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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16211
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Hi, I have 9 weeks old kittens at home, they are already

Customer Question

Hi,

I have 9 weeks old kittens at home, they are already eating dry kitten food and drinking plenty of water but one of them still have really bad diarrhea, its leaking out of his bum while having a poo and afterwards too, he doesn't go to his littler tray anymore and looks like he has to have a poo whenever as almost he cant make it to his littler tray, It also looks a little ill, bit smaller then his brother and lot less energetic then his brother, can you please help ???

Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

 

First, I must say that I am concerned about this wee kitten. Chronic profuse diarrhea can often cause serious issues for these little ones. The major reason is that kittens just don't have the same the body reserves as adult cats. This means diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration; which is what will make him be less energentic and feel poorly. Furthermore, if this kitten is having diarrhea this bad, he will be losing nutrition that should be going to growing. And as you have seen when comparing him to his brother, this is already compromising his growth and may leave him stunted.

 

Now when kitties start experiencing diarrhoea, there can be a number of culprits. This includes bacterial infection, viruses (feline coronavirus, rotavirus, panleukopenia), parasites (worms but also protozoa like Giardia, Coccidia, Tritrichomonas), dietary indiscretion, sensitive stomachs, toxins and foreign bodies.The last two are hopefully less likely here but do need to be kept in mind if you know he has had access to something he shouldn't have.

 

In this situation, since it has already been going on long enough that he is becoming depressed and potentially dehydrated, we need to act quickly and proactively before this gets any more serious for him. To start, it would be highly advisable to get this kitten seen to by a vet. If we do this at this stage, it gives us a better chance of pinpoint a diagnosis and treating him effectively (and hopefully avoiding collase, hospitalization and IV fluids to keep him from fading away on you). If you are planning on having him checked by a vet, I would suggest that you submit a fresh fecal sample. (You can even do this before having him seen). This can be tested for common parasites, protozoa (and Tritrichomonas would certainly be one to rule out with the nature of his diarrhea), viruses, and bacteria. If this is determined to be a bacterial diarrhea, then the lab will check a antibiotic sensitivity of the agent to tell you what drug will be most effective to clear this for him.

 

Now in regards XXXXX XXXXX to do at home just now, the first thing to consider is assessing his hydration to make sure he isn't already dehydrated.To check him hydration status to make sure he is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether he has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. ( They use a big dog but it makes it easier to see and the principles are exactly the same) If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have your kitty seen by him vet before this gets out of control.

 

In regards XXXXX XXXXX we'd want to have him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Diet (LINK), Hill’s I/D (LINK) or Royal Canin Sensitivity Control LINK)). These diets aim for provide nutrition to the stressed gut without making it work hard to digest the food. Small frequent meals are preferable in these situations to give the gut a chance to process what is fed and slow diarrhea.

 

To slow the diarrhea, and thus slow the amount of nutrition and fluid he is losing, you can consider treating him with a cat safe anti-diarrhea medication like Protexin Prokolin. This is available over the counter at the vet's and is a GI microflora support that can slow the diarrhea, give him fecal control, and prevent dehydration from this continual loss of fluids via feces. Otherwise, Kaolin can be administered, though only once a vet has ruled our sinister diarrhea causes like Salmonella or Campylobacter.

 

 

Overall, there can be a range of conditions that can cause diarrhea in a kitten this age. Since he is already showing evidence of stunting and slowing down (likely due to dehydration), you do want to act quickly at this stage. So, it would be ideal to have him checked at this stage and a fecal sample tested. Depending on the findings of the exam and fecal test, you will be able to determine which agent is to blame and how you can treat it most effectively to get this poor lad's diarrhea under control.

 

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

Dr. B.

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