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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 17921
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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my 16 week old kittens bottom looks raw .. eating and drinking

Customer Question

my 16 week old kittens bottom looks raw .. eating and drinking well .. no strange behaviour noted and kitten not off colour what could be the cause?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Kosmo has a raw bottom, but glad to hear that he is well otherwise.
Most of the time we see perianal irritation and dermatitis secondary to diarrhea and an abnormal bacteria population in the feces. Moisture from loose stools causes skin irritation and allows the skin barrier to be broken and bacteria in the feces causes a secondary skin infection. This is very similar to severe diaper rash in human babies.
Loose feces in a young cat/kitten are often related to gastrointestinal parasites but it can also be related to a sudden diet change. If he was lethargic, running a fever and not feeling well otherwise then a viral infection would be possible as well.
While worms are a possibility I would also recommend that your veterinarian look closely for protozoal parasites such as coccidia, giardia or even tritrichomonas. All of these parasites are treated with prescription medications. While some kittens get diarrhea with parasites some do not, so even if the rest of the kittens from his litter aren't showing diarrhea now he may still have parasites.
A good general wormer is Drontal (pyrantel and praziquantal) for round, hook and tape worms.
For protozoal parasites we need to be specific for each parasite. And they are all prescription products.
Coccidia is treated with Albon (Sulfadimethoxine).
Giardia is treated with Fenbendazole (Panacur is the trade name).
Tritrichomonas is treated with an antibiotic called Ronidazole, which although not labeled for that use seems to be the most effective therapy found so far. Finding Tritrichomonas can be difficult even on a fresh fecal smear and PCR test of fresh feces for the parasite's DNA is usually the best test.
He should have several fresh (as soon as possible after they are passed) stool samples submitted to his veterinarian to be sent to the diagnostic laboratory for a parasite check.
If he is feeling well otherwise in case this is related to his diet change too I recommend a bland diet and then once his diarrhea improves gradual introduction of what will be his regular diet.
A homemade bland diet is a mix of 2/3 boiled, shredded white chicken and 1/3 boiled white rice. You can mix in low salt chicken broth or warm water to make the food softer and easier to eat and swallow and get in fluids to replace those lost with diarrhea.
I also recommend probiotics to replace "good bacteria" in his intestinal tract, which are often thrown off balance with diarrhea. Products that are good include Fortiflora or Benebac.
Clean his perianal area with a solution of a little antibacterial liquid handsoap and warm water, then rinse, pat dry, and apply polysporin antibacterial ointment to protect his skin from further damage. You may need to do this several times a day to keep him clean until his stools firm up.
If he is licking the area an elizabethan (lampshade) collar may be needed to keep his rough tongue from further traumatizing the skin.
Best of luck with your little one, please let me know if you have any further questions.