persistent diarrhea - nothing is working

kalivio

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Hi all,

Some background to help you understand my cat's basic health: she was born and lived 2 years (or so) with hoarders who had over 100 cats in a tiny trailer. She was reportedly fed pork-n-beans instead of cat food. She weighs a mere 6 pounds due to stunted growth (but is not skinny - she looks like an evenly proportioned kitten, rather than a full-grown cat). She is missing all of her front bottom teeth (unknown cause) and she is missing her left eye due to an unresolved infection that permanently damaged it. The rescue group's vet removed it before we got her and it healed wonderfully.

OK, so we got her in February and she has been having diarrhea almost the entire time we've had her. At first, we thought it was an adjustment thing. Then I took her to the vet and we did a stool culture. They thought she had giardia, so we gave her metro. That didn't work, so I started calling around to the rescues who had her (she was in and out of places due to the large number of cats that our area was dealing with from the hoarders).

Come to find out, she had been adopted out twice before and returned for diarrhea problems. :/ Also come to find out that at least two other cats from the case had confirmed [color= rgb(24, 24, 24)]T-foetus. We put her on W/d food and started her on 14 days of ronidazole and within 10 days she started having firmer stools and it was better. When we finished the course, she was still doing well - only having about 2-3 stools per day and they were firmer, but still not "typical". About 2-3 weeks later, the diarrhea was back full-force. [/color]

[color= rgb(24, 24, 24)]We tried another round of ronidazole but this time, the diarrhea did not get better. The smell got better, but the frequency and consistency was the same. So, we had another stool sample done and it came back clean. We believe she doesn't have the parasite anymore. (i should also note that we don't have any other cats, nor have we ever in this house).[/color]

[color= rgb(24, 24, 24)]We tried 2 weeks of the most hypo-allergenic W/d food made and I actually think it made her worse. Now we are looking at testing her for feline leukemia, which is quite possible given her birth circumstances, but the vet also feels she may have inflammatory bowel disease, which also makes sense if she was fed poorly and had a parasite for so long.[/color]

[color= rgb(24, 24, 24)]I guess my question is this: does anyone have any suggestions or ideas on what I can try to get her better? She's such a sweet cat and she deserves so much better. And I won't lie - I'm absolutely tired of cleaning up the carpet and two litter boxes every single day. Yes - she goes that much.[/color]

[color= rgb(24, 24, 24)]Thanks for any advice.[/color]

[color= rgb(24, 24, 24)]Kali[/color]
 

ldg

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Oh I'm so sorry! And how SAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bawling: Poor baby! Thank you for adopting her and STICKING BY HER! :hugs: :hugs: :heart2: :rub:

And in answer to your question, yes. Immediately put her on a probiotic if she's not on one already. I use a human acidophilus supplement, Natural Factors Acidophilus+Bifidus. I get it from the refrigerated section at the health food store. Doesn't matter though - any acidophilus supplement will help. You're looking for 10 billion active cultures. Many use and love Proviable-DC, available at amazon. :nod: Once a day, sprinkle it on her food.

The one thing most likely to help her is a species-appropriate diet. That means raw food. IBD can be a nasty beast, and raw may not resolve it, but it is the most likely thing without other stuff that will. :nod:

TCS member Carolina fought IBD in her kitty his whole life. He had diarrhea for 18 months. She tried it all. Once he was fully transitioned to raw, he had formed stools and went off all his meds. :nod: Here is her thread: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/239771/this-is-going-to-be-one-for-the-books-transitioning-lucky-bugsy-and-hope-to-raw-challenges-galore

And here is an information-packed site about IBD, with a lot of VERY helpful information and case studies, etc.: http://www.ibdkitties.net

You will get a lot of helpful advice, support, and more ideas from others here. :hugs:
 

trudy1

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raw probably will work but for a "quick" fix you can try what worked for our Dolly...a rescue who came with a loose stool...any food we feed her, canned, dry, cheap, expensive...nothing helped...also spent $400 in lab tests..so here is what worked for us:

went to walmart and got cheap chicken which we cooked

ground up about two good handfuls of the meat and added to it two tbs of pumpkin, a little broth to wet, 1/2 can of Innova cat/kitten food (Petsmart)...mix together and store in fridge to use as needed

in about 2 days or less we had a firm stool

hope this works for you...I know what you are going through...believe me!
 

finnlacey

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Was she tested for any other parasites? I'm assuming yes. The bacteria she acquired while being with the hoarder may never go away I'm sorry to say. This has probably damaged her intestines at this point and she's always going to have a hard time. I too think a raw food diet may be just the ticket here as a good raw food diet can replace and help fight that bad bacteria better than most other foods. But first I'd say go grain free to a higher quality protein food and see how she does on that. Something with a novel protein like Nature's Variety. I'd also recommend using Eaglepack Holisitic Transitions solution for the diarrhea. It's a chicken flavored powder you can sprinkle on their food and not only do they love the taste but I'm telling you, this has helped A LOT of kitties with uncontrolled diarrhea. It's also got mild probiotics in it: . 
 

dianeandbooboo

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She needs probiotics and enzymes for sure.  Make sure you transition her to a raw diet slowly and I would add in some pumpkin.  I also suggest you purify her water supply too.  Remember when you use raw food not to feed in plastic dishes.  Here is something you may find interesting too.  It is Answers A Raw Goats Milk, please give them a call and talk with the folks at Answer they are great people who can give you some advice too.

http://www.answerspetfood.com/additional.htm

Though I don't have problems with IBS/IBD I still like this and use it for both my cat and dog.
 
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kalivio

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thank you so much for the replies and the support! I've never had a sick cat before, so I am a bit clueless here. I'm taking her in to the vet tomorrow because earlier today I noticed her abdomen seems a bit swollen/bloated and she is becoming increasingly sensitive about being petted when laying on her side. She's also skidding her bottom across the blanket now and then. She obviously doesn't feel good!!!

Has anyone ever encountered resistance or even just reluctance from their vet regarding a raw food diet? It's never been mentioned before and I just want to be sure I understand it before talking to my vet.

Thanks again!!! 
 

finnlacey

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Yes, most vets are not fond of a raw diet at all! Some are fine with it but I am concerned now about this latest development. A swollen abdomen needs to be checked on immediately so I'm glad she's going in tomorrow. 
 

tjcarst

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I have battled loose stools in my cat and dealt with the scooting bottom.  When the stools are firm, the anal glands express naturally.  When the stool is loose, the anal glands cannot express and get full, causing discomfort.  When I first adopted my kitty, I had to take her to the vets every two months to have her anal glands expressed ($13).

I originally added pumpkin to her food, 1 tsp twice a day.  I now use Quick Fiber (less expensive version of grain-free taste-free Metamucil).  Just a pinch of powder mixed in with her wet food twice a day.

I have since discovered that the loose stools is closely related to the quantity of food she is eating.  I feed grain free wet and dry now.  I did try the Nature's Variety novel protein foods, testing one protein at a time, but it did not seem to make a difference.  Cutting her back on quantity helped immensely.

Her stools are still a bit loose when she gets too much food, but it has been 4+ months since I caught her scooting on the floor.  So, stools are not as firm as they should be, but she is much more comfortable, not as heavy, and doesn't have to go see the vet as often.
 

ldg

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I work with three different vets at three practices. One is a holistic vet. When we rescued our FIV+ kitty in 2010, she was the one that insisted we remove kibble from the cats' diet, period. She encouraged us to go raw. We went all canned first, then transitioned to raw in January of this year. Should have listened to her back in 2010. :lol3:

But when we chatted about raw with our other vets, we got different reactions. One was familiar with raw feeding in dogs, had no clients (to his knowledge) that fed their cats raw, and wasn't averse to it, but was concerned about pathogens (which is usually their issue) and the kitties getting proper nutrition if home made. He wasn't aware of the wide variety of commercially available raw foods that are already complete and balanced, and wasn't aware that three are pathogen-free guaranteed (via High Pressure Processing: http://www.naturesvariety.com/learning/questions/5 ). Once he knew we were starting with a guaranteed pathogen-free commercially made, "complete and balanced" food, he was fine with it. :lol3: Now that he sees how the cats are doing with the home made (we switched from commercial to home made), he's comfortable with raw feeding.

The third one already knew raw feeding was the most species-appropriate form of food for a cat or dog, but just didn't know much about it. She had no problem with it, but couldn't help re: nutrition. Most vets can't, they just don't have much education in the area (other than from dry food Rx companies, like Hill's and Royal Canin, and that's why so many are so opposed to raw feeding. :lol3: ).

There are vets that know about it, and have seen the dramatic improvements of kitties with FLUTD, diabetes, and IBD.
 
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kalivio

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I'm so grateful to all of you for the great information!!! I will be talking to my vet today about at least trying 1) wet food and 2) grain-free food. The Hills z/d food we tried has rice as the first ingredient.

Last night when I went to clean her littler boxes, she had 3 accidents in the room and several dribbles of diarrhea on the mat between the boxes. She's obviously having trouble making it to the boxes, and she has several small liquid stools in the boxes, too! The fact that I have to use 2 large little boxes for a 6 pound cat is ridiculous in itself, but now her accidents are getting more frequent and much more messy. Poor sweetie. :(

Anyway, thanks for all the help and I will update after her appointment today. I also uploaded some more photos of her to my albums. :)
 
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kalivio

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So the excellent news is that she tested negative for FLV and FIV! I am actually really surprised by this, but grateful. The bad news is that her gums have suddenly gotten extremely inflamed. We ran a full blood panel and should get the results later today. Vet said if the cost of an intestinal biopsy is too much for us, we could do a trial of prednisone. I asked about diet changes and she said I could pretty much do what ever I felt was right as long as she had a lot of fiber and water. 

Ill post more once we get the panel back.
 

ldg

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Aw, that is GREAT news! :clap: :clap: :D :D :D Well - not about her gums. :(

As to the fiber.... it's a bit of a red flag, IMO. :dk: Yes, pumpkin can be used to safely regulate (via fiber) the amount of water in a cat's colon. It's wonderful, and I keep a can on hand. :nod: As can slippery elm - very calming and soothing. :nod: I keep slippery elm on hand too.

But if she doesn't have parasites at this point, and if this isn't part of FeLV or FIV, then her intestinal flora is just completely out of whack, or her insides are very inflamed. And probably both. And fiber doesn't fix that in the long run. :(

While Dr. Pierson's point is being written in relation to dry food, it gets back to the same thing: cats are obligate carnivores. http://www.catinfo.org/

And http://www.ibdkitties.net/IBDguidelines.html addresses this:

If your cat has diarrhea, sometimes a low residue, low fiber diet can greatly improve their stools....
And it goes on to discuss pumpkin. :)
 
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kalivio

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Interesting! I obviously have a lot of reading to do.

The blood panel came back with all values basically in the normal range but she showed some very mild dehydration, which is obviously to be expected.

So, I told the vet we'd call her on Monday if things were not better (by better, I mean at least back to what she was before we started her on z/d, which we just stopped) and we'd do a trial of prednisone. If it were just the diarrhea, I would be willing to try dietary changes first, but you should see her gums! OMG, they are so bad. I really think it's a good idea to get the inflammation in her body down asap. I'll probably try the pumpkin, too but I have to be honest - I am one of those people who is scared to feed a cat anything that is not "cat food" even when I know the crap that is put in processed commercial food. Silly, right? Ugh.

OK. I need to take some time to process all this and read some more. thanks again to everyone!!!
 

tjcarst

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If her gums are inflamed, try to stick with soft food and stay far away from kibble.  I am imagining eating crunchy things after  burning my mouth on something hot.  Ouch!!!

I sure hope she starts to feel better soon.  If the poor girl was eating a bad diet before (pork-n-beans????!!!), it only makes sense that things are a bit messed up.  I hope changing her diet is all that is needed.

Please keep us posted.  {{Hugs}} to you!
 
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kiwi1

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i know its a year later, but i too have found a cat that has had diahorrea for over 8 months. Tried everything, he had chronic tape worm / fleas and i got them all sorted and paid hundreds for antibiotics, nothing worked. Then I started buying pumpkins, boiling them and mixing it with his dry food (and budget wet food) it works 50/50 but i have changed the diet so often because he keeps eating my other cats food and hates eating pumpkin. But when he does eat it, it works!
 
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