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kitten diarrhea
anniem1954ohmy posted:
We are fostering a 7 week old kitten from our animal shelter. She is very small (1.5 lbs) and has diarrhea. We've had her for three days...she is now pooping everywhere (I think she now associates her litter box with painful elimination) It is liquidy and brown. She is drinking water, but refuses to eat her hard kitten chow, so we purchased some wet kitten food for her, and she will eat that. I contacted the animal shelter yesterday with my concerns. As her bottom is pretty sore right now, they suggested some aloe vera (which I purchased...the soft tabs...I squeeze the oil onto a cotton ball and apply it to her bottom for 30 seconds or so) They also suggested 1/2 tsp of kaopectate. we tried this...she seems worse...I looked up kaopectate online and found that I should not have given this to her, as it has a new ingredient (salicylate) which can be harmful to animals. What do I do? She is active, but now she is just a squirting machine...I am worried.
anniem1954ohmy responded:
I also wanted to mention that the animal shelter told us to keep her on the hard kitten chow only, but she will not eat it. She is so small, we are worried that she will lose weight, and there isn't any weight to lose. Is there anything we can do to firm her little poops up? Is there a certain type of food that will help her...I bought Iams canned kitten food (it's like a pate). She has Purina Kitten Chow that the Shelter sent us home with. She really shuns it.
rohvannyn replied to anniem1954ohmy's response:
So much depends on what is causing the problem. If it turns out to be parasites, or a virus, or bacteria, or stress, or any number of other things, the fixes will be different. Does the shelter provide veterinary services? Sounds like she needs a checkup. Best of luck to her, and to you... and your carpets.
anniem1954ohmy replied to rohvannyn's response:
Thank you Rohvannyn! We have called our vet and will be taking her in tomorrow to see what's going on. She has been de-wormed, frontlined, tested for feline leukemia etc (at the animal shelter). We can't figure out what is going on with her, but today she seems a little off to the vet's tomorrow. The animal shelter assured us that kittens' digestive systems are sometimes fragile...we have had a number of cats over the years, and none have had serious bouts of diarrhea...and she is so we are worried...thank you for the supportive advice!
rohvannyn replied to anniem1954ohmy's response:
I'm glad you have access to a vet. In the meantime, maybe this will help a little.
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
It sounds like you're headed in the right direction. Diarrhea in a very small kitten can be serious due to the dehydration it causes. There are so many things that can cause it, but a common cause is bacterial or protozoal overgrowth, where these organisms overgrow the normal organisms in the intestinal tract. This is simple to diagnose with direct stool tests (not the "floatation" tests usually done.) Medication is usually quite effective, but it's also important to treat the dehydration and stop the diarrhea so it doesn't recur.

Finally, very young kittens should eat primarily canned food as their teeth are so small. They can have dry food as well, but should eat some canned food until they're at least four months old. Tiny kittens need a lot of calories relative to their body size, so feed her a good quality canned kitten food. This also helps keep her hydrated.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice
anniem1954ohmy replied to Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP's response:
Thank you all so much for your help and advice. Our kitten died in hospital care a few days ago. After an angry call from our vet to the animal shelter from which we received our kitten (they had advised us to only feed her dry food and to give her kaopectate to relieve her diarrhea, as well as assuring me that kitten diarrhea was common, basically no big deal), it was divulged that this kitten's litter mate had giardia. Our veterinarian is furious with the shelter's advice and treatment options, but right now, we are just heartbroken that our kitten was put through suffering that was unnecessary and that we couldn't save her.
rohvannyn replied to anniem1954ohmy's response:
My heart goes out to you. I'd be quite angry at the shelter as well for not only giving you bad advice but also witholding information that would have been important for diagnosis and treatment.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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