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Pudding poop! [Nov. 15th, 2011|09:14 am]
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cathealth

[sceimhiuil]
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**EDIT/UPDATE**
Another soft poop this evening, about 16 hours after the first. But this time it was smaller, still the same consistency, but accompanied by SCOOTING. I have never seen a cat scoot before. Upon closer inspection, looks like there's an anal gland blockage, I didn't want to pry too far though. Vet tomorrow.
**/UPDATE**

Being new to this comm, it's a little embarrassing that my first question has to do with the dreaded pudding poops. *laughs* Sorry all!

I recently adopted a kitten (he was 8 weeks, and he is now 7 months, to give you an idea). He has been growing like a weed and just got neutered yesterday. He is over a pound heavier than his (non-blood, adult) brother, and we think his dad was Persian, though we aren't sure.

I had the cats on Cat Chow Naturals for as long as I can remember. Jim, the 2-year-old, has never had bowel issues, no matter how I tormented his digestive tract by switching foods (never on purpose, but a college kid sometimes has to buy cat food from CVS instead of the pet store...). I recently switched to Before Grain (3-4 months ago). It was perfect for the first 2 months. I kept the cats' diets supplemented with Meow Mix Market Selects, never had a problem with that either. And then suddenly, a single pudding poop, hanging from the butt of Sulu, the kitten. I chalked it up to something scaring or stressing him. It happened twice more, this time a couple weeks later with a single day between. Then some time. Then one more small pudding poop. I stopped feeding the wet food as often (1/2 can a day, to 1/2 can every other day), thinking it was the grease in the food.

No incident for about a week. Sulu went in for his neuter yesterday without issue. I woke up today to EXPLOSIVE PUDDING POOP. I cleaned up as best I could before work, it looked like I got enough off his butt that he can clean the rest himself. I called the vet, she hasn't called back yet, but I am most scared that his incisions will get infected. I didn't want to wipe that area too hard (I was using my unscented baby wipes) for fear of injuring him, but there was definitely some poo around the incision site that he was cleaning off as I left for work. I didn't WANT to go to work, and as I am sitting here I am terrified that he will have a raging infection by tomorrow.

So what do you guys think? Is it diet? Stress? I don't want to put him through anything I don't have to (think colon biopsy... ugh), so please, all opinions are welcomed.

EDIT: I just remembered. The poops have smelled like his anal sacs, which needed to be emptied with veterinary help 3-4 months ago, which is why I made the switch to Before Grain. Since then, no anal sac issue/smells, except during pudding poop episodes. Could they be related? Maybe the pudding poops are partially anal sac fluid?
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[User Picture]From: myxini
2011-11-15 03:42 pm (UTC)

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I've been lucky enough to never smell anal gland expressions, but if it's really foul, and a little greasy looking, it might be giardia, esp. if he has access to outdoor water. (have unfortunately had experience with that one) it's something they have to specifically look for, so it can be missed.

Or if it's due to intestinal flora being out of whack, the surgery might have made that a bit worse, since they probably gave him antibiotics. which would be bad, since it's causing problems, but good because it should prevent infection.

(not a vet, microbio student. the vet-types around here probably have more specifically useful info)
[User Picture]From: sceimhiuil
2011-11-15 03:46 pm (UTC)

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Thanks :)

He is indoor-only (both of them are), so no outdoor water/food. They have both had the standard poop-check for parasites, but I will mention the giardia when the vet calls me back. (Wouldn't both cats have it, though?)

I'll update with more info as I get it. Maybe this is just a random fluke, or maybe they fed him something crappy at the vet and didn't annotate it? That's probably unlikely.
[User Picture]From: squid_ink
2011-11-15 03:56 pm (UTC)

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when the vet calls, ask him/her about probiotics. I take them when i'm on antibiotics (as do my cats) to help the 'good' flora which may have been killed off

here's hoping it all works out and you have less sloppy poop in your future
[User Picture]From: sceimhiuil
2011-11-15 03:59 pm (UTC)

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bahahaha. thanks!
[User Picture]From: karmen
2011-11-15 04:41 pm (UTC)

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Its not a fluke, something is for sure causing it. Get him checked for giardia and coccidia, they can get it from mom and those parasites in particular are sneaky and don't always present symptoms and are not found in every standard fecal which means yes both cats could have it but no symptoms may be present in one cat while the other one is pooping pudding. In fact with giardia they don't even look for the parasite itself they look for the antigen:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2386

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=680

I would hope they would have fed him after the surgery because of the fasting before and it helps them clear the anesthesia but I would not immediately suspect that, (and no that is not something that *needs* to be annotated). I would suspect the stress of going to the vet and having surgery. Also the protein content may be too high in the food you are feeding him. I can't feed my cats EVO on a regular basis because of that reason (among others). IF you feed him boiled chicken and rice for a day or three until his stools clear up (not longer than that unless you talk to the vet because its not nutritionally balanced) and then start slowly introducing his regular food and he gets the soft poops again you will know for sure it is the food.
[User Picture]From: sceimhiuil
2011-11-15 04:48 pm (UTC)

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What makes me suspect it might not be the food, is that it comes and goes and isn't every day (but he poops every day).
[User Picture]From: sceimhiuil
2011-11-15 04:53 pm (UTC)

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Oh, and I should hasten to add that the kitten has no symptoms other than the occasional soft poop (and this one random explosive soft poop). He acts 100% normal, in fact once he came home he was already trying to play with the cat.

I will of course get him checked for the other parasites, but I am doubting he has them, and this is diet related, but why would this be so random and sporadic?
[User Picture]From: karmen
2011-11-15 05:30 pm (UTC)

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why would this be so random and sporadic?

Read the links I gave you - these two parasites in particular have symptoms that wax and wane. Cats can have normal poops for YEARS with only the occasional soft poop and have giardia. Coccidia has a certain smell associated with it which if you don't work with cats all the time you may not realize but again it can be only occasionally. They are not shed in every fecal sample so they are hard to find. If you go changing foods and adding supplements its going to be frustrating and expensive if it is medical because nothing will work long term. Is it likely that it is either of those parasites? No, but it could be. Always always rule out the medical first.

Cats also get stressed and what stresses out a cat is different than you may think. Stress can equal GI upset just like in people. Surgery and anesthesia? Stressful. People visiting? Moving furniture? Seeing another cat or dog outside a window? Can be stressful. My doorbell ringing stresses one of my cats so much that she gets bloody runny poop within 24 hours after hearing it ring and usually its within 4ish hours. And it does not always land in the litterbox, it gets dripped out on the floor when she tears out of there. You are right it may not be the food but you need to explore every possibility.

[User Picture]From: sceimhiuil
2011-11-15 05:34 pm (UTC)

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Definitely, like I said it's the first thing I'll talk to the vet about. Thanks for all the info, I'm sorry if I seemed a little dense ^^; but although I am not new to cat ownership, I'm very new to cat health problems and I have LOTS of questions. Thank you again especially with your patience and thorough explanations. I won't rule anything out at this point, and I will update when (if?) the problem gets solved!
[User Picture]From: karmen
2011-11-15 05:41 pm (UTC)

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No need to apologize, cats are not easy to understand when they are not feeling 100%, they don't read rule books! Please feel free to keep asking questions here, that is what we are here for! I would for sure be interested in an update, I am very familiar with cat poop issues, my one girl also has IBS issues (with the bloody runny poops, the only way it can be confirmed for sure is with a biopsy of the colon and I am not willing to do that at this point!) so I know how it is! Good luck :)
[User Picture]From: sceimhiuil
2011-11-15 05:42 pm (UTC)

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thank you :)
[User Picture]From: abrakadabrah
2011-11-15 05:05 pm (UTC)

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It seems like it started when you started feeding this brand of food. I would switch to another one and see if you get different results.

Also add in supplemental probiotics. That will help the gut environment stabilize.

Symptoms related to diet can be sporadic and appear random. The way to test it is to remove the food you are not sure of and see if the symptoms go away.
[User Picture]From: sceimhiuil
2011-11-15 05:11 pm (UTC)

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It started about 2 months after I put them on this food.

That is good to know that diet issues can be sporadic!

I am going to try some Royal Canin, as I've heard good things about it reading back in this community a bit. I'll be sure to add it slowly. I'm also going to cut the wet food for now.

Thanks :)
[User Picture]From: talonvaki
2011-11-15 05:27 pm (UTC)

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Jacoby, my Abyssinian, is healthy as a horse, but he does have pudding poops, even now at the age of 2½.

My vet recommended probiotic powder (FortiFlora), and I also give him canned pumpkin. He was tested for giardia (our other Aby did have it about a year or so ago) and tested negative, and he had no worms or coccidia. He just sometimes gets the squirts, is the best we could come up with, because he's otherwise fine and shows no other symptom.

One thing, though: he does also have anal gland problems. They aren't major, but he has problems expressing them himself (which may be caused by having soft poops, so it could be a chicken and egg problem). I can express his glands myself (he lets me!) and I do about every three weeks or whenever he starts getting "whiffy." Anecdata at best, but it's interesting - I wonder if there's a link between anal glands and pudding poop?

Edited at 2011-11-15 05:27 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: sceimhiuil
2011-11-15 05:32 pm (UTC)

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Hey, in this case anecdata can be really helpful in trying to figure out what to do next! :) If I can't figure out a good food, I'll see if a probiotic will help - and the pumpkin might be something fun to try as a treat anyway, haha.

It is a really interesting question and one I think I'll try to do a little research on. My initial thought on the connection was that when my kit gets "whiffy" (hahah), he'll have a super soft poo but the smell will go away (but the poo will smell like it), almost like his glands are expressing with the poop (which is normal?) but it's all at once so it gets messy. I have NO idea how plausible this is, though!