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Did Orbax cause diarrhea?

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH
Age: 2-5 years
Hi Dr Marie, it's me again regarding Bandit, my 4 yr old DSH. I had e-mailed you last week bc he was vomittin,big belly, breathing problems. You were extremely helpful. Since, I have taken him to the vet. They did bloodwork,x-rays,and exam and put him on Orbax. Last night, was day 4 and since he's been on it, he has been licking his bottom a lot. This morning, I woke up to pasty poop all over my carpet, like he might have been scooting. I called the vet, and they are putting him on Metronadizole. He was fine before I took him to the vet on Friday as all of the other symptoms stomach symptoms had subsided and he was having normal bowel movements. I took him anyway as a precaution and to get him asthma medication. I just read the side effects of the Metronadizole and since his symptoms had gone away before the Orbax, would it be wise just to take him off of everything to see if his stomach goes back to normal? It seems this is doing more harm than good. Also, since he was sick, I have 2 more cats that have been sick vomitting as well. Could they have caught his infection? I haven't been very satisfied with my vet lately and I feel like they are soaking me for money. The Orbax was almost $50 and it states it's only a broad spectrum antibiotic. His usual antibiotics are less than half of that normally. Also, they charged me almost double for my x-rays this time. I am going to switch vets soon but since I paid a lot for the x-rays, I want to go back for his recheck to get him the Prednizone. You are so helpful and thank you once again for your help.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi. I've referenced your previous question here. In your previous question you mentioned that Bandit had had diarrhea and a big belly (but that the big belly had been present for quite some time.)

It's good news that nothing obvious was found on the blood tests but this can definitely make things frustrating. Often cases go like this...especially with cats as they can be so good at hiding the cause of their illnesses.

First, let's address the Orbax. Being a "broad spectrum" antibiotic is actually a good thing. This is an antibiotic that covers a large number of problems. I wouldn't say that diarrhea is common with Orbax. I am guessing that whatever was initially causing the diarrhea is resurfacing. I would not stop the medicine unless your vet advised you to.

I woud definitely use the Metronidazole that your vet prescribed. This medication is usually very good at combating inflammation in the intestines. It is my first choice for dogs or cats with diarrhea when we don't know the cause of the diarrhea.

It is interesting though that your other two cats are vomiting. Are they all up to date with vaccinations? If not then it's possible that there is a viral problem affecting all of the cats. If this is the case then things should improve gradually over the next few days. If any of the other cats lose their appetite then they should be seen by the vet as well.

As a point of interest, once Bandit gets started on Prednisone you may find that things improve in his belly. It's possible he has some inflammatory bowel disease. Cats with IBD will be much more sensitive to things and get diarrhea much easier. Prednisone, even though it is prescribed for his asthma should help.

I can't remember if you mentioned this but it's a good idea to have your vet do a fecal exam if not already done. If all of the cats are ill it could be a parasite of some kind.

I have had many many cases like this where it is frustrating because we don't have answers. It sounds like your vets are doing the same things that I would.

I hope things improve soon!

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:

Hi Dr. Marie,

I didn't give the Orbax last night and this morning, and all day, Bandit didn't have diarrhea or scoot, or lick his bottom. My dad was admitted to the hospital this morning and I spent all day there since it was also his birthday.

About an hour ago, Bandit started licking his bottom again, and had liquid diarrhea all over my kitchen floor and on the kitchen throw rug...and not in the litter box. This is very odd behavior and I am nervous.

I just gave him the Orbax again and am going to pick up the Metronidazole first thing in the morning since I didn't get a chance today and he seemed so much better.

Bandit has never had a history of any diarrhea. In fact, he always seems to almost strain to go to the bathroom and his stools have always been fine. This started since the beginning of the Orbax. I'm so upset tonight. However, he has been very active, eating fine, drinking water, and playing with his toys. That is the only reason I am not having a complete panic attack tonight! Thank you so much again for your help. This service is so wonderful and I am posting the link on my FB page! Thank you!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Aw, sorry to hear about your dad. I hope everything is ok with him, especially on his birthday.

I think your plan to start the metronidazole is a good one.

I have never seen an animal get diarrhea because of Orbax, but mild gastrointestinal signs are included as a possible side effect on the label. (However, this symptom is a potential side effect for a large number of drugs used in cats.) The fact that you stopped the medicine, but he still had diarrhea makes me think that the Orbax is not the problem. But, if you do decide to stop it then you'll need to make that decision along with the vet. I am thinking that there may be some type of a virus but it's hard to say. In most cases with adult cats if there is a virus they get over it within a few days.

Thanks for posting the link on your FB page. I have been meaning to add some code to my site to encourage people to share about my service after they have had their question answered but have been too busy to do it just yet!

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

Woke up this morning to mushy poop and diarrhea EVERYWHERE in my house! Had my own dr appointment this morning, then went to store to get Bissell pre-treatment cleaner & regular cleaner, then went to vet to pick up the Metronidazole, then home, then gave him the first dose. Then, cleaned EVERYTHING, including both litter boxes and scoured bathroom floor where litter boxes are kept. Finished up at 6pm,and he has been ok so far. No new carpet stains and only minor bottom licking. His recheck is tomorrow afternoon and before then, he will get two more doses of the Metronidazole. I really hope this is it and he gets better from here. All of the other cats seem fine(knock on wood). You have been such a big help. Thank you again!

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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.