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ASK THE VET

Colitis May Be Cause of Cat's Troubles

September 29, 1988|DR. GLENN ERICSON

Q. For the past three months, my 2-year-old male tabby has been having soft stools that occasionally have blood in them. I have taken several samples to my veterinarian but they have all been negative for worms. The cat has a good appetite and eats both canned and dry food. I haven't noticed any weight change, and he seems to be normal otherwise. What else can I do to stop him from having blood in his stools?

Anne Wallace,

Anaheim

A. Usually when a cat has soft stools or diarrhea with blood and occasionally mucus, an inflammation of the large bowel or colitis should be considered. Most often, parasites are the cause and even though your pet's stool samples were negative, you should observe your cat closely for tapeworm segments that may appear around the rectum or even on the stools. Other causes of colitis can be from infections, tumors and even stress. You may need to keep track of the diets that your cat eats and note which diets may cause your pet to have soft stools. Your veterinarian may need to take an X-ray of your cat and take some blood for tests to help rule out metabolic or infectious problems. If all these are normal, you may need to put the cat on a strict diet and even antibiotics to treat the cat's symptoms. A biopsy of the colon should be considered if the problem remains and does not respond to medication.

Q. About six months ago, we bought a double yellow head Amazon parrot from a pet store in Northern California. he was missing some feathers from around his wings, but we thought he was molting. He is still losing feathers and has several areas where he is almost bald. We feed him a fresh parrot mix diet, and he gets plenty of exercise and attention. Could he still be molting or do I need to have him seen by a vet?

M. Acevedo, Santa Ana

A. Since this problem has been going on for about six month, I do recommend that you have your bird examined by a veterinarian. The bird should be checked for topical parasites or any signs of skin infections. A blood test for thyroid function should be done and a good vitamin supplement should be started. You should also add fresh fruits to your pet's diet and allow him plenty of play time and attention. If his thyroid levels come back low, your vet will start him on a supplement that can be added to his food or water.

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