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My cat has diarrhea. We've had him tested for a range of…

Customer Question
Hi My cat has...

Hi My cat has diarrhea. We've had him tested for a range of conditions (cryptosporidium, campylobacter, etc). He's positive for coronavirus with a high titre.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with your cat?

We have tried changing diets and have had him on high meat content foods across a range of animals (duck, chicken, lamb) and across wet and dry foods. None of the above worked. However, we were forced to put him on Hills a/d food recently. Within a few days his diarrhea cleared completely so we started weaning him back onto normal food. Since then, his diarrhea returned so we have put him back onto the hills and again his diarrhea has cleared within a couple of days. We obviously can't keep him on the recovery food for life but can't understand why that food specifically clears his diarrhea up when everything else returns him to diarrhea

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the cat's name and age?

He's about three years old, and it's Berlioz

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the cat's name?

It's Berlioz

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Berlioz?

He stopped eating a few weeks ago and there were about 24 hours where we thought he was going to die. That's why we originally transferred him onto the hills He tested negative for everything in a diarrhea panel except for corona - high titre (circa 10k)

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 10 hours by:
11/16/2017
Cat Veterinarian: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 5 months ago
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11,231
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Cat Veterinarian: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 5 months ago

I am very sorry to see that no one has reached out to you before now. I just came online and found that your question had not been addressed. How is your companion at this time?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
HiCustomer as described above he is up and down. This seems to be very much food related, but got noticeably worse after he was neutered. The puzzle here is that we have tried him on a range of high quality foods and they all cause diarrhea. The only food that doesn't is the Hills A/D.
Cat Veterinarian: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 5 months ago

Thank you for the update and additional information. Can you tell me what foods have been tried thus far and what foods have been fed? If you have links, this will help me greatly as I can look at the ingredients specifically.

When did the diarrhea begin?

How long have you owned Berlioz?

Has he always had diarrhea?

Can you share results of all diagnostics performed?

Do you know if your vet has run a diarrhea-specific PCR panel yet?

Are there any other cats in the household?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Happy to answer:What foods?
https://www.royalcanin.co.uk/products/cat/feline-breed-nutrition/british-shorthair/
http://www.bozita.com/cat-food/bozita-feline-wetfood/chunks-jelly-chicken/
http://www.dechra.co.uk/therapy-areas/companion-animal/diets-and-nutrition/products - it's the digestive support he was on
https://www.wellbeloved.com/our-food/ - He was on dry duck and wet lambWe've tried him over a period of a few months on all of the above. When he eats any of the above he has diarrhea. When we try him on the following (Hills A/D) he returns to normal within 3 days. We've tried weaning him off this several times.https://www.hillspet.com/cat-food/pd-ad-canine-feline-cannedWhen did the diarrhea begin? Just under a year ago. We had another cat who had cryptosporidium, campylobacter and coronavirus. He has since been rehomed but lived with Berlioz for a short period.How long have you owned Berlioz? Nearly three years.Has he always had diarrhea? No.Can you share results of all diagnostics performed? He had a full diarrhea PCR panel a few weeks ago and tested negative for everything except corona. His corona titre was very high - circa 10k, but below that which would indicate FIP.Are there any other cats in the household? Yes, but Berlioz is quarantined at the opposite end of the house. All our other cats are healthy.
Cat Veterinarian: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 5 months ago

Thank you for the additional information. A few more questions for you:

When you say that he was on the foods over a period of a few months, was this a few months per food with no treats and no human food with each one? Or, were these used for a few days to a few weeks before moving to another one of the food options and then back again?

Have any home-cooked diets been tried yet?

How is his weight at this time? Is he back to normal yet or still thin?

When did the diarrhea begin? Was there anything connected to the change or did it slowly develop over time?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
When you say that he was on the foods over a period of a few months, was this a few months per food with no treats and no human food with each one? Or, were these used for a few days to a few weeks before moving to another one of the food options and then back again?He was on the Specific dietary support food for a couple of months from being neutered until mid-October. At that point, it was clear he was really unwell and he was moved by our vet onto the Hills A/D.He was on that for two weeks and the diarrhea completely stopped within three or four days, so we tried him on some Bozita. That made him worse again within a couple of days, so we transitioned him back onto the Hills A/D. He was on that for a few more days until the diarrhea cleared up again before we began transitioning him (over a one week period) onto the Royal Canin BSH. He was on that for two weeks, but the diarrhea reappeared about five days into the transition.We then tried to transition him onto the James Wellbeloved duck (dry) but he kept vomiting this up/diarrhea continued.We swapped him back onto the Hills A/D four days ago and there is no more diarrhea.Have any home-cooked diets been tried yet? We tried him on roasted chicken breast (no oil/salt/additives) but this was the worst diarrhea he's ever had (liquid, transparent like water).How is his weight at this time? Is he back to normal yet or still thin? His weight dropped from 5 kilos to 3.2 since he was neutered back in September.When did the diarrhea begin? Was there anything connected to the change or did it slowly develop over time? The diarrhea really started in January when he was living with the other cat who was sick. The other cat also had diarrhea but that was caused by campylobacter/cryptosporidium, neither of which are present in Berlioz's tests. The other cat also had coronavirus so Berlioz may have caught this off the cat at that time but no way of knowing as we hadn't tested Berlioz before that time. However, this period (Jan-Feb) is when the diarrhea started.However, it got noticeably worse (went from being just soft to water-like) after he was neutered a couple of months ago.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I should also say that until August/September Berlioz had always been on Iams. The other cat (who Berlioz lived with and who we rehomed) was put on Specific digestive support by our vet, and his diarrhea cleared up within a few days. We tried moving Berlioz onto this of our own accord given it had worked for the other cat, but it didn't have the same effect.We did think it might be an allergy to chicken which is why we tried other protein sources (duck, lamb) but the Hills A/D is chicken-based, and the other protein sources made him worse not better.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I should also add we never feed him human food, and we never give him treats.He is in strict isolation. We play with him twice daily. We clean his litter tray, food/water bowls and room down twice daily with antiviral sprays.We have also been feeding him a probiotic on the advice of our vet.
Cat Veterinarian: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 5 months ago

I'm not convinced that this is not a chicken sensitivity given the history, honestly. Something to mention about the Hill's A/D is that there are two formulations on the market right now. One that is pork-based and the other that is turkey based. I would see which one you're using by looking at the ingredient labels you have at home.

If he's lost a great deal of weight consider leaving him on the A/D until he's back to normal if this works for him. Having a diet that he can recover on is very important to getting diarrhea resolved. When cats have chronic diarrhea, it can take weeks to get the inflammation under control which may cause increasing problems with finding a food which is suitable. That being said, since we know that turkey and pork-based food seems to work for Berlioz, that's what I would focus on. Canned food is usually easier to digest than kibble and may be a smarter choice for him when moving off of A/D. I found you a few foods to consider outside of a home-cooked diet:
1) https://www.chewy.com/zignature-pork-limited-ingredient/dp/141398?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=f&utm_content=Zignature&utm_term=&gclid=CjwKCAiArrrQBRBbEiwAH_6sNMAIzfsqmeERoyUbxT9QfThDokyNMntq-PPjV-6RCW_HKUgmbjPUYxoCxZMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
2) https://www.chewy.com/daves-pet-food-restricted-diet/dp/136716?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=f&utm_content=Dave%27s%20Pet%20Food&utm_term=&gclid=CjwKCAiArrrQBRBbEiwAH_6sNO4_kfen5yildqGHFNMSPx-CAR7l5jcF1IgOQk5nAntNK1GI239O8BoCiiEQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
3) https://www.chewy.com/lotus-just-juicy-pork-stew-grain/dp/109972?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=f&utm_content=Lotus&utm_term=&gclid=CjwKCAiArrrQBRBbEiwAH_6sNIDbpmd3lSnypWePTw46VWLosD-O3tz0tcVwN6uKw7LM_QpOXh4JhxoCzYoQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Another consideration is a home-cooked food which can be formulated by http://www.balanceit.com to ensure that no chicken products are included. Pork can be used for this and I would also recommend trying more novel proteins like rabbit which tend to work very well for inflammatory bowel concerns.

Check on the probiotic to ensure that there is no chicken flavoring. For example, Fortiflora contains non-specific "animal digest" which is commonly beef or chicken-based which can exacerbate diarrhea in cats who are sensitive to either. You may wish to try an unflavored probiotic if the one you're using has any variety of animal protein in it.

If your vet has not already run culture and sensitivity on the stool to determine if a bacterial overgrowth might be the cause of the diarrhea, I would give strong consideration to this. Two antibiotic choices for helping with non-specific diarrhea in cats would be metronidazole and also baytril.

I would also discuss with your vet the potential for inflammatory bowel disease and consider the usage of steroids short-term. I have had great success using rabbit-based home-cooked diets and raw rabbit diets for inflammatory and non-specific diarrhea in cats. You can read more here about the research UC Davis has done in the past on this type of diet: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ccah/local-assets/pdfs/Role_of_diet_feline%20health_Glasgow.pdf

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Cat Veterinarian: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 5 months ago

Checking in. How is your companion doing today?

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