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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone!!
Last time I had Scruff at the vet for his thyroid check up (he has gained almost 2lbs since being on methamazole!!) I asked the doctor about Enzo because he has chronic diarrhea. Enzo is a very shy boy and he will come to me for belly rubs, but the minute I try to hold him he freaks out and he's a very strong cat so I wanted to get the vets opinion and help on him before we decide to bring him in. I totally trust this dr, she has been amazing with scruff, she's very very helpful and knowledgable and passionate about her job and this is a feline only vet so this is her only focus. So initially she said we could try giving him FortiFlora in hopes the active cultures would balance out any digestive issues, so he's been getting that and it has helped a little but he still has episodes of diarrhea. I took in a sample the other day and she called me yesterday and said he is clear of any kind of worms and giardia and all that. So now she is suggesting one last thing before I have to try to bring him in and that is giving him Science Diet w/d wet food for 2 weeks and reportig back to her the results. She said some cats that have IBS do well on a higher fiber diet and this could be his issue. My concern is that SD food is not the best qaulity food and I would prefer to keep him on grain free high quality brands at the same time I want him to get better. Right now everyone gets a variety of Before Grain, Wellness, Felidae Grain Free, Holistic Select, and Merrick. Im hoping anyone with experience with this kind of issue could give me some insight. How do you feel about feeding him the SD? Has a grain free/organic brand worked for you?
 

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Science Diet w/d is very low quality food yet pricey. You can read from the ingredient list. I have no idea why port would help IBD nor high fiber which is not a thing a cat needs.

I had my cats on Wellness chicken can. But they don't have IBD. (And now I start to make their food by myself)

I read some articles saying that raw feeding actually "heal" IBD. " Robbie had severe diarrhea for two years until put on a grainless, vegetable-free, raw-meat" http://www.catinfo.org/
This person is a cat vet too.

FYI
 

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Wellness core or regular Wellness canned are GREAT (the NON-seafood or NON-fish flavors, fish or seafood is not ideal for cats with diarrhea issues). My vet prescribed SD for cats with UT issues for Teddy after he got his 2nd UTI within 5 months of the first but that stuff made him throw up and have bad diarrhea. I switched him to no grain foods and he hasn't gotten a UTI in almost 2 years.

I usually feed Wellness wet food in the morning and Wellness Core dry at night (I do this because I need to use an automatic feeder when I go out of town for a day or two). I know that ideally all their food should be wet, but if suddenly switch them to dry for when I leave they barf it up so I try to keep them used to it.
 

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It seems to me that before worrying about the quality of a vet prescribed food I'd want more information on the cause of the condition.

Giardia can often hide. It is not always shedding so it can be entirely missing from single stool samples. I would have 3 stool samples checked before ruling giardia out. Another possible cause is Tritrichomonas Foetus (sp). This is relatively new in cats and requires a specific test. The test is not part of any standard stool exam.

There is also the possibility that a protein allergy could be causing the diarrhea. You can figure this out a couple of ways. First you could feed him Hills z/d (or another hydrolyzed protein food for a month. If the condition improves it's like an allergy to fish or chicken or beef etc. was causing the problem. You just won't know which protein was the culprit. You could also try feeding a novel protein food for a month, like natural Balance Duck & Green Pea. If the duck works you're in business. There are other novel protein foods such as rabbit or venison.

You mentioned IBS, which is different than IBD. IBS is more of an idiopathic diagnosis. IBD is a definitive diagnosis with a definitive treatment. Unfortunately the only way to reach the IBD conclusion is via biopsy.

As I said, I'd be more concerned about determining the cause of the diarrhea at this point. I went through this for nearly two years with Franklin so I feel your pain :)
 

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Is everything they're on currently grain-free? Some Wellness does contain grain (a few of their adult canned varieties) so check the labels to be sure.

Otherwise I'm stumped. I'm going the grain-free route myself with my cats now because Athena is having problems like the ones you describe. Already on a higher % wet diet, and with grain removed from her diet, she's improving dramatically.

It could also be he's having issued with some other ingredient in his food besides grain, like fish, as I know some cats can be sensitive to that. IBS is somewhat nonspecific simply in that it refers to food intolerance/difficulty digesting something. What that something is widely depends on the individual. It could just be one food, or it could be several.

I linked this in another thread, hopefully it may help you too. I made a spreadsheet of high-quality grain free foods that I was looking at to feed my cats: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0All0A08nNWeMdHcyVU9uaVB5T0J5ZHB2ZVBmUjMyUkE&hl=en&authkey=CJvi09MO

It lists foods by brand, what prices (per oz or lb depending on whether it's wet or dry) I've been able to find them for, what type of food they are, what they use as their meat source, what potential allergens or irritants they may contain that I want to watch out for (just based on lists I've found online, your cat may be fine with all, or some of these), and then nutritional information when I could find it (that's specific nutritional info, not the min/max values from the label).
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The only wellness they are getting right now is chicken and then chicken and herring, and they only get food that has fish in it once a week.

As for testing more stool samples, it is hard to get a sample when we have 5 cats. I had been waiting foe an opportunity to catch enzo in the box going poop for 2 weeks almost, I just so happened to wake up to him digging around in the box in our bathroom so I knew it was his. To add to that it was$ 60 just for the one test, not that I wouldn't spend any amount I need to on any of my cats but our pockets hurt right now. I should also add he doesn't have any other symptoms, he's very very active and chatty and playful, he does however eat foriegn objects meaning his toys and 2 of our flleece throw blankets. He's destroyed and eaten cloth parts of every cloth toy they had and he ate two big holes in our fleece blankets. He threw it all up within a day of each occurance and whatever small remnants were left ended up in the litter box.

I will probably call the dr and discuss other food alternatives for him to try first. Right now we are trying to figure out the problem by trial and error and if these things don't work then ill be doing some strategic coaxing to get enzo in a carrier and in to see the dr. She's just trying to help as much as she can without me bringing him in just yet, he does get car sick and the vet is 20 min away at least.

I really appreciate all the feed back and advice too it helps a lot!
 

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The Fortiflora works well for my elderly cat. However, she's also on Hills I/D. If I take her off one or the other, the diarhea returns. So guess I'm stuck feeding her this for the rest of her life.
 
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