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Dr. Marie
Dr. Marie, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3938
Experience:  Compassionate licensed veterinarian with >20 years experience with cats, dogs and pocket pets
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We are fostering kittens (currently averaging a bit less than

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We are fostering kittens (currently averaging a bit less than 2 lbs each) for a rescue group. Several have recently developed watery diarrhea and have lost weight. A wonderful vet checked out the 2 worst. A fecal showed lots of bacteria and spirochetes. We've been treating with amoxicillin, metronidazole, and endosorb, and supporting with Clinicare and infant Chicken/broth and free access to water. Since we're unsure of the soruce of the spirochetes (and assume that they are the culprits causing the diarrhea), should we treat all the kittens as if they've been infected, and if so, how?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Marie replied 7 years ago.
Hi, this is Dr. Marie here...

Spirochetes are usually not a cause of diarrhea, but simply a result of the greater amount of stool produced when an animal has diarrhea.

We usually don't get too excited about bacteria seen on a stool sample unless we see something that looks like a particular type of bacteria called campylobacter.

It sounds like your vet is covering all of their bases...the amoxicillin is there just in case there is a bacterial problem and the metronidazole is there in case there is a parasite called giardia. Giardia often is difficult to find on a fecal exam.

In either case, most of the causes of diarrhea in young kittens are infectious, so there is a good chance that you will need to treat the other kittens as well. If this were my case I would likely have you separate the healthy from the unhealthy kittens and then if any of the healthy kittens start to get diarrhea they would get treatment too. It is not wrong to simply treat all of them, however we don't like to give an animal antibiotics if not necessary.

It is also possible that these kittens have a virus called panleukopenia which is similar to parvovirus in dogs. Hopefully not because this can be quite serious!


I hope this information helps! If you have more questions regarding this problem, just hit reply. If I am online I will respond right away. Otherwise I will respond as soon as I come online again. Or, if my answer is sufficient, then please hit accept. Thanks!
Dr. Marie.

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
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