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Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years.Thank you for allowing me to assist you today.I am sorry to hear Mac is having some trouble, poor guy sounds like he has had a few battles along the way. I just have a few questions so I can better assist you.Was there ever a time after the surgery that the stools were firm?Has he been on any prescription diets, if so which ones and for how long?Exactly what foods is he eating now and are they canned or dry?Have x rays/ultrasound been done recently to look at the digestive tract?After your reply please give me a few minutes to type up your answer?
Thank you very much for the additional information. It is not uncommon to see varying degrees of digestive problems after the surgery and chemo.Changing the diet up can also make the problems worse.In many cases a strict diet is needed to get the stools in balance. Some cats respond well to prescription diets designed for chronic diarrhea while others will do better on a hypoallergenic diet. I would talk to your vet and see if they think trying a prescription diet would be beneficial.If you want to try something over the counter then I would suggest something grain free with a single noel protein source. Many foods will list one protein such as chicken but actually contain 2-4 different proteins. I would look for a protein source he is not used to but may like such as duck, rabbit, kangaroo,Natural Balance make a good limited ingredient diet and they will mail you samples if you contact them. Your vet may also be able to get you sample of some of the prescription diets so you can find one he likes.When you do a food change I would stop all treats even the chicken and give the food 8-12 weeks to see if it works.Until you decide which direction you want to go as far as food you can try adding some boiled rice into his canned food and feed more grain free. The trick is going to be to balance between constipation and diarrhea, which is why a prescription diet may be best. It is possible that he is reacting to something particular in his diet which is why we want to limit what goes in. Once the stool is normal again you could add back in one treat at a time to see if either of these are bothering him.Did your vet check the thyroid levels? I am sure they did but just needed to check as the weight loss and chronic loose stool can be signs of hyperthyroid which is common in cats.It is also possible that there is more cancer which would account for all of the symptoms.\A short course of steroids can be helpful in some cases as well.If it is just leaking out this this could be due to a lack of muscle in the sphincter muscle as well as the sudden urge that he can not control.I completely understand the no heroics I completely agree and you did go above and beyond when he was young and you opted to treat the cancer. You have given him many more happy years I am sure.I would try a food change as discussed above and I really think that will help though it may take a bit to find a food that works and that he actually likes.I hope this helps. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns and I will be happy to continue.
You are lucky to have each other.There are many grain free brands and most will send you samples, the pet store may even have samples available. We do not want him to stop eating. Eating it the main thing so lets see if we can find one that he likes by getting samples/ Try the samples with him only so that we do not upset the other cats stomach and once we find one that he likes then introduce that to the other cat. I understand the steroid concern as well.Please keep me posted on how things are going and know that I am here if you need me.Give them both a good head scratch from me.
Thought I'd give you a quick update - I know it has only been a little over the week, but things are going well for Mac. I found some high-end grain-free wet food that he likes (yes!) and that doesn't seem to make his sister sick. A win-win. I'm working on gradually changing his dry food as well. I've done one dose of laxative because he seemed to need it, but otherwise he seems to be doing much better. Still a few messes, but he has been very polite and avoided the carpet.
Thanks again for your help! Very much appreciated!
Maureen, Mac and Josie