Cat - irritable bowel disease
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Author:  CCC/KC [ Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Cat - irritable bowel disease

I have a cat that has been diagnosed with irritable bowel diseas (IBD). The poor thing has diarrhea all the time - and we have determined that she is allergic to beef and chicken products. All cat foods have beef and/or chicken products or by-products in them. We used a prescription cat food Lamb and peas (no beef or chicken products in it) - within an hour of eating it she threw up 8 times. We have cooked lamb for her and that has helped with the diarrhea, but there are days where she will have nothing to do with the freshly cooked lamb. We have tried other protein source cat foods and she won't eat them.

I don't know what to do for her and she is so skinny. Can anyone suggest anything? Do you know anyone at Texas A&M or Cornell I can contact to see if they might be able to help me?

Please - if anyone has any ideas - let me know. Thank you!

Author:  dcluck [ Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

Have you tried tuna or some other fish source? A friend of mine has a cat with IBD and she was helped by a switch to a perscription cat food made by Hill's Science Diet. No idea what ingredients it has in it. Still eats it to this day and she's healthy as can be for a 14 year old cat. Good luck!


Author:  Enzyme11 [ Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

This may or may not help you, but it may provide some information to others reading this. IBS, colitis, and related disorders can be idiopathic in pets and can be pretty complicated to diagnose. There is a fair amount on the Web about that family of illnesses, and one fair source is the alt.med.veterinary news group; this is a link to a search for IBS on that group, and you can explore it further or post your questions there:
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&l ... veterinary

Probably the first thing to do is stop the weight loss, which means getting food into the cat and keeping it there. I believe the Hill's product that dcluck mentioned is called i/d, and it's worth a try--you may have to hand/force feed the cat small portions several times a day. Depending on how far your cat has deteriorated, you might also consider a/d, which is a high density recovery product. If vomiting is a problem, metoclopramide is one medication that often is used to help with it. An oral digestive enzyme might help improve digestion/absorption of the food. I prefer to use it on the food before feeding and allow the food to pre-digest some, but if that won't work (if you hand feed, the enzyme breakdown can make the food too liquified to administer) feeding it with the food or giving it directly as a pill or solution is the option. If you haven't tried canned tuna or salmon, you might try that and see if it works. I'll take a guess and suggest the type packed in spring water; the oil-packed might be a little severe on the gut to start. If the cat will tolerate it without too much projectile vomiting or diarrhea, you can kick the daily energy intake by administering Nutri-Cal or a similar supplement available at pet supply stores. Spread a line on your finger and apply it to the roof of the cat's mouth.

There are several medications for treating bowel syndromes, and if your vet diagnosed IBS, then he/she probably already discussed them with you (and I assume has ruled out lymphoma). I believe the fairly new human medication for Crohn's disease has been adapted to animal use, but I'm at a loss to think of the name right now. What is used depends some on where the problem is--small intestine only, large intestine only, or both. Prednisone often is given, but it can have side effects probably none of which is worse than the disease. Although Primor (for dogs) is not recommended for cats, apparently because of the salicylate content, I believe it can be given if the doses are kept small enough. Individual animals can react differently to different medications, so it's important to monitor things. Unless the cat is allergic to it, I can't think of a reason why Nina's earlier comment about using rice water for diarrhea ( http://www.dirtdoctor.com/forum/viewtop ... 9e25bd9e9d ) wouldn't apply, so you might try that and see if it will help. You may need to administer it with a syringe. I also believe you can give the Gas-X type simethicone products for gas/bloat if that is a problem. Ultimately, the auto-immune character of the disease will have to be addressed; palliation probably will carry only so far. One of the problems is that another illness, even as simple as a cold, really can complicate matters for a patient with compromised digestion. If you want, PM me, tell me about where you are located, and I'll see if I can find some specialized veterinary references. You shouldn't need to go to A&M to get relief, and they may not be the best place to go anyway. One of my cat has a form of IBS, but he seems to have stabilized to a manageable point. I don't have all the answers, though.

As for herbal and/or holistic treatments, they very well may work or help, depending on what the problem is. If the animal has not deteriorated too far, you might have time to explore and test those approaches. You can search the Web for those therapies or possibly consult the books such as Dr. Pitcairn's holistic animal care book(s). I've seen statements that the Missing Link alone helped/cured at least one situation. If you hand/force feed or administer Nutri-Cal, you can add some Missing Link to whatever you are giving that way. Diagnosis and treatment may not be easy, but the disease likely is terminal if it is not treated. Good Luck.

Author:  Pamzilla [ Fri Feb 27, 2004 10:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

How about salmon? It is palatable and high in fat. Also offer her distilled water.

Cats originally ate small uncooked animals. Trying to get as close to this as possible may be the answer. Try cooked salmon first. If she likes, offer her a tidbit of raw fish.

This might not be your cup of tea but if your cat has the ability to hunt try live mice. One of my cats occasionally catches mice, birds, lizards, and bugs inside and out. We live in the country.

One other idea...acidophilous (sp?) I know this bacteria plays a roll in digestion.

I hope something works for your poor kitty. :cry:

Author:  Enzyme11 [ Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:32 am ]
Post subject: 

A couple more items I found. There is a fair amount of material at this site:

A distillation of the feline/canine material there produces this suggestion for feline irritable bowel: (1) 5 mg prednisone/day; (2) around a teaspoon of psyllium husk or nonflavored nonsweetened Metamucil/day OR feed pureed pumpkin of the consistency that you might use in pumpkin pie (I'm not sure about the daily dose for the pumpkin, but it would be more than the psyllium dosage--maybe at least 1-2 tablespoons) or some of both; (3) a single source protein food (which probably would need to be of a fine/pureed consistency such that you could finger it into the mouth and it could be swallowed as is; flaked product probably would have to be pureed before feeding). Additionally, I would suggest adding a pinch of acidophilus, some freshly ground flax seed or Missing Link, and a digestive enzyme (Prozyme, etc.), as were mentioned earlier. The increased fiber apparently is beneficial.
Some say that regular strength Kaopectate (extra strength is too toxic) and Imodium AD can be used to help the diarrhea, but others http://www.roen.com/980831.html claim they are ineffective and/or toxic:

The note at this site:
http://www.ivillage.com/pets/vet/pages/ ... id=7368484
offers an alternative to prednisone.

As to the inputs, try to get organic canned pumpkin that has no other ingredients or process your own cooked organic pumpkin. Pumpkin baby food would be a very last result, unless you can find one that contains only pumpkin. My experience has been that cats like the cooked pureed pumpkin fairly well. Until you get the symptoms under control, you can forget about the concept of what the cat will eat--you probably will have to hand/force feed, probably twice a day. An animal with irritable bowel probably feels about like a person with food poisoning; appetite suppression practically is a given. Whether you prepare the single protein source food yourself or buy it, I would start with a low fat product. It has been my experience with cats with irritable bowel that they often don't process/absorb fats very well. This also lessens or eliminates the utility of feeding Nutri-Cal, which I mentioned earlier, as it is fairly fatty. If you do try it, monitor the results and discontinue it if the stool appears too fatty. The same applies to the dosage of flax seed/Missing Link, which is easy to control compared to constituent fat in the food.

True irritable bowel apparently is an immunological/auto-immune disorder (hence the prednisone), so what type of food the patient will tolerate probably depends some on how severe the affliction is at the time. Use whatever is tolerated "best," but I don't believe I would conclude that the animal is permanently intolerant of one protein source merely because it produces vomiting under the conditon of untreated irritable bowel. Athough we have mentioned tuna or salmon, I should add that neither provides adequate nutrition for cats. They may help as a stopgap to get some food into the cat, but they would require supplementation if they are to be a longer term staple. The Missing Link should go a ways toward that supplementation, but another/an additional protein source probably will be needed. As I wrote earlier, I would start with Hill's i/d product because the delay in treatment probably has placed you in a rescue situation. If the weight loss is severe, a/d would be the high calorie option. For the benefit of others reading this, other feline afflictions can be mis-diagnosed/mistreated as irritable bowel, including lymphosarcoma.

Author:  CCC/KC [ Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:04 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you for all of your advice and help. I am happy to say that we seem to have found a couple of foods that my cat will eat! She ate alot this weekend! We found a couple of foods that have no beef in them....Sophisticat has a canned food - Sardines, Shrimp and Crab - has NO beef or chicken substances in it - and she loves it! And Authority makes a lamb and rice - she loved that, too. It is SO difficult to find a food that does not contain beef or chicken. I wonder how these companies can call a food "lamb" when it contains more beef and chicken than it does lamb. I'm sure it's a ploy to entice us owners.

Anyway - We are going to vary the food between the Sardines and the Authority lamb and see how she does. Her stools are quite soft, however, they are not totally liquid (sorry to be so graphic).

Is the acidopholis (sp) something I will need a prescription for?

Author:  Enzyme11 [ Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:12 am ]
Post subject: 

KC wrote:
Anyway - We are going to vary the food between the Sardines and the Authority lamb and see how she does. Her stools are quite soft, however, they are not totally liquid (sorry to be so graphic).

Is the acidopholis (sp) something I will need a prescription for?

You might try offering the cooked and pureed pumpkin, as cats seem to like it. So far, it has worked well for me to firm up the cat's stool. For firmness, you also might try adding a bit of the psyllium to the food and see if she will eat the food with that in it. It seems counter intuitive that adding fiber would firm the stool, but that's what it tends to do to cats with irritable bowel.

Acidophilus powder is available without a prescription at health food stores and probably even in the supplement section in pharmacies & grocery stores. For others reading this, I would not recommend using acidophilus milk for adult cats unless it is lactose free. It is common for adult cats, like adult people, to be lactose intolerant to some degree.

Author:  Kathe Kitchens [ Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  Kitty

Acidophilus is a collection of beneficial bacteria that work in the gut. It is often recommended for people who have had a round of antibiotics or illness with heavy diarrhea or vomiting. It restores the balance of flora in the gut so that normal digestive processes can resume.

Let me offer another thing that can help with your cat's loose stool problem; rice water. I used this with cat (she was abused and abandoned as a small baby) several times and it was so easy and valuable. Cook any simple white rice with more water than you would usually use and let it cook down to a milky water. Strain off the rice and let the water cool, then use it as the water source or add it to the water source for your cat. You could also try adding some cooked, well mashed rice to her food. You can start out with just a handful of rice in enough water to make this solution, and see how she does. There is no nutritional value in white rice, but it has a soothing effect on the bowels. I used rice water on my daughters when they had digestive problems as babies and it literally saved their lives and my sanity!

Good luck with the kitty! :D Glad to hear she' feeling better.

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