Theories for Chronic Diarrhea

A kitten's painful loose stools may be the result of an early parasitic infection. More tests may provide a diagnosis.

By J. Veronika Kiklevich, DVM

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Because you found this kitty you probably do not know his early history. Perhaps he was heavily parasitized before he came to you, and although I'm certain that you and your veterinarians have eliminated parasites as a primary cause for this problem by now, immunologists have a theory that early parasitization can cause the gut to become sensitized to proteins later in life. This is a much-simplified version of the entire theory, but I do think that it might be important for you to put your kitty on a very limited hypoallergenic diet for a minimum of eight weeks before you see any results. You may even have to cook his meals for a while. Most people do not keep their animal on a single diet for a long enough period of time, and trying one diet after another for short periods of time will ultimately do more harm than good. There is an excellent nutrition department at the University of Pennsylvania and you should insist that they be involved with managing your cats health.

Often, the only way to determine the cause of chronic diarrhea is to obtain multiple full thickness intestinal biopsies. This requires the cat to undergo a laparotomy (abdominal exploratory), but at this age the risks of having a complication with this type of surgery are rare. This might seem like a rather extreme measure, however if it provides a diagnosis, then it is worth having it done.

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Reader Comments

Christina    Coventry, MS

1/1/2011 8:25:55 AM

I have a 5 mouth old male kitten. I have another kitten who is male and 4 mouths old. My concern is that my 5 mouth old is loose when going to the loo. Its also a deep pinkish colour? I have given him some meat cat food, from his normal dry food, as it's Christmas and wanted to give them something special.
I have also given them some dry treats. I am now giving them both their normal dry food.
His still the same playful kitten. My other 4 mounth old is OK, no problems going to the loo.
I would be very grateful for any advice.

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

12/5/2010 7:09:33 AM

important information, thank you

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

9/12/2010 4:17:29 PM

good article, thanks

Janice    Pittsburgh, PA

3/16/2007 7:19:03 AM

My cat Contessa (Tess) was diagnosed with Tritrichomonas Foetus last ... I think it was September ... she completed a two week period of two capsules of Ronidazole ... actually only took the meds for 12 days because of side effects ... and has had two negative cultures since the completion of the treatment. So glad to see that there was a small article about TF in April's Cat Fancy. Have been doing what I can to get the info out to organizations, etc. without being too much of a pest and without causing embarrassment to her breeder who is absolutely wonderful.

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