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Discussion Starter #1
I took Stormy and Justin to a vet again today, a new one that I have not use before.
The vet said that with their poop problems, they probably had some sort of infection and inflammation. I asked what would be causing the infection and he said that he would be honest, that he didn't know, but the more important thing was to try to treat them and get them better rather than spending time and money trying to find out the exact cause. He gave them each a shot of penicillin and cortisone. That is supposed to improve the poop by the end of the weekend. If not, he said I should give Pepto Bismol.
He also said they could have allergies...causing mucus in their nasal passage which they gulp down into their stomachs, causing the poop problems. Also when I described the way the blood in Stormy's stool has looked (a little bit of mucosy blood coating the stool) he said there was a good chance that was what was causing hers. Justin of course, has had the soft stool. He said that the food could be not really getting absorbed and therefore he eats more which only worsens the cycle. So I'm supposed to cut back on their food over the next couple days.
He assured me that poop problems like my guys have are usually pretty minor...I may be worrying over nothing.
Anyway, that's all I can remember that he said. I wish I would have asked more questions...I always don't and then later think of stuff that I should have asked. Anyway, cross your fingers that the poop gets better. For their sake and mine (vet bills = expensive!)
 

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Well, I hope it is minor... My fingers are crossed for you shlanon
 

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new vet

I must disagree with this vet's advice. You should NEVER give Pepto-Bismol to a cat. It contains aspirin (salicylate) which is toxic to cats. Even Kaopectate now contains a salicylate derivative and is no longer safe for cats.

I am confused by your doc's explanation of the possible "cause" of the problem. Cats do not generally get allergies like we do ("hay fever" type sinus reactions) but they do get diarrhea as a direct result of some allergies, including inflammatory bowel disease. The entire GI tract is one big mucous membrane, it's lined with mucus as a normal protective function. Mucus that is swallowed would be totally digested before it reached the colon, it's just protein. If there's mucus in the stool, by definition it came *from* the colon goblet cells that make mucus for a living. I am hoping you just misunderstood his explanation, or that he didn't explain himself very well, because it makes no sense to me! It *would* make sense if he said they might have food allergies, because this is indeed possible and would cause the symptoms they've had.

If the steroid works, then we have some empirical evidence that food allergies could be involved. (It would not be conclusive evidence, since an antibiotic was also given, which will substantially alter the bacterial population of the gut, so that confounds the results). However this would not resolve the cause of the problem, which remains unknown.

I'm going to rant a little here, so this may be a good time to tune out! :)

In modern society we are like quick, easy solutions. (Personally, I blame it on MTV!) If you have a headache, you take a pill, and in 15 minutes it's gone. Holistic vets call that suppressive medicine because it simply suppresses the symptoms without doing anything at all to address the cause. Holistic solutions, OTOH, take time and patience because they work to solve the problem at its deepest source, thereby healing "from the inside out" as it were. So the symptom in question is often the *last* thing to change.

Vets in busy practices often choose 15-minute solutions because that's what they think people want. They hear, "my cat has diarrhea, fix it, and fix it NOW! " It's certainly possible, and usually pretty easy and cheap, to "fix" the problem by suppressing it with drugs. So that's what gets done.

A more holistic approach would be to do what is necessary to make your cats healthier on the inside so that the outer, visible problem (diarrhea) resolves itself as a natural result of their improved overall health. However, holistic treatment could take weeks or months to fully resolve the problem, and sometimes it's a lot of hassle. For instance, a holistic vet might recommend a month of hypoallergenic homemade food. Potentially you'd have to put up with an amazing variety of stool consistencies, changing from day to day, during the healing process! That can be very hard for people to handle. It is certainly not for everyone.

I do hope this works for your guys and that, once the symptoms have gone, they are able to maintain the improvement using their own resources. They're young and healthy, so this is entirely within reasonable expectations.

Let us know what happens!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was wondering myself if it could be food allergies. I didn't think of this until later though. The only thing that made me think it wasn't, was that he was on this food for a month and a half before the diarrhea started. But I guess he still could have developed the allergies?
In any case, I may try switching their food again. According to your articles, this is a good idea anyway? The felidae has 4 different meats so maybe I could try one with less kinds.
I have also tried giving more wet but Justin really doesn't seem to want to eat very much of it. Maybe I will try a different wet also.
Dr. Jean it's very possible I misunderstood some of what he said. I am somewhat confused about all of it. I'm just hoping that the shots will solve the problem and my guys can go back to being healthy!
Part of the problem is that I just flat out don't understand the way digestion and nutrition works in cats. The more I read, the more confused I get because everything is contradictory to other stuff I've read or contradictory to what makes sense to me. For example, I don't understand why fiber is good for humans but not for cats. Also I don't understand why, if carbs cause animals to gain weight, then why are there more carbs in the light foods?!
I honestly just don't even understand what on earth could be causing inflammation of their gut. If it's bacterial, I don't know why the immune system hasn't cleared it. It seems like it either would have gone away or gotten worse, not just stayed the same. If it's something else, well, what else IS there?! :?
I want to get the problem taken care of so that they won't have it any more, not just make it go away for a little while and then have it come back. If it's food allergies, it may just come back, right?
I guess my plan of action is to watch the poop and try to change the food soon. The problem is that I just recently bought a 20 lb bag and that lasts quite awhile. So now I either shell out more $ for new food or use up the food I already have and get new food when it runs out.
 

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shlanon,
i hope your babies get better!

years ago we had a cat that had developed blood in his bowels and we found out that he was sentive the dry cat food and had to switch over to wet food for him. he was fine after the switch.

i hope your answer is as simple. :)
 

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shlanon:

I can see your concern, I know if I were to walk into a vets office and have them tell me "I don't know whats wrong with your cat, but here's an injection, maybe it will clear up." That would not be accepted.
Did they run any tests at all on your cats? If they didn't they should have. Bowel problems are tricky as so many things can cause them.

I must agree with Dr. Jean, re the Pepto-Bismol. Did your vet give you an explination as to why they recommened the pepto? It's entirely possible that doctor didn't know better, or was under the beliefe that Pepto was ok to give.

About the food however, sometimes you'll have to try 3 different brands or so, to find one your cat likes, and to find one that works well for them.
It takes an average of 1-3 months to see the full effect a food will have on your cats. This includes everything, skin/coat, eyes, claws, stools, behavior you name it. Some cats are sensitive to high quantities of meat protein. Good luck trying to narrow everything down!

(edit): If you have not opened that new bag of food yet, perhaps you could donate it to a rescue?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just wanted to update everyone. Justin and Stormy both have had a couple good stools since they got the meds. This night, though, Justin's stool seemed a little softer. It was still very well formed and I don't have a problem with it, I'm just worried that it will continue to get softer until it is back to where it used to be. I have already spent a lot of money on vet bills and I hate to spend more when I feel like I'm not getting anywhere. I don't even know who to take him to. I was assured by the people at work that the last vet that I went to was good, but after hearing abou the Pepto thing, I don't know about that.
Is is likely that it is food allergies? I have been feeding a lot more wet lately (Wellness) and less of the dry.
I just don't know what to switch to and how much dry and wet to feed for Justin's problem and also for him to lose some weight. I just don't know how I'll get those answers unless I have a vet I can trust. But how can I trust a vet when every one I go to ends up telling me to do something that is bad for my cats?! :(
I'm crossing my fingers that his stool will stay okay.
 
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