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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last 3 weeks I've transitioned my cats from kibble to canned to raw. My problem child, Kitty, has had chronic diarrhea for over 2 years. The whole reason for the change to raw was to try to combat this since the Vet hasn't had any luck finding a treatment.
So now, 3 weeks into raw, the stools are worse than ever. She's "explosive". Today she managed to spray liquid feces across my entire shower (her favorite place). There were splash marks across an 8ft x 4ft area. And she does this several times a day.
Other than this "little" problem, she's eating fine - in fact she eats more than the other 3 cats - possibly because she's not retaining it. She has lost weight which really isn't a good thing. She's probably less than 10 lbs now.
I've tried switching around the type of protein starting with canned duck to canned fishes to raw Rad Cat Turkey/Chicken to home made raw chicken breast with TCFeline premix for raw diets.

She's still on the Prednisolone (which the vet prescribed). I'd like to get her off of it but am not sure whether to do that now or wait.

Nothing I've tried has had a positive effect.

Does anyone have ideas on what I should try next?
 

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Usually the amount of bone in the diet controls the stool firmness, although your cat already had issues going into it so you don't know if this will be the complete solution since you don't know what was/is causing her diarrhea in the first place. If you up the amount of bone though, her stools should solidify more. Just don't go too much in the other direction because she could get constipated.
 

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This is just off the top of my head with nothing to back it up. Try cooking the chicken breast and grinding it if possible. I'm making this suggestion only because you've seemingly tried everything else. Perhaps you could back it up with a very small amount of kibble.
 

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Has Tritrichomonas foetus been ruled out? This can cause seemingly 'untreatable' diarrhea in cats. Been there, done that!
 

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I would switch her over to a single meat food, weather it's homemade or store bought. All chicken, for example. And keep her on that ONLY for at least three weeks to give her system time to adjust. Constantly changing it up makes it hard to spot the problem ingrediant

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What has been done to diagnose her? Have you used any other meds and/or supplements besides pred? How long has she been on the pred? Has it helped at all? We really need a whole history from you to be able to make some educated suggestions.

The chicken jumps out as a possible culprit. Also in reading your other posts it seems like you've thrown a lot of different foods and toppers at your cats in the last couple weeks. Any of that could be the problem as IBD kitties really don't do well with a lot of change.

I'm dealing with an IBD kitty too. He's on RadCat Lamb and Chlorambucil, which is a nasty chemo drug but it's the only thing that worked for him. Oh...and B12 shots.
 

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I'm in definite agreement with Pkbshrew!
Get her tested for Tritrichomonas foetus!
Way to many vets don't do a routine test for this...so unless they have a 'Light Bulb' moment or it's suggested to them, they don't think about it!!

Kitty has got to be stressed to the max with this...poor baby, two years is a long time to live with this...
 

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If she's has T. Foetus for 3 years, the other cats in the house would have it too. It's very contagious. Maybe worth testing for just to rule it out, but I'd be very surprised if the test was positive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions.
Kitty has had a wide variety of fecal tests and bloodwork over the last couple of years. Everything came back negative.
None of the other 3 cats have any issues with digestion so I don't think it's contagious.
We also tried a B12 shot but that didn't work either (and her bloodwork did not show that she was B12 deficient).
The prednisolone worked somewhat initially. And then it "wore off". We took her completely off it for a while and then a new vet specialist told us to increase the dose over what she had before. Again, initially it seemed to help. And then the effect wore off again.

I'm now working on the "single food" concept but it hasn't been easy because she only agreed to eat the raw chicken yesterday. And the 3 other cats are not all on board. Two of them don't want to eat it. Tonight Kitty ate her bowl and then promptly ate the meals of 2 of the other cats because they didn't want it.
So ... either they all eat exactly the same thing (which they don't agree on), or Kitty is going to wind up eating hers and whatever else she can steal.

It's very hard to separate the meals so that they can't get to each other's food. But I'm working on it. And hoping that my 2 holdouts don't starve to death because I refuse to put down any kibble for snacks.

Thanks again.
 

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Don't let them go more than 24 hours with out eating. In some cats that can cause serious liver problems. You may want to try offering them some freeze dried raw kibbles. That may help. Is your IBD cat on any pro-biotics?
 

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Don't worry OmegaCorns, no one is starving. Although they are all rather fickle, I can get food into each of them. I've bribed with the freeze dried raw (only 2 of them will eat that) and by crushing some of the cheap Temptations treats and sprinkling that on the wet food and I've mixed the raw with "junk food" such as Friskies canned. They're slowly getting the idea. Meanwhile, Kitty still has issues. A shot of Depo Medrol (steroid) from the vet firmed her up for a couple of weeks but it wore off. It's clear her issue isn't simply diet. I suspect she needs to be on the steroid full time which isn't my preference. But the vet says the only way to truly diagnose would be to do biopsies. And I just can't see putting poor Kitty though that. So I'll do my best to keep her happy and comfortable even though we don't know for sure what her problem is. And yes, she's been on a priobiotic and also on Slippery Elm tincture. Thanks for the response.
 

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It sounds like you'r egenerally on the right track, but you need to be a bit firmer about who eats what.

If Kitty truly has IBD then the best way to treat her is to have her on a single protien raw diet (IMO). You NEED to enforce that, or it's a complete waste of time.

I've got some experience with what you're dealing with, my oldest girl also likely has undiagnosed IBD, but I am lucky in that a raw diet pretty much has cured Jitzu. Or at least managed her problems long term.

In the beginning, for raw to work, she needs to eat one thing and one thing only for about a month. If that doesn't calm her down then you should try a different protien, duck or turkey might work better than chicken.

I also have 4 cats and when Jitzu is feeling sick (she has chronic herpes) I have to strictly enforce that only she eats her dinner and nothing else. What I do is feed my two boys (no food issues, or other health concerns) together since they share nicely. Torri eats separately, and so does Jitzu. I keep them apart for a minimum of 30 minutes, and any food left is removed. Now there's never any food left.

They will adjust to the schedule, but for Kitty to have any chance of improving she needs to not be eating the other cat's food.
 

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Have you tried a medication called Metronidazole? We use that with some of the IBD kitties at the clinic I work at. If you haven't tried it you might want to ask your vet about that. It might help her to feel better until the raw diet has the "kinks" worked out.
And librarychick is right. A novel and limited protein diet may be better for her than doing chicken or fish. We use venison and duck for a lot of cats who have tummy troubles. Most cats seem to prefer the venison.
 

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The vet I work for actually just prescribed Metronidazole for a cat who has IBD which is why I mentioned it.

Have you tried adding plain canned pumpkin to her food? My little girl Artemisia has been having issues with diarrhea and adding about 1/2 tbs to her food every meal has improved her stool drastically. I also add a little plain low fat yogurt to her food. She has lymphoma not IBD but if you haven't tried pumpkin it might make her feel a little better.
 

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Update

It's been a while since I started this thread and I figured i'd post some conclusions.
To the suggestions regarding Metronidizole, we tried that. Didn't help. She was tested for Tritrichomonas. It was negative. We chose not to persue a colonoscopy or any invasive exploratory surgery.

We eventually solved the diarrhea problem with the Prednisolone. We had been giving it to her transdermally. After doing a consultation with Dr. Pierson, she recommended switching to pill form because there haven't been any studies regarding the absorbtion rates of Pred as a transdermal.

She gave us some techniques using pill pockets which enabled us to get the pill into the cat without trying to shove it in her mouth. She loves the pill pockets! And the few times when she didn't want them, i rolled the pocket in fortiflora and she gobbled it right up.

Almost immediately, upon starting the pills, the diarrhea was gone! Unfortunately, she also gained about 3 pounds in 1 month. We've been slowly lowering the dose. The stools are still normal and she's no longer gaining weight. We hope to get her off the pred entirely but we know you can't abruptly stop a steroid.

Meanwhile we're still doing the raw food diet (as per catinfo.org). All 4 of my cats still really don't like it much. They reluctantly eat it. I mix in a little Friskies canned food to add some flavor. It helps a little.

I can't thank Dr. Pierson enough for teaching us how to pill a cat. None of the vets I've ever gone to told us about pill pockets or techniques for getting a cat to eat them. They just told us to grab the cat and shove the pill down her throat. Dr. Pierson's method is so much easier and Kitty adores her "treats". She has no clue there is a pill in there!
 

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Oh wow, that's a great update, debs-cats! I'm so glad you've finally figured out your kitties diarrhea issue and with none other than Dr. Pierson! Yay!:yellbounce That pill pocket trick rolled in Fortiflora sounds almost like ice cream with candy sprinkles on it, lol. It sure is a world of a difference when you meet a vet that actually understands felines and cares for them as much as we do!

Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us! Now we know prenisolone doesn't do much good transdermally for cats! Not sure where you'd apply it with all that fur, though! ;-)
 

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You apply the transdermal on the ear (the non-furry side). We have used this technique successfully (can't remember which medicine it was). According to Dr. Pierson there are only a couple medications that can be absorbed this way. Using the pill pockets is a better and cheaper alternative - if your cat will eat them and if the pill can be cut up really small - because if they taste the pill, it's all over. Pill pockets do come in a couple different flavors (for a while we used the doggy chicken flavor ones - you get more pocket for the money). But Kitty preferred the salmon flavor.
One of my cats won't eat either flavor. Hopefully we won't ever need to get pills in him :(
 

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I also have Dr. Pierson to thank for her instructions on pilling a cat. My girl comes and gets me if I forget "pill" time. That is how much she loves it. Much better than the trauma of rolling her in a towel and forcing her teeth apart. Prednisolone pills can be a challenge because they are so bitter. I had to tweak my approach a bit.
 
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