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maroon discharge + gas + empty vomit...no answers

wynden
July 2nd, 2010, 05:51 PM
Hi,

I have a 3yr old male cat who I adopted from the humane society as a kitten. He has always been an indoor cat and has always been up to date on all health checks and shots.

He has always been a real lightweight, even though he seems to eat fine. He is usually just 7-8lb. He has always had a slightly sensitive stomach - I gave him a little milk once and he threw up right after consuming it. He has always had softer stools, but generally seems happy and healthy. I feed him a vet recommended diet and he has always eaten it without any problem. I have not introduced anything new to his diet or lifestyle.

Lately he's been throwing up a fair amount. I initially chalked it up to the season, because he's a long hair. But instead of every 1-3 weeks as usual, he is doing it once or twice a day. And there is no hairball - it just looks like saliva. I also noticed that it had a definite pinkish hue.

Simultaneously, he developed diarrhea. It began exactly one week ago. I also noticed a dark red glob among the stool, which looked like a bit of tissue, to me.

The severity of the diarrhea has fluctuated, but there has consistently been a dark maroon discharge along with the feces. And in the past two days, there is only the maroon stuff.

Yesterday his discomfort was most obvious. He kept getting in the litter box and then back out without doing anything. Or else he would excrete a small amount of the maroon liquid and that's it. Then he would just sit stiffly. Even when he got in my lap he didn't lie on his side like he normally does, and when he started to run into the other room to see something he'd lost sight of out the window, he immediately stopped as if it weren't worth the bother. He's not lethargic, but he has not been playing at all.

So to sum up, we have pinkish-saliva like vomit with no contents. Runny to no stool except a dark maroon liquid (which makes me think of blood but it is not bright red). And evident discomfort.

I have taken him to the vet, but all that they were able to determine was that he had gas. The x-rays showed something in his stomach, but the vet thought it was food. He has not passed anything but the red discharge in 2 days, so I was not able to provide a sample. The litter soaked up the red stuff before they could examine it.

We did confirm that he doesn't have worms, aids or leukemia... but unless the blood labs provide new information then I will have no explanation for what seem to be very serious symptoms. If anyone has had a similar experience or has any information on these types of symptoms, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Thank you.

Love4himies
July 2nd, 2010, 06:04 PM
It almost sounds like he may have IBD. Something is bothering him and not having a bowel movement for two days should be a huge red flag for your vet. Perhaps a second opinion is in order.

Having a maroon discharge and vomiting is not normal and the cause needs to be found.

Good luck and keep us posted.

wynden
July 2nd, 2010, 06:30 PM
I completely agree. I was frustrated that the vet seemed to underplay the severity of these symptoms. I'm just hoping that some test or other will give me better answers. But just in case, I'm trying to find out whatever I can.

Thanks for your support.

Love4himies
July 2nd, 2010, 06:40 PM
Could the maroon be blood mixed with mucous? Intestines work very similarly to sinuses, when they are sick, they will produce mucous. With IBD, there could also be sores, similar to cold sores that bleed.

wynden
July 2nd, 2010, 07:27 PM
Yes, it could definitely be. It had a filmy consistency.

hazelrunpack
July 2nd, 2010, 07:35 PM
Welcome to the board, wynden.

Your cat's symptoms sound very similar to the symptoms our dog had when he developed IBD. I would consider blood loss through the intestine to be pretty serious... Have you considered seeking a second opinion?

I hope you get some answers soon and your kitty recovers quickly! :goodvibes:

wynden
July 2nd, 2010, 07:42 PM
Thank you. Yes, if they are not able to give me an answer with results from the blood lab or a fecal sample (provided I can obtain one) I will certainly have to go elsewhere. I don't feel like these symptoms are the kind that can be ignored, even if they get better.

He does seem to feel better today. He ate some wet food that the vet provided. But I still need to know what's going on inside him to be causing these anomolies.

Love4himies
July 2nd, 2010, 08:00 PM
Not sure what you normally feed your kitty, but adding water to your kitties wet food would be best. It will help soften the stool.


When you mentioned the xrays and something in the stomach, did you mean the actual stomach or the intestinal tract?

wynden
July 4th, 2010, 02:44 PM
"Stomach" is what I was told. The prescription food I am feeding him is wet, but considering the diarrhea I would think we'd be seeking opposite results?

After I brought him home from the vet, day before yesterday, he was voracious and devoured half a can in one sitting. He seemed to be doing much better after that, and was acting more like himself.

Yesterday he was a little mellower in mood again and did not eat as much. I was encouraged when he had a more normal bowel movement, but he also threw up twice as well.

Today, unfortunately, the diarrhea was back and he threw up immediately afterward. The only change is that I didn't see any maroon, which may just be because he had eaten and the stool had substance.

Love4himies
July 4th, 2010, 05:23 PM
Not seeing maroon is good, if it is indeed blood. However, if he is going back to having diarrhea, you need to find the cause.

Do you have access to a quality pet food store? Will your cat eat raw meat?

If so, I would change what your kitty is eating. I would try a cat food that has a single protein, no chicken or beef or fish. Nature's Variety, the cat food I am most familiar with has a canned food line called "Instinct". There is a flavour Lamb, that only has lamb meat in it, no grains, no potatoes and I would try that. They also have venison which does have pork liver, but no chicken or beef.

Perhaps other members can mention other foods that are single protein that you can try.

catlover2
July 5th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Wynden, From what you described in your fist post, it doesn't sound very good, and that the Xray found "something in stomach". His actions demonstrated that he was in pain and very uncomfortable. Any chance that he ate something he shouldn't have? Hope you see continued improvement with less vomiting and normal bowel movments. :pray: :fingerscr How is he today?

Love4himies
July 5th, 2010, 01:32 PM
Wynden, From what you described in your fist post, it doesn't sound very good, and that the Xray found "something in stomach". His actions demonstrated that he was in pain and very uncomfortable. Any chance that he ate something he shouldn't have? Hope you see continued improvement with less vomiting and normal bowel movments. :pray: :fingerscr How is he today?

I am hoping if it wasn't food in the stomach, the vet would operate :eek: or find out what it is, I assumed it was food :shrug:.

wynden
July 5th, 2010, 05:00 PM
I live in a small apartment that has not changed, so it seems unlikely that he swallowed something, but anything is possible. Hopefully I will know soon.

I have been hand feeding him the prescription food to make sure he eats and have been using a syringe to make sure he gets water. I hope it's enough, as he hates to take it that way and I hate to force him, so he squirms free after a few gulps.

The vet called me and told me the blood lab tells them that Edwyn has:

- low protein
- high red blood cell count
- dehydrated

She said that none of them were severe, but considering his symptoms persist she recommended me to see an Internal Medicine Specialist. She has referred me to another clinic with better equipment, so I've arranged to have a consultation and an ultrasound there in the morning.

Love4himies
July 5th, 2010, 05:29 PM
I am glad you hopefully will be getting some answers.

Has your vet checked your kitty's kidney function, lung???

hazelrunpack
July 5th, 2010, 06:29 PM
Good luck tomorrow, wynden! :fingerscr you'll finally get some answers!!! :goodvibes:

Love4himies
July 6th, 2010, 06:54 AM
Sending some :goodvibes: for you today.

hazelrunpack
July 6th, 2010, 02:44 PM
Sending some :goodvibes: for you today.
I'll second that!

Hope you get some good news today--or at least some answers so you know what you're dealing with! :goodvibes:

wynden
July 6th, 2010, 04:19 PM
Thank you guys so much. Most people don't "get" how upsetting it is for your cat to be ill.

We had a rough night last night. More of the maroon diarrhea. I finally managed to get him to eat a bit, and he actually drank a bit on his own. But then I tried to give him the anti-inflammatory med they gave me and he vomited everything back up. I was really upset, after I felt so positive about his food and water intake. I syringed him more water to make up for it.

This morning he ate a little on his own, which made me happy. Then he got in my lap, and I hated to put him in the carrier and take him to the vet. It's so hard not to be able to explain things in words sometimes, and I am very sensitive about body language and negative associations he might make on his own. I hate to be in any way integral in things that upset him, because I can't explain.

The clinic was good. The nurse was kind, and sympathetic to Edwyn which makes points with me. The doctor was just what I needed, as he clearly knew what we are looking for and what it all means. Whereas the other vet had kind of downplayed the significance of the blood lab results because they were not extreme variations from the normal, the specialist said that these variations would not be visible to us at all without having been going on for a good while. He said that even a few days without eating would not show up as a drop in protein in the blood labs.

I told him to do everything it takes to thoroughly find the source of any problems, so tomorrow Ed is scheduled for exploratory surgery. I hate it, but I don't want them to miss anything. I have always worried that Ed may have some health issues in his future, because he has always been such a lightweight.

I had to leave him there. They are keeping him overnight to give him fluids (which the vet explained is more than just water) and to collect any samples if he has any more symptoms meanwhile.

I am feeling good about taking action on this, but I feel like crying having to abandon him there where he's scared and lonely. I'm terrified that, even if treated, he's not gonna live a long life. I'm really terrified of that. I know I will have other cats, but Edwyn is special.

Love4himies
July 6th, 2010, 05:48 PM
Awwww, poor you :grouphug:. You must be so stressed. :grouphug::grouphug:

Leaving your kitty there and having him get fluids is really the best thing for him.

Did the specialist get to look at the xrays? What type of surgery is he having?

wynden
July 6th, 2010, 07:49 PM
Thank you. :lovestruck:

He looked at them, and he showed them to me. Unfortunately they weren't very good x rays, and may need to be redone. But he agreed that there was nothing that stood out from what you could see.

They are going to do a biopsy. They could do an ultrasound or an endoscopy, but a biopsy is the most full proof. And the evidence seems to suggest that something's been going on for a lot longer than just when it became obvious, so I don't want to take the chance of missing anything.

I just hate it though, so scary. It's so invasive, and I'm so scared of shortening his life or diminishing the quality of it.

catlover2
July 7th, 2010, 07:41 AM
So sorry to hear what you're going through and Edwyn too. I know what you mean by people not understanding. I know I would be a wreck too and worried about what they may discover that could compromise his life. But try to think positive thoughts and hopefully everything will be made clear and he can be treated. I think animals do sense when they are sick and people are trying to help them. Sending thoughts and prayers your way. :pray: :goodvibes: :fingerscr

wynden
July 7th, 2010, 03:37 PM
Edwyn is going into surgery now. I'm trying to stay calm. Please send him good vibes.

diandpat
July 7th, 2010, 03:50 PM
:goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes: for Edwin's surgery. Hope it brings positive results and an easy resolution.

Please keep us posted. Try not to worry...too much (I know, impossible!!!)

hazelrunpack
July 7th, 2010, 03:53 PM
:goodvibes: :fingerscr :pray:

I hope this gives you some answers, wynden! :grouphug: Speedy recovery for Edwyn!

Love4himies
July 7th, 2010, 06:19 PM
Sending lots of :goodvibes: his way.

A biopsy can tell a doctor a lot of what is going on inside. It his the way that doctors diagnose IBD's in humans (while doing a colonoscopy).

wynden
July 7th, 2010, 06:35 PM
Finally heard from the surgeon. Edwyn is out and went through it okay. It will be a couple of days before they get results from the samples they took, but the surgeon observed that he had enlarged lymphnodes and an "enthickened intestinal wall". He thinks Ed has some kind of disease of the intestine.

He says Ed is on a Narcotic drug now to help with the pain. I hope he's okay. :(


Thank you, thank you for your support. It is the only thing keeping me sane.

joeysmama
July 7th, 2010, 07:08 PM
Thank you for the update. Prayers for a full recovery for Edwyn. It sounds as though he's in a good facility. Good for you for making sure he was seen by the best doctors you could find !! I hope you have more good news to report soon !! :goodvibes:

hazelrunpack
July 8th, 2010, 08:31 PM
When does Edwyn get to come home?

wynden
July 8th, 2010, 11:10 PM
Thank you Joeysmama. :o

Hazel, the doctor was planning to let Edwyn come home today if all looked good but that didn't happen. :( His temp went up a bit even with the antibiotic he's getting, so they wanted to keep him for further monitoring and make sure it's not an infection.

I asked if I could go visit him and they let me, so I went and held him for a little while. He is a lap kitty, but he was too nerve-wracked with the constant sound of doors slamming and other strange noises. I scratched him where he likes to be scratched and talked to him and did my best to soothe him, but it was hard to leave him there even though it's for the best. I gave them one of my shirts to put with him, hoping the familiarity would make him slightly more comfortable.

I am hoping that his temperature goes down and he gets to come home tomorrow. Last night without him was really hard on me. I was thinking about my fears of his life being cut short and I'm not ashamed to admit I had quite a cry over it.

The biopsy results should be back tomorrow too.

growler~GateKeeper
July 9th, 2010, 01:58 AM
:goodvibes: quick answers & a workable solution :fingerscr

Love4himies
July 9th, 2010, 06:27 AM
Sending some more :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes: for him today :grouphug:

wynden
July 9th, 2010, 07:24 PM
I just got Edwyn home at last.

His regular doctor was out today, and the new doctor didn't want to let him come home. Even though Edwyn ate around 7pm last night, she was bothered that he hadn't eaten since. I was pretty sure it's because he was more comfortable during the night when most of the noise had died down. Anyway, she agreed to let me take him back.

When they finally brought him out to me, I had a lot to go over with the nurse and he wanted to go in the carrier. But when I sat down next to it he came out and got into my lap to demand luvs. It was easy to see that he was feeling much better today! He was a lot calmer and his happiness was written all over. He is active and was a lot more talkative than usual on the drive home.

As soon as we got home he made a bee-line for the food dish and devoured quite a bit! So I'm pretty sure it was just the stress of the strange environment that was holding him back before. They have him on an appetite stimulant.

The official diagnosis is Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Specifically "lymphoplasmacytic eosinophillic enteritis". Severity "mild to moderate". They have prescribed Prednisone, Metronidazole, Pepcid AC, and Mirtazapine. They want him to eat whatever he will eat for now, and then start on a special diet once his appetite is better.

I asked about the long term prognosis but the doctor didn't want to commit to anything. She only affirmed what I've already read, that it can create vulnerability to other complications, as can staying on the meds too long. I hope Edwyn responds well to the meds and can wean off them sooner than later.

He is in really good spirits right now, and I just want to keep him that way.

Love4himies
July 9th, 2010, 07:51 PM
I am glad you have a diagnosis. IBD can be very tricky to keep at bay depending on how severe it is. Pred is never a good med to be on, whether human or cat, but it does work and the key is to get the inflammation in his colon down. Although I am an advocate that diet does not affect a true IBD diagnosis, you may want to consider a diet that is very easy for him to digest. I do think the healthiest diet, with the least "junk" is key.

I am glad you brought him home, if a pet doesn't need round the clock treatment, then they normally do better at home. :grouphug:

So I am assuming the maroon discharge was mucous and blood????

catlover2
July 9th, 2010, 08:29 PM
Wynden, I'm glad you got a definitive diagnosis rather than it be something that has the vets scratching their heads about. I do hope he gets a rapid healing on the pred to get the inflammation under control, and then has a good recovery and you get him on a diet that will benefit him. Frankly, I was concerned that it might be a tumour with the blood in the stool. At least IBD is manageable, at least that's what I understand.

hazelrunpack
July 9th, 2010, 09:20 PM
Our dog's IBD was also eosinophillic in nature, wynden. We were able to wean him off the pred and control the IBD by diet alone. As it was explained to us back in the 90s, Evan's intestine essentially would develop an allergy to whatever protein he ate...so we concentrated on single-protein foods and switched to a novel protein when he developed symptoms. Eventually he ended up on some of the hydrolized protein foods and once we found a mixture that had the proper amount of flavor to it, he did well on it. Not sure if they manage IBD the same in cats or not, though :o, but it often can be managed.

I hope he continues to improve and you can wean him off the pred quickly! :goodvibes: