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Advice needed :(

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Annie38, Oct 18, 2012.


  1. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    Hi there, I'm hoping someone on here might be able to help me think up some kind of solution for my sick kitten. I am so sorry this is such a long post but I wanted to get everything in!

    Basically I have a 7 month old Maine Coon kitten who has persistent diarrhea. He's had it since before his second set of vaccinations at 12 weeks old (they had to be put off until it got better). He was given antibiotics at this point, which cleared it up for a couple of weeks maybe if I remember rightly (long enough to be vaccinated a second time anyway) but came back just as bad.

    I took him back to the vet, who gave me more antibiotics, which helped for maybe a week. The third time he went back the vet gave me yet again more antibiotics, some panacur wormer and kaolin gel. This helped again for about a week. They also gave him a scan, tested his poo and did blood tests. Nothing showed up at all.

    Sheldon is TINY and it's really upsetting, I'd say he maybe looks about 4-5 months old, rather than 7. The vet seemed pretty unconcerned and suggested 'failure to thrive' and said this would mean they'd put him down, so I'm pretty reluctant to take him back at the moment. If I thought he were suffering I wouldn't think twice but he bounds around with my other cats, purrs his head off and is the friendliest cat ever. He's just so SO little.

    Since the vets back at the end of August I've given him Pro-Kolin paste, starved him for 24 hours, fed him only tiny amounts of chicken (not all at once... I spread out each try quite a bit)... different things seem to help one minute and fail the next, it's very frustrating. I've been all over google trying to find anything that might help. He is definitely growing, and he looks lovely, but like a very miniature Maine Coon! He doesn't seem bothered by it but I imagine that's just because he's used to it :-/

    Also I have three other cats, I have tried separating him, it did nothing. One of my adult females has slightly sludgy poo but seems unaffected, my other female is completely normal, and my adult male ranges between rock hard and slightly soft. Nothing seems consistent and it's making my brain ache trying to figure out what it could be.

    I have also noticed as soon as people come in the door he heads straight for the litter tray to poo - is this normal? I wondered if it might be related to nerves/stress since he tends to settle down for the evening if it's just me but if I have visitors he is in and out of the tray.

    Does anybody have any suggestions?

    And I was also wondering if anybody has had any experiences with cat nappies? I'm reluctant as I don't want to upset him, but I'm moving next week and there's cream carpets throughout and he refuses to clean himself around his bum area. At the moment I bath him whenever he needs me too, and the marks are easy enough to clean up off wood flooring, but on cream carpets I'm dreading it! :( - (I don't see this as a solution just as a means to an end until he gets better?)

    Please don't tell me to go straight back to the vet, he's a happy kitten, he eats loads and drinks well, and isn't phased by any of it.
     

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  2. Kaynine

    Kaynine PetForums Member

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    Hi there. One of my rescued cats had persistent smelly poo whilst he was in the sanctuary and this continued when I got him home. I took him to the vets for a check up and they found nothing wrong. However, bought Pro Kolin off the internet and kept him on this for about 4 wks, as well as keeping his diet fairly bland (as much as you can cos they are so fussy). After about a month on the Pro Kolin he suddenly started producing normal formed poo and has been fine ever since. Perhaps you havn't had the kitten on PK for long enough? Does it actually help when you have him on it? Hope you soon get him better.:)
     
  3. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    Hi Kanine,

    Thanks so much for reading all that and getting back to me!

    The Pro-Kolin did seem to help some days, other days he seemed just as bad. I kept him on it until the tube ran out then gave up because I hadn't seen a huge permanent difference. Perhaps you're right and I need to persevere for longer!

    Thank you - it gives me a little hope that somebody had a similar situation :)
     
  4. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

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    Has he actually had stool tests done to give a proper diagnosis?
    Anyway at the risk of sounding like a stuck record I am going to recommend a raw food diet. I just had an email from my friend who took on 3 kittens I fostered recently, they all had runny bums even after Prokolin etc but 3 days on Natural Instinct raw food and they are all pooping solids! Rabbit is one of the best meats for forming solid stool.
    I also prefer Prokolin Protexin Enterogenic powder to the paste....it may be that after months of loose stool and ABX his gut is inlfammed and this stuff really helps sooth it down.
     
  5. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Welcome to the forum Annie and no need to apologise for the long post!

    So your kitten has had chronic diarrhea for 4 months? I can certainly see how frustrating must be for you. I assume he's also underweight if the vet is mentioning a 'failure to thrive'? Please ignore those remarks about putting him to sleep!

    Firstly, which antibiotics did he respond well to as I believe this may well provide be a big clue here as to what the problem is? Based on this I'd suspect he has either a parasitic or bacterial infection. Parasitic infections eg Giardia, although present do not always show up in stool samples. Also what are you currently feeding him?
     
  6. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    Hi Paddypaws,

    Yes he had a stool sample taken and nothing came back.

    I don't really know much about raw food diets, do they really work that well? Any information would be wonderful, I googled Natural instinct and am toying with ordering a box. Can you only buy it online or do they sell it in pet shops? I don't recognize the packaging.

    I ordered the Pro-Kolin powder yesterday as it happens, am really hoping that it will help. I did wonder if it might be that after so long his gut will take some time to calm down..

    Thank you for the advice :)
     
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi Annie, welcome to the forum:) I am very sorry to hear of the problems you are having with Sheldon, (who is a real cutie btw:))

    As the tests of his stools and blood have all been negative, have you considered the diarrhoea and "failure to thrive" may be due to food allergies or intolerances?

    Can you describe exactly what you have been feeding Sheldon in the last month?

    If he seems to do OK on chicken, then how about putting him on Royal Canin Sensitivity Control wet food for the time being, to see if it will help bring the diarrhoea under control. The advantage to RC Sensitivity Control is it is a complete food, whereas home-cooked chicken on its own is not.

    There is also a RC Hypoallergenic cat food, but it only comes as a dry food.

    Once you have the diarrhoea under control, you can slowly start introducing other foods, so there may be no need for him to stay on the veterinary diet for life. (though if it transpires he has to stay on it in order to keep well, it is a perfectly good food).

    It may be that Sheldon is allergic to specific foods such as cereals (included in many cat foods,) or even beef (also in many cat foods) for example.

    Maine Coons have a long growth period, and it may be your kitty is just more slow growing than average for the breed. I cannot imagine why your vet should even be mentioning p.t.s. a kitten for "failure to thrive" unless the kitten was very poorly indeed, and everything the vet had tried to do to save him had failed. And yet Sheldon is running around, playing, purring, eating, so he is very far from being seriously ill:confused:

    I can understand you not wanting to go back to the vet. I wouldn't want to see such a vet myself, as he has such a negative view. But I would recommend you go to a different vet's practice for a 2nd opinion, and find a vet who takes a more positive supportive attitude towards resolving Sheldon's problems.

    As Sheldon tends to run to his litter tray to poo every time you have visitors, it is possible there is a stress element to the diarrhoea, though it may not be the primary cause. One of my young cats gets very agitated if I have visitors, and I have learnt the best thing to do is to shut him and his brother away in a room on their own, (with litter tray, water, food) whilst visitors are here. The cats just sleep then, and seem fairly untroubled by any strange voices they may hear in the house. So it may be better to shut Sheldon away, perhaps with one of your other cats for company, when you have visitors.
     
  8. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    Hiya Ianthi

    Thank you :)

    It is very very frustrating, I just feel so sorry for him and really very helpless. I haven't actually weighed him recently (he wont stay still long enough lol) but he would most certainly be underweight. He doesn't seem to be losing, he isn't boney, his belly feels chunky enough, but his frame is that of a much much younger kitten. And thank you, I have no intention of putting him to sleep all the time he's eating and playing and happy it seems wrong (I did say this to the vet - she frowned quite a lot but didn't argue)

    He was given Synulox on three separate occasions, he did respond but I got the impression he wasn't given enough as the effects never seemed to last. If you're right and it's parasitic or bacterial what might you suggest I do??
     
  9. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    Definitely change vets :eek:

    The vet should be weighing him anyway, take him to a vet who does!

    My 7 month old has been tiny up til now, she's a moggy not a Maine Coon but she's just started having growth spurts. He might not end up the biggest MC, but he still has lots of time left to grow!
     
  10. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    Hi Chillmix, thank you for such a long helpful reply!

    I had considered food allergies but with such an unsupportive vet I was unsure where to start on my own finding out how to deal with it.

    He was weaned onto Royal Canin babycat, then moved onto Royal Canin kitten. At some point during the process of being treated for this he got switched onto Science Plan as the vet gave me some gastrointestinal food and once that ran out I moved them all onto the brand (in a vain attempt not to upset his belly any more by switching him straight back onto an old brand)

    At the moment he is on boiled chicken, in a last attempt before I move to try and improve things. It helped for the first two days but things are going back again. I wasn't aware Royal Canin did a hypoallergenic food, my cats are only on dry food anyway so that wouldn't be a problem - would you recommend it?

    I'm hoping that Maine Coons longer growth period might mean he has more of a chance to "catch up" than he might have had if he were another breed. I am worried that when I brought his mum home at 14 weeks though she was bigger than he is now at 7 months!!

    I am considering a visit to another vet but all of the practices around the area seem to be connected - the same vets turn up at ones all over the town. I'm just slightly worried that anything she will have written in his notes will turn up at the other practices and they'll all agree or something :S I respect that they have much more knowledge than I do, but he is my cat and I'd know if he needed putting down.

    That's a great idea about putting him in another room :) Anything I can do to make him feel better I will!!
     
  11. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    Thanks Treaclesmum - I'm definitely not expecting a huge Maine Coon, just a small ordinary cat size will do me as long as he's healthy! :)
     
  12. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    I certainly agree with everyone else about changing vets! Apart from those comments I think this should have been sorted out within the time-frame of four months.

    The fact the diarrhea cleared up when on the Synolux is fairly conclusive to me that it's bacterial in origin ( S woundn't touch parasites) but as you mention the course wasn't long enough to eradicate it completely. Length of course and how many? I see you've also tried Panacur so was the S given in isolation or on it's own with for eg Prokolin? How rapid was the improvement? Sorry for all the questions but trying to pin this down a bit more for you!
     
  13. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    Ianthi,

    I haven't kept the packaging so I don't know exactly, I'm pretty sure the first time he was given it he was on it for 5 days - half a tablet in the morning and half a tablet in the evening. The second time I think he had less - 4 days worth. And the third time he was on it for a week but she only wanted me to give him a quarter of a tab in the morning and a quarter at night.

    The panacur was only used in conjunction with the Synulox on the third go. He was also given Kaolin gel at this point. I then gave him the Prokolin about a week or so later.

    He improved almost immediately each time, but the effects just seemed to taper off.

    Don't be sorry, thank you for taking such an interest!!
     
  14. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Did ( I hope you're looking elsewhere, so won't say does!!) the vet know about his good response? I agree that a week isn't nearly long enough and I do feel you'd have had far better results with a longer course. Incidentally, is this practice part of a chain then? I really wouldn't worry about moving elsewhere-given the circumstances, I can't see any vet wondering why you're changing practices! People do this all the time. At any rate she sounds as if she's on the brink of 'writing him off'!!

    So, firstly I'd move elsewhere, explain the above the the new vet and see how he gets on with a longer course. This would be the first ( and hopefully last) stage of my plan.
     
  15. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    Yes I told them each time he got better. But every time I've been it's been a different vet and they've just (it seems to me) throw a random amount of pills at him. It's quite distressing, especially as on top of his loose stools he gets very car sick! The vets is a massive ordeal every time I take him and nothing has been resolved. It is a chain, every vets I've seen around seems to belong to the same chain, I must have seen at least 6 different vets over the years and I've rarely come away happy.

    I'm going to have a hunt around for a vet maybe further afield if I have to :)
     
  16. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Yes, I know-seeing different vets each time is never very satisfactory but it can be equally difficult finding a good one you can stick with.

    In the meantime, I see no harm in seeing if a dietary change might help. Perhaps the raw as Paddypaws suggested or the RC Sensitivity that Chillminx mentioned? It's perfectly possible his current diet isn't helping things.

    Obviously, I'm only basing my responses on what you've told us here whereas a recent stool sample would give us all a better idea though of course you have mentioned the last one wasn't very helpful!
     
    Ang2 likes this.
  17. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    Very unsatisfactory yes :(

    Thank you so much for all your help and suggestions.

    I'm going to have a think and change his food - swaying towards raw I think, I had him on Science plans sensitive stomach and that made no difference. I'll be back on with news if anything changes - here's hoping the change of diet helps, and failing that I find a new vet with a better attitude :)

    You've all given me a bit of hope thank you!!
     
  18. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    Has he been tested for Tritrich?
     
  19. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    Hi Spid,

    I've never heard of Tritich. I did some googling and since it's a parasite would it not have come up in his stool sample?

    Also the treatment according to wikipedia is Ronidazole - which can cause neurological side affects?? :scared: Doesn't sound great!!
     
  20. Annie38

    Annie38 PetForums Member

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    A few pictures of him from being a baby til now :)
     

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