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Avatar universal

Persistent diarrhea in adult cat

I have an adult cat with acute diarrhea for 4 months now. It turned out that he has some internal parasites and he was given Profender for this reason. Blood, microbiological and biochemistry tests showed nothing. Last week he was on Norodine and Gentamicine, but the diarrhea has not stopped. Despite being on a Hill’s diet, the cat is losing weight and the diarrhea is still not gone. Now we are waiting for the tests to be repeated.

Could you give me some advice how to control  the diarrhea until the tests results are ready? We tried Smecta and activated carbon, but the effect is negligible. Is there any kind of a liquid food? How can I prepare a home made rehydratation solution for a cat? What else can I do to help him suffer less?
Thank you!
14 Responses
Avatar universal

Over the last several years, we have had wonderful results clearing up chronic diarrhea in cats like yours and cats with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) using a product called Tylan. This product is not labeled for cats but works like a charm and clears loose stool up in 24-48 hours. Tylan is an inexpensive, bitter tasting yellow powder labeled for poultry. It has no adverse side effects other than if you use too much it can cause temporary constipation.

We also recommend a natural, home made diet, which I am glad to make up for you and a natural cat vitamin supplement called VitaLife.

If your cat is dehydrated your vet can show you how to give SQ fluids at home. To encourage drinking many cats like running water and you can buy a cat drinking fountain at most pet supply stores.

Thank you,
Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM
Avatar universal
Thank you for your response!
It turned out that my cat has a heavy Streptococci infection. Because of it, he is put on clarithromycine since yesterday-twice a day,orally. I hope he will get better soon. I will ask my vet about VitaLife.

Also, we keep him on Hill's. Is there a better diet/food for his condiotion?

Thank you again!
Best reagrds,

234713 tn?1283530259
The best foods for all cats are wet foods whether all canned or home-made, regardless of the cat's condition.

Evo/Innova, Merricks, Nature's Variety, Wellness, Orijin canned,  and others are all good brands.  Please check the book: "The Cat Bible" for others.  Just make sure they are Grain and gluten-free.  

Additionally, many cats are lactose intolerant.  Keep your cat away from any product that may have milk products, these can contribute to IBD and other gastro-intestinal issues.  Some products that may contain dairy include: Colostrum, yogurt, milk and cheese (of course), and some probiotics.  Even allowing you cat to lick residual milk from the bottom of your cereal bowl can set a sensitive cat off.

A good Probiotics formula in a non-milk based form, however would be very beneficial for you cat.  A Chinese herbal formula, which is available online is extremely helpful for cats with intermittent or chronic diarrhea.  It is called Shen Ling Bai Shu.  If you find that even with treatment for the Streptococci infection there is some residual diarrhea, the herbal formula would be worth a try.  

Please keep us informed!
Avatar universal
Unfortunately, the antibiotic doesn't seem to work. Already day 7, diarrhea is still present. My vet insists on keeping the antibiotic for more 7 days. However, I am ready to hear more about alternatives like the Chinese herbal solution? Is it a good option for cats, what about doses and contradictions, period for use to reach a result? Do you have experience giving it to cats? If so, was it fully successful or the effect was temporary? Any other options?

Thank you!
975382 tn?1283486138
I have had good success with a veterinary prescription diet made by Purina called EN.  Purina also makes Fortiflora which is a probiotic you sprinkle on the food.  You can ask your veterinarian about these.  Probiotics can especially help if your cat has been on antibiotics.  Sometimes you have to try several foods to see if there is a food intolerance or allergy.  If EN doesn't work, I will usually try a hypoallergenic diet next or grain free diet.

You also might consider testing for cobalamin, folate, and pancreatic enzymes to see if there is a vitamin deficiency or pancreatitis.  Was a thyroid level checked?  Your cat could also be developing inflammatory bowel disease or lymphoma - an abdominal ultrasound is a good first step to look for these although a biopsy of the intestines is needed for true diagnosis.

Judy Karnia, DVM
Scottsdale Cat Clinic
Avatar universal
The hypoallergic diet was a really bad idea because it caused vomiting. Pancreatic enzymes  and thyroid level were not tested. Probably, if the antibiotics do not work until the 14th day, the vet will perform more tests. I will ask my vet about Purina EN, it might help.

We give the cat probiotics, however I would like to hear more about supporting drugs, herbs or whatever....the Chinese herbal solution sounds as an option. What about dose for cats?? I guess it should be started after the antibiotic treatment.

thank you
Avatar universal
One more question-any good results from RuniPoo Relief?
Avatar universal
Hello Once Again,

I was reading your notes and wanted to add a couple thoughts, to try to help you with your cat.

Regarding your cat's diarrhea, you may want to consider Tylan. Tylan is the product I mentioned on November 11,2009. It is a very inexpensive, yellow powder labeled for poultry and in my experience as a practicing holistic veterinarian, it has uniformly worked like a charm, clearing up diarrhea within 24-48 hours. Most cats respond very well to ~ 1/8- 1/16 of a teaspoon, dosage being dependent upon body weight, added to their food twice a day for 1-2 days.

We have enjoyed great success in our practice with cats like yours using tylan for a day or two initially to stop the diarrhea along with a home-made diet. Your cat may enjoy for example a diet made of 1/3 lean protein such as chicken, 1/3 long acting carbohydrate including any type of rice, potatoes, pasta, macaroni or oatmeal and 1/3 fresh vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, peas or broccoli.

You can cook the ingredients any way you like, mix them together and puree or cut it up into bite sized chunks. Then add a little extra virgin olive oil.

The extra virgin olive oil enhances the smell and taste and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Cats like food that smells good, so season it up a bit. Many cats like Tamari sauce which is the brown sauce Chinese carry out comes in. You can also buy low sodium Tamari at the grocery store.

Please understand that different veterinarians often have various opinions regarding how to treat a particular illness. My suggestions, for example, may differ from others you receive in this forum, however it doesn't mean that one is right and another wrong. It is merely a reflection of the fact that there is always "more than one way to skin a cat," pardon the expression, and pet owners need to do what makes sense to them for their particular pet.

With that being said, in cats like yours with a history of diarrhea and antibiotics, we do add probiotics initially to replenish the intestines with "good" bacteria that are able to absorb the digested dietary nutrients. These "good" bacteria replace the "bad" bacteria that tend to flourish in these cases. The "bad" bacteria promote gas and loose (diarrhea) stools. I do NOT recommend using yogurt or azodyl as your source for probiotics.

We also add a product called. VitaLife is a natural, patented vitamin supplement for cats, we have used successfully in cats with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and other cats similar to yours, with a history of chronic or long term diarrhea. The VitaLife is a chicken flavored powder we add to the home-made diets to balance them, boost internal immunity and promote wellness. They contain about 45 different organic nutrients, including anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, l-glutamine, the primary amino acid required by the gastro-intestinal system to promote normal digestion, a full spectrum of digestive enzymes, B-complex vitamins and more.

I hope this is helpful and if I can be of help further, just let me know.

Please keep me posted.

Thank you,
Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM.
Avatar universal
Dear Dr Carol Osborne,

Thank you for your response!

About Tylan- the antibiotic prescribed was chosen according to the antibiotic susceptibility test. Since it has been given for 9 days already, I am patient to see the results. My cat started to get better, but extremely slowly! And the diarrhea is still present. Fortunately, the frequency of defecation decreased. I will keep it in mind!!! What should be the dose for a 3-4kg cat?

Food-so far Hill's and Royal Canin are ok. We tried before with chicken, but it didn't work as expected. Only rice and rice water are helpful a bit.

Probiotics and vitamins are also given. However, I will try to find VitaLife. Also, I have the feeling that simple products like vitamins or immune stimulants prove to be effective compared to more serious drugs. I will be glad to hear more about alternatives!

Thank you again, I find the info helpful!
Avatar universal
Dear Dr. Carol Osborne,

You have mentioned to add virgin olive oil to the home-made diet.My cat does not like the home-made (chicken and rice, especially the rice). Is it a good idea to add virgin olive oil and/or fish oil to his commercial diet (Royal Canin or Hill's)?  I guess that it will take some time to show results, if any at all.

Thank you again!!

Avatar universal

My cat seems to be infected with protozoan-that is what the feces examination showed last time (a week ago).The problem is that the isolated species really looks like Balatidium, a usual suspect of chronic diarrhea in humans,monkeys, dogs, BUT not cats!! So far he is given Fenbendazole and acivated carbon (1 tabl.) daily and this treatment does work. However, when the carbon is stopped the feces become mushy.
Diet-Royal Canin intestinal, Hill's i/d and white cheese, as the latter has a beneficial effect.

I am opened to any suggestions and recommendations.

Thank you again!
Avatar universal
I am writing again regarding my cat. After being dewormed, there is still residual diarrhea. And since now he refuses to eat the commercial diets (reason unknown), I prepare the meal you have mentioned above. However, how long does it take to start produce results? We changed last week and so far his general condition has improved (doesn't sleep all the time, walk around, has appetite). But still the feces are mushy and I do Not add any activated carbon or Smecta, just the diet.

One last question, since we do not have the VitaLife supplement in my country, do you recommend to add at least taurine and glutamine to the diet?

Thank you for the help!
Avatar universal
A related discussion, Can You Delete Detrimental Advice? was started.
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