Sebastian Update: Cat w/ IBS

jonerebJanuary 23, 2012

Sebastian, my male Siamese rescue, had terrible diarrhea. The vet originally thought it may be due to IBS. A fecal exam showed bacteria in the intestines. Sebastian was put on antibiotics for two weeks and Prednilisone for a month. Diarrhea went away, but returned a week or 10 days after we stopped using the antibiotic. So we sent a fecal sample to a special lab that can do a more thorough examination. The result: E-coli...well beyond what would be normal. So, we're back on antibiotics and prednilisone for a month. If that doesn't stop the diarrhea, we'll switch to a more potent antibiotic. The vet suspects IBS may still be part of the problem too. We're also still on Hill's Prescription i/d.

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I've been dealing with some kitten diarrhea, too, and finally tried Slippery Elm. It seemed to work; it's safe, so it's worth a shot. Google for info on how to use it in cats. It might not "cure", but it can sure soothe their intestinal tract. Good luck with Sebastian.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Glad you found the source of the problem. I appreciate the update.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Thanks for letting us know. I hope when the bacteria is eliminated he will be one healthy kitty.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Hmmm... E coli in the feces... NOT finding E coli in the feces would be unusual! That is a normal bacteria in all cat and dog feces (and ours, too). Even in massive numbers. There are many strains of this bacteria, however, and if the lab typed it out as a pathogenic strain, then that might be useful information. But all cat, dog and human stool and intestines are loaded with several species of bacteria, of which E coli is easily the most common. Not sure what you expect the antibiotics to do, as there is literally no way to sterilize a GI tract (that would be a bad thing anyway). There are other bacteria that might be more problematic if found (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, Pseudomonas etc.) but E coli is normal in all cat poop. I am not saying your cat does not have some overwhelming bacterial infection, but that would be a tricky diagnosis to make.

Prednisolone can be helpful in treating some cat diarrheas as it is an immunosuppresssive drug and cats can sometimes have intestinal inflammation that this drug can minimize. But if your cat did indeed have a large, overwhelming population of an unusual strain of E coli, then that would be the last drug you would want to use as it is immunosuppressive (decreases a pet's immune response and makes it much harder to fight infections). Perhaps there is more going on here than you are gleaning from the lab tests/visits. How was IBS diagnosis reached in the first place? Biopsy is really the only way to accurately diagnose that disease, though many cats are 'presumed' to have it if they respond to treatment (diets and prednisolone). Though biopsying a cat's intestines is not that difficult, it does usually require a surgery or endoscopy and is rather costly. Still, it is the best step should all other options fail.

Might want to find out more what the ultimate plan/diagnosis is before randomly moving to a 'stronger' antibiotic.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 2:15AM
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Izrddr, I'm not privy to the report from the lab. I received a phone call from the vet who is interpreting the lab report. He mentioned that cats normally have c-Coli in their stool/intestines, but that Sebastian's was very excessive. As for the diagnosis of IBS, it's not really a diagnosis as much as a hunch. I understand that IBS is a general catch-all explanation. I can only report that when Sebastian is on antibiotics and prednilisone, the loose stool goes away. When I quit administering antibiotics and use only prednilisone, loose stool returns. We go back to the vet in late February. I'm open to suggestion on where to go next if a change in meds is needed.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:47AM
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Both your cats share the same litter box. Has the other guy remained consistently cleared up?

Here is a link that might be useful: tritrichomonas?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Kittens, no, both have loose stool. It causes Sebastian to go outside the box. Hibachi is a good kitty - always uses the box. That's why I'm concentrating more on Sebastian but both kitties are getting the same meds.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Wow, this has certainly been a difficult problem to get to the bottom of.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 6:02PM
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I'm not saying this is what's wrong with your kitties but I had a problem with my kitten that the vets just couldn't get to the bottom of. We did multiple types of medication on her (she did come to me extremely sick) but the diarrhea never subsided even after she was bug free. The medications seemed to relieve the diarrhea greatly while she was taking them but then it would come right back. I was to the end of my rope so what I did was just give her plain cooked rabbit (from the butcher) for her meals. The vet said rabbit was a good selection b/c it's not a popular ingredient in food. Her stool immediately firmed and she was better by day two! From there I could add a store-bought cat food and she'd get diarrhea immediately. Since I knew for sure I was dealing with food, it got considerably easier to get to the bottom if it. Nature's Variety, Prairie Lamb and Oatmeal was the winner. It took me months and months of frustration. Again, I'm not saying that's what wrong with your kitties but you may want to keep that in the back of your mind if the meds don't work. You can't do a continuous diet of meat alone because it lacks all the nutrients but my cat was fine for a couple of days. If you are in fact dealing with a food problem, from my experience I can tell you that you can't just settle on one brand that's 'supposed to be a good food'. I tried every supermarket food and traveled to 3 different pet specialty stores searching for a variety she could tolerate. I can't think of a brand I did not try. She couldn't eat the other flavors of the Nature's Variety either - even the rabbit - go figure. And for some reason the oatmeal works fine for her.

It seems to me if both of your cats are getting the proper meds then the bugs should be cleared up by now in both so they wouldn't be passing it back and forth to each other. I hope the E-coli medicine fixes their problem. If not you might consider switching vets or addressing a possible dietary problem. I so sympathizes with you.

Are you giving them probiotics to counter the antibiotic effects? I believe there's a thread about them going on now. They basically just put back in the good bacteria that the antibiotics kill (which can cause stomach upset).

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 10:02PM
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May I ask what is your resistance toward considering giving him probiotics? This has been suggested a few times in previous threads - may not be the whole answer but considering it's low cost, safe, prescription not required, and 100% effective in repopulating the intestinal tract after prolonged antibiotic use... its well worth a try IMHO. The tests do seem to confirm that the bacteria population is out of whack.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 12:11PM
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Does he have IBS(irritable bowel syndrome) or IBD(inflammatory bowel disease)? My cat Gizmo has IBD. I was told that there was no cure, only treatment. He is taking Flagyl and Forti-Flora plus being on a hyper allergenic diet. If he does not get better, they will put him on a course of Prednisone. What is strange is that I have IBD-crohns, and I have taken Flagyl and Prednisone. I guess these things run in the family.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 10:58PM
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