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Diarrhea (loose) is one of the most unpleasant disorders of the digestive tract in cats. Usually it is a consequence or syndrome of some disease or disorder in the body, but not the cause of it. Diarrhea develops as a result of increased intestinal peristalsis under the influence of bacterial toxins or substances that irritate the intestinal mucosa. Diarrhea in cats is characterized by frequent defecation, as well as an increase in the amount of liquid feces. But you should pay attention to the fact that there could be pseudo-diarrhea, or false diarrhea, which develops in the presence of constipation and is manifested by squeezing a small and thin amount of stool with mucus.
Note!Diarrhea can be acute, chronic (if its duration is more than 14 days), as well as recurrent.
Causes of Diarrhea in Cats
Diarrhea is the very first sign of a disorder of the motor and secretory functions of the gastrointestinal tract. Diarrhea develops in various non-infectious and infectious diseases. The following factors influence the occurrence of diarrhea in cats:
- poor diet, intolerance to feeds;
- feeding poor quality forage;
- drastic change in diet;
- too much feed;
- worm infestation;
- drug intolerance;
- intoxication (poisoning by drugs, chemicals or toxic substances);
- common infection (viral or bacterial etiology);
- intestinal tract infection (caused by enterobacteria);
- metabolic disorder;
Diarrhea in cats after surgery may also occur. Diarrhea in cats after antibiotics is also a common thing.
Symptoms of Diarrhea in Cats
The main symptoms, most common in diarrhea, are:
- reduction or absence of appetite;
- frequent defecation;
- with prolonged diarrhea, the animal loses weight;
- the stool is liquid, with mucus, blood, undigested particles of feed;
- bloating is possible.
In case of diarrhea in cats with blood you should consult the vet immediately!
There should be no difficulties in the recognition of diarrhea in cats. But in the matter of diagnosis, the most important thing is to reliably determine the cause of diarrhea. The effectiveness of future treatment depends on how well the diagnosis is made. During a visit to the vet, you need to describe in details what, in your opinion, was unusual in the behavior or state of the pet in the last few days. In the veterinary clinic, the specialist will do the following:
- measure the temperature;
- palpate the internal organs;
- determine the degree of dehydration.
This will allow to assess the degree of general disorders. In addition, to determine the nature of diarrhea, it is necessary to conduct a number of additional studies:
- parasitological examination of feces for the presence of worm eggs;
- analysis of feces for concealed bleeding;
- urine test;
- blood pattern study;
- it is also possible to male x-rays to differentiate diarrhea from intestinal obstruction, peritonitis, pancreatitis and some other diseases.
Treatment of diarrhea depends on the severity, duration of the disease, as well as the main cause of its occurrence. In the case of simple diarrhea caused by malnutrition, feeding with substandard feed, etc., symptomatic treatment is enough. With short, uncomplicated diarrhea a hungry diet for one or two days will be fine. During the first few hours you should reduce the amount of water (especially if there is vomiting). An important point is to ensure the rest of the cat.
To compensate for the slight loss of fluid in the body (if there is no need for intravenous drip injections), oral (through the mouth) administration of liquid in small portions is used. To do this, use a slightly salted chamomile broth, boiled water or a special solution (dissolve sodium chloride – 3.5 g, glucose – 20 g, potassium chloride – 1.5 g, sodium bicarbonate 25 g in 1 liter of water).
You should start to feed the cat on the second or even on the third day. Increase the amount of feed gradually. The use of rice, oatmeal decoctions shows good results in treatment of uncomplicated diarrhea. Antibacterial therapy is not indicated. After treatment, you must follow a diet, otherwise there is a chance of relapse and transition of acute diarrhea to chronic. If diarrhea is a consequence of other diseases (infection, invasion, poisoning, etc.), in addition to all of the above measures, it is necessary to treat the underlying disease. In this case you need the help of a qualified specialist. Depending on the severity of the process the vet can prescribe:
- intravenous infusion of sodium chloride with glucose and ascorbic acid;
- antibacterial therapy;
- antihelminthic drugs;
- tonic therapy.
Measures to prevent diarrhea are reduced to compliance with all rules and regulations of management and feeding of animals:
- maintaining the cleanliness of cat places;
- disinfection of toilet trays and dishes;
- feeding with benign feeds;
- timely vaccination;
- periodic treatment of worms;
- excluding the possibility of getting into the feed of toxic substances (household chemicals, medicines, etc.).