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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!

Dr. Jean
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