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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24383
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My 9 wk old kitten has had diarrhea days. Vet says stool

Customer Question

My 9 wk old kitten has had diarrhea for 5 days. Vet says stool sample negative. Says kitten would not cooperate for full exam so no temp, no sounds of heart or lungs. Weight is 1lb 4 ounces. They are unable to treat her without exam or xray as he wont 'cooperate'. Hasnt used the litter box and has diarrhea 4+ times daily. Eats and drinks minimally. Any thoughts as how i can keep him alive?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Chrisitine, because fecal ova and parasite exams are too often falsely negative, it would be prudent for you to treat Toby presumptively with over the counter fenbendazole (Panacur) available in many pet/feed stores. You can ignore the proviso for "dogs only"; we dose fenbendazole to cats at the same dose in dogs. This drug addresses all of the nematodes (roundworms, hookworms) as well as the protozoan Giardia when given daily for 3 consecutive days. Coccidia remain a concern but you would need a prescription drug such as ponazuril for Toby in order to address coccidia.

See what you can do about keeping Toby hydrated and electrolyte balanced by dosing him with a pediatric fluid replacer such as Pedialyte (or generics). His daily requirement is ~1 ounce per pound of body weight which isn't easy to give orally but every little bit counts. You can also eyedropper meat flavored baby foods which are usually well-accepted by kittens. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Before i got him a week ago, he was treated with pyrantel twice and revolution once. Is panacur any different? Is it based on weight? At not even 1.5 lbs i would be afraid to overdose him.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Panacur has the advantage of being effective against Giardia unlike pyrantel. Pyrantel is nicely effective against the nematodes so in respect to parasitism, Giardia and coccidia still need to be considered. I don't understand why a vet wouldn't presumptively treat this kitten with the tiny amount of liquid fenbendazole and ponazuril needed in order to rule out all of the common parasites in these kittens.

There isn't a 1 lb 4 ounce kitten alive that my technicians and I can't handle, treat (as mentioned above + subcutaneous fluids, e.g.) and test (FeLV and FIV testing). Perhaps having another vet attend to Toby would be prudent. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Now my 2 year old cat is vomiting, while the kitten never has. If toby has a parasite, is my other cat in danger? I couldnt believe my eyes, ears, or the $88 bill given without a proper exam. I believe the kitten is in pain in his belly and does not like to be handled. Kitten will lay on my lap for hours and is calm around the house. Ive never seen a kitten act so wild that it jumped straight into the air but it did. The screaming and howling was unlike anything ive ever seen or heard either. He said he couldnt safely handle toby without hurting him further. They said hes too fragile for anesthesia so he cant have any xrays or blood work at this time.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Yes, cats can and do act very differently when out of their comfort zone. I have to assume that the vet is showing good sense but these medications can be sent home for you to give. All of the parasites are contagious but it would be too soon for any to become symptomatic in your 2 year old.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.
Hi Christine,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Toby. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin