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The poop saga continues...

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by LittleEms, Nov 13, 2020.


  1. LittleEms

    LittleEms PetForums Senior

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    So a while back I posted here about my little Bee having a dodgy tum. After some advice (and a side trip to the vet for a urine issue) she really improved. We’ve not gotten to perfect yet, but we were miles better.

    Then Monday of this week comes around and now Bugsy has runny poops. I’d describe them as cow pat consistency (sorry!!)! Bee has also gone softer again with hers. I first tried a sprinkle of fortiflora that I had leftover from Bee’s episode and I think instead of helping this time it’s made Bug worse as we’ve now gone fully liquid.
    I’m going to switch to chicken as advised last time, but I am truly puzzled as to why they’re even having this issue in the first place.

    They’re about 15 weeks old now and they have been on the Purina gastrointestinal wet food for about 3 weeks. No treats or extras, just the wet food fed 4 times a day. Nothing has changed in their food or routine, yet the poops seem to go back and forth from normal to runny with no explanation. They’re wormed, and seem otherwise bright and healthy. I am starting to think that maybe it’s a little bug they keep passing between themselves that has no other symptoms??
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @LittleEms

    Can you remind me - have the kittens had any stool samples tested at the lab for parasites, bowel infections or viruses?

    If the stools have not been tested the next step is to get them done a.s.a.p. The bland diet is not completely helping so there is no point in waiting any longer to get tests done

    I recommend you ask for them both to be tested for Tritrichomonas Foetus (TF) as well as the usual Faeces panel. The test for TF is a separate test. TF can be the cause of chronic diarrhoea, especially in kittens. And is often under-diagnosed.

    I wouldn't give them Fortiflora, it has been known to cause diarrhoea or worsen existing diarrhoea. I wouldn't give them any supplements until you have had their stools tested, so you will know what you are dealing with.

    Wormers don't treat for TF, for bowel infections or for conditions such as overgrowth of E.coli.
     
  3. LittleEms

    LittleEms PetForums Senior

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    Hi @chillminx
    We haven’t had any tests yet. I actually phoned the vet on Tuesday and he recommended I try the fortiflora again but to ring him if they got worse or didn’t improve for a week. So I’m going to ring him today as Bug got worse yesterday eve. He said the next step would be tests. I will make sure to ask for the extra one too and I have stopped the fortiflora already as I remember someone saying last time that it could make it worse.

    When I did phone the receptionist I spoke to first actually said I should try putting them back on dry food because it contains more nutrients and wet food is just water... I won’t be but I thought it interesting - why is it that vets love dry food so much? Mine doesn’t even really sell it so I’m sure it’s not money for them!
     
    #3 LittleEms, Nov 14, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  4. SbanR

    SbanR PetForums VIP

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    To be fair, it was the receptionist you spoke to first who recommended you put them back on dry food.
     
  5. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums VIP

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    I prefer Buddy and Lola’s Happy Tum from Amazon it’s a powder with montrillmorte clay, brewers yeast and probiotic in it to fortiflora.

    As Chillminx said Fortiflora is well know to induce diarrhoea.
     
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  6. LittleEms

    LittleEms PetForums Senior

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    Ah I neglected to mention that the receptionists at my vets are also the vet nurses. Tiny countryside vet practice so not many staff!
     
  7. LittleEms

    LittleEms PetForums Senior

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    thanks, I’ll have a look at that one for the future if they need it!
     
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @LittleEms - it is certainly true that e.g. a spoonful of dry food will contain more nutrients than a spoonful of wet food and this is because the dry food is concentrated. ;).

    But you wouldn't feed the cat anything like the same amount of dry food as you would feed wet, so the cat should get the same amount of nutrients in a portion of wet food as they would in a portion of dry.

    Good quality wet food is certainly not "just water" as your vet nurse/receptionist said. It contains meat protein and the correct RDA of vitamins and minerals.

    Most dry foods contain more ingredients than wet food, many of them unnecessary for a cat's diet.

    IME vets like dry food because they consider it to be "well-balanced" nutritionally speaking. I have argued with them that good quality wet foods are also well balanced. Personally I think it is either what the vets are taught in vet school (most undergrad courses have minimal teaching in diets for pets) or it may be what cat food company reps tell them. Dry food is more profitable for the cat food manufacturers than wet food, so the reps have a vested interest in pushing it.
     
  9. LittleEms

    LittleEms PetForums Senior

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    @chillminx I think they probably are taught it, I know my vet doesn’t sell much in the way of food, just gastro and I think one for kidneys.

    As an update, I had a chat with the vet today and our next steps are to administer a paste that has kaolin in it and also collect poop samples for testing. He gave me the one attached, it was a Herculean effort to get it down them!! But they forgave me when they had their tea. Poop samples I will be collecting over the next 3 days and then will take them to be tested.

    875089E5-F7E8-4D51-80F7-3B079C80C2E5.jpeg
     
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  10. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Well done Little Ems :) It will be interesting to see if anything abnormal shows up in the results.
     
  11. LittleEms

    LittleEms PetForums Senior

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    Well one of them threw up some of the paste and their tea, because of course they did! I suspect Bug but again both seem absolutely fine so we will persevere tomorrow!
     
  12. LittleEms

    LittleEms PetForums Senior

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    I also wanted to check what might seem like a silly question but they didn’t actually tell me.
    Collecting the samples - as it’s over 3 days I assume they’re okay to be in the same container? Should I keep them in the fridge??
     
  13. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Yes the 3 samples can all go in the same container. They will be mixed when they are tested anyway.

    When I was collecting poo samples from 2 of my cats years ago, I was told by the lab not to keep them in the fridge but in a "cool place". As it was cold weather at the time I kept them on a shelf in the garage until ready to post. But your lab may not mind them being kept in the fridge. Maybe phone the vet tomorrow and ask them.
     
  14. LittleEms

    LittleEms PetForums Senior

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    So... an update!
    I took samples to the vets last Monday and even had a sticky note on the box with the test you recommended @chillminx The vets (I went to the larger sister practice of my usual) are operating a no-contact procedure so I had to hand it to a receptionist, and these ones are not nurses unlike at my usual vet. So I explained to her about the sticky note ect.

    Anyway, this Tuesday evening I had a phone call from the vet with results and she said everything was clear. Then proceeded to explain that if they didn’t improve the next step would be to to the TF test! So clearly my request was never passed on.

    Moving onwards, I took her advice and finished up the kittens with their binder paste, with the last dose being yesterday. They have been doing better, but not great yet, though still very much acting like regular kittens. Yesterday we did have diarrhoea again from both, this morning a little better. I am going to wait out today and see how they go off the paste and then probably ring tomorrow to arrange the test that I asked for in the first place!
     
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  15. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Thank you for the update @LittleEms :).

    It is good to know the standard faeces test results are normal. But how annoying for you that your request for the TF test was not passed on to the vet!

    Can I just say, the up-to-date test for TF is the qPCR. It is more reliable than the standard PCR test with less risk of "false negative" results. Langford Labs (at Bristol Uni) do the qPCR, not sure if there are other UK labs doing it.

    So if you do go ahead with the test for TF I would insist to the vet you want the qPCR test, not the less reliable PCR test.

    What are you feeding the kittens now?
     
  16. LittleEms

    LittleEms PetForums Senior

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    I believe that is the test they will do - she told me the process and that they send it up to Bristol.

    They are still on their gastrointestinal wet food. Half tempted to try and switch it slowly as I don’t know if it is really helping as they’re still having issues
     
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  17. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @LittleEms - if the gastrointestinal food is not helping it could be because they have TF. If you were to change their food what would you give them instead?

    You already tried them with a bland diet of home-cooked chicken or poached white fish didn't you? And it didn't help?
     
  18. LittleEms

    LittleEms PetForums Senior

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    Ah that’s true, I have boxes of it left anyway so I’m going to continue at least until it runs out. I was looking at the Miamor mild or their ragout kitten as I understand they’re good for sensitive tums.

    We tried bland chicken, it did help but didn’t ‘cure’ if you will. Shall I give it another go? I did actually just ring the vet and start the refer process to get the TF test as I decided there’s not much point in waiting if they’re still having issues even on the binder paste.
     
  19. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    It might be an idea to give the home cooked chicken another try for a few days. It would rest their bowels a bit, even if not a 'cure'.:)
     
    LittleEms likes this.
  20. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums VIP

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    I was shocked when I found out that Faecal smear and culture has low sensitivity, depending on what article you read about 11% for campylobacter 14% for T. Foetus. It’s not great for the others either.

    Unfortunately veterinary labs do not use PCR testing for the common buggies like campylobacter/ giardia / salmonella as human microbiologist do.

    So unfortunately one negative culture does not mean they do not have a GI bug. It took 3 samples to eventually grow the campy Blue had.
    So it’s not a waste having another culture done again.
     
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