About to lose my mind over chronic giardia

dolceshmolce

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Hello everyone,

Does anyone have any experience with chronic giardia in kittens? Especially immunocompromised ones? My FeLV+ “foster” kitten, Loki, has had it off and on since July since we found him.. and I am at my wits end.
The first two rounds, we had him in our small guest bathroom and I cleaned the heck out of his space. At least every other day I would use bleach or Lysol & steam clean the surfaces he touched and clean out his litter box every day, including washing it out and using lysol to disinfect. Paper plates for food, did my best to wash out his water bowl. Washed him bedding and stuffed animal on high + high heat dry daily. The medicine was absolute HELL, this boy is feral through and through (even though he was taken in at 5 weeks…can take a cat out of the wild but can’t take the wild out of a cat 🤷🏻‍♀️) and to this day I have gnarly scars all over my hands and arms to prove it. Sadly, I don’t think it has helped him trust humans more at the fact that I have had to restrain him and shove nasty medicine down his throat on a regular basis (plus one bout of coccidia, tapeworms, roundworms..).

It’s been 2 weeks or so since he finally tested negative for giardia, so we took to chance to finally move him into our guest bedroom so he could have a lot more room to roam and a cozy bed to lounge on. Since July he has been cooped up in a cold, tiny bathroom and as he got a little older and larger it was clear that he was mentally losing it in there. Come this morning, that all-too-familiar gas is coming out of his booty. Cleaned his litter box, and sure enough, soft stool. I am going to lose my mind. We have done EVERYTHING and now he is in a carpeted environment which will be even more of an obstacle to clean.

One reason we need him we need him well is because we would like to try to find him a better home where he could thrive. One with either no other cats or another FeLV+ kitty. He needs room to run and play and be a true part of a family, and we can’t provide that for him since our other cat is FeLV- and we don’t feel it would be fair to expose him to it 😞 But I would not try to journey into that emotional process of rehoming while he is sick.

Does anyone have any success stories or even similar stories of struggle with giardia? Especially in immunocompromised cats?
For cleaning the carpet, how do I go about that? I couldn’t possibly deep clean it with a rented carpet steam cleaner every day for 14+ days, that would be tremendously expensive. I can move him back into the bathroom..but I don’t know if he can handle another 2+ weeks in there mentally.
 

Mamanyt1953

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I would have that test repeated, and if it is still negative, start considering such things as food allergies, which can give the same results, but which, with patience, are more easily fixed.

And you are right, he can't continue to be locked up without losing him forever. I'm betting that a LOT of his fight is because of that, not that you could help it. Is there some larger area where he could be contained until you can get a firm grasp on what is happening?
 

Antonio65

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You didn't mention what medicines you have given him.

My cat had a nasty and stubborn Giardia last year and it took three rounds of medicines to get rid of it, it took me nearly three months to win the battle. In addition to the medicines, I would clean and sanitize the whole environment every single day. That woud include floors, walls up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) high, all beddings and toys, etc. Plus, all dishes cleaned and sanitized twice a day and the litter box cleaned and sanitized at least once a day, with all the litter discarded and new and fresh litter put in the tray.
Also, I would wipe her coat and paws once a day with Chlorhexidine, a disinfectant foam intended for pets.
The medicines I used were Panacur and Metrodinazole, along with S. Boulardii to fix her bowels.

As far as I know, hot steam on surfaces to clean the places where a cat with Giardia lives, does not kill the parasite, in fact the heat and the steam might even help it thrive.

As far as I know, too, bleach does not work with Giardia, Lysol is fine though.
 
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dolceshmolce

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Thank you all for your replies. Sorry I didn’t reply soon, I had to take a step back and take a deep breath.
I have now only been using a Lysol disinfectant for surfaces, since it is a QAT. I didn’t realize how many different views there are on the efficacy of bleach against giardia, so I stopped using it altogether. I went to the extreme and am sanitizing his litter box and changing litter 3 times a day now and scooping out litter in between those times if I am working from home that day…maybe extreme, but I was thinking about how his litter box is literally the source of potentially environmental spread (other than poop remnants on his booty that I try my best to wipe), so it just makes sense. We use a cheap non-clumping litter that is $7 for a 30-lb bag so it wasn’t pricey to keep changing the litter. I will continue to do this for a week or so after stopping the meds, just to be safe. I am doing my very best to clean his environment, due to my own health complications there was a day where I slacked, but I never fail to clean his litter box and main items.

The vet has him on a 3rd round of panacur & Metrodinazole. Today is actually his last day for both, she upped the dosage of metro and upped it to 2x a day as opposed to last 2 rounds.
If this doesn’t help, I will get him on probiotics or the S.Boulardii that I keep hearing so much about on this site. Overall, the vet is suspecting that his digestive system is not in tip-top shape, so even if the giardia is resolved I will get him on a gut-boosting supplement very soon. He is already on an immune boosting supplement we got from our vet (I believe with l-lysine and omega fatty acids), but maybe he needs an extra boost. We also discussed possible food sensitivities and will explore that if need be.

Y’all are great. I appreciate this community greatly!
 
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dolceshmolce

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Update:
We finished the meds this past Tuesday, so we are in a waiting period to see if it did the trick. Poop no longer smells stinky and no more yucky farts, but he still has soft poops. Still keeping up the sanitizing, especially of the litter box, bowls, and bedding. We had an ant infestation and had to move him back into the guest room which has carpet, so I am desperately praying that no yucky bugs are in the carpet. I set lots of large puppy pads down, but he can still get to the carpet in some areas. At least this round I have been wiping his booty and paws with chlorhexidine wipes daily! Fingers crossed.

I think I want to try S. boulardii to give his digestive system a boost. Is there any brand that y’all recommend? Is this something your cats took for a specific amount of time or do they take it daily?
 

Antonio65

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Very good news, dolceshmolce dolceshmolce , I'm glad to read that things are improving.

I think I want to try S. boulardii to give his digestive system a boost. Is there any brand that y’all recommend? Is this something your cats took for a specific amount of time or do they take it daily?
I cannot suggest you what I have used because I don't live in the US, different brands.
My S. Boulardii comes in small sachets, a powder, 750 mg per sachet, and I would dissolve half a sachet in about 5 ml of water and syringe down my cat's mouth about 20 minutes prior to the meal in the morning and evening.
I gave her this solution for weeks, even when all was fine again, just to keep her GI tract safe. I think the whole thing lasted two months.
 
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