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Leaky Butt

I am the proud mother of two Savannahs. Bellatrix is an F2 female born on 5/16/2013. She became a forever member of our family on August 1, 2013. Dobby is an F6 male born on 4/14/2013. He became a member of our family on August 11, 2013.

My big concern is Bell. She has had diarrhea almost constantly since the day I brought her home. I have spent hundred of dollars on tests trying to figure out what is wrong with her. We even had the stool profile run. Everything has been ruled our except Giardia. The vet I have used in the past for all of my other pets gave her Metronidazole for a week and the diarrhea went away. As soon as the medication ran out the diarrhea came right back. I went through this several times with them and finally decided I needed to find a new vet.

The new vet had cared for the Servals at a metropolitan zoo and was very familiar with Savannahs. She was faxed all of Bell's labs and agreed the only thing going on was the Giardia. She put her on Orbax for one week and Metronidazole for one month. As soon as the Metronidazole was finished the leaky butt came back. I took Bell back for another visit. We got a one month refill on the metronidazole and she was put on Royal Canin Gastrto Intestinal Health High Energy Dry food all the time and was allowed to have the same in wet food as a treat. Another stool profile was run and there were some dead Giardia cells but no active ones. By the way, the male was always tested along with Bell and his test always came back negative for the Giardia. His poo is perfect.

Bell has been off the medication for about two weeks. The leaky butt came back Saturday. I haven't been able to get through to the vet so the furniture is all covered and the sanitizing wipes are all over the house. I feel so sorry for the poor girl. I can't lock her up, and Bell and Dobby have bonded and definitely let you know they don't like being separated.

I am no slouch when it comes to cleaning. I have cleaned the walls, the bedding, the floors, the litter boxes with bleach, if it is at splash level it has been cleaned. I am at the end of my rope. I am sure the vet is tired of hearing from me. What can be done for my little girl?
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
Since the oocytes aren't shed regularly, the stool samples need to be collected 3 times, 2 days apart with a negative result to be confident that the parasite isn't present. If you hadn't said Hobby tested negative, I would have assumed he's shedding the cysts that are infecting Bella. This can be a notoriously persistent parasite.

In addition to the meds, I would recommend trying a home cooked diet for 2 weeks of dark chicken meat and rice and add probiotics to the food. The meds kill the parasite but also kill important intestinal flora. The bland diet and probiotics will help the intestines to heal and get back in balance. This is not a diet for the long term because it isn't nutritionally balanced.

Getting her off kibble is IMHO also a good idea. Your vet may disagree. If you choose to try the chicken & rice diet, gradually add the mixture to her canned during the course of a week, increasing the home-cooked and decreasing the canned so her poor tummy has time to adjust to the new diet.

I suggest par boiling the meat in some water and feeding the broth along with the meat & rice.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
I agree with Deborah, it sounds like you need repeated stool tests. When you say a "stool profile" has been run, do you mean the PCR Diarrhea panel? It really is the best test when you are dealing with diarrhea that is not resolved with metronidazole.

IMHO, Fenbendazole (Panacur) is much much more effective treating Giardia infections than metronidazole. It's also a tasteless powder versus those nasty bitter pills or liquid! To me, it sounds like the metronidazole is controlling but not eradicating the Giardia so that every time you stop giving the med then the infection takes hold again.

You might want to consider your water too... most people don't know that our tap water in many cities can actually have Giardia present. Unless it reaches a certain level, then it does not have to be reported nor the water treated. You may do best giving the cats filtered/bottled water, at least until Bell recovers. Once she is healthy again her immune system likely will be able to deal with trace levels of pathogens, just right now her gut has been upset for a while.

I'd also suggest adding something like Proviable paste to her treatment plan. It has a good probiotic (friendly bacteria) in it and also kaolin and pectin which soothe the gut and firm the stools. While you are treating this can aid healing.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
If the diarrhea clears up with metronidazole you might need to consider that Bell has IBD - metronidazole is the standard of treatment for that, along with steroids. Your story is pretty classic for this with the diarrhea recurring once the metronidazole is stopped. I do think you should try Panacur as Brigitte suggested, and definitely probiotics if you haven't been giving them, but if that doesn't work you might want to speak to your vet about IBD.
 

Lori Greer

Cahaba Cats
Couple of thoughts... Have you done a PCR for tri-trich? Ask your vet to put her on Panacur C rather than the metronidazole OR ask your vet to go ahead and prescribe ronidizole. It is typically used to treat Tri-Trich.
 

Angie Panczak

Savannah Super Cat
I agree with Deborah, it sounds like you need repeated stool tests. When you say a "stool profile" has been run, do you mean the PCR Diarrhea panel? It really is the best test when you are dealing with diarrhea that is not resolved with metronidazole.

IMHO, Fenbendazole (Panacur) is much much more effective treating Giardia infections than metronidazole. It's also a tasteless powder versus those nasty bitter pills or liquid! To me, it sounds like the metronidazole is controlling but not eradicating the Giardia so that every time you stop giving the med then the infection takes hold again.

You might want to consider your water too... most people don't know that our tap water in many cities can actually have Giardia present. Unless it reaches a certain level, then it does not have to be reported nor the water treated. You may do best giving the cats filtered/bottled water, at least until Bell recovers. Once she is healthy again her immune system likely will be able to deal with trace levels of pathogens, just right now her gut has been upset for a while.

I'd also suggest adding something like Proviable paste to her treatment plan. It has a good probiotic (friendly bacteria) in it and also kaolin and pectin which soothe the gut and firm the stools. While you are treating this can aid healing.
Totally agree with this. Metronidazole is only good for secondary bacterial infections and doesn't really work with Giardia. I don't use the powder form of fendabendazole but the liquid and give a dose of 1ml per 5 lb for 5 days. Sometimes in real persistent cases of Giardia I do 5 days of med, 5 days off and 5 days on again. My German Shep had it as a pup and had bad diarrhea even after it was clear cause of all the meds I gave him. He can only eat raw now, any kibble and the dog gets really sick.
 
Thanks everyone for your responses. Deborah you were right, the vet didn't like the idea of feeding chicken and rice. And Brigitte it was the PCR Diarrhea panel that was run. Bell has had this problem since I brought her home in August so she has likely had whatever it is from birth. I've spoken to her breeder several times and she claims she did not have any sick kittens. She said she did have a past problem with e-coli and suggested Clavamox. My vet is going with tri-trich at this point even though the test was negative and I am waiting for the ronidazole delivery as I type this. If the ronidazole doesn't work the vet suggested we might want to consider an intestinal biopsy.

She has such an endearing personality and I feel so bad for her. When she flares I sometimes have to lock her in the laundry room because she drips so bad. I feel like I am mistreating her. She seems so healthy otherwise. She runs and jumps and plays with Dobby and eats constantly. It doesn't seem like she is gaining weight but she is getting much longer and taller. She is thin but not so much that you can feel her ribs.

I'm just crossing my fingers and hope that the ronidazole will work. I'll do whatever it takes to make sure she is healthy.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
I'm glad the PCR test was done but yes it can fail with the tritrich... there's a protocol I believe on Dr Gookin's website on inducing diarrhea when getting a sample to maximize the chance of detecting the pathogen.

If the ronidazole does not work, you might consider a trial of steroids as this would be the treatment for IBS... if you wanted to avoid the biopsy... although I probably would want the biopsy as I like to know exactly what is going on! Good luck!
 

Lesley

Site Supporter
If her diarrhea continues to be bad, you can try a very small amount of imodium. I mean take a tablet and shave off 1/8th of it and put it in a pill pocket. It helped get Spar's diarrhea under control after he was treated for coccidia. He weighs 8.5 lbs and the small shaving if imodium helped greatly. He has not had any diarrhea today ( just did this yesterday) and seems to feel much better. Hoping getting his intestines to take a break will help the inflammation.
 

Michaela

Savannah Super Cat
My savanna Romeo had similar problems that went away with raw only diet and Rad Cat organic chicken
:)
Good luck


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Michaela L
 
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