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1176103 tn?1332971013

Need Irritable Bowel Cat Support

HI, all!  Myrrh the Purr is an almost 9yr old blue-eyed "seal lynx point marble tabby" love cat. He is reportedly 1/2 Bengal, and has the beyond-plush coat and attraction to water typical of Bengals but is a smaller, finer-boned cat than most Bengals. He was a feral kitten that I adopted in a Love at First Sight moment, and has been healthy other than the severe flea infestation he had at adoption. I have 4 cats, but he is my shadow.

In July, I noticed he was "off" but there were no real symptoms.He seemed a little constipated, so I gave Laxatone. By September, he was starting to vomit once or twice a week, and began to show an interest in wet/treat food that he had never eaten more than a few bites of, despite the fact that our kittys pretty much get any food they desire right off my husband's plate...In October, he exhibited some extremely loud bowel sounds - that could be heard from 5 feet away. He began a long moaning cry and eventually threw up a large amount of digested and undigested food.

We made a trip to the emergency vet. Xrays showed he was unobstructed but extremely full of gas. His linings had not thickened, bowel not enlarged, blood work normal except for a very slight rise in white count. He got shots of pepcid, a steroid and Pancure "just in case" it was worms. His distress level went down for a week or so, but vomiting continued throughout, and the loud belly rumbling continued.

We moved on to try the alternate foods. Homemade chicken and rice, lamb formula and duck formula made no difference in the vomiting and Myrrhy began to lose weight very quickly, as he did not like the food. He lost a scarey amount of weight (from 10 lbs+ to 5lbs) so we went back to his chicken Iams that he loves so much, and added several feedings a day of wet food. Back to the vet, blood work the same. He went on daily prednisone 5mg, not much help, still vomiting (dark watery) almost daily, and having "megavomit" at least once a week (over a cup of smelly pudding consistancy brown, with lots of crying) (We are going to have to have a new rug when this resolves.)
The vet is surprised he is still vomiting on the pred, and added probiotics. WOW. One dose and the cat went explodio at both ends about 2 hours later. Continued it in half doses, he hates it, and it seems to make things worse,
soldiered thru for 2 weeks, no improvement so I stopped that. Things got a little better, less megapuke.

Myrrh is listless,not grooming, eating like a horse from the pred, but not gaining weight. He is very bloated and no longer wants belly pets and sometimes objects to side pets. His habitual body postures have changed and he curls up or humps his back instead of laying flat on his belly as before. He is very needy and clingy. He is fiendishly clever in his search for ice water.

Today, I received a package of Holistic meds to try from Ask Ariel. Apostom to heal the stomach linings, a probiotic with many different bacteria instead of one kind, and a "soothing digestive relief" with marshmallow. It is supposed to help with the gas, which seems to be the worst symptom.

Has anyone got any experience with using these kinds of meds? I am not sure if I should discontinue the Pred, but I am tempted to-as it makes him eat all day long and I think that might be adding to the problem. I got a half dose of the Soothing stuff down him this AM, he didn't like it and left some on the plate for the other kittys (who seemed to think it tasted fine). He then went for a nap instead of following me as is his habit. I realize I don't have a really formed question for you but I am hoping you all will kick in with your knowledge and guidance and experience with IBS in cats.

BTW-This board and wonderful ladies Opus and Pretty Kitty helped me with a starved rescue, Mini. She finally
(after a death sentence at the Vet 2 yrs ago) improved in her blood work enough to be spayed last month! It seems this board was more correct in it's diagnosis of liver damage from starvation than the clinic was in it's terminal cancer diagnosis. :-)  She probably wouldn't be here without the help given here. I am deeply grateful.
11 Responses
874521 tn?1424116797
I am soooo pleased to hear of the huge improvement....its hard to sometimes just back off everything Vets tell us and do what we feel is right for our kids....IMO its quality of life not quantity thats important. The prednisone 'may' have been helping somewhat with in the case of Lymphoma..but at what cost??? the poor little fella was miserable.

He is a fighter tho isn't he, I can just hear it in your words, I love his 'catatude'....thats darling-)

you just need to be so careful with giving him the full mixture of ariels kit...dear!!! some on long term..MAY not be good, depends so much on the manufacturer and where the ingredients originated from...
IMO...I would order the SLIPPERY ELM BARK and a  PROBIOTIC. the names and brands I will list I know for a FACT are the best on the market for cats...and the safest. and I believe that those 2 will be enough for him until you get (the more reading) Slippery Elm bark is the same as using the marshmallow...but most use the SEB.
here they are. they are not expensive, I use them for mine....just copy and paste these links and it will take you right to the products..they have NO unwanted ingredients..-)
I'm afraid your Vet will be of no help to you with any of this info...
Most do mean well but they much prefer to prescribe medications and the side effects rather than something that works and will do no harm.



you can find all the recipes and lists of 'good' supplements where I told you to look...p.s. the rabbit sounds yummy -)

874521 tn?1424116797
hi.....welcome back, so happy to hear we were able to help with Mini and she is doing so well!!!!

I did send you a PM, but will respond here as well.
as I told you I really don't like the use of steroids unless as a last resort...but thats up to you and your Vet.

I cannot find the herb 'apostom' listed anywhere...are you sure its one that is recommended for use with cats?
you say its a probiotic with marshmallow...those both are excellent choices. the marshmallow is especially good to settle the tummy.
Have you ever heard of Slippery Elm Bark? that is another excellent one and very safe for cats...as long as they contain NO soy, wheat, sugar, salt, preservatives so on.
It has to be mixed with hot water(than cooled) 1/2 tsp SEB to 2 tbsp water..than given by dropped 1/2 hr before of after meals. I will send you a link to the best brand that I use incase its not avail from your health foods store. If you do order from iherb use the code SED957 and get $5 off. that would cover the shipping, they ship for $4. the most reasonable company I know of.


I'd like to add that perhaps you could repost your questions on one of our ASK AN EXPERT forums there are Vets on those forums that perhaps could give you more guidance..
I wish you and Myrrh all the best, please keep us updated and ((hugs)) to you both..



1176103 tn?1332971013
We're OFF the pred and trying out the meds from Ask Ariel in California. The Soothing Stomach is herbal, and contains: Amylase  2,500 Du, Lipase        121 LU, Cellulase    400 CU, Marshmallow Root  95 mg, Gota Kola    47 mg, Papaya Leaf   95 mg, Prickly Ash Bark   55mg. It's supposed to soothe and help digest the food. He threw up after the second dose last nite, but it was not as horribly stinky as usual, and contained undigested chicken from at least 6 hours before.I hid the powders under the gravy this am and he ate it up, and then washed his face and paws which I haven't seen in a while.
The APOSTOM is a homeopathic remedy.I used to work for an MD and he poked a lot of fun at homeopathic medicine, said it was like giving a patient one dose and having them shave off a tiny smidge when ill, so I keep hearing Doc in my mind...but I'm at the point where I will try *anything*!
Apostom has tiny amounts of lots of herbals -
Antimon crudum 8X gastritis, intestinal spasms
Belladona 4X gastroenteritis
Colchicum autumnale 6X burning sensation, nausea
Colocynthis 4X colic, bloating
Natrium phosphoricum 4X diarrhea, heartburn
Nux vomica 4X stomach irritation, chronic gastritis
Robinia pseudacacia 6X stomach overacidity
Millefolium 1X digestive tract function, cramps  
I know from my med background that Nux Vomica stops nausea and Belladonna used to be a major ulcer drug. The Antimon seemed helpful because he has visible belly spasms much of the time. He is very bloated and his relentless quest for ice water makes me think he has heartburn. This one is given 4 drops in water15 mins before breakfast.

And I started with a very light sprinkle of the Probiotic along with the Soothing Stomach today. He had such a bad reaction to the one the Vet gave him, but this one did say to start it slowly, so we just had a teeny bit.
There are 2 more homeopathic drops to be given alternating bedtimes. Notatum is for inflamation and infection and Roqueforti is for the same use but must be used with the probiotic. I'm going to give it a few days before adding them in...the dang things didn't include an eyedropper, so I need to find a few.
Heres a link if you want to take a look at the products I'm using:

This illness cycles thru from bad days to horrible days and other than the megapuke last night, he seems to be feeling a little better. Usually after a vomit he really wants the ice water...last night he tried to steal it, but when it was offered, only had a small sip. Haven't heard any belly rumbling in the past 24 hours which is another change for the good.

I might have a "prove it" attitude about homeopathics but I'm all in on the Herbal remedies. Thanks for explaining how to use the slippery elm. I had heard it is good, but had no idea how to fix it for a cat.Seeing Marshmallow in the Ariel remedy was the convincer, as I knew it was a soother like slippery elm.

So far so good! I think both Myrrhy and I feel at least a little better today.Ask Ariel sent a note with the meds which said to try Rabbit AuJus
food-cooked but all meat. Since we're at the broke end of month, a friend is bringing me a rabbit from his freezer and I'm going to put it in the crockpot and make my own. I'm glad you mentioned NO RICE! Do you know if there is *anything* that should be added to the rabbit meat? I was thinking of thickening the juice with a bit of arrowroot powder as Myrrh is crazy for gravy and will eat gravy even with the meds mixed in.
874521 tn?1424116797
didn't say NO rice, rice is ok...just offers no benefits....its NO grains..cats have many allergies to grains.

I forgot to mention for the SEB give 3-5cc's 3-4x per day....

I've never heard of ask aerial before, checked her site, expensive stuff. the only reservation I have with it is the IBD kit has soooo much stuff included, if Myrrh didn't react well to some of the items you'd have no way of knowing which one? thats why I like starting with just ONE at a time, whether it be allo or homeo...than gradually add if need be.

I too have been trying some homeo's, some I saw no change with others I found great success with, so its trial and error isn't it, and unlike the allo meds not much harm in the process.

by all means do up some rabbit, thats a great diet for kitties....cook it slow in an over or slow cooker with just water, than give the juice. not a good idea to make gravy NO.
there are many ingredients you need to add to a home made diet IF FEEDING ON A PERMANENT basis.
I make my own food for one of my boyz who has crystals. (the other won't eat my cooking..lol)
to feed a homemade diet you need to add supplements in all the correct amounts b/c everything HAS TO BE BALANCED...stuff like calcium, lechtin, Vitamins A,D,E,B's, also the mineral and especially taurine an amino acid. they all have to be perfectly proportioned to the type and amount of meat you are cooking..AND its an absolute MUST to use the correct brands that are safe for cats...(no soy,wheat,artifical colors or flavors etc)...IF ON A PERMANENT DIET OF IT..
for just a few feedings of rabbit to get him back to eating w/o the upchucks you are probably ok.
I would cook it in enough water to cover it completely, than use a blender and mash it up water and all...that makes a nice gravy consistency.

good luck♥
1176103 tn?1332971013
We have had over 24 hours without a vomit!
He had visible belly spasms constantly and they are mostly gone and there are no loud tummy rumbles. I couldn't even hear anything with my ear on his side.
He looks like he groomed overnight, too. I've been taking a washcloth to him every other day, because he quit grooming several months ago, but he is even looking spiffy today. :-)

I think I will use the crock pot recipe :-) when the rabbit gets here! Sounds like I will need to study if I become a full-timer cat's chef. As they say One Day At A Time.
874521 tn?1424116797
wonderful news bmused!!!!  you are doing something right with all those homeo's...no more tummy rumbles, Myrrhy has to be feeling better...grooming himself is a good sign -)))).

yeah becoming a full time chef takes some studying and tweeking, many of the supplements have to be ordered as the safe kitty brands aren't readily avail (at least not here in Canada).
and than comes the transitioning....took my Nemo awhile to accept the new food, but it brought him back his health and now 2 years later its the only food he'll eat....-)

continue as you are, it appears to be working..and good luck with the rabbit....
are rabbits easily obtained where you are?

1176103 tn?1332971013
He bucked up and wouldn't eat the doctored food this am...so after the 3rd refusal, I put 3 big droppers-full down him. I can sure tell he is feeling better-getting cocky again, walking with some pep in his step.Last night, Bandit tried to get him to wrestle a little after leaving him alone (except for occasional head licks) over the past 6 months. (They used to tussle every day.) Three days without a puke is so very encouraging! No spasms visible,the bloat is going down more every day, no belly rumbling and I know you will understand when I tell you he just LOOKS happier!

Got the rabbit thawing out. I live in Indiana (below Michigan) and I'm on the outskirts of town, on the river. Some of my neighbors and relatives hunt, and deer, squirrel, raccoon, and rabbit are the most common "free meat" here.(Possum, too, but it's old fashioned and people don't eat it anymore. I like it the best of all.)  I just found out that a local meat shop carries domestic-raised rabbit most of the time, so supply shouldn't be a problem on down the road. One rabbit is about 8 bucks there, but that ought to make a lot of cat food, and I've spent a fortune on Fancy Feast (for the gravy) and Science Diet A/D since this started.

It's great to say that Myrrhy has some of his attitude back this morning. Since he went from a plump guy to a bag of bones, my husband can't hardly bear to stroke him. Myrrh came to breakfast this morning, dapper and swaggering a bit, and the hubs said "Mr Murray Perkins! Good to see ya again, buddy." and gave him a good ear scritching. He always calls him Mr Perkins when he has his Cattitude on.

I'm glad we are off the Pred. The vet won't like it, but too bad. When I told him  there was no improvement on it, he said it was important to give it anyway as "Chemotherapy in case it was Lymphoma." Nothing the vet was doing was making Myrrh feel any better, just keeping him alive in a degree of suffering. He's a good vet, known him 30 yrs, but he had no handle on this illness at all. If Myrrh steadily keeps feeling better, I'm going to take these products in with us on the next visit and talk with him a little that there is stuff out there that will at least prevent the pain, even if he doesn't believe it is a cure. I'm shy, but it could prevent senseless suffering.

Also, all of these products from Ariel...are Human medicines, with human dosages on the labels. I think I can find them cheaper.  :-)  I will have to be reading a lot of label ingredients, as she has re-labeled the Soothing Stomach and the Probiotic, but I know they are out there under a different name.
1176103 tn?1332971013
Opus, he is still doing really well! No vomiting, which is the best I could hope for. We'vie gone to a syringe for the herbs - about a teaspoon of water, 1/2 capsule of the Soothing Stomach herbal and a few drops of one of the homeopathics 2x a day. He actually jumped up on the table this morning and watched me fix it, and was brave about taking it.

NOW all I have to do is get him to eat the rabbit. The *other* cats (especially Mini) think it's GREAT! Not Myrrh.  He ate quite a bit the day I cooked it, while I was boning it. I put foil over it and set it on the counter to cool. Charlie caught him with his head under the foil twice. He especially liked the broth. But he hasn't eaten any since (that I've seen). I've given in and given him canned beef/gravy or turkey/gravy to make sure he gets the probiotics, but it's all gone now and I'm getting tough tonight.

Charlie is in chemo, every 2 weeks for 3 days. So it's his turn to get extra love & attention, not to mention that it really messes with our sleep schedule, so a little tough-love on the rabbit diet is happening (for the next 3 days anyway...) and I think he will eventually eat it. No way to keep him totally out of the dry food, but he's been really limiting himself .Do you know of an herb I could sprinkle on the rabbit (a tiny pinch) that wouldn't hurt him; and might make him interested? My other thought is to fry and chop up a piece of bacon and sprinkle some in- he loves the smell of bacon, or any smoked meat.

But all in all, I'm so happy with his improvement. It's amazing for just a week, especially considering how long he has been really sick. :-) The kit has about a 3 month supply, so I will try those other probiotics then. The SE I will try ASAP, as I think the little guy has heartburn sometimes and thats why he's been after my ice water! (The days he's felt really good, he has ignored it.)  Heeding your advice, I haven't added in the third remedy (roqueforti) yet. We're getting better at the liquid meds, and I want to see if the SE works for him next. Like you said, if I give it all at once, I won't know what worked.

Thanks for ALL your help and support - we wouldn't have come so far so fast without YOU. It doesnt hurt just to *look* at Myrrhy now. He's sleeping alot (healing), not crying, interacting with Bandito more, looking out the window, grooming himself more and he may have gained a teensy bit of weight. Hugs to you and ear-scritchins for your Boyz!
874521 tn?1424116797
goodness you have alot on your plate dealing with 2 ill kitties, at least you are seeing some improvement for Myrrh and thats great news, poor little Charlie does need some tlc right now you are so right....you are a good mommy!!!

a few tricks you can try is warming the food....to a warm mouse body temp, that will work sometimes.
-buy a product called FORTIFLORA its a probiotic but also a flavor enhancer that may coax him to try and like the taste of. aval from your Vet or a good Pet store.

-Parmesan cheese....just a very very tiny sprinkle b/c it has salt as an ingredient...this is the one thing that works on my Nemo, he loves cheese. I sprinkle such a small amount on, like the size of a pin head...but he can sure smell that. the trouble with most of these cooked foods is there is NO smell not like the stinky cat foods they are used too.
-if he likes tuna you could pour just a small amount of juice over the rabbit...very small amount b/c tuna juice isn't good for them..

I hope one of these tricks will get him eating, I think maybe the warm up is the trick since it was probably warm the first time they are it and now you are serving it cold...remember warming will also give it some aroma.

good luck♥
1176103 tn?1332971013
LOL, Charlie is my husband, but I call him the Big Kitty all the time! :-)
And spoil him like one during his chemo - but thank God he only wants grilled cheese sandwiches! He is really Bandito's property. Bandit likes grilled cheese, too.

I'll try the Parmesan cheese tonight.Should have thought of that-Bandit goes wild over it when we have spaghetti.  Ive been warming the rabbit with a bit of hot water. I'll try and microwave it. My food chopper broke, so I chopped the meat by hand - tonight, I'm going to run it thru a small chopper i have in tiny batches, if i get time. The rabbit sat mostly uneaten all night, but Myrrh woke me up to get his evening meds (I feel asleep,after the 10 hour hospital day..) He was crying and tummy rumbling, and took med with no fuss again.I thought he was going to vomit, but the med worked well.
He's a little bloated today, but still seems to be feeling OK. I took pity on him at breakfast and gave him some A/D (prescription high calorie,mostly fine ground pork liver) that he isn't usually crazy about and he ate it readily.

Cats are all about smell, and I think you're right about the stinkyness of the canned food. The rabbit has almost no aroma at all, even warmed. I put the tiniest half pinch of some nice organic parsley on it, and at least he sniffed it then. If I covered it in gravy from some cheap canned food, he'd be all over it. I wonder if he needs to hear a can opening to raise his appetite! Those catfood makers must put some Kitty Krack in that gravy.
874521 tn?1424116797
LOL....for sure, my apologies to Charlie, although being mistaken for a cat isn't at all bad...
Do indeed spoil him while under going Chemo...I do wish him all the best from our crazy cat community-)

hope the parmesan cheese worked..indeed with cats its ALL about smell.
I agree abt these catfoods being loaded with 'kitty krack' soooo true.

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