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Old 02-06-2010, 11:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Big belly on my kitty.

Hello everyone, I searched out this forum specifically for this problem, so I hope you guys can help!

My boyfriend and I got two kittens from the humane society about a month ago and they are about 4 months old right now. They are brothers from the same litter, but have very different temperaments. The concern that I have is that the smaller of them, Hoot, has not been growing at the same rate than his brother, Popo. They both seem to be eating fine, I haven't noticed Popo stealing Hoot's food or anything like that, but Hoot is much smaller that Popo. The other thing that I have noticed is that Hoot's belly is much larger, proportionally, to his body size. It's not large, round and firm, but rather hangs down below him. I was wondering if it is potentially an absorption issue with his food or something.

He doesn't appear to be less active than before and seems healthy, but if there is the potential for a problem, I would like to catch it now.

I don't have any real good pictures of the belly, but if that would help clarify, I could get one and post it.

I hope someone can help and thanks for taking the time to read through this!
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big belly on my kitty.

Sounds like worms to me!

Have they been dewormed? Sometimes it takes a few doses before they are totally cleared. The presence of worms can create the "bloated belly" appearance, and they also can steal some of the nutrients the cat ingests, resulting in failure to thrive. It is quite possible that the other kitten has it as well (it often is transmitted mother-to-kitten) but may not just have as bad a case.

Definitely take them to the vet and have a stool sample examined under microscope for worms or larvae. Even if they have them, its an easy (and usually inexpensive!) fix!

-BP
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big belly on my kitty.

He definitely needs a vet visit, it doesn't sound as if he's thriving and there is usually an underlying cause for that...
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big belly on my kitty.

I second the worms/parasites. And if that so happens to check out, make sure you clean and disinfect the litter box/area around the box and every other place your hands or the kittens could have spread any kitty poopy germs, as parasites can easily infect humans/other animals.
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big belly on my kitty.

I hadn't noticed any worms or worm segments in his poop and I was hoping to avoid a vet visit (it took them a long time to get over the colds they got from traveling home from the humane society), but is seems as there is a consensus. I'll give the vet a call and see if they can just do a stool test rather than actually bringing the little guy in.

Thanks guys!
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Old 02-06-2010, 12:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big belly on my kitty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krispyz
I hadn't noticed any worms or worm segments in his poop and I was hoping to avoid a vet visit (it took them a long time to get over the colds they got from traveling home from the humane society), but is seems as there is a consensus. I'll give the vet a call and see if they can just do a stool test rather than actually bringing the little guy in.

Thanks guys!
Just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they aren't there!

If you already are established with a vet, they might treat the cat sight-unseen. When my boyfriend adopted a kitten and before he got her hooked in with a vet, we called a dozen places and no one would deworm her without seeing her.

We ended up taking her to one of the Petco clinics, and they dewormed her for $12 (which is a bit more expensive than what her second dose turned out to be, when she got it from a vet). They also could've run a stool sample, but given her age (~16 weeks, same as yours) and the fact that she *did* throw up roundworms, we knew she was infested.

But given the fact that you haven't seen worms, your probably should get a stool sample because they still very well could be there. It also could be a food allergy and you may need to work with a vet to figure out a game plan.

Keep us updated!

-BP
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big belly on my kitty.

It's always a good idea to have them checked by a vet anyway when you adopt new kitties. The humane society probably gave a very brief exam before adopting them out. They usually do still have parasites and worms and should get a full physical when you bring them home. I always run stool and blood with my new adoptees. If you are going to vaccinate them, they would be due for those as well.
I'd bring them both in and get a full check up.
Also, please do not use any over the counter dewormers. They are not as effective as what the vet will prescribe and they can be dangerous to cats, even deadly.
Good luck!
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big belly on my kitty.

Oh, the humane society we got these guys from does full check ups, but I don't know if worm testing was part of that... they are completely up to date on vaccinations and physicals, or we would have taken them in by now. They are also micro-chipped, which is pretty bad-ass. As it is now Monday, we are calling the vet today and will try to get them in as early as possible ^_^ I will post with the verdict.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big belly on my kitty.

Could be worms, but it could also be FIP. So the kitty really needs to go to the vet in person IMO.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big belly on my kitty.

Weeeeell, just got back from the vet clinic and results are surprising!

No giardia, no worms.

So they're running a fecal culture to check for other parasites that wouldn't show up on the float test. So early next week I may have an answer. I'm wondering if I should be glad he didn't have worms! That would have been easy to fix.

I asked about FIP (as I had not heard of this before) and she said it was unlikely since kitty looks pretty healthy besides diarrhea and slightly stunted growth.

We will see! I'll update again when the results come back.
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