Chronic diarrhoea help

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Mollycat
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Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Sun May 05, 2019 8:35 am

I have a Ragdoll just coming up to his 15th birthday who I have had for 6 years now. He has always had a bit of a delicate tummy but recently things have taken a serious turn and we're running out of viable options.

In the past these little crises came about a couple of messy times a year. It was either home treated by encouraging him to drink or standard vet treatments - antibiotics followed by vitamin B injection, or more recently vitamin B and a steroid shot. The latest of these was in December.

He is now on his 3rd episode in 3 weeks. He's had vitamin B and steroids, he's got Pro-kolin, he has had a probiotic prebiotic and vitamin powder which triggered another bad episode - he has seen the vet Thursday before Easter and again last Monday. We daren't give him antibiotics as this will destroy his gut flora and keep the problem going, and we can't keep going for weekly steroids.

Vet suspects he has inflammatory bowel disease or possibly cancer, and due to age and renal failure we're not prepared to put him through aggressive treatments. We've put him on a different food to support his tummy (and given up on the renal support food for now). Vet says steroids can help bowel cancer anyway.

He is a delicate eater and has never been greedy, but he lost 10% of his body weight in 8 days so this is pretty serious, and he won't eat the usual tempting treats like fresh cooked chicken or any real meat when he feels poorly.

After all this background - does anyone have any alternative suggestions for keeping the diarrhoea under control? We feel we have run out of non-aggressive treatment options but there must be something out there! Thanks for any suggestions.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by booktigger » Sun May 05, 2019 8:41 am

I had a cat with suspected Intestinal Lymphoma (turned out to be IBD), she had steroid tablets, we started off daily but then reduced to the lowest dose that kept it under control, and she had that for 3 years until something else entirely forced me to make that decision, we did so bloods every 6 months to monitor but she never developed any side effects from them

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Sun May 05, 2019 6:17 pm

Thank you Booktigger I don't think he's responding to the steroid any more though, or if he is it's only for a couple of days. Is that why you suggested tablet form? He didn't get the memo about Ragdoll personality and is very difficult to pill.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by booktigger » Sun May 05, 2019 6:22 pm

Molly initially had an injection, but I was told they prefer tablets for long term, assume it is easier to adjust the dosage. I had to hide hers in chicken, I couldn't tablet her daily, it could take 3 days to get a flea treatment on her. I wouldn't want to use antibiotics though, can't see they'd be much help

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Sun May 05, 2019 7:24 pm

That makes sense, thank you. No, our vet and we agreed antibiotics would be counter productive.

Pills are always tricky but better than constant trips, plus our Molly has wiped us out financially. I guess I'm hoping for some miracle food that will fix him and he will love, but I think deep down I know that doesn't exist.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Sniper1 » Tue May 07, 2019 8:25 pm

Had a similar problem with a renal failure cat and living in a multicast household it was difficult to managa diet we tried coating the dry food with brewers yeast powder which is high vitamin b it worked very well and although we lost that cat to renal failure at 19 she had 2 good years with none of the diarrhea bouts that made her so weak before we still use the powder as it keeps the cats in lovely condition and none of them have ever refused it we buy from Holland and barret lasts ages

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Tue May 07, 2019 8:31 pm

This sounds promising, what's the dosage?

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by booktigger » Tue May 07, 2019 8:42 pm

Please be careful using human brewers yeast in cats, I can't remember offhand but I had issues using it years ago.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Lavone_Folsom » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:51 pm

I prefer anti-diarrheal medications but you shouldn't try any of them without veterinary supervision. I give my cats boiled chicken and boiled rice as a home remedy in such situations as well. You should also increase the water intake and if your cat doesn't drink enough water then give her chicken broth or the water that comes from the rice boiling process.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:57 am

Thank you, by coincidence he is on the second day of his latest attack and eating almost nothing again. I wasn't quick enough with the Pro-kolin so here we go again, fingers crossed a little tuna water might get him to start eating again.

Point is when he is bad he doesn't eat, not boiled chicken, not his food, and certainly not rice. I've never had a cat that would eat rice and I'm not convinced it's any good for them, being basically carbs.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by lilynmitz » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:55 am

Years ago both my cats went down with chronic diarrhoea, many many trips to vet and fecal tests inconclusive. I tried them on fish and rice....... and it came out the other end as fish and rice!! Gave up on that one pretty quick, and yes, they mostly ate around the rice.

In our case the vet decided it might be their gut had become sensitised to various proteins and suggested we try a protein they had not encountered before, ie venison (with a bit of potato mashed in to bulk it up). Instant success! I was so excited to see a solid poo for the first time in months I rang my mother to tell her! But the cat was watching me one day as I was preparing the venison cat slavering at the prospect, and stared in disbelief and horror as I “ruined it” by adding potato! “Are you mad woman??? What the hell are you doing to that perfectly good bowl of venison??!” I cracked up laughing! I gradually weaned them off it onto food for sensitive tums, then normal food, and we never had the problem again.

Sadly from what you describe I suspect this info won’t apply to your puss, but I hope it gave you a giggle at least.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:39 pm

Aw bless that's sweet and actually does help to hear of cats with undiagnosed issues coming back from them. My girl would happily eat mashed potato but she's not the one with the issues. But she makes me laugh about ruining food - she loves raw mince but won't touch it once ruined by cooking. On the other hand I saved a thin slice of our beef joint raw yesterday for her and the dog, she wouldn't touch it raw but was after half of what was on my plate cooked!

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:00 pm

Update - we saw the vet again this morning, there are several tender inflamed or sore areas in his mouth, his bowel feels swollen and inflamed, he has lost another 100g in a month, and to cap it all she said she could feel a little thyroid nodule. Must admit I thought I had felt it too recently. One sore looked like an ulcer which is common in renal failure, and his urine volume has recently increased.

He has had a long-acting antibiotic injection (so no impact on the gut flora) a steroid shot and an appetite stimulant, and he's home with oral steroids and more appetite stimulant if absolutely needed. No more tests or monitoring, no more technology, no more worrying about kidneys - just symptomatic management from now on. We'll see how long he will accept a daily tablet and do our best.

I told him he's on his final warning. How much time is up to him, how good that time will be is our job.
Last edited by Mollycat on Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by booktigger » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:10 pm

I'm sorry to hear it isn't more promising, hope the meds buy him some quality time

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:20 pm

Thank you Booktigger. I think realistically for a 15 year old pedigree with CKD there is a limit to how promising it could possibly have looked.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by booktigger » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:37 pm

Yes, that is very true x

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Lilith » Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:44 pm

Good luck with him x

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by lilynmitz » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:53 pm

Is he on meds for his CKD, and also for his thyroid? I had an old girl who we managed to keep going for several years this way, although admittedly she wasn't facing some of the other challenges your boy has. I hope you can keep him comfortable for a long while yet.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:08 pm

lilynmitz wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:53 pm
Is he on meds for his CKD, and also for his thyroid? I had an old girl who we managed to keep going for several years this way, although admittedly she wasn't facing some of the other challenges your boy has. I hope you can keep him comfortable for a long while yet.
He was on Hills diet until it started making him sick - so his kidneys are now uncontrolled.
Thyroid was spotted literally this morning as a slight nodule. He has no appetite and weight loss fits with that, rather than the characteristic voracious appetite - though Molly didn't fit the classic symptoms either to be fair.

We're apprehensive enough about daily steroid pills, I can't guarantee we will be able to keep those up but we will try and if it makes his life miserable we're agreed we would stop and let him be. Depending how he is otherwise we could have the longer acting injection version but our vet prefers the control we have with tablets.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by booktigger » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:24 pm

Think that is a wise idea, no point buying him time with pills if he is miserable

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:51 pm

We are very lucky with our vet, an independent gold standard hospital practice with a holistic approach and very grounded. They offer every option and when you don't choose the most expensive they almost always support you with a personal anecdote or a good welfare, happiness or science reason to back up your decision. This morning she was the one who said if pills become a daily battle don't feel you have to, and referred to her own sick and elderly cat as "an old wreck of a cat" as in, we owners of old wrecks ... and they will also do a house call to help him oh his way when the time comes. I spent the final afternoon with my old girl years ago desperately ringing round for a vet who would come out, and had just a couple of hours to say goodbye between him agreeing and turning up.

Like I said, life is quality and quantity, he will decide the quantity, our job is the quality. I think buying time with pills if he's miserable would be buying it for us and not for him. Thanks peeps it's really good to feel I'm part of a community where people can say what needs saying, be supportive even if we don't always agree, and share these difficult decisions without fear of judgement.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:48 am

A more positive update

Well on Sunday there didn't seem to be any improvement and we were preparing for the inevitable.

Then yesterday morning Bobby followed me into the kitchen demanding his breakfast ... something he has never done before. Half a pouch and a handful of i/d dry and he tucked in. 6 hours later a clean dish and he was shouting at me for more, and by teatime another whole pouch was gone and I had another clean plate. This morning he woke us up shouting for breakfast at 4am (luckily we are up at 5 anyway) and most of that whole pouch and handful of i/d is gone before 7. He has eaten more in 24 hours than he has been eating in a week.

Then he climbed up on the cat tree and had a look out of the window, which he hasn't done for months, and delivered quite a normal sausage out the back end. Sigh of relief.

This is only the first step, he has 4 more days on a whole tablet then we begin the process of cutting down to the lowest effective dose, but at last it seems we have something that is actually going to help him.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Lilith » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:43 am

Great news! Poetry in motion eh? :D

This comes a bit late but I think I may have stumbled on another possible diarrohea remedy - goat cheese. I won't go into details and this is a longterm human case (years!) but an improvement came about after a fad for goat cheese (Chavroux Buche in this case but they're all similar) and, doing a bit of googling, it was found that it was probiotic, had a special acid that helped calm bad bacteria in the gut ... well, can't remember all the details but it's easy to google yourself. Complete coincidence perhaps but in this case the delinquent stomach has been behaving beautifully for an unheard of period, and so the connection with goat cheese may be possible. It's also very mild, crumbly, and I can imagine mixing a little, crumbled, into a cat's food, might not bother the cat. It's also tasty for humans - divine, soft and creamy on a pizza, so the humans can help the cat to finish it. Unless they happen to be cheese-haters or vegans.

Errm, 'buche' means 'log' ... sorry - my lavatory humour ... :oops:

Good luck and keep up the good work, Bobby :D

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by booktigger » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:58 am

Glad there is a positive update - with my Molly, her lowest effective dose was half a tablet twice a week, hopefully his will be similar, so there isn't too much trauma about medicating.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm

Oh Lilith I love your stories and the way you deliver them! Have you thought about writing a book or some short stories of all these great characters and all the humorous wisdom you have collected?

I thought I was funny on facebook this morning saying it seemed Bobby had either found the will to live (eating) or a death wish (climbing up on Molly's ivory tower) but your goats cheese log takes the biscuit! I did have him on something, Natraflora or something, which made things worse.

Booktigger - sounds like we could be benefiting from a massive overkill at the moment then, possibly. They're all different but I guess it could take a little while to come down to smallest effective dose.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by booktigger » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:12 pm

Mollycat wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
Oh Lilith I love your stories and the way you deliver them! Have you thought about writing a book or some short stories of all these great characters and all the humorous wisdom you have collected?

I thought I was funny on facebook this morning saying it seemed Bobby had either found the will to live (eating) or a death wish (climbing up on Molly's ivory tower) but your goats cheese log takes the biscuit! I did have him on something, Natraflora or something, which made things worse.

Booktigger - sounds like we could be benefiting from a massive overkill at the moment then, possibly. They're all different but I guess it could take a little while to come down to smallest effective dose.
Depends how many you have to give I suppose, and also bear in mind the weight issue, the heaviest my Molly got to was 3.75 and she looked overweight, she was 2.7kg at the end (she was also 21!). I think we started reducing hers after 18 months, when they realised they had misdiagnosed her, she was on them for 3.5 years

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Lilith » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:27 pm

Aww thanks Mollycat for the kind words :oops: I've been writing all my life and hope to be published one day - I'm not very good at submitting work to agents or making a 'sales pitch' though. You've heard of competitive type A - I'm type zzzzzzzzz .....

I think different animals and humans do respond to different remedies differently ... (isn't there a different word for different lol?) But you seem to have hit on what suits Bobby - long may it last and all the best for many more logs! :D

ps Errm, puts a whole new spin on the terms 'login' and 'logout' ... :o

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:37 am

Login doesn't sound very savoury!

And yes, the easiest example being how pets cope with chemotherapy very well whereas we suffer.

For now Boo-cat is on day 3 of eating well and clearly feeling much, much better. He was waiting for his breakfast again this morning and had eaten all the jelly within an hour. And the i/d dry is going down too.

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Lilith » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:45 am

Oh no, lol, it doesn't does it? I was thinking of log in residence, as it were, before it becomes log out ...

...Trays ...
I'm thinking of the Trays ...
Those endless Trays, those nameless Trays ...

Our days are dominated by them :shock: :lol:

I shudder at the thought of babies, but really cats are worse because they need chambermaiding all their lives. And as for snakes ... :o

He's going from strength to strength isn't he? Congrats and long may it last! :)

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Re: Chronic diarrhoea help

Post by Mollycat » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:43 am

I won't forget a single tray believe me!
Anyone else get this or will they think we're completely bonkers Lilith?

They come into the bathroom to use it and the best bit is it's such an honour because they are vulnerable so it's a sign that our rescued traumatised babies have gained that level of trust in us ...

I don't do babies. I just ... don't ... at all ... ever. Not even when cleaning up Boo's pantaloons.

And yes he certainly seems solid enough at the moment, one day at a time though. A nice lady I meet walking our dogs helpfully suggested "Why don't you just put him to sleep?" and I thought he sleeps 23 hours a day as it is!

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