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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 27258
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My cat has had really bad diarrhea this morning and is

Customer Question

My cat has had really bad diarrhea this morning and is sluggish
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help your cat. What is your cat's name and age?
Customer: He is called cloister and is 8 years old
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: He has always had a problem with trying to eat things like cat litter and plastic things
Submitted: 18 days ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 18 days ago.

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

I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online and wanted to touch base with you.

Given his diarrhea is sounding severe, his being sluggish is understandable. Now our main suspects here for Cloister's diarrhea would be a gut infection (eg viral, bacterial, protozoal, worms) or dietary indiscretion. So with that in mind, we can try some home supportive care just now. To do so, let's put him on an easily digestible diet like boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset/diarrhea. Fiber (ie canned pumpkin) and OTC probiotics (ie Benebac, Fortiflora) can be added to these meals to firm those loose stools quicker and support digestion. And we can plan to slowly wean back to his usual diet once he is settled.

As well, since he sounds to be very loose, you can try a pet safe anti-diarrheal too. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure for infectious issues; but it can still be of benefit. It will reduce diarrhea load, allow the body to absorb more water/nutrients, and soothe the upset gut. In regards ***** ***** options, the one we most commonly use is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ This is available OTC at most pharmacies (no imodium or pepto for kitties). Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (all OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and those last ones have the added bonus of providing support to the delicate good GI bacteria. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing his upset GI. And also if he hasn't been wormed in the past month, that too would be a good base to cover. OTC Fenbendazole/Panacur would be a good option as its good against worms and can tackle some of the protozoal agents too.

Overall, these signs do raise some concerns here. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle Cloister's stomach. If he doesn’t respond to the above within 24 hours; then we'd want to get a local vet involved. They can assess his hydration, test a stool sample, make sure there is nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat him with antibiotics +/- anti-protozoals as needed to nip this in the bud.

Kind regards,

Dr. B

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Thank you. He also had a problem the other day where he seemed to be coughing up a hairball but then his jaw locked up and his tongue was hanging out. Only lasted a few seconds and was fine after but terrified me as wasn't sure if it was a fit or not
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 18 days ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

About that jaw locking episode, that is quite uncommon. It could be he has some arthritis in the jaw (if no history of previous damage to it) But its really uncommon to see and I'd not assume it was a fit unless he looked like he was twitching and chattering with his mouth. I would monitor though just in case you see it again and if you did and could video it for his vet (I know not a 1st reflex in these cases) they could work out what is triggering it.

All the best there,

Dr B.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
He's had quite a few teeth out in the past as his teeth weren't healthy so his tongue didn't get bitten
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 18 days ago.

Poor guy, we'd hope with them out they were no longer a bother but it may be another tooth has a tooth root infection or a nerve is inflamed and triggering that.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Would a tooth infection cause his symptoms?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 18 days ago.

Not likely the diarrhea, but the jaw episode possibly.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
He's usually a very cuddly cat that wants kisses all the time but he's very tired and doesn't want to be touched. How long should I leave him to sleep without being too concerned or taking him to the vets? He's not a good traveler and the whole experience makes him very stressed so try to limit his trips to the vet.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 18 days ago.

Hi again,

Think we'd all feel the same if we had bad diarrhea. So let him chill this weekend and see how he goes. If he were to get weak, dehydrated, or couldn't urinate; then we'd want him seen sooner.

All the best,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Thank you for your help. Will keep a close eye on him
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 18 days ago.

You are very welcome and that sounds perfect. :)

-Dr. B.