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Old 01-07-2011, 10:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Food for sensitive stomach?

Baloo has been having diarrhea with blood in it for quite a while, months actually, on and off. The vet told me to feed him the blandest food possible with low fat in case it's a longterm intestinal problem, and handed me SCIENCE DIET SENSITIVE STOMACH dry food sample, and ID SCIENCE DIET presciption wet food. He told me if my cat liked the dry then to buy a bag of it & cans of the same brand wet food.

However, Science diet is a terrible food and the dry he gave me is full of grains, and meat is like not even on the ingredients list!!! I don't want to feed that to my cat. I had him on Merrick's BEFORE GRAIN SALMON recipe and WELLNESS pouches for wet. I'm guessing these foods aren't good for a very sensitive tummy? What can I substitute for the Science Diet my vet is forcing me to feed my cat?

We're also putting him on probiotics and some medicine to help with the diarrhea. If improvement isn't shown in a week we're doing another stool sample to check for giardia. Any suggestions you guys?? I'm going cat food shopping tm and don't know what to get!
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Paizly doesn't have issues with diarrhea, but with throwing up. I have found that if food has ANY corn or variation of corn in it, it upsets her tummy. I have switched to Costco's brand, and she has thrown up once in the last couple weeks (something might have stressed her that day).
She does throw up canned food 3/4 of the time, but I think that's because I give it to her after her medicine as a "treat" for being a good patient...so I think it's really the medicine instead (it says it can cause upset stomach). I'm going to try this next week to wait 15 minutes after meds to give canned food... and just give her a little treat like ONE of those moist Pounce things, instead.

I don't know if you have a Costco near you. The first three ingredients are "Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice...etc". and no corn anywhere. Look for something similar.

I would still get your kitty tested for parasites/germs, it could be that too.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Unfortunately I don't have access to a Costco here! The food I'm was already feeding him was premium quality with real meat and no grains...but that doesn't qualify as a recipe for a sensitive digestive tract, does it?

What does it mean by a BLAND food? That's what my vet said...and LOW IN FAT. I've been trying to look up what it means to be a food for a sensitive stomach. Some sources say it should contain rice, egg, and oat meal. Others say it should consist of a single protein and single carb source. Others say I should look more minimal ingredients.

So what should I look for in a food for a cat who can't digest foods properly, because he frequently has bloody diarrhea? I need to find another food asap! It's not really a food allergy, but more of a digestive tract problem most likely.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds like your cat was already on some pretty good food. I'm disappointed to hear of yet another vet prescribing a food filled with grains for a cat with a sensitive stomach. If my experiences with my little Athena are anything to go by, grains are often the cause of this sort of problem. She has diarrhea if she has any grain in her diet, even supposedly "better" ones like brown rice or barley.

But I really don't know. This goes beyond my basic cat knowledge. And it sounds like your vet was only minimally helpful. I know that when dogs get bloody diarrhea it's often a sign of stress or some other illness. Testing for parasites again is probably a good idea. I'm surprised your vet didn't want to try that first instead of foisting expensive grain-filled food on you.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Has your vet done anything besides prescribe a different food? If not, please find another vet and have your cat tested for parasites. If clear, then a course of metronidazole (flagyl) is typically the next step. If that doesn't work, THEN, I'd be thinking about a different diet. Your cat is eating good food already, the diet is probably the least likely suspect here.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No, I already got Baloo tested for parasites at this vet and it came out negative. Then he gave me metronidazole, of which I gave the first dose of to my cat this morning. He said in addition to the medicine he wanted a diet change and probiotics, because he would like to attempt a hollistic approach at first to see if the problem is with Baloo's digestive tract. He said if Baloo didn't show improvement from the medicine & diet change in a week, then we would do another test for giardia and give him medicine for that.

So I can keep him on Merrick's Before Grain then? Could the potato ingredients in there be potentially irritating to kitty's digestive system? I just brough Limited Ingredient Diet Natural Balance (Green Pea & Duck), but of course Baloo took one sniff and rejected it. He's such a picky cat! He's obsessed with low end foods like Science Diet and Purina. It's a stuggle to feed him. I guess I'll be returning that.

Does anyone know where I can buy probiotics like Eagle Pack Hollistic Solution? I couldn't find it at Petco or a private pet shop. Do those types of things typically have to be ordered?
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wouldn't throw too many changes into the mix here...then if it resolves you won't know why. The problem could be fixed by the med, but you changed food too...so you may then think there's food restrictions and there aren't.

I would go with the meds and maybe a probiotic and leave it at that for a few days. Bloody diarrhea can sometimes come on for no obvious reason, a course of Flagyl can be an easy and quick fix. You will know in 2-3 days whether it's helping...but make sure to finish the prescription.

There are plenty of choices for probiotics...you can use human probiotics, it doesn't have to be a pet specific product.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh! Also what I forgot to tell the vet is that I caught him scooting early this week, and he left a faint trail of blood. That's the first time he's ever scooted, and he's 6months, so I know it's not normal. Could the scooting be indicative of anything? Do vet clinics allow you to speak briefly with the vet to mention things like that without making an appointment? I'm already supposed to swing by the clinic next week to drop off some payment stuff at the desk, and I feel like I should really mention that to the vet. :/
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The scooting is probably related to the diarrhea. Again, drawing upon my knowledge of dogs here (my pomeranian had a lot of these issues a while back) but I assume this applies to cats too: his bottom is probably raw/uncomfortable from the diarrhea.

I'd try gently cleaning it off with some water and a soft cloth for him regularly, to help minimize the discomfort. You may want to ask the vet if there's anything you can safely put on it to help. I remember we used something like Vaseline for my dog, but I'm not sure whether or not that'll be okay for cats since they clean themselves. Hopefully the vet will have some suggestion.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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He probably scooting because he's irritated or the was poop/blood stuck to his butt.

Now that you mention that he's only 6 months...another possibility is a parasite called T. Foetus. Is used to be very rare, but it's becoming more prevalent.
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