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Old September 28th, 2010, 07:50 PM
OwnedByCritters OwnedByCritters is offline
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Question 4 Month Old kitten, loose stools, gas.

Hey all, new here.
I have a ginger tabby named Artie who was rescued from an abandonment situation. Some jerk dumped him out behind a factory. I've had him for about 2 months. He has been to the vet for vaccinations and de-worming, and I had them check his stool for parasites and infective organisms, and it came up negative.

He was quite underweight and had stunted growth when he was rescued, but he has since tripled his weight and doubled (at least!) his size. He has an appetite that just won't quit. He's growing so fast.

The problem is his bowels. He has loose stools and wicked, room-clearing gas. The stools are liquid, and he passes a lot of gas while passing the stool. He also passes gas when he is picked up, when he is relaxed, and when he is playing actively. The loose stools aren't happening all the time, but he passes at least one liquid stool every second day. He has, and always has had, a pronounced belly, which makes him look a bit like he swallowed a football.. skinny at both ends, bulgy in the middle. The stools are usually fairly light in colour and smell terrible. His box is in the bathroom, and I have to turn on the fan and spray air freshener in there after he's been.

He gets a mix of Wellness brand canned food and Fancy Feast canned food (I know, but he absolutely loves the FF, and I add it only because he'll turn up his nose at the Wellness without it) and Science Diet Developmental Formula dry food. He isn't as fond of the dry, but will eat it if he has nothing else out for him. He is fed the wet food twice a day and the dry is available all the time. He does not get human food.

He's an active, energetic, playful, affectionate kitten who shows no sign of feeling ill. His appetite is amazing. He has energy to spare. His coat is lovely. He looks and acts like a healthy kitten. His only problem is the bowels. Could he have irritable bowel? Can cats have Crohn's Disease or Coeliac?
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Old September 28th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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kathryn kathryn is offline
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Hi there! Welcome to the forum! First things first, the Science Diet has got to go! And the fancy feast as well. A limited ingredient diet is really the way to go now using something like duck and potato to go easy on his stomach

Quote:
Chicken By-Product Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Brewers Rice, Chicken Liver Flavor, Fish Oil, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Soybean Mill Run,
Random chicken parts, tons of corn and soybean scraps would be enough to make anyones tummy hurt

Secondly, a more intense round of deworming would be what I would do. Legally I can't prescribe anything for you of course, but if this were a shelter animal I can tell you he would be put on Albon, Panacur and probably Metronidazole as far as prescription medications go. I would ask my veterinarian about these medications to see what they had to say.


Cats can have IBS and other digestive disorders, but it is far more likely this is a dietary issue or a bacterial infection. I see that you say the stool sample was checked, but sometimes Coccidia can be overlooked. It's ova are very tiny and often look like air bubbles. I often overlook them on fecals (hence why I never volunteer to do them!). Albon is the treatment you need for this.


I hope some other members can chime in with some ideas, but if this were my pet the route I would take is changing the diet to something simple and doing a round of extremely safe broad spectrum medications just to kill anything off that could be hiding.


And congrats on the new kitten!
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Old September 28th, 2010, 09:40 PM
OwnedByCritters OwnedByCritters is offline
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Thanks for the help. Tonight he's getting nothing but Wellness with a little bit of pumpkin mixed in.
Artie was never in a shelter.
I'm a security guard, and a guard I used to work with called me when she saw Artie running around the grounds of the factory she guards. Artie was about 6-8 weeks old at that point, and neither the vet nor I believe he was outside more than a few days, given the lack of fleas or ticks, both of which are common to the point of infestation in southern Ontario in August. He was outside long enough to get dehydrated in the intense heat, but not long enough to get seriously sick. Thank the fates for Jan and her observant nature. And for her knowing I can't say no when it comes to a critter in trouble.
I'll call the vet in the morning to see if they looked for Coccidia in his fecal sample. I have a vet appointment on Friday for one of my rats.. I'll see if they'll let me squeeze Artie in there too.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 08:07 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Awww, aren't you kind to take this kitten in

Which Wellness are you feeding him? It sounds like your kitty needs a very low carb, grainfree diet. The cans of Wellness with the yellow triangle are grain free, but do have sweet potatoes in it and some kitties can't even tolerate that. Kathryn is correct all hard food should be discontinued as it is high in carbs, cats digestive tract is not made for carbs.

Another good food to try is Nature's Variety Instinct canned. It has many flavours and like Wellness, it is about 95% human grade meat, but doesn't contain sweet potatoes.

In the meantime, Slippery Elm Bark is an excellent product that coats the intestinal tract. I find it works wonders on Jasper who can't tolerate carbs. I sprinkle it on water down food and the kitties don't seem to mind that it is there .

Here is some good reading:

http://www.cathealth.com/FeedNutrit.htm

http://www.catinfo.org/
http://www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm
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Old September 29th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Some other things to consider along with a diet modification and slippery elm bark would be digestive enzymes (like Prozyme) and/or probiotics (Natural Factor's makes a good one called Ultimate Multi). Could be his intestinal flora is outta whack from stuff he was eating while on the street. The digestive enzymes will help him process the large volume of food he's eating until his own system finds the right balance. Neither should be used indefinitely.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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OBC, if your vet has not already checked, ask to have stool checked for Giardia. It can produce the type of symptoms you're describing. Hope you can get kitty straightened around soon.

http://cats.about.com/od/gastrictrac.../p/giardia.htm
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Old September 29th, 2010, 07:36 PM
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kathryn kathryn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OwnedByCritters View Post
Artie was never in a shelter.
Sorry to confuse you, I'm actually a tech at a shelter and am just speaking from experience what our vet staff would do.

I also second the Giardi note. I forgot to mention that earlier!

Opt to have the stool sample sent out. Companies like Idexx and Antech have labs where they can provide a better analysis than an inhouse test at your vets office.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 03:15 AM
OwnedByCritters OwnedByCritters is offline
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Thanks for the info on added tests and probiotics. I keep probiotics in the house since I have a rat who gets frequent oral infections and is often on antibiotics (and will be getting surgery to remedy that soon), so I added that into Artie's Wellness canned food tonight.

I'm not sure which labs we have vs. in-house fecal sample analysis at the vet's. I've never been given that as an option, and I've used that vet for 18 years. My mother brings her dog there, and the dog came to her with a Giardia and Cryptosporidium infection, so there were frequent samples going to the vet. I'm in Ontario... not sure what specialist labs we have around here.

As of today, he's off the dry stuff and I'm tapering down the Fancy Feast while adding more of the canned Wellness and a bit of pumpkin, plus the probiotic. I'll get the Slippery Elm when I'm out tomorrow, and I'll look for a high-quality carb-free food. Unfortunately, I am low income, so this might be an issue, depending on how much these cost. If I need to, can I use human-grade cooked meats for him as well? I can get meats at a lower cost than many ready-made pet foods. Mixing the human-food meats with the canned food would stretch out the budget a bit.
What do you folks think about giving him un-processed foods like chicken, beef, and other human-grade cooked meats?

I think he's teething, too. He has developed a huge liking for having his gums massaged, has started chewing on toys, his brush, and my hands... not biting, really, but chewing, never running the risk of breaking the skin, but being very serious about it nonetheless. Always during brushing and petting. He also still has some suckling behaviours, like bumping his mouth up against my palm and shoving upwards repeatedly. He's been doing that more for the past few days too.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 07:39 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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You are a good kitty owner .

Raw meat is actually better for you cat than cooked. Cooking destroys essential nutrients that cats require, such as taurine. I make my own raw and it is considerably cheaper than canned, especially quality canned and it is so much better for them (like you eating fresh fruits and veggies ). The only thing is that cat's digestive system requirements are very exact so weighing out the ingredients is essential until you get your recipe down pat. I use the one in the catinfo.org link. And yes, I buy the meat that is on sale.

Some of the Fancy Feast is not too bad when mixed with Wellness. Just look for the ones that don't have any wheat, wheat gluten and such. I think they are pate types.
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Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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