Dr. Joyce Ashamalla
Dr. Joyce Ashamalla is the managing partner at Hinsdale Animal Hospital with Kremer Veterinary Service, as well as a partner at CARE Animal Emergency Hospital. She received her BS in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois- Champaign Urbana, where she also completed her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 2007. She is AO certified, USDA-APHIS accredited, and is a member of the CVMA, ISVMA, AVMA.
All animals (like us humans) can have tummy problems from time to time. But one thing to be aware of is when kittens develop diarrhea. There are lot of causes of this condition in young cats and as loving, responsible pet owners, we want to make sure we address the issue sooner than later. Let’s take a look at kitten diarrhea, its causes and what can be done to help our little button-eyed friends.
Why Does My Kitten Have Diarrhea?
There could be many reasons that are causing your kitty to suffer this unpleasant condition. Here are some of them.
- • Intestinal parasites obtained in the environment or from the mother in utero
- • Current diet or a change in food
- • Virus or bacteria
- • More serious GI problems such as intussusception
- • Other issues
How To Stop Kitten Diarrhea
If you suspect that your kitten is having an issue with diarrhea, it’s important to keep a close eye on the situation. If you let the condition persist, other harms can come to kitty such as dehydration, excessive thirst/dry mouth or much worse. Experts say that if your kitten has diarrhea for more than 24 hours, you need to get her into the vet’s office right away.
Depending upon the reason for your kitten’s diarrhea, your vet can take a variety of approaches. If kitty is suspected of having intestinal parasites living in her system, the vet can do a stool sample test to confirm this. This test will be able to determine what kind of parasite is present so the vet can prescribe the proper medication.
Often times the reason for kitten diarrhea is narrowed down to the type of food that the cat is given to eat. Not every type of kitten food will agree with your little buddy and young cats are very sensitive to dietary changes. Find out from the people you got the kitten from what kind of food she had been eating before you adopted her. If it turns out that you have been feeding the cat a different type or brand of food, that very likely could be the cause of the diarrhea issue. Try and go back to the food she was accustomed to eating. If you do have to change brands of food, do it gradually over a period of days. Remember that kittens need food that is rich in protein and carbs. If the kitten’s intestinal issues are determined to be caused by a bacterial infection or a virus, your vet can start a treatment plan to begin the healing process.
Unfortunately, your kitten’s diarrhea could also be caused by a much more serious issue such as intussusception. This is a condition where the intestines slide or telescope within each other. This situation can happen in either the small and large intestines. The treatment for intussusception is usually surgery, where either the telescoping portion of the intestine is slid out or the area that has the blockage is removed. Your vet will be able to best determine how to diagnose and treat this unfortunate condition.
Diarrhea in kittens is not good, not matter what the cause. Most of the time, the condition is created by something that is very treatable such as parasites or an adjustment in dietary routine. However, if the diarrhea is the result of a serious problem such as intussusception, your kitten’s life could be in danger.
Not matter what the cause turns out to be, make sure you see your vet quickly. You can be a big help to the vet by providing a full history of the situation as the doctor goes through the diagnostic process.
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