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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21220
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My 7 month old kitten had yellow soft stools and yellow diarrhoea

Resolved Question:

My 7 month old kitten had yellow soft stools and yellow diarrhoea for nearly 2wks. I took her to the vets and she was prescribed Pro Kolin for a few days. After 2 days on Pro-Kolin her stool has become firm but black. Is this normal ? She was abandoned on a vets doorstep alone in a polythene bag at 7wks old, she had worms and heamorrhaging gastroenteritis which she has been treated for. I have been feeding her wet food and gradually introduced biscuits. She had started to eat mainly biscuits, could this be the cause? I am presently just giving her wet food, with a few hypoallergenic biscuits. All her vaccinations,flea and worm treatment are up to date. She is due to be spayed and hasn't been outside yet. She has had a soft stool/diarrhoea about once every week or two since I have had her at three months. I would be grateful of any advice. Thank You.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

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

Neither her diet nor the Pro-Kolin should cause black discoloration of the feces.

Has your wee one had any other medications?

Can you tell me if her gums are nice and pink (not pale/white)?

Has she had any vomiting? If so, has it looked like brown coffee grounds?

How is she in herself? Any belly pain or tenderness?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She had 1/2 a milbemax 2-4kg worming tablet just before this episode on 7 feb. Her gums are pale pink. No, she has never vomited or retched. She has been changeable in her behaviour, sometimes tired, sometimes full of beans and very astute/cheeky.Last night she was very bright and playful,dashing around as normal. Today she seems very quiet and sleepy so far. She hasn't complained when we've picked her up and stretches and moves normally, doesn't react when we palpate her tummy. Thank You.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you,

It seems we are playing a wee bit of tag but thank you for the further information about your lass. The reason for my concern and range of questions is because as I noted before black feces is not normal for the treatment she has been given (nor for womers). If she had been on Pepto Bismol (which isn't advisable for kitties anyway) or had had activated charcoal then these could cause a benign black discoloration of her feces. As well, if she was a kitten fed on blood meal or raw meat or if her diet had a high volume of dye (uncommon), then we could also see a discoloration of the feces.

If she has not been exposed to these then benign reasons will be less likely. Therefore, we would have to consider the sinister. Specifically, we can see black feces in animals that have stomach or upper GI bleeding. The blood is digested as it passes through the gut causing the black appearance. And if she has a chronic issue with diarrhea, we do have to consider that a GI bleed could be possible (especially if the underlying cause could damage the GI). Otherwise, it is possible to see these signs associated with some parasitic infection, foreign body ingestion, toxic exposures (which hopefully is less likely here), bacterial and some viral infections.

Now it is good that she doesn't appear to have belly discomfort and does have manic high energy moments. Still if her gums are pale pink, then this would be a sign of blood loss (into the GI in this case) and anemia. Therefore, this would again be worrisome and something we'd want her vet to look into for her. If a fecal sample hasn't been tested before this time, you might wish to have them do so now to rule out infectious causes. If they confirm her paleness, then you can ask them to check a wee blood sample to tell you if she is anemic due to blood loss. At the same time, they can palpate her belly to make sure there is nothing that should not there.

Overall, black feces is very abnormal to see under these circumstances and can be a serious sign of ongoing bleeding and damage to the upper GI. And pale gums make this a real worry for your wee one. Therefore, in this case, as long as she is comfortable and breathing normally, I would suggest monitoring her today, keeping her fed with frequent small meals (to decrease the time the gut is empty), and potentially consider treating her with an antacid (ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose) or Zantac (More Info/Dose)) to lower stomach acid in case an ulcer is present. And once her regular vet is open, you may want to follow up with her and a fecal sample to determine the nature of her black feces +/- nip any ongoing GI bleed issue in the bud for her.

I hope this information is helpful.

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

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX take her to the vet first thing in the morning.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome,

Hopefully, this black feces will be a one-off for your lass but with those pale gums having her checked is the best course of action for her.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )