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Kittie with Chronic Diarrhea

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,

One of cats has had this problem of chronic diarrhea for quite some time now. He's 15 months old, and within the last year he's had diarrhea 5 times. It happens every two or three months. We love him, but we don't know what else to do. We've been to 2 vets. The 1st took some x-rays and gave us some clavamox(sp?) to help with the symptom. The second(whom we just saw today) sent us home with Metronidazole pills and some Amoxicillin. He did a series of blood tests and about 300 usd later, told us our kittie had elevated liver something that was causing some imflamation of the bowls. I asked if this would explain why the situation continues to repeat itself every 2 to 3 months, and was told "maybe". The vet asked if he'd been eating any plants or getting into pesticides, neither of which we keep since we live in an apartment and plantless at current. Does this situation sound familiar to anyone here? We love both our kitties, but everytime this happens, we edge closer and closer to getting rid of him, and we don't want to do this (our two are brothers). I'm skeptical, to say the least, that the meds will help our kittie in the long run. We're completely cluesless!

Any insights are welcome
post #2 of 13
What do you mean by getting rid of your cat?
Please don't even consider that as an option.

I am sure that with patience and good care you will resolve the continuing health problem.
You just started the new meds....give them a chance.
Don't give up.

Hopefully lots of members will have feedback for you.
post #3 of 13
What do you feed them?
post #4 of 13
Find another vet and get another opinion.

You don't "get rid" of a kitten or a cat because they are so much trouble. You find out what is wrong with them and set about correcting it. If that means a second or third vet, then so be it. This kitten didn't ask to have this type of problem and to just get mad, frustrated or whatever and think about sweeping the kitten out of your life, is completely wrong.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by hissy
Find another vet and get another opinion.

You don't "get rid" of a kitten or a cat because they are so much trouble. You find out what is wrong with them and set about correcting it. If that means a second or third vet, then so be it. This kitten didn't ask to have this type of problem and to just get mad, frustrated or whatever and think about sweeping the kitten out of your life, is completely wrong.
My wife is about to have our first child, it becomes very neccessary then to guarantee the health and well being of our child over that of our cat, no matter how much we care for him. I do admit, my first post was a hasty rush to judgement. Obviously, though skeptical, I'm willing to wait and let the meds try and do the work. I'm also considering a change in his diet, though this would only take place after consultation with another vet. Currently both our cats are fed Purina cat chow and water, with various chicken or fish based kittie treats on occasion.
post #6 of 13
I have a cat that started with episodes of digestive problems when he was about 18 monthes old. His symptoms are different, quits eating which leads to constipation, dehydration, and dry heaves. I have had him to two different vets, one being a feline specialist. Often it is very difficult to definitively diagnose these problems. At first it was thought to be episodes of pancreatitis and then the last time they found blood in his stool so now even though he doesn't have diarrhea the thought is that he has IBS which requires a completely different diet from one for pancreatitis. Now I have him on a grain free diet which by it's nature is higher in fat which is what you try to avoid with pancreatitis. I know it is frustrating and I have had to put large vet bills on a credit card which were very hard to pay off but I really don't feel I have a choice but to continue to try to figure this out. He has a very good quality of life between episodes and he is still very young so to me euthanasia isn't even an option.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the comment. Upon doing some prelimary research, I've been thinking that our kittie has some form of IBS, this is why I've been considering a different diet for him (I believe that would also agree with the Vet's diagnosis). He as well, has a good quality of life between the instances. I'm cluesless as to why this problem is recurrent at 2 to 3 month intervals. I may try to track down a specialist, but funds are limited at this time.
post #8 of 13
There are things you can do to help him. But you need to monitor his fluid intake closely, because chronic diarrhea leads to dehydration quickly. While he is at rest, lightly pinch the scruff of his neck and hold it for a few seconds. Then let it go. If it folds down to normal in a few seconds then he is hydrated. If it stays up, the kitty needs sub cu fluids immediately.

You can fix him boiled rice and mix it with a quality canned food, this will help to bind him up and create firmer stool.

You can buy a bottle of GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) one bottle of the liquid costs about $9.00 then take and drop about four drops in his water bowl, and about two drops in canned food when you feed him.

You can introduce him to plain yogurt with active cultures and see if he will eat that, about a teaspoon a day. Some cats love this stuff, others turn up their nose. For the ones who don't like it, I mix it with cream cheese and they eat it every time.

Look for a product called BeneBac and start sprinkling that on his food

Or get some Fastrack, a probiotic and start him on that.

These are all suggestions to tried one at a time, not all at once to try and get this problem under control.

I apologize for jumping you earlier. Your comment about getting rid of him just really set me the wrong way. I have plenty of cats here that folks were eager to "get rid of" for one reason or another. And all of them are healthy and well- loved.
post #9 of 13
I'd try for a food with a simple formula such as natural balance venison and green pea, or one of the california natural products. If you don't want to get too spendy, I believe purina one makes a sensitive stomach formula. Nutro also seems pretty good for sensitive stomachs.

I'd also order some Holistic transition probiotic/enzyme powder made by eagle pak.. one bottle should last you a very long time for one cat.
post #10 of 13
it sounds like your cat may be struggling with IBD, IBS or food intolerances.

Here are some things you should do:

-Take away all of the grain that is in your cat's diet. Never feed a cat with these symptoms dry food, and find a wet that has no corn, rice, wheat or soy. I use Wellness and Prairie. Lamb is probably the most mild protein source for these cats. Other than that, chicken, turkey, pheasant, duck and ever venison or rabbit will work. Beef and fish are two of the biggest allergens other than grains. NEVER feed an IBD cat fish or beef.

Sometimes, Fancy Feast, Meow Mix or Sheba are grain free. Read the labels carefully.

-If you can do it, look into feeding a homemade raw diet of either chicekn, turkey or rabbit. I understand that this is not feasible for some people, myself included at this point in time. But it's really the best case scenario for a cat with GI upset if you can swing it. Prepared frozen raw usually has grains and therefore is not any better than feeding canned with grains.

-Use a probiotic, as Hissy said, especially if the cat has been on an antibiotic. In the short term, things like clavamox and metrondiazole will do more harm than good, since it wipes out the intestinal bacterial flora. However, yogurt is not really a good route to take as cats with IBD must NOT have any kind of dairy. There are lactose-free, hypoallergenic probiotic blends out there. I use Power-dophilus, 4 billion live cells per day with my guy. I get it a vitamin shop here in my neighborhood. I imagine stores like GNC would also sell something like it.

-Look into cobalamin injections. Often, these kitties can't properly produce B12, which as a carnivore is a necessity for them. Cobalamin is a cobalt/B12 injection that is given once a week for 6 weeks, once every other week for 6 weeks and once a month as needed after the initial series.

-Steriods like prednisone can be used to give kitty some relief, although you have to be careful. They don't actually FIX what's wrong, but they alleviate some of the cat's discomfort and will restore the stool to normal.

-Have kitty combo tested again. You can never be too safe.

-Please don't give up your kitty over this. It's really manageable.

Also, I'd shy away from having kitty vaccinated every year. GI Upset and IBD can be really, really aggravated by over-vaccination. Any chance this started after vaccinations?
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the feedback, I look forward to trying some different things for him. I'd been thinking about changing his diet anyway and to hear that dry kittie food my be doing him some ill definately means he's in for a change or two. If we change his diet, will it be OK to give the same thing to our other kittie? He's gonna want it

His diarrhea did indeed start after his first round of shots. Coincidently, we moved about 6 months ago and he hasn't been back for shots since. I also read in someone's reply that antibiotics are bad for kitties with IBS. The more I read on this subject, the more it seems he does indeed have IBS. Should we consider taking him off the antibiotics he's on now? If history is any indicator he should be back to normal anyways here in the next day or so.

Again, thanks for all the recommendations. Hopefully we can get him what he needs to get the issue squared away.
post #12 of 13
I have always went ahead and finished a round of antibiotics when it was given for my cat. The problem with them is that they also kill the good bacteria in the intestines. The probiotics will help with that. Many people with cats who don't have digestive problems routinely give probiotics with and for a while after antibiotics.
post #13 of 13
We found and adopted Teddy the week he was brought to a local rescue group. He came from the home of an elderly woman with 15 cats, which had become too much for her to handle. He was skin and bones, but adorable and sweet, so we took him home.

He was fine for about 2 months, on good food. Then the vomiting came... then the diarrhea. When we found blood/mucus in his stool, we rushed to the vet. The first thought was IBS, and Teddy was put on IVD food. Even though that helped keep the episodes at bay, he did what your cat is doing - every 2-3 months, he'd go through flare ups. He's had 4-5 different antibiotics running through his system, each of which has made his diarrhea worse and worse. He'd go outside the litterbox. He'd start throwing up again.

A few weeks ago, we bundled him up and went back to the vet. He'd been there so many times in the past few months that he stopped fighting and just let us take him. We changed his food to another IVD brand - he'd been on duck, and now, he's on venison.

What a difference the food made. His stool is completely solid. He stopped throwing up (mostly... sometimes he still eats too fast and there's a little present on the carpet).

I know in maybe another year or so, we'll have to change his food again. I would definitely check out different food options with your vet - even if money is tight. The same thing doesn't work for every cat; I know not everyone here, for example, likes IVD - but you have to do whatever works.

I know how you feel; I was so incredibly stressed out from all the messes everywhere (which, incidentally, the carpet cleaner SpotShot cleans up incredibly well. You can't tell there have been accidents on my carpet at ALL) that I was at the end of my rope and was going to confine Teddy to a room until he was better. I think my stress made Teddy even more stressed... so now when he gets sick, I talk to him nicely, put some papertowels nearby where he's getting sick, and wait it out.

Good luck... I'd definitely try prescription diets and talk to another vet.
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