would make up for the drop in fibre but it's obviously not working out as planned.

I guess my main point of frustration is the trial and error nature of all of this. I've tried probably a dozen so different dry foods and none seem to be the "perfect" solution. And no vet has been able to give me an answer.

Another question, when he was on science diet his stool was noticably lighter in color. Would this be a cause for concern or just a harmless by-product of this particular food? SD light is somewhat lighter in color than other brands.
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