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Cryptosporidium, 6 wks of diarrhea, IBD(?) for 5 mos baby kitten Panther!

ShreyaS

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First time kitten / cat/ furry owner and first time posting! I'm a bit overwhelmed with 2 sick kittens and very grateful this forum and your resources exist. This got very long! But hopefully the information can lead us towards the right path.
  1. Panther: 5 mos, 6lbs spayed female american short-hair tabby dark chocolate & black kitten (DOB 5/14/23)
MAIN PROBLEMS:
  • After 3 weeks of diarrhea, which included attempts to support with pumpkin, pro-pectalin, a bland diet, and 5-day treatment of 0.4ml/day liquid metrinizole (none of which helped) and many vet visits: Panther finally tested positive for cryptosporidium (protozoan parasite) 2 wks ago (10/4/23) and started 0.5ml (Strength: 60-mg/mL) of tylosin tartrate every 12 hours (started this 28 day treatment on 10/9/23). this means she has had diarrhea for 6-7 weeks, nonstop. Sadly she still has loose stools and drips around the floor and also has explosive diarrhea at other times. we hope she doesn't reinfect herself; our online research said it is very hard to disinfect from these spores. her meds will end 11/5/23, and if she still has diarrhea then, we will do x-rays and ultrasound, to make sure she didn't eat something that is still stuck in her body.
ADDITIONAL PROBLEMS:
  • she had alopecia above her eyes to ears when we first got her. She also very likely may have Pica (looking for as well as eating dust, hair, litter, licking litterbox etc) which could have been how she got crypto if not from the shelter (adopted just over 2 months ago, 8/11/23). i also wonder if she is starting to overgroom since we try to clean her after she uses the litterbox, since we don't want her to reinfect herself.
  • I have found ear mites in her ear (prolly bc it can be humid in the bathroom?) and treating with MCT oil drops bc she has had so many meds / vaccines / etc already go through her system. she is very little, mighty, tender, skinny. i worry she missed her growth spurt development period but she is slowly putting on weight now that she is on z/d diet (more below). seems to have cold paws, even if the rest of the body seems neutral or hot.
  • while she lets me brush her left side of mouth, pretty easily, she refuses to let me touch right side mouth. im hoping its just teething issues.
  • poor baby, likely a runt, and likely immunocompromised is probably very imbalanced after all these treatments. i'm hoping to get her back in balance. we will soon visit a new vet (the 3rd one), we haven't found anyone we like outside of the ER, that is holistic yet, but just found holistika veterinary clinic and hoping she might even be able to do acupuncture, etc.
BEAM
  • behavior-we have found her eating her own poop if she finds it on the floor with / without the litter (walnut shells), steps in her own poop and won't bury it, constantly rubs her cheeks against the litter box, and stopped burying her poop and started hiding a bit more in the couch, about 1-2 weeks right before her acute diarrhea started. has never hissed, usually will attempt to bite or run to hide or yowl when upset.
  • energy- mostly high. likes to play, often seems to be waiting at the door for us, when we come in will greet us usually. she seems to like when i hold her and sing to her, for the most part:) also trying reiki at times, haven't seen any difference with this however.
  • appetite- eats a lot. healthy appetite. takes 45 minutes to eat food, and we have to be petting him / baby talk for her to finish food! drinks water in food and also see her at the water bowl - luckily doesn't seem dehydrated based on pinch / tent tests on the scruff area as well as mostly pink gums.
  • mood- sad, frustated, meowing loudly at door while in quarantine (around 10/4/23), has stopped grooming as much as she used to. but while not in quarantine- she typically plays with sister kitten most of the time.
DIET
  • currently:
    • hill's vet rx z/d wet diet (hydrologized chicken). moving to this diet helped relieve ~15% of diarrhea symptoms, so we wonder if she has IBS or IBD? to help give meds, we supplemented with z/d dry kibble, or freeze dried vital brand raw rabbit, or tuna bonito flakes (pure)- tried these separate, and all seemed to exacerbate her diarrhea, even if just a pinch or 10-20 kibble pieces. also tried 1/4 tspn slippery elm before 1-2meals but couldn't tell if exacerbating diarrhea. so now we're just trying to keep more strictly to hill's z/d (wet). this is not something we would want to continue long term, but we may have to use it for much longer than we had originally hoped, since we need to figure out if she has food allergies as soon as she's done with this parasite.
    • most used probiotics during lunch (breakfast and dinner we give the tylesol antibiotic) are flora fauna (1 packet/day) and/or 1/2 capsule of sacchomyrices boullardi + MOS Jarrow Formulas, Saccharomyces Boulardii Plus MOS, 5 Billion, 180 Delayed Release Veggie Caps
    • will start to use love bugs and gut soothe from adored beast to mix into the rotation. (how to rotate? 1 probiotic med per day and switch?)
    • sometimes 1-6 drops MCT oil in food or on capsules.
    • hoping to get her on partial raw diet, though we have to first figure out if she's allergic to chicken or turkey or duck (the main proteins she was eating before). rabbit is expensive and we have already spent so much time and energy on figurin out what's going on with her, that it will be a while before we could fully explore this. it woudl be so easy if we could just give her some of our chicken, with bone, that we also eat, etc.
  • before she was sick:
    • we fed her wet nulo food with at least 1-2 tbsp water in it (turkey & duck, chicken pate, she didn't seem to like beef but loves fish like tuna and salmon), greenies treats with churro treats. however we wonder if she has a chicken or other protein allergy.
    • she would eat from her sister kitten's plate who uses imunoquin supplement.
    • sometimes tried to give her nettle, CBD oil, or melatonin treats to help calm or boost her, but she didn't love taking those like she did other treats.
Vaccination history / exposure to toxins, other medication
  • vx for rabies (8/11/23). the shelter told us they were giving rabies vx before we could take her home- they didn't ask. in retrospect i know it was too early to give it to her.
  • 2 rounds of FVRCP vx - heard she might not need the 3rd round or is that incorrect? we can't do this soon as she is still fighting whatever is giving her diarrhea.
  • dewormed at ER, given hydration formula subcutaneously same day
  • she was given revolution first few months in shelter (which we now know is so bad for these pets). we give her monthly flea treatment - advantage II
  • 5-day treatment of 0.4ml/day liquid metronidazole
  • 0.5ml (Strength: 60-mg/mL) of tylosin tartrate 2x/day (28 day treatment on 10/9/23).
Is the condition better or worse from exercise, heat, cold, time of day, certain foods, emotional upset, being touched, excitement, etc?
  • in the morning (7am-9am) we always find drips on the floor - less now than before, and thicker now too than before when it was mucuosy or very liquidy....maybe from stress of being alone in bathroom quarantine, or maybe bc its the longest shes gone without food for the day (for ~10 hours). we parents have been constantly cleaning (changing sleeping box, washing blankets, floors, etc) to rid of crypto, so she seems to miss her scent. we have put comfort zone 'happy family' pheremones in kitten's room which have seemed to help her feel a bit more calm.
  • anything outside of the hydrologized food seems to upset her tummy (gurgles) or gives explosive or uncontained diarrhea.
  • sometimes she likes to be picked up- more at night. sometimes in late morning. sometimes its not clear but may drip more after being picked up. loves to be pet most of the time, craves it and meows for it constantly.
  • she will sometimes do solo play, and especially interactive play seems to help relieve stress. sometimes plays energetically (not tired after 35 min, other times lays down after 10 mins).
  1. diagnostic work - Attached
  2. Current and previous treatment - attached.

MedicalRec-1-1_full13789f6a-a2f1-47a3-a7b0-92d2c76fc1d1.jpeg

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3CFE58F7-AECB-4727-893F-EB6CD7E4D04E.jpeg

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Attachments

  • IDEXXResultPdf-US1322-DR53751-69205_Final.pdf
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ShreyaS

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oh no! i just had given panther advantage II flea meds this morning, and when i came home this evening, she definitely had released water-like stools all over the floor - this was something that might have happened a week or week and a half ago. not just that, but she looked so lethargic and not like herself with half closed eyes and not vocal, as she usually is. hopefully the chemicals didn't upset her and her stomach too much. this is the first time that it was so noticeable.

at this point, day 12 of 28 of Tylesol Tartrate, i'm wondering if i should start assuming she has IBD and use those protocols as a strong means to treat the diarrhea (starting to watch HA! May webinars that cover IBD issues, which have been tremendously helpful, yay!) on her and push for the ultrasound/x-ray earlier? i don't want to be reactive but i keep wondering: shouldn't much of her diarrhea have cleared up by now? i'm getting worried about her and am guessing she's exhausted and depleted, while at the same time knowing healing isn't linear. i know its important to stay optimistic and give her a lot of positive attention but sometimes us parents are so overwhelmed with catching up with the cleaning and sanitization (the spores replicate every 24 hours!) that we can't always give extra attention even when we want to. all tips or advice so appreaciated!

thanks so much.
 

Dr. Jeff

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Wow!

Welcome Shreya, and thanks for a wonderfully complete first post!

Panther and Lucy are adorable and say that they have great vitality and have an amazing healing ability.

They will be fine. Regardless of their diagnoses.

Kittens are among the most miraculous self-healers that there are.

I am currently away at a conference (homeopathy and global health) and will re-read your post when I return.


In the meantime tho, it would be wonderful if you take the HA! 101 course and read a bit more about our approach. HA! focuses on what is truly possible for healing and quality of life and health span. Not symptoms, dis-eases (imbalances) or diagnoses:



 

Dr. Jeff

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start assuming she has IBD
No! She has symptoms that some vet internists might label (incorrectly) as IBD.
i keep wondering: shouldn't much of her diarrhea have cleared up by now?
Great question! Yes. But she has a lot of things working against her like her diet, drugs and vaccination.
i'm getting worried about her
Yes, it's super hard to avoid that. Try using strategies in the Happiness Protocol like Happy Meals, Happy Dances, etc.

If you haven't already done so, perhaps set up time to do a 15 minute HMDM call with Dr. Christina or myself.
 

Dr. Christina

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Most importantly, with the chronic problems in young cats, will to be working as a client with a good homeopathic or TCVM (acupuncture) veterinarian. Please read this article. It will help you decide if the Holistika clinic is really good or not. Taking the 101 class as Dr. Jeff suggested will set you up for your appointment there and help you evaluate their suggestions. Not all are really holistic. Several very good homeopathic vets who will work virtually with you include Drs. Herman, Tewari, Cooney, Doyle (all at www.theavh.org). This is really critical.

Also needed with all the issues will be to keep a journal. A member benefit is my ebook - Healthy Cat Journal.

Flower essences may be the way to go temporarily since she does not like the supplements/herbs. They can be rubbed on the fun, paws, face, bedding, food, etc. Aug 19, 2019 webinar. Check my article on my site which has websites, too.

To help you frame of mind, which helps your kitties, listen to Anitra Frazier and Bernie Siegel. I also suggest having her book, The Natural Cat, on your bookshelf.

Dr. Christina
 

Dr. Jeff

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After re-reading about Panther and Lucy, I especially think that scheduling an HMDM call with myself or Dr. Christina is something to consider.

Have you done a trial of feeding only frozen raw food like Small Batch? Sometimes raw feeding alone can make a big difference.

Raising their vitality and ability to heal is essential.

A non-HPP (high pressure pasteurization) raw food that contains a significant amount of heart is an easy way to start doing that.

Also, using a species-specific probiotic like Felix's Flora would be great:

 

ShreyaS

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Thanks so much Dr. Jeff and Dr. Christina!
I read all the articles that are linked above and the 101 course video this wkd - this all helped to zoom out and get a better, more hopeful, big picture of our kittens challenges right now. I couldn't access the e-book but wrote support and am tracking in my own journal format until I hear back.

I also scheduled with you, Dr. Jeff for 11/3/23- which seems a bit far away, but will be right before Panther finishes his antibiotics. Our holistic vet appt locally is on 11/9/23 but we are determined to make some changes before then:)

We haven't done a full raw meal experiement (just novel protein of pure (Vital-brand) freeze-dried Rabbit toppers with a few tepherols, along with Bonito Flakes 100% Tuna treats 1.5 weeks ago, for about a 4-5 days. and at that time, it aggravated his diarrhea so we stopped increasing it towards a full meal). I don't know if he needs to get his imbalance back to a little less off to start raw food. We found a butcher that may be able to provide food for him. We were thinking he may be allergic to chicken, turkey, tuna, or duck- since that's what most of his food had as a base protein. We gave him Phosphorous 30C based on the info of Adored Beast webinar - since that one seemed so clearly to match who Panther is and a few things we're seeing. We also got Arnica 30C, and one other homeopathic med) he seems calmer today, less sad meows, and more energetic, after just 2 small doses! YAY! he doesn't even try to run away /struggle from the dropper that i'm feeding from:)

Our main concerns are: our own energetic, time, and financial capacity limitations (as I'm also in lots of appointments and medical care post-car accident) to transition to raw since it's a lot of catch up just keeping up with sanitizing his room, blankets, toys, everything else right now. We want to find something sustainable and imagine it will have to be a slow transition (as in, it will probably go fully effect in January). But we know we want to commit to boosting his immune system, and overall well-being, which will keep him the most well.


I'll repost after watching the raw meal webinars - I probably will have some more well-informed questions then, in a few days.

Thank you so much again,
shreya
 

Dr. Jeff

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I'm super sorry to hear about your car accident. :confused:
We want to find something sustainable
Thank you so much for saying that, and for the extra context, Shreya! Yes, in that case then raw may not be feasible (unless you can find an affordable and sustainable source).

It sounds like you are putting a great plan together to get the kitties on a more vital diet. How about canned food and part of a lightly scrambled (and maybe eventually raw) egg or blenderized white meat turkey?

I'm glad that you connected with Adored Beast.

Please be careful with deep-acting homeopathic medicines (like Phos) which can have a whole different effect than a supplement or food (the remedy acts on the subtle energy body whereas food and supplements act physically and not energetically).

If you have used homeopathy before, you know how important proper dosing and monitoring are.

Depending on financial feasibility, working with a trained vet homeopath for non-acute conditions is ideal.

However, using it on your own for acute conditions like most injuries, bug bites, etc. are where learning homeopathy is very valuable.
 

ShreyaS

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Thanks so much for support for Panther (and for Tighie, in my other recent post!).

Raw food updates:
We've tried the lightly cooked scrambled egg, it seemed to make a little more green, a bit more mucous separation (but seemingly same consistency otherwise) in Panther's stools. He seemed to like the taste (really anything beyond the Hill's z/d is a treat!). We only tried it for 4 meals.

Also gave 1-2 freeze dried raw minnows with each meal (Vital brand, no additives!).
And just yesterday we tried more novel proteins Lamb and Mackerel (Ziwi brand, which has a lot ) air-dried raw treats with his food. Again, loved them.
We'll finally be able to get something more fully raw and high in heart parts today (and not HPP) from a butcher we found. We just need to figure out what a good trial amount is since it's 40 minutes away.

A big question we have at this time is: how long do you recommend trying a dietary change to actually see if its supporting him... or if to stop?


Other probiotics and homeopathic support:
We stopped the Phosphorous 30C until we can actually talk to a vet about it, as well as any other homeopathic meds. I am definitely interested to find out more about how these work with the energetic body.

Got the Gut Soothe and Love Bugs (adored beast) and have been giving him Gut Soothe at lunch (finishing the Tylenol tartrane antibiotics this Friday, but still give it at breakfast and dinner time). When that bottle runs out for both our kittens, we'll rotate onwards to the Love Bugs, as was recommended in the Adored Beast HA! webinar.


Last updates:
We tried to move up his holistic vet in person appt but it's still 11/9/23, so we're glad we'll get to chat with you before that.

Still nothing notable with even the smallest positive change in his diarrhea.
He's doing a great job staying hydrated, playing, being held by us while looking out the windows and swatting at bugs:)


Last Questions:
Any guidance you could provide about if our kittens could have some short play sessions or if that feels too risky?

Tighie, our other kitten, hasn't gotten it yet (they played for 2.5 - 3 weeks while his symptoms were undiagnosed, then separated shortly after diagnosis). We're on his last week of antibiotics (day 22/28 of Tylesol 60mg/ml). no major or even recent minor changes in diarrhea for the last week. We had heard Cryptosporidium with meds usually disappears within 14 days and wondering if the 28 days was prescribed to be most cautious. We know the kittens want the most vitality and love from each other so could take his sister in for short supervised visits if its very low risk.

Relatedly, would it be wise to test him today as the IDEXX results have a turnaround of 4-5 business days...or would you advise finishing the antibiotics fully (this friday) before taking his fecal sample in? We know he is so sad in quarantine and its getting colder in his room; this would mean an extra week in quarantine if we complete the antibiotics but of course if its what best we will keep him there for these next 2 weeks.

Thanks so much again for any guidance!


Warmly,
shreya
 

Dr. Jeff

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A big question we have at this time is: how long do you recommend trying a dietary change to actually see if its supporting him... or if to stop?
The fresh food diet is for his entire life!
glad we'll get to chat with you before that.
Me too (and I see that we may even chat today!).
Any guidance you could provide about if our kittens could have some short play sessions or if that feels too risky?
IMHO, playing is the best "prescription" for them!
Relatedly, would it be wise to test him today as the IDEXX results have a turnaround of 4-5 business days...or would you advise finishing the antibiotics fully (this friday) before taking his fecal sample in?
Great question! If the expense and any added stress of having two tests is OK with you, then sure, get it done early. But if it's positive then you'll be doing it again...
 

Dr. Christina

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While there is a big learning curve switching to being more in charge of your kitties lives it will be so worth it in the long run. Relax and do not rush or push yourself too hard. There are no RIGHT answers, and no experts who have the right answer.

For instance, One of the kitties adopted by Gail Pope at age 22 lived to 34 using homeopathy, fresh food when possible (canned sometimes) and lots of love. One in Austin lived to 38 on dry food with turkey bacon, egg and an eyedropper full weekly of coffee and one of red wine!! His other cat was 34 when this one died.

Just adding whatever food you are having for dinner (meat before or after cooking, some mushed up vegetables, some cheese (Anitra Frazier, in her book that I recommend, the natural Cat, says grated parmesan is a fav), I've seen cats love any type, cottage cheese, even a lap of ice cream.

You are stressed enough right now, so just relax and play with them until your appointments with Dr. Jeff and the homeopath (who is?).

Did you figure out how to download the journal? If not, email me at HealThyAnimals@aol.com

Dr. Christina
 

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