Chronic diarrhea for over a year

misskirby

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Hi! My cat Kirby has had chronic diarrhea basically since I took her home at 3.5 months. Here's some quick background info:
I got her from a Breeder.
She has had diarrhea since the first day.
I have taken her to multiple vets, more info on that below.
I've tried different foods such as: orijen, acana, wellness, blue buffalo, royal canin sensitive, purina naturals, natural instincts (I think that's what it was called), canidae, and royal canon gastrointestinal high energy. Also, I have given her the canned formula along with dry when possible. I settled on the GI high energy and fancy feast chicken grilled wet food since I read that some cats with IBD do well on that wet food. All the food changes I have done by gradually changing it over the course of a week or two and trying it for a month each time. No luck or changes in stool.
Here's her info from the vet:
They first prescribed the usual metronidazole when she was about five months which I hated because of what I've read about that medicine for kittens. This helped for the time she was on it and then nothing. This vet then prescribed flagyl and no luck. I forgot to mention at this point we had done a fecal and blood test. Fecal came back normal, but vet said she probably had giardia even though it didn't show up. Blood test came back normal but elevated white blood cells. The vet then suggested fortiflora and the GI Food. Nothing. I went back and she gave me panacur, and nothing. She told me she didn't know what else to do and could not help. Useful, right? I went to another vet at this point and he diagnosed her with IBD and prescribed sulfasalizine which helped A LOT. She was at 6.5 pounds. However, she was on this for six months and was weaned off, only for the diarrhea to come back at full speed after two weeks. She had a major flare up and it was explosive. It subsided a bit but I have to be on high alert so I can wipe her after she goes. I took her back to the vet and they are doing an extensive GI test at A&M. However, they gave me barium solution to help for now and the sulfasalizine again. I'm not sure if it's helping and can't find anything online that provides research on the barium solution. As of now, it's just turned her runny poop whiteish. She is eating and playing and drinking water and has no other symptoms besides the diarrhea. Any advice? I have tried OTC remedies such as pumpkin, Metamucil, benebac and fortiflora, edible pet clay, fiber supplements, an OTC natural medicine for coccidia, and a probiotic spray. She has been spayed and is a blue point Siamese. Her breeder is very reputable.
 

howmany

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It looks like you and your Vet have tried alot of things , the only thing that stood out to me is that fancy feast grilled chicken has wheat gluten in it in Canada at least, is it the bits of food in gravy. Some FF are wheat free but they are pates and some have no food colouring in them. I just mentioned it because many of the dry foods you have used were wheat or grain free. I have a cat that gets diarrhea with blood and mucus ( sorry for sharing that ) if he eats corn or wheat,
 

Gizmobius

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I've been trying to experiment and figure out what the issue with my 6 month old kitten is as he's struggled with diarrhea and soft stools since I adopted him at 3 months. What I THINK (at least what I currently think) is that it may be a mix of an intolerance to poultry and to the thickening agents in most wet foods, i.e. guar gum, xantham gum, agar agar, carrageenan, etc. You might have to start comparing and contrasting certain ingredients in your kitty's food to try to pin down what the issue could be.

I wish you the best! I know it's very frustrating and exhausting to try to figure out the root cause.
 

howmany

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There are some really good threads in the nutrition forums and cats that can't tolerate thicking agents.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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@misskirby, if the sulfasalizine worked the first time around, why not try giving her that alone again?  Am I correct in reading that you are giving her the sulfasalizine along with barium solution as TREATMENT?  I thought barium solution was given prior to certain tests
.

Also, you said they did a fecal float, but did that include a PCR test, where they actualy had to send it out to an outside lab for testing?  What I'm wondering is if they tested for T-Foetus?  It's not common, but does result in diarrhea, and it takes a very specific medication to eradicate it (none of which you have mentioned) 

Has Kirby actually been diagnosed for certain for IBD?  I believe it takes an actual biopsy to know for sure.  Ultra sounds can show a thickening of the intestines, which are indicative of it, but not an absolute.   If IBD is a true and known factor, then you want to steer clear of any foods that contains wheat, corn,, soy, spinach, carrageenan, and most gums (like guar gum)   Just in case, here is a website on IBD:  http://www.ibdkitties.net/guidelines/
 

mewcatmew

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For foods, there are basically 3 different types that I can think of that address different causes of loose stools in IBD cats. I will list the Hills version of these, but other brands make similar

1. Hills Z/D and Hills D/D. These are basically hypoallergenic diets. If your cat has food allergies, these foods can help. If you have noticed any skin issues with your cat as well, be very suspect of food allergy. Z/D is the one used by most people first.

2. Hills W/D. This is a diet food, but also used as a high fiber food for cats with motility issues. Basically it is more of a bulking food and slows the food from traveling too fast through the cats intestines which can resolve loose stools.

3. Hills I/D. This is basically a sensitive, easily digested diet. Think of the foods you eat after you have a bout of stomach flu...toast, chicken soup...this is basically the cat version of this.

Keep in mind, diet changes can take weeks to see improvement. Transfer the cat slowly to a new diet over 7-10 days and give the new food several weeks to show improvement. As you can see, these foods serve very different purposes so don't get too frustrated if one doesn't work. 

If it is IBD, you may need a steroid as well.

I am not sure exactly what you and your vet have tried, but this might give you some options to think about asking about.
 
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allie allie cat

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My small cat was having diarrhea problems and the vet gave her Hills - Weight Management (W/D).  Now that cat was very small (thin) because she must have had this issue for awhile.  So he suggested rather than giving her one tin a day to give two tins a day because I am not looking for her to lose weight.  (they only come in the small tins - hence the two tins).  Her diarrhea has stopped and she has gained weight (healthy Weight)  I also add water to the wet food because she doesn't like drinking tap water or britta water (still trying to figure out what to do with that issue). 

I have two cats.  So in the morning, I divide up a tin between them (same for lunch time, dinner time and going to bed). That would equal two full tins each pre day.  It all started with both cats also having muscle contracts in the back legs when they were laying down.  I believe the small cat was dehydrate (which would make sense considering she was having diarrhea).  And since switching to wet food (Hills Weight Management (W/D) with water added to the food (I pour a little over it and it falls to the bottom of the dish, the diarrhea has stopped, the leg spasms has disappeared in one cat and the other cat it has reduced majorly.  I am thinking if I can find a way to get the small cat to drink water, it would fix the spams all together.  Even humans will get muscle spams if they are not drinking enough water.  Hope this helps.  Keep us updated.
 
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misskirby

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Hi everybody! Sorry for some reason I was not receiving email notifications on this thread. To answer some questions:
We tried sulfasalizine again earlier last month for a second time and after the second week, nothing had changed. She was having horribly explosive diarrhea still.
We then decided to send out a test to A&M (this is when the vet gave me the barium solution to help calm her stomach which did not work) for a GI test and it all came back negative, meaning everything appeared to be normal.
The vet then told me he wants to start her on royal canin hydrolyzed protein diet along with prednisolone. She has been on the pred now for about a week and a half now and showed some improvement, but instead of the hydrolyzed protein (which I am nervous to try), I changed her food to Primal freeze dried raw and give her close to three nuggets a day (based on feeding calculator). She LOVES this food but she still has the runs. Not as bad as with the kibble though so I believe I am on to something. I'm considering giving her the hypoallergenic food and the raw, just because she keeps begging me for the kibble (knocking down th bag, pawing at the bag, trying to open the bag). I gave in one day and gave her the gastrointestinal food she had previously been prescribed and horribleeeeee diarrhea, which is why I'm considering the hydrolyzed food along with the raw.
It is not 100% certain that she has IBD, but we've been ruling things out with all the testing. I've spent over $800 on tests alone and really can't afford to do a biopsy right now.
I thought she was allergic to chicken for a while, however, when she was on the sulfasalizine and was doing well on it earlier last year, I would supplement with chicken and broth. I also have tried other protiens like turkey, fish, rabbit, and beef. She hated beef and the other ones made her really sick.
I'm hoping if I keep going with the raw and the pred, she will get better. Please let me know if answered all the questions or if there is any other advice you guys could give me! My poor Kirby is so sweet and it just breaks my heart every time she goes to the litter box.
 
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misskirby

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Also, I thought I should mention, I wanted to try frozen raw, but am very nervous to try this out. Freeze dried is very convenient for me and I don't have to worry about the thawing process. Preparing the raw food myself also makes me nervous because I am so worried of some sort of contamination or anything going wrong. I thought I should leave it to the pros. :)
 

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Also, I thought I should mention, I wanted to try frozen raw, but am very nervous to try this out. Freeze dried is very convenient for me and I don't have to worry about the thawing process. Preparing the raw food myself also makes me nervous because I am so worried of some sort of contamination or anything going wrong. I thought I should leave it to the pros. :)
I do frozen raw for my cat and it's super easy. I use the medallions. I have two in the fridge at a time in a covered container. When I feed one, I take another one out from the freezer. It's a rotation.
 

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I wish I could send you a few tins of WD Management (weight digestive). It worked perfect for my kitten/cat. I have read that it can go to the other extreme of constipation. There is nothing in the Hills WD management food. Reduced fat - they don't really like it, but it works. She doesn't get anything else not even treats. Maybe in a few more months of keep her stable I may try a few treats with her. They only come in small tins - about 2.50 A tin (canadian)... And u can buy 1 can or many tins... I would suggest at least a few days, maybe a weeks worth. I feel so bad for your kitty.
 
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misskirby

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Aww thank you. I decided to give one more commercial food a try (blue buffalo basics duck recipe) and she nearly threw up last night and had a bit of blood on her butt after she pooped, which has happened before. The vet said it's likely extreme irritation to whatever new food I'm trying. I just ordered the hydrolyzed protein so maybe it will calm everything down and I can reintroduce other foods once she is alright. She is at 5.8 pounds and should be around 7-8 which is why the WD food may not be best for her. Poor thing is very small. Hopefully the hydrolyzed protein diet works. I'd like to feed her only raw but I need this diarrhea to calm down.
 

talkingpeanut

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Aww thank you. I decided to give one more commercial food a try (blue buffalo basics duck recipe) and she nearly threw up last night and had a bit of blood on her butt after she pooped, which has happened before. The vet said it's likely extreme irritation to whatever new food I'm trying. I just ordered the hydrolyzed protein so maybe it will calm everything down and I can reintroduce other foods once she is alright. She is at 5.8 pounds and should be around 7-8 which is why the WD food may not be best for her. Poor thing is very small. Hopefully the hydrolyzed protein diet works. I'd like to feed her only raw but I need this diarrhea to calm down.
Why are you waiting to try the raw?
 
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misskirby

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Why are you waiting to try the raw?
I'm not, I will continue to feed raw as well as the hydrolyzed protein when I receive it. I just really need her system to calm down and so I'm taking a couple of steps back and starting over so to say. I feel like you can't get much more bland or hypoallergenic than the hydrolyzed diet and it would be a good reset button. I also want to try other proteins besides chicken and see if that helps once her diarrhea has calmed down some so I'll be slowly introducing different kinds of meat in both raw and kibble form. I really don't want her to stay on the hydrolyzed protein diet for long but I need to at least give it a try.
 

talkingpeanut

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I think I would feed one diet at a time to see what's working. If you have too many different variables, you won't know what helps.
 
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misskirby

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I think I would feed one diet at a time to see what's working. If you have too many different variables, you won't know what helps.
That's true. I think I'll do the hydrolyzed and then start testing out different raw recipes slowly and see which ones work best. Do you feed raw? If so, what brands do you like if you do not make the food yourself?
 

allie allie cat

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I hear you with regards to WD (weight management) and them not needing to lose weight, if anything, they need to gain it which is why I leave a constant supply of wet food on the floor for her. The vet told me to give her twice as much of the WD so that she doesn't lose weight and because she doesn't have diahrea anymore, she is keeping her weight on and in fact has gained weight. :).
 
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misskirby

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I hear you with regards to WD (weight management) and them not needing to lose weight, if anything, they need to gain it which is why I leave a constant supply of wet food on the floor for her. The vet told me to give her twice as much of the WD so that she doesn't lose weight and because she doesn't have diahrea anymore, she is keeping her weight on and in fact has gained weight. :).
How interesting!! I'll be sure to give it a try if the hydrolyzed food and raw food fails (which chances are, it might). Thanks for all your help and support :)
 

kittyluv387

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Id bet on the raw food. Worked for my cat who had diarrha since i adopted him. Nothing else did the trick. I use primal raw.
 

talkingpeanut

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I've tried Primal, Stella and Chewys, and Nature's Instinct. I prefer the bigger pieces.
 
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