Sudden gastroenteritis

CallieKatherine

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Hi everyone,
I wanted to know the experience of others who had their cat suddenly experience gastroenteritis. My boy was okay a few days ago but seemed a bit tired. He was still eating normally so i hoped it was nothing then later in the night he went poop and had a difficult time. It’s not unusual for him to have a difficult time and need a few attempts to push because he does have arthritis in his back legs and this was a rather large bowel movement. He eventually was able to go and the poop was solid and looked pretty normal. He still seemed tired but he continued to eat, then fast forward to two days later and he is experiencing diarrhea, threw up twice and no longer wants to eat. I took him to an emergency vet and they did a x-ray that was normal other than some gas in the colon. They gave him an anti-nausea shot and an antibiotic along with metronidazole that i need to give him twice a day. Unfortunately, he was very agitated after all of this and did not let then give him fluid or draw blood for blood work. He was at the vet last month after eating fake snow from the christmas tree causing constipation, so he did have blood work drawn then and everything was normal except his lymphocytes were a bit high which the vet said was most likely due to how stressed he was. I’m going to call our normal vet tomorrow and see if they will fit us in for some blood work to check everything out again. He has just been laying by our heater since we got back home and i’m really worried about him because he is a senior. Has anybody had their cat experience this from what seems like out of nowhere. (please ignore any potential typos it’s been an extremely long and stressful night on no sleep)
 

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Hi. I realize it's been a while since the fake snow eating incident, but I was wondering if that could have kicked off irritation in his digestive tract leading to the inflammation that he apparently has now. Not sure how apparent inflammation is on an x-ray, but the vet seems to be treating him for inflammation and a possible infection resulting from that.

In addition to treating for inflammation by giving him metronidazole, this med is also used to help counteract diarrhea, so knowing he has had issues in the past with evacuating stool, just keep an eye on him for constipation.

Is he on any joint supplement for arthritis? If not, you might consider getting him some. Cosequin and Dasuquin seem to be the most common. Also, there are two forms of injections for arthritic pain relief - Adequan and Solensia. The former also contains a joint support supplement. These treatments might be something to talk to your vet about when you take him back in for blood work/checkup.

Good for wanting to get him to his regular vet! You can never be too careful with a senior cat!
 
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CallieKatherine

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Hi. I realize it's been a while since the fake snow eating incident, but I was wondering if that could have kicked off irritation in his digestive tract leading to the inflammation that he apparently has now. Not sure how apparent inflammation is on an x-ray, but the vet seems to be treating him for inflammation and a possible infection resulting from that.

In addition to treating for inflammation by giving him metronidazole, this med is also used to help counteract diarrhea, so knowing he has had issues in the past with evacuating stool, just keep an eye on him for constipation.

Is he on any joint supplement for arthritis? If not, you might consider getting him some. Cosequin and Dasuquin seem to be the most common. Also, there are two forms of injections for arthritic pain relief - Adequan and Solensia. The former also contains a joint support supplement. These treatments might be something to talk to your vet about when you take him back in for blood work/checkup.

Good for wanting to get him to his regular vet! You can never be too careful with a senior cat!
I did ask the vet if the fake now incident could have caused this and she kinda dismissed it saying she thinks if that were the case it would have happened closer to the incident. We got dasequin from the vet but he absolutely refused to eat any food that we mixed it into so i bought a liquid joint supplement called joint purrfection and i think it has helped. Unfortunately my vet is currently out of the country so i have to take him in for just fluids today and then go back on Saturday for blood work. He hasn’t had anymore throwing up or diarrhea but he’s pretty much just wanted to lay by the heater since we got back last night. I’m really hoping rehydrating him will make him start to feel better.
 

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My 12 year old boy has had this twice in his life. It's so hard for all of us. His was caused by food intolerance. The first time, we had been feeding Wellness brand and about 2 weeks later, it all started. He was lethargic, crouching in the loaf position, wouldn't eat, was nauseous, and generally looked horrible. We followed the same protocol your ER vet did, except he was well behaved and allowed fluids and bloodwork. Bloodwork was fine, we ended up putting him on Rx food 100% of the time and it cleared up, he was back to himself in about a week, poops were good, appetite was good, he was playing and his normal rambunctious self.

A couple of years ago, it happened again, though this time, we knew it was because we had been adding some other food back into his diet. Again, about 2 weeks after the food change, same symptoms. We knew what to do. We did take him to the vet, but this time, we didn't wait. The gas passed through, he was 100% back on his RX food, and he was good in 3-4 days.

Last year, something changed with his RX food and he had mad diarrhea all over the house. It was terrible for all of us (again). We picked up canned Royal Canin gastro food (We'd been feeding canned Science Diet i/d) and that worked to clear up the diarrhea. We also had taken him to the vet and he got a B12 shot, and some anti-nausea meds and something help firm up his stool (Metronidazole). Additionally, we upped his probiotics (s.boulardii) and the combo worked for him. We've not had any issues since changing his food.
 
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CallieKatherine

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My 12 year old boy has had this twice in his life. It's so hard for all of us. His was caused by food intolerance. The first time, we had been feeding Wellness brand and about 2 weeks later, it all started. He was lethargic, crouching in the loaf position, wouldn't eat, was nauseous, and generally looked horrible. We followed the same protocol your ER vet did, except he was well behaved and allowed fluids and bloodwork. Bloodwork was fine, we ended up putting him on Rx food 100% of the time and it cleared up, he was back to himself in about a week, poops were good, appetite was good, he was playing and his normal rambunctious self.

A couple of years ago, it happened again, though this time, we knew it was because we had been adding some other food back into his diet. Again, about 2 weeks after the food change, same symptoms. We knew what to do. We did take him to the vet, but this time, we didn't wait. The gas passed through, he was 100% back on his RX food, and he was good in 3-4 days.

Last year, something changed with his RX food and he had mad diarrhea all over the house. It was terrible for all of us (again). We picked up canned Royal Canin gastro food (We'd been feeding canned Science Diet i/d) and that worked to clear up the diarrhea. We also had taken him to the vet and he got a B12 shot, and some anti-nausea meds and something help firm up his stool (Metronidazole). Additionally, we upped his probiotics (s.boulardii) and the combo worked for him. We've not had any issues since changing his food.
sounds a lot like my cat except anytime we changed his diet he would get constipated rather than have diarrhea. I feed him friskies and proplan 11+, i really want to switch him off the friskies because i know it’s not good but like i said switching foods has been really difficult in the past. He likes the proplan but he gets bored really fast and they only make 2 flavors so once he gets bored and refuses the proplan i don’t know what else to do other than give him friskies. Since i’ve dealt with his constipation in the past I always knew what to do but the diarrhea has really freaked me out because we’ve never experiences it. He seems to be doing a bit better after he got fluids at his normal vet and he has eaten a couple time but i’ve kept them small portions to try to ease him back in. I’m really nervous about the next time he goes into the litterbox because if he has diarrhea again i don’t know what i’ll do.
 

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Hi. I realize it's been a while since the fake snow eating incident, but I was wondering if that could have kicked off irritation in his digestive tract leading to the inflammation that he apparently has now. Not sure how apparent inflammation is on an x-ray, but the vet seems to be treating him for inflammation and a possible infection resulting from that.
This is exactly what I wondered about the fake snow, too, since cats' digestive systems are so delicate and inflammation can cause so many problems.

You might ask the vet about deworming with Panacur, just in case it's parasites. When our cat had all sorts of digestive issues that couldn't even be figured out after biopsies taken during surgery, treatment for parasites was one of the few things anybody could recommend. Our vet's big on deworming so we'll be doing this regularly forever. (Thank goodness Panacur granules are cheap and easy to feed!) In Edwina's case, the parasite (a nematode) that the regular vet and ultrasound vet mentioned is one that's not likely to show up in tests but is often present in basement crickets, which Edwina loves to eat. 🤦‍♀️ Her symptoms, by the way, were vomiting and not wanting to eat, though she's always had a great appetite.
 
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CallieKatherine

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This is exactly what I wondered about the fake snow, too, since cats' digestive systems are so delicate and inflammation can cause so many problems.

You might ask the vet about deworming with Panacur, just in case it's parasites. When our cat had all sorts of digestive issues that couldn't even be figured out after biopsies taken during surgery, treatment for parasites was one of the few things anybody could recommend. Our vet's big on deworming so we'll be doing this regularly forever. (Thank goodness Panacur granules are cheap and easy to feed!) In Edwina's case, the parasite (a nematode) that the regular vet and ultrasound vet mentioned is one that's not likely to show up in tests but is often present in basement crickets, which Edwina loves to eat. 🤦‍♀️ Her symptoms, by the way, were vomiting and not wanting to eat, though she's always had a great appetite.
hm i didn’t even really think about parasites. For i think about two weeks after the initial constipation episode he would have a tiny amount of blood on his poop but the poop itself was normal and the amount of blood was so minuscule i didn’t want to put him through a vet visit. The blood did end up stopping but i feel like that could indicate irritation or inflammation?
 

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Do you feed wet food, dry food, or a mix of both? You could try feeding a single protein (like only chicken, only turkey, only venison, only duck) and see how he responds to each one.
 
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CallieKatherine

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Do you feed wet food, dry food, or a mix of both? You could try feeding a single protein (like only chicken, only turkey, only venison, only duck) and see how he responds to each one.
he eats a mixture of both wet and dry. Thank for the suggestion i might try that! He has such a sensitive stomach so i know i need to change something but him being such a picky eater just makes everything so hard.
 

lisahe

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hm i didn’t even really think about parasites. For i think about two weeks after the initial constipation episode he would have a tiny amount of blood on his poop but the poop itself was normal and the amount of blood was so minuscule i didn’t want to put him through a vet visit. The blood did end up stopping but i feel like that could indicate irritation or inflammation?
I know, we didn't think about parasites either! Of course we have no idea if parasites were Edwina's problem but at least Panacur is easy and cheap to administer. Since the cats eat bugs (and have even chewed slugs on the veranda!) I'm more than happy to give it to them every three or four months! I read up on parasites after the vets' suggestions -- apparently cats can carry them for a long time without showing (m)any obvious symptoms.

Yes, the blood (especially if there's mucus, too) could indicate irritation or inflammation... blood was our previous cat's first symptom of digestive disorders, most likely IBD and, later, lymphoma. The vet just said she had "colitis"; he didn't think it was an issue, particularly because it came and went. It most likely was an issue, though, since her digestive problems gradually got worse with the years. (She lived a pretty long life -- she was at least 16 -- and had lots of ailments, including a horrible arrhythmia, but was still pretty alert and active, given her age.)

I like stephanietx stephanietx 's idea of doing a food trial of sorts. If you can feed very simple foods you might be able to come up with a solution. We've gone through this with our cats and taken several things out of their diet, including potato, agar-agar (the worst for both of them!), and green-lipped mussels. Friskies does have carrageenan, which can be a problem for some cats. That, along with all grains and legumes, are automatically banned for our cats, given their sensitive guts. In our experience with these two cats, it's not the proteins that cause problems but other ingredients, like thickeners and fillers, that cause problems. Every cat is different, though: Brooksie, whom I mentioned above, seemed to have problems with fish, which she really loved but which we didn't realize shouldn't be fed to cats very often.
 
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CallieKatherine

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I know, we didn't think about parasites either! Of course we have no idea if parasites were Edwina's problem but at least Panacur is easy and cheap to administer. Since the cats eat bugs (and have even chewed slugs on the veranda!) I'm more than happy to give it to them every three or four months! I read up on parasites after the vets' suggestions -- apparently cats can carry them for a long time without showing (m)any obvious symptoms.

Yes, the blood (especially if there's mucus, too) could indicate irritation or inflammation... blood was our previous cat's first symptom of digestive disorders, most likely IBD and, later, lymphoma. The vet just said she had "colitis"; he didn't think it was an issue, particularly because it came and went. It most likely was an issue, though, since her digestive problems gradually got worse with the years. (She lived a pretty long life -- she was at least 16 -- and had lots of ailments, including a horrible arrhythmia, but was still pretty alert and active, given her age.)

I like stephanietx stephanietx 's idea of doing a food trial of sorts. If you can feed very simple foods you might be able to come up with a solution. We've gone through this with our cats and taken several things out of their diet, including potato, agar-agar (the worst for both of them!), and green-lipped mussels. Friskies does have carrageenan, which can be a problem for some cats. That, along with all grains and legumes, are automatically banned for our cats, given their sensitive guts. In our experience with these two cats, it's not the proteins that cause problems but other ingredients, like thickeners and fillers, that cause problems. Every cat is different, though: Brooksie, whom I mentioned above, seemed to have problems with fish, which she really loved but which we didn't realize shouldn't be fed to cats very often.
So sorry to hear your cat had lymphoma! i’m not going to lie i’ve been absolutely terrified at the thought of it being intestinal lymphoma. He’s definitely improved a lot since tuesday, his appetite is better and he hasn’t thrown up but he hasn’t tried to poop yet so i’m extremely anxious about when he does because i’m not sure what will happen. Honestly at the moment i’m just taking it one step at a time and hoping he’ll have no more diarrhea. Thank you for all the advice it’s been extremely helpful!
 

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So sorry to hear your cat had lymphoma! i’m not going to lie i’ve been absolutely terrified at the thought of it being intestinal lymphoma. He’s definitely improved a lot since tuesday, his appetite is better and he hasn’t thrown up but he hasn’t tried to poop yet so i’m extremely anxious about when he does because i’m not sure what will happen. Honestly at the moment i’m just taking it one step at a time and hoping he’ll have no more diarrhea. Thank you for all the advice it’s been extremely helpful!
Yes, the "one step at a time" approach is the best way. I'm glad to hear his appetite is better and he's not barfing -- that's always a good start!

Lymphoma, yes, it's pretty scary. Brooksie was never formally diagnosed with much of anything because she was so frail. (The arrhythmia made it sound like her heart would stop with every beat; she wasn't in any shape for invasive diagnostics.) What I learned from her illness has been helpful with Ireland and Edwina, who came to us as underfed ten-month-old kittens. They have all sorts of weird digestive quirks and Edwina's insecure about her food, too.

If constipation is still a concern, there are some good options like egg yolk and even Vet's Best anti-hairball tablets! Those two things work really well for Ireland. Just ask if you want more about either of those options.

What, by the way, is your cat's name?
 
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CallieKatherine

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Yes, the "one step at a time" approach is the best way. I'm glad to hear his appetite is better and he's not barfing -- that's always a good start!

Lymphoma, yes, it's pretty scary. Brooksie was never formally diagnosed with much of anything because she was so frail. (The arrhythmia made it sound like her heart would stop with every beat; she wasn't in any shape for invasive diagnostics.) What I learned from her illness has been helpful with Ireland and Edwina, who came to us as underfed ten-month-old kittens. They have all sorts of weird digestive quirks and Edwina's insecure about her food, too.

If constipation is still a concern, there are some good options like egg yolk and even Vet's Best anti-hairball tablets! Those two things work really well for Ireland. Just ask if you want more about either of those options.

What, by the way, is your cat's name?
his name is Boots. He’s a tuxedo cat who looks like he has little white boots on so of course we weren’t very original.
 

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his name is Boots. He’s a tuxedo cat who looks like he has little white boots on so of course we weren’t very original.
Years ago, our neighbors had a cat that we called Boots for the same reason. He used to come over and look at Brooksie through the sliding glass door.

I hope Boots is soon feeling better consistently.
 
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CallieKatherine

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Years ago, our neighbors had a cat that we called Boots for the same reason. He used to come over and look at Brooksie through the sliding glass door.

I hope Boots is soon feeling better consistently.
Thank you I hope so too!
 
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CallieKatherine

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Hi all,
I wanted to ask a quick question and give a quick update. Boots is doing better he hasn’t had diarrhea since that night and and hadn’t vomited at all up until about 10 minutes ago but the reason he vomited was because his stool was very dry and hard making him strain a lot. That brings me to my question, is it normal for metronidazole to cause dry and hard stool? He’s done much better since being on it but every stool since taking it has been pretty dry. I know FeebysOwner FeebysOwner said to look out for constipation but i’m very paranoid and wanted to see if anyone had experienced this.
 

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Hi all,
I wanted to ask a quick question and give a quick update. Boots is doing better he hasn’t had diarrhea since that night and and hadn’t vomited at all up until about 10 minutes ago but the reason he vomited was because his stool was very dry and hard making him strain a lot. That brings me to my question, is it normal for metronidazole to cause dry and hard stool? He’s done much better since being on it but every stool since taking it has been pretty dry. I know FeebysOwner FeebysOwner said to look out for constipation but i’m very paranoid and wanted to see if anyone had experienced this.
Well, constipation is listed as a "rare" side effect for humans on this Mayo Clinic page but of course cats could be different. Mayo also mentions more common (human) side effects like nausea and a bad taste in the mouth, both of which (along with a really weird and extreme grumpiness!) I had when I took it many years ago. I recall someone mentioning that their cat seemed nauseous when taking it but don't remember anything about constipation.
 

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I know FeebysOwner FeebysOwner FeebysOwner FeebysOwner said to look out for constipation but i’m very paranoid and wanted to see if anyone had experienced this
I merely mentioned the constipation on the premise that if metronidazole is used for diarrhea, that it would seem logical it could cause constipation - coming from solely a layperson's perspective.
 
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CallieKatherine

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Thank you guys for the responses. He ended up having a pretty large bowel movement about 30 minutes after i posted that question and that one wasn’t dry so i’ll just have to wait and see
 

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Marvin just had this happen to him on Wednesday. He was fine early in the week, then all of a sudden he was vomiting, had diarrhea, and stopped eating and drinking. He's diabetic so I was pretty concerned. Took him to the emergency vet and they diagnosed him with gastroenteritis. They gave him a shot of anti-naseau, sub-q fluids, and he went home that night.

Thursday early morning in the middle of the night (3am) I got him to start drinking again finally, and also have some wet food at that time. Later Thursday in the afternoon, he seemed much better. Still had diarrhea but that was the only issue. He even was purring. Went to bed Thursday night with him seemingly back to almost normal.

Friday today, early morning (3am) he had a snack of some crunchy food. Later Friday morning he ate his typical wet food with no issue. Then all of a sudden, around noon, slight vomiting was back, along with the diarrhea that had been persistent. I didn't give him his meds on Thursday but did so today Friday since his symptoms changed. He’s again not eating/drinking along with the diarrhea

Ugh, that reads like a long run-on sentence, sorry!

1) Do you think food intolerance to this crunchy food could cause IBD or gasteroenteritis? He snacks on this crunchy food all the time (not large quantity, but he likes it) at various points during the day/night.

2) Meds we were sent home with us from the vet: Buprenorphine, maropitant, and proviable-dc. I made the mistake of skipping a day because he seemed fine... could that action allowed his inflammation to continue?

This is so strange, and i'm pretty worried. He's been diabetic and on insulin for 7 weeks and I've actually not had any issue until now.
 
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