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Blood in stool.

Species: Cat
Breed: Mixed
Age: 11-15 years
Hi, this is going to be a really long question so my apologies in advance, but we have tried so many different things and I want to detail all of them here.

Our cat Mithu is 13 years old, she is an indoor cat (never goes outside). For the last 3 weeks she has been having various digestion problems, and we have been unable to find out what the cause is. She had her routine annual vet check up about 4 weeks ago, blood test, x ray, ECG etc and everything came up normal. The only minor problem was that she was a little dehydrated.

About a week after her routine check up, she started losing her appetite and we found a few bright red drops of blood in her stool with a visible amount of whitish mucous. We immediately took her to the vet, and he gave her a de working pill which she took. This immediately improved her appetite,(she eats very lean beef,which we give her raw after rinsing it in hot water, she has eaten the same food since she was a kitten) but she still continued to have the mucous and blood in her stools. The vet then asked us to put her on Metronidazole (Flagyl)40mg a day for 5 days. Her stool quality immediately improved and the blood and mucous was almost gone, however after about 3 days on the Metronidazole she developed a severe stomache ache, which is really making her uncomfortable and we are unable to even touch her as she is in a lot of pain.

Surprisingly her appetite is still almost normal, as soon as the stomach pain started we found that she had to strain a lot while passing her stool and very often only a few small coin size drops of watery stool came out sometimes this has a drop of blood and mucous present. However after a few hours of this episode she then passes her normal stool which looks normal in size, colour and content. So we are really at a loss as to what is happening to her.

When the stomach pain started our vet asked us to put her on a 3 day course of Ranitidine 30mg a day, this seems to immediately relieve her stomach ache as she becomes her usual friendly palyful self again, but in a few hours the pain seems to start again. We again had a few drops of blood and some mucous in her stool yesterday. We spoke to our vet again this morning as he has asked us to wait until tomorrow, and if she is not better he has asked her to take a 3 day course of 3 injections. The injections prescribed are:

1. Ceftriaxone injection 150 mg x 3 days
2. Styptochrome injection (Adrenochrome Monosemicarbazone) 0.3ml x 3 days
3. Ranitidine injection 0.2ml x 3 days

He seems to think she just has some kind of bacterial infection and he does not seem to worried as he says her recent blood reports and x rays all looked normal. We have been quite worried as we have been looking up her symptoms on the internet and thought she may have some kind a tumour or something, but the vet does not seem to think so. We have had her x ray checked by two vets and both of them say it is normal.

Could you please tell us what the problem could be and if the medicines (injections) he has prescribed are ok for her to take?

Thank you so much,


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Mithu is so unwell.

This is going to be a tough question to answer as no one really knows what is going on with your girl.

Metronidazole really shouldn't cause stomach problems. I am thinking that the stomach issue is not caused by the medication but rather is due to something else. Ranitidine is an antacid and will help for a variety of different stomach problems.

Ceftriaxone is an antibiotic. It is not one that is commonly used where I practice so unfortunately I am not aware of the side effects. Also, I had to look up Styptochrom as it is not something that I have heard of either! It looks like it is a form of adrenaline that is supposed to help stop blood loss. This is new to me...and again I'm afraid I can't tell you anything about side effects.

I can think of a few possible reasons for Mithu's symptoms. Given her age, I think a tumor somewhere in her abdomen has to be a possibility. Unfortunately these can be very hard to diagnose. If ultrasound (by a skilled ultrasonographer) is available to you, this may help you to get a diagnosis.

Another possibility is pancreatitis. Cats with pancreatitis can have abdominal pain and can definitely have difficulties with soft stools and blood in their stool. Many cats with pancreatitis can be treated by staying at the hospital and receiving intravenous fluids and pain medication. But, it can be very serious. A pancreatic tumor could possibly be the cause as well and this would be something that usually we can't cure.

I do have concerns if the only thing she eats is beef. She is definitely missing out on some vitamins and minerals. However, if she has gone 13 years on this diet, it is unlikely that a vitamin or mineral deficiency is causing her symptoms.

I wish I could give you some more helpful advice. I definitely am concerned about your girl though.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Dear Dr. Marie,

Thank you for your response and sorry for being so late in replying, we have spent the last 10 days giving Mithu various tests, injections etc and our vet lives about 300 kms from us so we just got home last night. Basically the vet did the following tests on her:

1. Complete body examination to check for sign of pain - none found

2. Contrast radiograph using a barium sulphate solution - no growths or injuries found in the stomach

3. Fecal analysis and fecal culture test - found evidence of blood and puss cells in stool and culture test revealed the presence of e coli bacteria in the stool sample

Based on the above findings he has given her a course of antibiotic injections over the last 5 days to overcome the e coli bacterial infection. Based on his examination and testing he says she does not have a tumour and it is a severe bacterial infection which could have arisen from the fact that she eats almost raw beef.

He has given her Ceftriaxone and Cefotaxime injections (as the test showed that e coli bacteria were sensitve to these antibiotics) along with ranatidine for the last 6 days, and her stomach pain has gone, the content of blood and mucous in her stool has reduced by about 65 - 70% and her appetite is normal.

She still has some blood in her stool and we have sent a sample to be tested again yesterday. She does however have a lot of hair in her stool. Her stool cycle has become regular now and she does not seem to be struggling to defecate and there is no sign of straining anymore either. Do you think it could have been just the bacterial infection which caused all this trouble? Our vet has also advised us to try and switch her over to regular cat food(like whiskas, royal canin etc), do you think this is advisable for her?

Thank you so much for all your help and advise.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Interesting. I can't say I have ever had a case like this. E. Coli is a normal thing to find in a cat's stool. Perhaps it was an unusual strain of E.Coli that has your vet concerned. It's great news that things are improving with the antibiotics though.

I would definitely agree with the change to a regular cat food. I'm not a fan of Whiskas, but Royal Canin is a great one.

Hope she continues to improve!

Dr. Marie.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.