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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My male cat is 12 years old has had lose bowel movements for

Customer Question

My male cat is 12 years old has had lose bowel movements for a few weeks and now seems to be losing control of his bowels. He is an outdoor cat. Still has his appetite but seems to be moving much slower and less active
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Gadget
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Gadget?
Customer: Just that he has lived outside for the past 8 years. He does have shelter outside and we believe he may have broke his hip about 3 years ago falling off the fence
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm sorry to hear that Gadget has had bowel movement issues. When you say he's had "lose bowel movements" did you mean loose like diarrhea? If he's having diarrhea, do you see any blood or mucus in it?Thanks and I'll await your reply!~Dr. Sara
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have even blood in the past but not recently. His bowel movements are like water. And wh n I've seen him go he seems to have some gas but definite diarrhea
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much for the extra information - that's very helpful. Please allow me a few moments to type out my thoughts for you.~Dr. Sara
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your patience. I'm not surprised that Gadget is having trouble controlling his bowel movements if they are as explosively watery as you're describing. Diarrhea in cats can be a sign of intestinal parasitism, viral or bacterial infections, a dietary intolerance or allergy, systemic (whole body) diseases like hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, or liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer (particularly intestinal lymphoma). As you can see, some of these causes are quite easily treated, while others are terminal. The severity of the diarrhea that you're describing definitely merits an examination by a veterinarian. Cats do not tolerate diarrhea well, and it's never normal for them to have watery stools or stools with blood in them. Taking a stool sample in for the vet to check for intestinal parasites would also be very helpful for making the diagnosis. Kitty cats with long term (chronic) diarrhea can be quite frustrating to work up. We know, as vets, that it's no fun cleaning up after "accidents" and that you guys really want your kitties back to their normal selves - we do too! When I have kitties with diarrhea, I usually start with a broad spectrum deworming, a course of a medication called metronidazole which helps re-establish the "right" balance of bacteria in the gut and is also a bit anti-inflammatory, and a probiotic like FortiFlora. If there's weight loss I'll sometimes do blood work at the first visit, otherwise I'll do that if the kitty isn't improving. I also usually recommend a switch to a diet that's high in protein and low in carbs like Nature's Variety's Instinct diets. If those things don't help, then I'm discussing options for the next step. Sometimes we need to do some blood work to check the TLI, B12, and folate levels - these are indicators of pancreatic function and bacterial health in the gut. In some cases we can get a diagnosis with an ultrasound examination, other times we may actually need intestinal biopsies to get the answer. Endoscopy is one way to non-invasively obtain biopsy samples, but it's usually only performed at specialty or referral centers and can be quite costly.Unfortunately in older kitties what I'm most concerned for once we've ruled out the "easy" stuff is cancer. Intestinal lymphoma is a common cause of chronic diarrhea and weight loss in kitties. Inflammatory bowel disease can also pop up at any point in their lives, and it can have the exact same symptoms as intestinal cancers. They both usually respond well to treatment with prednisone - the major difference being that IBD can usually be controlled for long periods of time, whereas lymphoma will only respond temporarily for a number of weeks to a few months. So if further testing like an ultrasound or biopsies isn't an option, sometimes I'll do a trial of prednisone to see if it helps. In some cases I'll also try a prescription diet like Purina EN or Hill's i/d. If pred +/- diet chance doesn't help, then I'm out of tricks in my hospital - we have to discuss the ultrasound/biopsy idea again or consider (unfortunately) euthanasia if the kitty is quite sick or their quality of life is not so hot Please let me know what questions I can handle for you.~Dr. Sara ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions PLEASE REPLY to let me know what information you are looking for BEFORE giving me a negative rating! If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

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

Doc Sara