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My feral cat, about 9 years old, did not gain weight last winter

nor is he gaining weight...
My feral cat, about 9 years old, did not gain weight last winter nor is he gaining weight like the two other feral cats this winter. He is not eating as much and is very slim and the only sign of sickness is occasional blood in his stool. I have trained him to come into the greenhouse in the winter so there is a liter box there for me to check and I found a little blood in loose stools this morning. One time I gave him 250 mg. of a 500 mg. Amoxicilina for a few days and that seemed to help. Should I do this again. I don't know if I could get him to the vet. If I take the brownish fecal into the vet, would they be able to help me diagnose and treat him at home?
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Answered in 36 minutes by:
11/4/2013
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,107
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.

I am sorry to hear that Tye isn't gaining weight and has loose stools.

 

Diarrhea can be due to stress, a change in diet, parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, infiltrative cancers like lymphoma or even a food allergy. But it can also be related to metabolic organ disease (such kidney or liver disease or diabetes) due to organ wastes irritating the gut. Rarely a mass in the colon can be the cause.

 

Ideally because he is an older guy he should be seen by a veterinarian and have a physical examination and some testing done. I realize that may be very difficult to do because he is feral.

I would recommend taking his stool in to your veterinarian for a parasite check as a place to start. Beyond that if there is bright red blood and mucous in his stools then that indicates large intestinal disease, whereas tarry blood and watery stools with no mucous indicate small intestinal disease.

 

Because he's an outdoor fellow I would worm him whether parasite eggs or cysts are present as they are a common cause of diarrhea and are only shed intermittently.

 

When diarrhea is present that changes the bacteria flora in the gut so sometimes antibiotics do help, and so do probiotics. You might wish to add Flortiflora or Benebac to his food to add beneficial bacteria back to his intestinal tract.

 

You might wish to try feeding a bland diet of 2/3 boiled white, skinless chicken), all fats and juices drained off mixed with 1/3 boiled, plain white rice. Feed several small meals a day. Add 1 to 2 tablespoon(s) of canned pumpkin to each meal if you are seeing mucous in his stool as fiber helps soothe an irritated colon. If that diet seems to help you might wish to feed a prescription food called Purina OM, which is easy to digest and has extra fiber which may be a perfect long term food for him.

 

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

 

 

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


If I decide to try my antibiotics, is 500mg too strong for him? If I can't find him or catch him to get him into the vet., where can I buy worm medicine, Flortiflora, Benebac or Purina OM. We have a Tractor Supply, Walmart or would I go to the vet's office to buy this?

Customer reply replied 4 years ago


If I decide to try my antibiotics, is 500mg too strong for him? If I can't find him or catch him to get him into the vet., where can I buy worm medicine, Flortiflora, Benebac or Purina OM. We have a Tractor Supply, Walmart or would I go to the vet's office to buy this?


 


I, also, have some 5.1 - 9lbs Advantage Multi cat topical solution that I have given Tye in the past. Would that help, too? I gave him a couple of doses back in the summer. Thank you

I would recommend you get a wormer from your veterinarian. Panacur is a great all around wormer. Advantage Multi is another great option for him and since you already have that I would use it.

Purina OM is a prescription diet available from your veterinarian.

Fortiflora or Benebac are both available online (Amazon.com has both I believe), at the pet store or from your veterinarian.

 

Amoxicillin is dosed at 5mg to 10mg per pound of body weight every 12 hours for at least a week. Most cats are 8 to 10 pounds so a usual dose would be 40mg to 100mg every 12 hours. 500mg would be too much for most cats. Here is a link to a webpage that will give you information about Amoxicillin use in cats, normal doses and side effects: http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/amoxicillin/page1.aspx

I cannot tell you whether to give Amoxicillin to him or not as I haven't prescribed it for him but I do urge you to read the information on the webpage I gave you before making a decision.

Best of luck with your fellow.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,107
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hi,

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

Dr. Kara
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


I decided to see if I could get Tye into the carrier which I did and took him into see my Vet. She did some testing and everything came back negative except she did find that he was "FIV" which is probably why he hasn't gained weight the past 18mos. so she prescribed him an antibiotic for the irritation coming from the blood. She, also, dewormed him for tape worms which she said the Advantage Multi didn't cover (only round worm, hook worm & ear mites). So I am now giving him that twice a day for two weeks. He is not eating very much so I'm hoping after enough antibiotics, he will feel more like eating. We have had cats with FIV and they can live a long life; some do and some don't but at least we now know what is exactly wrong with him. His immune system is going to be very weak so he will need extra care from me. Thanks for all your help.

Thank you for the update on Tye.

I'm sorry to hear that he is FIV positive, but that explains why he isn't gaining weight and would allow secondary intestinal bacterial infections to flourish.

I too hope that he picks up with antibiotics. He will likely need them on and off now throughout his life as a supportive measure.

I encourage you to feed him canned kitten food if he will eat it and it doesn't give him diarrhea. It will increase his calorie intake and give him extra fluids which are always a good idea. If he will eat food with Fortiflora probiotics added I recommend adding them every 2 to 3 weeks to try and keep his gut flora normal.

Best of luck with your fellow, please let me know if you have any further questions.

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