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Persistant and worrisome stool problems

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Cleo

Queen of the- Nile
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 11, '13 2:05am PST 
[UPDATED 3/13/13]

Here's an update:

We sent out an expensive fecal test to a lab that tests for everything. I just got the call from the vet with the results. As it turns out, Cleo has an overgrowth of clostridium and, very unfortunately, she contracted feline coronavirus. We are unsure of if it has mutated to FIP (which is always fatal) as I won't have time to take her to the vet until next week, but in the meantime the vet prescribed some sort of foul tasting diarrhea antibiotic capsules.

I am not sure how to proceed with the news of the coronavirus. I'm really scared for Cleo, and I'm terrified that all we can do is "cross our fingers". I'll probably be making a new post at some point once we have a checkup with the vet, but for now I have to thank you guys with all your help. If you have any stories or suggestions about feline coridium or coronavirus, please don't hesitate to post. I'm still all ears!


[Original Post]

Sorry for the length but I want to be as thorough as possible because you guys are a wealth of ideas and information.

A little background info:

Around September, I found a kitten in a parking lot cold and covered in fleas. I took her in and now she is my only cat, Cleo. She is on Revolution, tested negative for FIV/FLV, up to date on all shots, dewormed, and was overall a very healthy cat with awesome poop. Cleo is also exclusively an indoor cat, she has never seen the outdoors outside of a carrier since I rescued her because I live in an apartment complex.

Then a couple months ago we took her in to get spayed and she had a turbulent recovery; she began to show signs of loose stool and diarrhea, but we chalked it up to her coming off of whatever the doc gave her.

However, she has never recovered from her loose, smelly stools. She has been dewormed 3 more times since the spay; the first time was from a mobile vet and I believed it was worms at the time, so I had her dewormed. Her foul stools returned and I tried changing her diet to no avail, and scheduled an appointment with the vet that had performed her spay and brought a stool sample. They found tapeworms (again! I had already treated her for tapeworms before the spay because I found the tell-tale sesame seeds in my bed) and gave her a shot dewormer with a followup shot 4 weeks later.

In between the two shots I fed her 1-2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin a day to firm up her stools for my own sanity because I was tired of dealing with sludge and poopy paws. It worked fairly well for a while.

Here is the part that really, really worries me:

The vet gave me 10 pouches of Purina FortiFlora probiotics to add to her food, and I stopped feeding it to her because it seemed to make her stools worse. I was still waiting for the tapeworm shot to "work" at this point.

Fast forward 1 week after the followup shot, and Cleo's stools are still as soft/goopy/unformed as ever. I slowed on the pumpkin to ween her off but completely stopped giving it to her after my roommate found bright orange and very soft stool on her bathroom rug right outside the litter box. Cleo never EVER poops outside the litter box, and she has done it every day for the past week or so. She sometimes poops inside the box, but only when her stools are at least somewhat firm.

Today I found blood in her diarrhea and, again, she pooped outside the litter box. She went to the bathroom again this evening and this time pooped inside the litterbox, but she meowed incessantly right before and right after her movement so I think it was still a very uncomfortable experience. It was extremely foul smelling too, I had my bedroom door shut and I immediately knew what she had been meowing about.

***** She has not been vomiting at all and her appetite and her thirst have been great. She has also been filling out recently and looks a healthy weight for the first time, rather than just a skinny little thing.

I am going to take her to the vet again ASAP, but I want to know if you guys have any idea what it could be. I am at my wit's end and I have searched the internet endlessly for any hint. The only cause I can think of is the spay because she was the epitome of health before the surgery. Perhaps it weakened her immune system and allowed some sort of parasite to wreak havoc over her little body... but that's just a theory.

I'm all ears! Please let me know if you need any more details. I just need advice from a community full of cat folk. Thanks!

Edited by author Sat Mar 16, '13 9:53am PST

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Tigger

Knead softly &- carry a big purr
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 11, '13 1:48pm PST 
Poor little thing. To me, it sounds intestinal. I am not a vet - I would certainly get another opinion. Have you changed her food? Has she been tested for giardia or any other parasites? I am concerned because of the blood. It could be that her little behind is sore from all the poopies, and that could be why she is going outside of the box. They will associate that discomfort with the box. Make sure she is getting enough water, because of dehydration. I do know that those probiotics and antibioticas can cause loose poops too. I hope she feels better, and that you can get some answers.
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Cleo

Queen of the- Nile
 
 
Purred: Fri Feb 15, '13 9:37am PST 
UPDATE:

Boyfriend took her to a different vet yesterday, and they tested her stool for giardia and such and it came up negative. However, she does have an inflamed colon and they put her on the antibiotic Metronidazole. The vet also suggested we take her off kitten food due to the high fat content as she is about 9-10 months old and that may have caused the colitis. Any ground to that? We have had her on Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten dry food for reference.

Over the past 2 days including the night right before her vet visit she has not been pooping outside the litter box. Crossing my fingers silenced
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Cleo

Queen of the- Nile
 
 
Purred: Fri Feb 15, '13 9:43am PST 
Tigger: Thank you for replying smile I am not asking for advice to skip the vet, but to maybe to brainstorm and hopefully eventually come to a conclusion what Cleo's problem could possibly be. Perhaps someone has had a similar experience on this board. Because of your suggestion I have started feeding her a little bit more canned food than usual and adding lots of water when I serve it to her. I would add water from time to time in the past when I was worried she wasn't drinking enough. She loves that is had become part of a daily routine dancing
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♥- Roxy- ♥

Polydactyl Maine- Coons Rule!
 
 
Purred: Fri Feb 15, '13 8:11pm PST 
What foods have you tried?
Did your vet test for other parasites this time?
The Fortiflora stuff contains animal digest, so if your cat may have a food allergy or sensitivity this may not be the best choice. You could Maybe try something else that is similar (probiotic or enzyme supplement) but without things like animal digest or grains (some probiotics have rice powder). My cats have allergies so we have to be careful about the ingredients of these things, one of my cats has been having some stool issues due to being on antibiotics and my vet gave us Proviable.

Another thing to look into is it could be something like IBD.
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Beep

Butt-kicker of- all other cats
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 16, '13 1:23am PST 
I have a co worker who has a kitten with similar issues. Hers ended up being food allergies, apparently, because after trying several brands and types of food, they have finally found one that does not give her cat diarrhea. What is working for them is Natural Balance Venison and Green Pea formula, the canned one. For a while she had her cat on the prescription formula crap from the vet, because it was the only thing that stopped the diarrhea, but she was anxious to get her off of that garbage food and tried about every brand possible. The NB venison one is working, and she is so thrilled. They had also tested her cat for every parasite possible, did a million tests on her and found nothing. Just thought I'd share this, in case it is a food that is aggravating her. Good luck, I know what a nightmare this can be.
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Alex (sweet- angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 16, '13 10:03am PST 
It does sound like colitis to me but that can go hand in hand with IBD. I definitely think taking her off the kitten food and onto a wet grain free food is better for her at this point. If you want, take a look at my website on IBD and see if there is any information there that could help. You can always email me there as well or keep posting here. www.ibdkitties.net. It does sound like you are starting to get a handle on this though, and diet may have been the first positive change. big grin
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Cleo

Queen of the- Nile
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 16, '13 12:24pm PST 
Before her spay I had her on Wellness Kitten Health and Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten, both dry. On occasion (approx. 1-2 cans a week, just a small treat every night) I fed her a variety of natural wet food from brands like Wellness, California Natural, and Blue Buffalo. However, after her spay it seems that anything I feed her is giving her problems. I had her on Simply Nourish Kitten dry and that didn't seem to help anything either.

She has been tested for various types of parasites and nothing has surfaced. Like I said, she did have extremely resistant tape worms but I believe those has been killed off as the vet didn't see anything in her stool. I did stop the FortiFlora as well.

Could it be allergies? It would be an immediate onset. I am going to try a grain free and perhaps a "limited diet" variety of food, but allergens worry me because she hasn't showed any other signs of a reaction. She has a healthy coat, isn't itching, etc.

I have looked into IBD as a real possibility as soon as I heard that she has colitis. She hasn't vomited in a really long time though, I actually can't remember the last time she's thrown up. I previously got my information from this website: http://www.halopets.com/pet-education/pet-articles/Inflammatory-Bowe l-Disease-in-Cats.html and I am looking into indoor food formulas as well since those seem to have higher amounts of fiber and lower fat content, which should help her colon according to my vet/this site. Can IBD occur in kittens or very young cats?

I purchased Wellness Core Indoor dry formula last night, but I am planning on returning it as there are many reports of cats getting urinary crystals from that particular food and, frankly, I don't need more vet bills right now. The Natural Balance limited ingredient dry foods all have peas as the first ingredient and that concerns me a bit. I know Beep said the canned variety, but unfortunately that may not be financially feasible for me right now; I'll have to see how my pet store prices it.

In the meantime I'll keep you guys posted if I see any other issues or improvements. Hopefully I'll find a cure soon for poor lil Cleo!
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Alex (sweet- angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 16, '13 2:01pm PST 
There are several forms of IBD and vomiting doesn't have to be present. Many kittens develop IBD because of the parasites they have as kittens or genetics. DEFINITELY don't give the Wellness Core, that stuff can and has caused crystals. Why do the peas worry you? Peas are probably the most digestible of the veggies for kitties. I'm not advocating them, I'm just saying they don't bother me as much as some other ones.
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Cleo

Queen of the- Nile
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 16, '13 9:02pm PST 
If her symptoms show now improvement soon I will take her to the vet again. I'm also reading your website right now, thank you for sharing smile How time sensitive is IBD treatment? I want to make sure I won't be worsening her condition by testing out the food allergen theory. Peas as the first ingredient concerned me because I always hear that meat should **always** be the first ingredient in cat food. The canned Natural Balance L.I.D formula has venison as the first 3 ingredients, so I thought that it would be the optimal choice if I could afford a 100% wet diet. I figured that any food with meat as the #1 ingredient would be much better for her overall health.
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