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Old 03-15-2009, 10:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bloated kitten belly? Thoughts?

Hey guys,

I posted previously in a different forum, but I decided to continue the topic here would be more appropriate.

Anyway, I got this cute little guy last week and there have been a few issues.
  • 1. He's been pooping cow-pie poop, not solid once, since he was brought home.
    2. He's skinnier than he should be (according to the vet - 2.1lbs, ~10-12 weeks of age), and has a bloated belly (from the look and feel of it)
    3. He has been wormed, and I brought him to the vet for stool analysis, and the results for parasites/worms were negative, coc. included.
    4. I've been giving him anti-diarrhea medication (prescribed by the vet) and it has not improved his condition.
    5. His stomach seems to have grown in size.
    6. He is typically kitten-like. Energetic, playful, friendly. In other words, isn't showing any symptoms of being sick or in pain. He cries for affection and loves attention nearly all day long. Eats normally, drinks properly. Doesn't love the dry food, but will eat most of it by the next feeding.

Any ideas? I'm really hoping this isn't a FIP case, but the vet didn't seem to have any thoughts. Should I go back to the same place? It has great ratings... and they were very friendly.

Here are some photos for reference:





And this is a continuation from the "meet my kitty" thread, if this post has upset you too much.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bloated kitten belly? Thoughts?

Cleo had parasites which didn't show up in her stool sample during her "new kitty" visit to my vet. I think a second de-worming or similar treatment to be sure may be in order. Definitely a second vet visit, though.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bloated kitten belly? Thoughts?

I concur. First, I would rule out FIP and then continue with another de-worming. That tummy is definitely over-sized for that size kitten. However, diarrhea usually is hand-in-hand with gas and that can bloat out a tummy.
Could you try switching him to a grain-free type of cat food? The cause of his digestive upset could be an allergy to grains. Also, getting a probiotic certainly couldn't hurt.
Welcome (I think I said hi in the other thread, but if not..."hi" again!) to CatForum!
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bloated kitten belly? Thoughts?

Yikes. Ok. Thanks guys.

I'll call the vet and ask for a second look... I'd rather avoid paying another 120 bucks for no results though. Maybe I can work something out with them...

As far as food goes, I'll look into that. I'm using Iam's Kitten stuff, everybody including the ASPCA recommended it... I need to check the ingredients. At the moment he's being given Flagyl twice daily.

Thanks for the welcoming! I really do hope he's ok. I'll find out soon, I guess.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bloated kitten belly? Thoughts?

Iams Kitten Pro-Active Health ingredients list:
Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Grits, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Potassium Chloride, Brewers Dried Yeast, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Rosemary Extract.

Scary link about meat-by-product meal:
http://www.aplus-flint-river-ranch.com/ ... ?win=small

I am NOT an expert on foods/feeding. I have only picked up a few little informational tidbits ehre and there. Generally, grains are not very good for cats, who are obligate carnivores. Dry foods provide too many carbohydrates and the cat doesn't process them well and instead, stores them as fat. Cats do best with more meat in their diet.
Ah, I'm not making much sense. I'm hoping someone else will come along. You could also do a search through the health/nutrition forums and find more informaiton.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bloated kitten belly? Thoughts?

Interesting thoughts. I suppose it's worth trying, although what options are worth following for Kitten food? It sounds like there are some scary foods out there, but how many can be considered "safe", or is this mostly negative hype?

I called and spoke to the vet briefly today (well, an assistant passed information along), she didn't really have any suggestions at the moment, told me to purchase some Eukanuba low residue food... however, they don't make this for kittens, so I wasn't completely bought on that idea.

It's not as nutrient rich as a kitten food would be, and that would hinder development, logically, right? Or is there no logic to the decision beyond getting his digestion back to normal, if food is the culprit.

I was under the assumption that the wet food had higher protein content, but it causes problems anyway, because it's wet? I don't think I'm making sense now either, long day.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bloated kitten belly? Thoughts?

When anyone has diarrhea, the food is being pushed thorugh the intestines too rapidly for nutrients & water to be properly absorbed. So in theory, any food that results in a normal stool is probably being absorbed better than feeding a food that results in diarrhea.
Changing food too rapidly can also result in diarrhea.

My cats didn't tolerate the better foods as kittens - diarrhea and very smelly poop. I think we tried everything before finding that they tolerated the cheap stuff. <Sigh> And I tried to be a good mother, too!
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bloated kitten belly? Thoughts?

Well there is no definitive test to rule out FIP (don't believe a titre) his playing, eating however sort of rule this out, as FIP kittens if it's dry form are lethargic and don't eat and don't tend to have the bloating, if it's wet they normally have severe congestion and nasal discharge. So just from your description I don't think you have to worry about FIP at this point.

So that brings it back to worms (with lower weight, the puff belly and loose stools I lean towards this), food related (could be causing him gas). Or one other thing that had happened to a kitten of mine - swallowing air, this was confirmed by x-ray (vet just got the air out with a needle - sort of like deflating a balloon).

I do think another vet check is in order, perhaps a second opinion from another vet. He's a cutie! Hope it turns out okay!

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Old 03-17-2009, 05:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bloated kitten belly? Thoughts?

My foster kittens had bloated bellies and soft stools with gas...it was worms.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bloated kitten belly? Thoughts?

Sometimes kittens who have been starved or badly malnourished will bloat like that when they are fed too much too quickly (been there, done that). I don't know if malnutrition was an issue for your kitten before you adopted him, but his underweight status suggests that it may have been. Also, nutrient rich foods can cause bad gut bacteria to flourish and multiply, resulting in a bacterial imbalance and diarrhea. When my previously starved kitten went through something similar (diarrhea and bloating) after I rescued her and started feeding her a high quality diet, my vet had me switch to a low protein diet and give her probiotics until her stool firmed up. Then I very gradually started switching her back to a higher protein, more growth-appropriate food. Even after her stool normalized, it took a couple of months for the bloating to subside and her belly to look normal again.

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