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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7325
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My cat has diarrhea and is 14 year old Abyssinian The

Customer Question

My cat has diarrhea and is 14 year old Abyssinian
The problems have been ongoing for 2 years. I've consulted with Vets one of whom put him on a steroid compound. It really didn't help. He is leaking from his backside and I have to wash him often.
I'm thinking of not feeding him for a day or two. I'm hoping that his stomach might calm down. Is this advisable to do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Nicholas today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you.

Fasting does sometimes help with an acute flare up of diarrhea and even when it is used, it only done for 12-24 hours. In a chronic problem like his, it is not likely to help, and even if it did, his symptoms would likely resume when you started feeding again.

Have you tried a limited ingredient diet as a food trial to see if he may be suffering from a food allergy?

Has he been treated with metronidazole?

WHat is the steroid he is being treated with? How long was it used?

Does he have a good appetite?

Is he losing weight?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've been feeding limited ingredient food. Natural Balance venison and pea formula. I add pumpkin to it and sometimes bentonite clay.
He's losing weight. Lethargic and soiling himself. He also cries when he dedicates. Also not in the box but on the floor and in the tub.
His hair has been falling out in clumps, which I assume is from the drug
You mentioned a drug and I'm not sure is I've ever given it to him.
He's got a strong appetite but I assume it's because what he eats goes right through him
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the reply.

It sounds as if he may be experiencing some level of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or perhaps even slow growing intestinal cancer. Unfortunately, either of these can be present and there can be no other abnormalities noted on bloodwork, xray or even ultrasound, although these tests should be run to rule out other conditions that present with the same symptoms. There is a specific GI blood panel that can be requested and if abnormalities noted, can lend support to either pancreatic or intestinal disease. The only way however, to confirm the diagnosis is with a biopsy of the intestine. This can be done via endoscope, but is better performed with an exploratory surgery. The problem with this is that many cat owners are not willing to pursue the diagnosis by these means. It is for that reason that many cats are "suspected" to have IBD or GI cancer as the cause of their weight loss and anorexia once all of the other easy to find things have been ruled out.

It is a concern that the prednisolone is not helping, but perhaps the dose needs to be adjusted up. Some forms of IBD need much higher doses. I would strongly suggest that you work with a veterinary internal medicine specialist and consider having intestinal biopsies performed. A specialist is trained to review his entire medical history as well as what has been tried and how he responded or didn't respond and put it all together. A biopsy however is really the only way to know what is going on and why he is not improving or else we are just speculating on what it could be.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

Dr Z

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is the hair loss from the prednisolone?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He's had all the tests and they were inconclusive
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

That is possible, but we don't usually see that from pred.

More likely from his general systemic illness.

Did he have an intestinal biopsy? If so, how were the samples collected? Endoscope? Surgery?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No biopsy. But he did have an ultra sound I believe
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm at my wits end!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I really can't afford these treatments and I wouldn't put myself through this at my age of 70, and I think he's even older that that in cat years
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should I fast him? Do I continue with the prednisolone ?
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

A 14 year old cat could easily have many more years to live and a biopsy obtained via an endoscope is really not a very invasive procedure at all. Even if you can't proceed with that, I would still urge you to consider following up with an internal medicine specialist. They will better be able to advise you of the best empirical treatment if you are unable to confirm the diagnosis. Unfortunately, without a biopsy, we are all only guessing. I don't think a 12-24 hour fast will hurt, but I wouldn't be too hopeful it would do much. I would continue with the prednisolone and if not going to consult with an internist, ask your vet if they might consider adding metronidazole or leukeran.

I hope that helps.

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

Dr Z

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

You are most welcome. Please keep me posted as to how things progress.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

I am replying back just so that I can exit the question for now. There is no need to respond now as when you do, it calls me back to this post and prevents me from answering others until I respond to you. When you are ready to report progress, please return back here to do so and I will be alerted and can respond to you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm sure you've heard this before but I love him very much and after having put down another cat I had I promised I'd never do that again!
It's a terrible situation. All I do all day is clean up after him, sand defend against him getting me dirty.
Thank you again
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

In all of my years of being a vet, I have met many owners who would go to all lengths to care for their pet (and many who wouldn't). I am sure he appreciates it and it sounds as if you two have a special bond. I hope you can find someone to help him. You are welcome. Please don't reply back now until you have an update. I am not trying to be rude, but each time you do, it blocks me from helping others, until I reply to you. I am sure you understand.