Welcome to The Cat Site
your cat community
Interact with our community

Persistent Kitten Diarrhea Help

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by punkrockkitty, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. punkrockkitty

    punkrockkitty Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    31
    7
    Oct 28, 2017
    My kitty is almost 10 months old and he’s had some digestive issues since he was around 4 months old. Trying to find the cause is driving me bonkers, so I thought I’d see if anyone over here has any other clues.

    Long story long, he had roundworms when we got him as a rescue at 8 weeks old. 6 different deworming treatments later, all good, with 2 regular fecal tests done as follow-ups - the last one in early May - all clear.

    He used to eat Hill’s Healthy Advantage canned when we first got him, his stools were perfect, but then, around 4 months old, they went a little mush. Not much, but enough to notice that they weren’t ‘perfect’ anymore. After looking up Hill’s ingredients, we switched him to Whole Earth Farms chicken canned food (he only eats wet food, no dry at all). He was on WEF for a month, until the mush came back. Then, we switched him to Merrick’s Limited Ingredient Diet canned chicken, the ingredients seemed better. That was great for about 2 months, but then, same thing happened - stools start off nice, but get mushy towards the end. We then switched him to Merrick’s LID turkey formula, new protein test. That didn’t work out either, a terrible diarrhea started that has since been ongoing pretty much on a daily basis now.

    This new diarrhea condition started about 3 weeks ago I'd say. We then decided to try out Weruva’s Paw Lickin’ Chicken formula, read great reviews about it. He really loved it, but his stools were terrible, even worse than on Merrick! Nasty colour and never properly formed. This lasted for about a week, with explosive-type diarrhea mixed in there. So… we decided to try out Merrick’s LID duck formula as a final test, thinking maybe he was intolerant to chicken? I don't know, maybe it’s too soon to tell, it’s only been 10 days or so, but so far, same thing. The morning stool is always nearly perfect or at least well-formed, but the other ones throughout the day are cow patties bordering on peanut butter…

    So, we gave in and we decided to go see our vet.

    Long story long again, the vet said that naturally trying all these different foods - even if they were all wet foods - wasn’t helping his gut. She suggested a week of Metronidazole to see whether things would settle and said that if by any chance it was Giardia, the dose would definitely settle that too.

    A week of Metronidazole did absolutely nothing for him. If anything, his stools got even worse maybe. But, I'm guessing he didn't have Giardia at least?

    I had a follow-up call with her and these are the 3 options she suggested:

    1) Switching his food to Rayne’s rabbit formula to see whether it’s a protein issue. I don’t like that it contains potatoes, potato starch, potato protein and cassia gum (Weruva had a lot of potato starch and I wonder if that upset his stomach), but I guess I could try it out for a short period of time to rule out that it’s definitely an issue related to food?

    2) Running a PCR fecal test to look at his DNA and see whether he has T. Foetus. One of things that makes me think he might have this is that a) his stools smell pretty nasty and b) he has been having a higher frequency of stools as well, he used to go twice a day, now it’s 3 times a day.

    3) Testing to see if he has FIV...

    I heard that he needs to be off of antibiotics for at least 5-7 days before doing the PCR test, but does anyone know if he needs to be off of probiotics as well (I’m giving him ProGut powder on a daily basis)? Either way, I have to wait at least a week before getting this test done and the results won’t be back for a few days, so in the meantime, I’m at lost as to whether I should try out another type of food or just try and see if he adapts to the duck formula with some time and patience…

    He is otherwise in a really good mood, playful as hell and has a large appetite! :)

    Thoughts? And thanks in advance!
     

  2. abyeb

    abyeb Charlie's Purrson Staff Member Forum Helper

    6,076
    7,152
    Feb 18, 2017

  3. Gizmobius

    Gizmobius TCS Member Alpha Cat

    343
    459
    Dec 4, 2016
    Michigan
    I went through this with my boy Gizmo from 10 weeks old to a little over a year. I couldn't figure out why he was having such digestive issues and I tried everything; different proteins, pumpkin, metro, panacur, s. boulardii, digestive enzymes, yogurt, a fiber supplement, PCR panel (came back negative), freeze dried raw, I bought a grinder and did homemade raw. I kept a diarrhea journal for him and would track every single bowel movement he had. :lol: It was exhausting. My vet was stumped, suggested a high fiber food with crappy ingredients, and a steroid if that didn't work. I didn't want to do that.

    Come to find out, he was the exception to the "feed a kitten as much as it wants" rule. I was overfeeding him. Not to the point where he was getting fat, he wasn't, I was just overfeeding him to the point his system couldn't process it all and digest it, it was all just going right on through. I'd give him a 3oz can and he'd cry for another so I'd give him another and he'd STILL cry for another can. Nowadays, he gets a set amount at least 5 hours apart. It took me entirely too long to realize that's all the issue was.

    I'm not saying this is what's going on with your kitty! I just wanted to offer a suggestion that nobody had offered me (because really, it's rather rare and unheard of I think!) A PCR panel will definitely give you the peace of mind that it's not an internal parasite but it may put you right back at square one like it did for me! This is super long-winded, I apologize. Good luck with your baby!
     
    punkrockkitty purraised this.

  4. punkrockkitty

    punkrockkitty Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    31
    7
    Oct 28, 2017
    Yes, I thought about Instinct, the ingredient list is very interesting, but the cans around here go for 3.79$ each! That comes out to 260$ a month after taxes... kinda crazy when all you're feeding is canned. Rayne's isn't far behind though, they're 3.27$, so... Hence why I'm wondering if I should wait to do the PCR test before starting to play around with proteins again :think:
     

  5. punkrockkitty

    punkrockkitty Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    31
    7
    Oct 28, 2017
    Gizmobius - this is very intriguing! I often wondered about that actually. And my vet has confirmed that the fact that the early morning stool is always mostly well-formed is that his system just had more time to form it...

    How much are you feeding him now in ounces? And if it's 5 hours apart, does that mean that it's 3 times a day? I feed him 3 times a day, two 5oz cans, so 10oz in total. I wouldn't cut down on the cans yet, but I will try to see with my vet what she thinks of trying out feeding twice a day instead perhaps. Who knows.

    And yes, the PCR panel will definitely give me some peace of mind. I just need to find out how long I should wait before the antibiotics are totally cleared from his system in order to not alter the results.
     

  6. Gizmobius

    Gizmobius TCS Member Alpha Cat

    343
    459
    Dec 4, 2016
    Michigan
    He does get three meals a day, plus a very small snack. I’ll give you the rundown of his schedule just to give you an idea! He’ll be 2 years old in September.

    Between 10:30-11am he gets 3oz of homemade raw.
    Between 3:30-4pm he splits half a small can of wet with my other cat for a snack.
    Between 8:30-9 he gets a 2.8oz can of wet.
    Between 3:30-4am (yes he wakes me up :lol: ) he gets 3oz of homemade raw.

    So he’s around 9-10oz of food a day. He’s a biiig boy though between 13lb and 14lbs but it’s a healthy weight for him. If this issue is the case with yours too, is it possible you could try feeding your kitty 4 times a day giving him half a can at each meal? My theory with Giz was trying to figure out how much to give him and how far apart for his digestive system to actually process it. I didn’t want him to gorge too much but obviously wanted him to be full enough to last him until his next feeding. It’s all so complicated and exhausting! :lol:
     
    punkrockkitty purraised this.

  7. punkrockkitty

    punkrockkitty Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    31
    7
    Oct 28, 2017
    So, I'm reviving this thread to give a quick update and ask another question!

    We ended up switching him to Hill's ZD as much as I'm into the ingredients. The technician at the clinic said the hydrolyzed chicken liver in ZD isn't really recognizable since it's been chopped up so small over and over that it should give the same effect as trying a novelty protein. We did a transition of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% over 4 days to rule out any issues with a rough switch. At first, (and as always), his stools seemed wonderful - almost too wonderful to be true! Rabbit-like stools I'd say. We were so happy, but then, on day 2 of 100%, it came back to the same old same old... So frustrating. His stools are very stinky and cow patty like, and he farts quite a bit. Very gassy.

    I'm clearly going to run a PCR test next week at this point - I just wanted to wait it out a few weeks to make sure the Metronidazole isn't going to affect the results. The technician also said to stop using probiotics, so I'm not sure whether this plays anything into the outcome as well.

    My question now is, can all this switching of foods actually be what is causing him the loose stools? Could this have given him some sort of long-term inflammation (i.e, IBD)? I know generally it's best to wait a few weeks, even a few months sometimes before calling it quits on a specific brand/variety, that it can take quite some time for cats to adapt to food, but I see people over here on TCS talking about rotations all the time, so I mean some cats can definitely take having different foods, even on a weekly basis.

    We did a proper transition this time, even though I've always heard that it wasn't as crucial with canned food. I had a cat that developed an IBD at 12 years of age after having been on mostly the same food all her life with the occasional switch at 6 years of age and then maybe around 10, so I don't know anymore... IBD is so obscure. Her symptoms were very consistent though. She always had the same type of soft serve stool, day in day out: hard at first and then soft at the end. His, on the other hand, changes all the time. He’ll do great in the morning, then it goes downhill. The next day, all good. Then, back to square one. It’s really all over the place!

    I can always try out rabbit, but at this point, I'm wondering if this will really help him or cause even more upset :dunno:

    The only thing I haven't tried is S. Boulardii, which I'm really considering if the PCR test comes back negative.

    Any other insights?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.