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Hi,

We adopted a 9mth old kitty 2mths ago and up until we got him he had mostly solid stools, per the breeder. One or two bouts of diarrhea that cleared up with flagyl. About a week in our house he started having loose stool. He has been treated separately for about 5-10 days with both Flagl and Albon due to the cattery being infected with both, but fecal were normal. We just found this out when I called to see what the breeder suggested.
This is the second Vet that we have seen and now he recommends that we go to Michigan State Vet hospital because he is clueless what the problem is. The kitty was on steroids for about 5 days and his lab work two days post steroids showed an elevated amylase level and some other values that were either one over or one under normal.

The breeder and my husband and I think that we should treat for a longer duration with Flagyl and Albon to make sure we completely killed the bug if there is one.

The vet makes me nervous because he seems to just go along with whatever we ask. He thinks it is inflammatory bowel disease or food allergies. He isn't responding to steroids or Hills Z/D food.

So, are we doing the right thing?
 

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Inflammatory bowel disease in a cat this age would be extremely unusual. IBD nearly always responds to steroids or hypoallergenic diet, so the lack of response also argues against it. However, there is a form of IBD that doesn't respond to anything; a biopsy would be necessary to test for it.

Has a stool sample been sent to the lab? Doing a centrifuge float and all the other comprehensive tests with the lab's special equipment and zillion-dollar microscopes might be a more cost-effective way to go before things get more complicated!

Flagyl is only about 70% effective for giardia. Albon is the same. Neither of them "kills" anything. Both of them are "static" drugs; that is, they prevent bacteria/bugs from reproducing but don't kill them. Fenbendazole (8 days) is also about 70% effective for giardia; if that hasn't been tried, it might be worth it.

I once treated a 4-month old kitten with diarrhea who had been treated 8 times with Flagyl. (Gee, after the first 5 or 6 or 7 trials, wouldn't you get the idea that it's NOT WORKING?), not to mention several other antibiotics. I gave her one dose of a homeopathic remedy (to combat the toxicity from all the drugs) and changed her diet to include raw meat, to repopulate her gut bacteria. Diarrhea disappeared within 2 days, never to recur.

I don't recommend a raw meat diet for every cat, and in the case of IBD where the gut defenses are compromised, it may not be wise. But there are lots of other options. For instance, changing to a high-quality food and adding digestive enzymes and acidophilus, might be very beneficial.

If conventional medicine is not working, you might want to consider working with a holistic vet. There's a directory at www.ahvma.org.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 
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