Kitten has bloody mucus in his stool

kravitz14December 19, 2008

I'd be grateful for any ideas that I can bring to my vet about the following issue:

We adopted two kittens (boys, littermates) from the animal shelter almost two months ago. They are now nearly four months old. One (not both) of them has developed an issue where bloody mucus comes out at the end of his stool. Sometimes it is left with the stool, but sometimes it just makes a clump on his butt, which is then deposited on whatever the next thing is that he sits on.

Since we brought them home, they have had the same food so there's been no change in diet. I'm pretty sure that he didn't have this problem when we adopted them; I think I would have noticed an issue like this quickly. There are no other pets in the household. Both kittens have been checked for worms and other parasites twice recently (with stool samples). The vet tried putting them both on antibiotics for five days (which did seem to make the problem diminish) but four days after completing the antibiotics, the issue is back. He didn't seem to have any other ideas about this so I'd like to have some of my own to offer when I call them back.

Many thanks for any help or suggestions you can offer.


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When presented with this type of problem, I don't bother with stool checks, I just deworm. My favorite combo for cats and dogs is panacur (fenbendazole) and ponazuril for 3-5 days. That combo kills hooks, rounds, whips, and coccidia, pretty much leaving just tapeworms which are non-pathogenic. To catch giardia and coccidia you need a *fresh* stool sample (collected at the office) in a direct prep and read immediately. Another possibility in cats is T. foetus, which is difficult to diagnose (more info on the link below).

If the antibiotic was metronidazole (flagyl) that's the one I would have chosen as well.

If the blood is bright red, and no diarrhea, then I would also consider other causes of colitis such as Fiber responsive colitis, Food sensitivity, IBD, Food responsive diarrhea, Antibiotic responsive diarrhea, Parasitic- whips, Chronic intussusception (ileocolic, cecocolic), IBS. If those can be ruled out, then I would consider causes of constipation such as Dietary indiscretion- undigestible material (bones, cat litter, plant material), Colitis/proctitis, Anal sac disease- sacculitis, adenocarcinoma, Perianal fistula (would be obvious on PE), Spinal disease/back pain, Pelvic/hip/hind limb pain, Perianal hernia,
Prostatomegaly- prostatitis (only in males of course), Idiopathic megacolon, L-S disease, Dehydration from any cause.

Lots of things to consider, many can be ruled out on history and PE, some require more testing, such as radiographs for megacolon.

Good luck with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Owner's guide to T. foetus in cats

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 11:32AM
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We had a similar problem with Jasper, and it went on for more than 7-8 months; routine fecal tests were inconclusive. The vet finally put him on hypoallergenic food (Royal Canin) and it worked gradually. Also used probiotic supplements but those didn't seem to make much difference.

Below are two threads, one about Jasper and the other about the benefits of pumpkin in intestinal issues - it helped Jasper tremendously, I still thank Lisa for the info:

With Jasper, our vet told us to feed him boiled chicken and rice for a while, that worked only temporarily. Shots of Colvasone and something (probably Betamox) else, also were temporary solutions.

I still feel that the stress (Jas and his sister Coco were at the cattery for 10-12 days - and they got fixed during this time as well) and improper kind of food at the cattery contributed to this. I gave the clinic the food Jasper and Coco used to eat but I'm sure they gave them what they gave all the other cats (Purina/other) - I know because I worked at the clinic later and realised how inefficient and disorganised the entire cattery operation was; that translated into about USD 400 for us - the stool checks, injections, different types of food ... not to mention all that anxiety!

All the best, keep us posted on what happens, Michelle.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 1:01PM
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I would switch to Innova Evo, Instincts, Ziwi peak or better yet a raw diet. If you must use dry Orijen or EVO is good.

Vets are not a good source for food- the corps that give them their food do so to make more $ and sick cats for vets to treat.

Thats why they say feed dry because unlike crushing raw bones, meat and organs. Dry will cause dehydration and dental disease. Cats need high moisture content and dry has about 10% or less moisture content. Plus most dry foods have grains to help reduce costs to the pet food makers, cat need less then 7% carbs, and grainy drys useally have 70 to 50% carbs.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 4:24PM
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Many thanks for all the thoughts about why this might be occurring. Our vet is pretty old school, so we'll see if he appreciates that we've generated some ideas to *help* him.

The antibiotic that the vet prescribed was metonidazole, if that's helpful information.

Meghane - Do you feel that it could still be worms even though only one of the cats seems to have this problem? They spend so much time together that it seemed to me if one had worms, the other one would surely also have them. That made me think it was likely some kind of physical problem, but now you have me wondering.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 1:13PM
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I think your vet is treating your kitten for giardia (sp), which is a good idea.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 3:00PM
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There is another probability: Giardia is the "usual" suspect when it comes to intestinal bugs. But as Pranjal said, sometimes the Flagyl (same as the anti-bio your cat is on) doesn't do the trick.
There is another less common contagious intestinal bug called Tritichomonas foetus. It is hard to detect and it doesn't react to Flagyl.
My vet was reluctant to prescribe the necessary antibiotic because it may have toxic side effects and eventually, the situation usually resolves. Since my cat did not test positive for Giardia or worms (after 8 weeks on Flagyl), and she had been living in a shelter, we assumed that this might have been her problem...even though kittens are more susceptable than adult cats. With the pumpkin and a change in diet, my cat's case resolved (it took about 4 months) and she's been fine ever since.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 5:35PM
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Just an update - I began feeding both kitties canned pumpkin three days ago, as was suggested by posters, and amazingly enough, the blood in the stool seems to have gone away. This morning there was just some clear mucus. I will continue to keep a close eye on the situation, and want to thank all who offered suggestions. If the problem fails to clear up completely, I have a great deal more information to go on than I did two weeks ago! It's times like these when I just love the Internet....


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 9:27AM
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Has she ever been treated for ghiardhia before? I think all cats that were outside should be treated for it.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 5:48PM
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I didn't know cats could get Ghiardhia... I have heard of neglected dogs getting it from dirty water, and people too... check the water, if water is dirty use clean, if not, check for the Ghiardhia.

If its in your water, be careful!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 2:57PM
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Yes, they do get it. Especially kittens from feral mothers, or cats that are outside. Ghiardia is very tenacious in the soil, too!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 3:03PM
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Ferals make sense...... outside cats too... its in soil too?... oh dear.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:41PM
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Like many parasites, the eggs reside in the soil. That's why outside cats should be routinely wormed.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 6:11PM
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Ours are Indoor.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 5:08PM
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Glad to hear the pumpkin is working. I'm a big fan of that! Fiber-responsive diarrhea is not uncommon and canned pumpkin is a great treatment as long as the cat eats it. My friend's cat won't touch the stuff...

I've seen many cases where one littermate was sick and another perfectly healthy from parasites. In fact a client just lost a puppy to hookworms despite a blood transfusion, and the littermate, while infected, is doing just fine. Obviously they both got dewormed (twice for the surviver) but for whatever reason, only the female got sick and died. So yes, I do believe that one littermate can show symptoms of disease, or even be infected, while the other is fine. Has to do with individual immune system health, parasite load, etc.

I'm glad your kitten is doing better:)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:38PM
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To anyone that can help- :)
I have been struggling with some similar problems and has been going on with my kitten for months! I adopted a kitten who I new already had diarrhea ( I had no idea what I was getting myself into); day 3 I took him to the vet and he tested positive for Giarrdia began dozing Metronidazole and seperated from my other cats. He finished the dozing but diarrhea continued and thought we may have seen a tape worm segment. He didn't give a strong enough sample the second time but because Giarrdia is sometimes hard to get rid of he got another dose of metronidazole, plus pill for tapeworm, plus Panacur to help with any other worms and parasites. However, it has been January when I first got him and he is still in my bathroom with diahrrea. Negative for giardia but had to send in an $180 test of his diarrhea to sample for other bacterias and he turned out to have a strain of clostridium and has been treated for 3 out of 4 weeks but the only thing to have disappeared is the mucusy look still very runny. When we first got the first Giarrdia diagnosis we had him on a high fiber/bland prescription food and the last 2 weeks have tried some live cultured yogurt with his food (which was gradually changed to science diet kitten and grain free nibbles by natures balance). My vet is runnin out of ideas. Did I forget to mention he has been treated for ringworm for 2 months and they are finally going away but the diarrhea hasn't stopped. Any ideas that you or your vet come up with or anyone else would be helpful?!?!?? My husband and I have also tried over the counter product called bena-bac? Too soon to really consider food allergies. His last diarrhea looked heavier and grainy but still super loose.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 1:26AM
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my cat is 1 1/2 year old fied male indoor cat only has bloody red mucus diahera. acts fine. only feed him dry purina one salmon and rice food. CAN SOMEONE HELP ME OUT

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 7:41AM
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You really need to have a vet check him -- that is not normal, and animals try to act okay, even when they are not feeling well.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 6:42PM
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My cat will be 3 this October. She was a stray and we took her in at about two weeks old. She is an indoor cat that is afraid of sounds outside. Her brother just turned 3 as well and equally does not venture outside. I feed them both the same thing, a mixture of purina one beyond and blue buffalo wilderness weight control. Just recently, about two weeks ago, I changed from the weight control to a salmon something or other by blue buffalo still.
Two days ago the female had loose stool with a bloody mucous. The male is fine. They have automated food and water dispensed so I know they constantly have both.
After reading some posts online, I figured it may be either bacteria or related to changing the food. Would it take two weeks to determine a food allergy or similar? Or if it was the food, would this have come about sooner?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 2:15AM
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omg i think i finally found some answers!!!
I adopted Lucky on Jan 18 this year from BARC he is a 5 month Siamese red point mix. I been having issues with his poop since i got him i go to the vet every week because it seems like every time he get some med it helps for like few days and after a week it starts all over again. today i am going back because it came back. he is eating the Royal Canin Kitten Spayed/Neutered Dry Food, i dont give him wet food because it seems like it just gets worst.
i ask my vet about the pumpkin :-) and yogurt
i hope she will have some answers for me today

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:46AM
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LuckyP are they testing for giardia? What about worms? Some worms can cause blood! This is an old thread...what is the problem you are having with his stool exactly?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 4:29PM
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Little Mya has ringworms.
What can be cleaned?
What should be thrown out?
toys, cat tree, bedding etc.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 7:23PM
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