Diarrhea in cats
Cats are fastidious gourmets when it comes to choosing what to eat. Therefore diarrhea in cats caused by something different from a chronic disease is a rare phenomenon, so owners must pay careful attention to the condition of their pets. In such cases it is unwise to rely on “popular” tips, entrusting the life of your pet to “Internet experts”.
Causes of diarrhea
It is quite difficult to understand why the cat suffers from diarrhea. Besides food poisoning and parasitic infestations, diarrhea can be a symptom of almost any infectious disease, pathologies of internal organs, tumors (including cancer), and many other changes in normal body functions. In addition, in cats each organism is individual from the other, and two pet suffering from the same disease may have different symptoms. So let the professional vet find out the cause and assign an effective treatment after examination of the cat and a survey of the cat owner.
It is forbidden to give your cat human medicine against diarrhea, as many of them are toxic to pets, while others may have the opposite effect or even worsen the situation.
Depending on the cause, the vet decides what drugs to prescribe against diarrhea. Diarrhea may be accompanied by other symptoms and be of varying intensity:
- Stale food poisoning, may occur because of sharp change of feed – short diarrhea has common color, the cat feels well, the appetite remains the same, the improvement is noticeable through the night.
- Unusual reaction to food or food intolerance may become apparent through increased flatulence, sudden diarrhea, of conventional color and smell. For example after products as milk, raisins, nuts, chocolate or coffee.
- Helminthes may cause diarrhea with mucus two or three times a day. Other symptoms are: tight stomach, weight loss, possible loss of appetite, general weakness, palely gums. The stool may be stringy and bad-smelling.
- Pancreatitis causes weakness, fever, weight loss, chronic diarrhea.
- Bacterial infection causes diarrhea that is not too frequent, sometimes with blood and / or mucus. The cat becomes sluggish, the appetite is decreased. For bacterial infections vomiting is also a symptom.
- Virus infection. Depending on the type of agent, diarrhea can be of varying intensity and color. However, there are always signs of serious illness: weakness, loss of weight and appetite, vomiting, high or low temperature, runny nose and / or eyes.
- Toxic substances poisoning may have the following symptoms: depression, decreased appetite, change the gums color, painful stomach cramps, and changes in heart rhythm. The vet should appoint the treatment against toxins, and the owner must put efforts to identify the source of poisoning.
- Ileus is characterized by depression, profuse vomiting, frequent diarrhea, and sometimes by abdominal pain. This is an extremely dangerous condition requiring immediate intervention of the veterinarian.
- Disease of the small intestine – abundant diarrhea two or three times a day of dark brown color. Black stools can be a sign of internal bleeding, so the presence of this symptom is a reason for emergency treatment in the clinic!
- Bowel disease symptoms are: diarrhea with blood and a lot of mucus, very frequent stools. Sometimes the stool becomes stringy as glue.
- Disruption in the pancreas – greenish or yellowish chronic diarrhea, enormous appetite, weight loss, flatulence.
How to help the cat?
Starvation diet for 24 hours, and drinking plenty of fluids will help if:
- The diarrhea in cat has conventional color;
- The amount of stool is quite normal;
- The frequency of stool is no more than 3-4 times per day;
- There is no blood and / or mucus;
- On the next day the condition is markedly improved.
You need to go to the vet clinic immediately if in addition to diarrhea some other symptoms are observed (like vomiting, weakness, no water drinking, sudden weight loss, signs of infection) and / or:
- Stool frequency of more than 5 times per day;
- The amount of fecal is frighteningly large;
- The stool is of abnormal color (bright yellow, green, white, black);
- The fecal stench is unbearable;
- Some blood clots or large amounts of mucus appear in the fecal.
It is dangerous to waste time, thinking how to cure diarrhea in cats. The pet becomes sluggish, the body is dehydrated, the disease progresses – in such a situation any delay could cost the life of the cat. It is equally dangerous trying to help your pet on your own! It can be acceptable (after a single / double diarrhea manifestations that are not accompanied by other symptoms) to give your pet a small portion of drink made of rice broth or with infusion of oak bark.
The following information is important to remember in order to help the vet:
- when the diarrhea started;
- whether the cat has diarrhea with or without blood, if any mucus, undigested food particles, parasites (living or dead) are there;
- how many times the diarrhea occurred;
- details of stool odor and color;
- stool consistency;
- the amount of fecal (more or less than usual);
- information about cat’s general condition, if there are any symptoms.
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