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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16290
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have a 16 year old female cat and recently has been pooing

Customer Question

I have a 16 year old female cat and recently has been pooing but it is black and runny. She does not look in pain and still eats probably more than normal. Can u shed any light.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your kitty Bobby is passing black, runny stools and has an increased to normal appetite.Is she losing any weight?Dark, tar-like feces can indicate digested blood in the stool.This can be from parasites, being exposed to an anticoagulant toxin (like rat poison), severe liver disease and a decrease in the production of clotting factors, severe pancreatitis, diabetes, kidney failure, a stomach ulcer, primary intestinal disease or secondary to eating something she should not have, (like something sharp or that would cause a blockage and rupture of the intestinal tract), hyperthyroidism and secondary organ disease, or cancer of the gastrointestinal tract.Any noticeable weight loss?Ideally she needs to see her veterinarian and have some screening blood tests done including a complete blood count, biochemistry profile and T-4. At her age we also need to worry about severe intestinal disease (inflammatory bowel disease), an ulcer or a tumor/cancer of the gastrointestinal tract so radiographs of her abdomen and/or an ultrasound of her abdomen would be a good idea.Depending upon those results they may recommend she have exploratory surgery or endoscopy to gather biopsies and get a firm diagnosis.If that isn't possible then medication to coat her gastrointestinal tract like sucralfate, an antibiotic like metronidazole that also has an anti-inflammatory effect and a very low irritant diet like Hills i/d or Hills a/d may be the best things we can do to control her symptoms.I would also give Pepcid (famotidine) at 1/4 of a 10mg tablet orally every 12 hours. That can be given long term if it helps.Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will have to call the vet but as she has no insurance money is tight but I do not wish her to suffer so really am a little concerned about the next step
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
You can take things in a stepwise fashion, you don't have to do everything at once.
I would ask to start with a mini geriatric profile, and add a T-4 if that doesn't come with it. That will give you a pretty comprehensive baseline to start with and decide what further testing needs to be done from there.
In the meantime no harm in starting Pepcid and a bland diet (Hills i/d and see if they help her.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help and advice.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hi Susan,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Bobby. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Although I have not moved forward with regard to my local vet Bobby is much better now and seems to be back to her normal self but am keeping a close eye on her in case anything changes.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the update on Bobby, I am pleased to hear that she is doing well.Perhaps she got into something that you were unaware of and was able to get through it on her own. Definitely keep a close eye on her to watch for her symptoms returning, which would fit more wit pancreatitis or primary intestinal disease. Thank you for updating me, Dr. Kara.