Hi Dr. Marie - I took in a semi feral cat about six weeks ago. He is FIV+. He has had extremely smelly diarrhea and gas since the day I trapped him. He got a dose of Revolution his first day with me (administered at the Vet's office). A week went by and he continued to have the stinkiest diarrhea ever(pudding consistency). He was then put on Metronidazole. No change. I took a poop sample to the Vet and he still had Hookworms. I then gave him one round of Pyrantel (9 days ago and 2nd pill due this week). Still no change. He was also put on Probiotics 5 days ago. His poop went from pudding consistency to a thicker paste but still not much of a shape and still extremely smelly with a lot of gas too. The next thing the Vet wants me to try is E/N canned food. He is snubbing it AND I have a multi-cat household so that is going to be difficult. Of course, I will try to get him to eat the E/N to see if that really makes any difference but I just wanted to check to see if you would have any other thoughts on this subject that I could possibly approach my doctor with. Is there anything else the doctor should be looking for and is there anything else you would try? Thanks so much!
Dr. Marie replied:
Cases like this are really tough. Diarrhea in kittens can often be hard to figure out. And, the fact that this little guy has FIV makes things even more difficult.
It sounds like your vet is doing the same things that I would. They will likely want to repeat the fecal exam to see if the hookworms have cleared up. If not, they may add a different dewormer like fenbendazole.
If he doesn't like the e/n food then there are other options. This food is one that is easy on the digestive tract, but there are other brands which your vet can suggest for you as well.
The other thought that I had was to ask your vet if it's possible that this little guy could have FIP. Hopefully this is not the case as there is no cure for FIP. Kittens with FIP can have diarrhea that is difficult to treat. There is no distinct test for FIP. But, usually cats with FIP will have changes in their protein levels (ALB and GLOB) that can be seen on bloodwork.
It's also possible that we just need to be patient. This little guy has some immune system challenges. We have already seen some improvement and hopefully things will continue to improve.
It does sound like he is getting good care. I would trust the advice that you are being given.
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Dr. 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.
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