Chronic Cat Diarrhea Treatment with Antibacterial Sulfa Drugs

Cat diarrhea is never a good thing for a feline and his owner. Diarrhea is a result of the body's inability to absorb water, nutrients, and electrolytes properly. This may happen once in a while when a cat is ill or has eaten something bad. When diarrhea is a condition a cat constantly has to battle over an extended period of time, it is then considered chronic.

Causes of Chronic Diarrhea in Cats

Chronic diarrhea is typically a symptom of an intestinal disease that has disrupted the lining of a cat's intestines. Infections that can cause diarrhea may come from a parasite, bacteria, fungus or even a virus. A medication a cat may be taking could also cause diarrhea, as well as a food product a cat is allergic to or is toxic. Cancer, mal-absorption or mal-digestion disorders, inflammation of the bowels and diseases of major organs or systems of the body can also cause chronic diarrhea in cats.

Symptoms of Chronic Cat Diarrhea

Chronic diarrhea can cause a cat to be in poor physical condition, lose an excessive amount of weight, develop anemia and produce a coat that does not look healthy. Diarrhea is considered to be chronic if it has lasted for more than three weeks.

A cat's stool may have blood or mucus in it and may even look different in color. One may notice a cat straining to defecate and an increase in the number of visits to the litter box.

Diagnosing Chronic Diarrhea in Cats

A veterinarian will perform a physical examination of a cat and see if he is dehydrated, has a fever, or has any weakness. The thyroid, kidneys and liver should be examined for any change in size.

Tests a veterinarian will run include a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an analysis of a stool sample. The vet will also look for any signs of parasitic activity. An x-ray may be taken to search for any intestinal blockages.

Chronic Cat Diarrhea Treatment with Antibacterial Sulfa Drugs

A cat may be de-wormed of intestinal parasites and given antibacterial sulfa drugs, especially if the cat is young.

Sulfa drugs are synthetic agents that are antimicrobial and part of the sulfonamide-based group of medicines. These types of drugs were the first of their kind to efficiently prevent and cure bacterial infections. Sulfa drugs interfere with the absorption of folic acid into bacterial cell walls, not allowing the bacteria to grow or multiply. The sulfa drugs attack only the cells of the invading bacteria and will not harm a cat's cells.

Side Effects of Sulfa Drugs

Cats taking antibacterial sulfa drugs for chronic diarrhea need to drink a lot of water as crystals may form in his urine. These drugs can also make a cat's eyes feel dry. Cats may become anemic, develop a fever, have a loss of appetite, develop kidney and joint damage and may develop a rash.

A pet owner needs to make sure the veterinarian knows about all the medications a cat is taking so negative counteractions to do not occur.

Chronic diarrhea is can negatively impact a cat's quality of life. With the proper diet and medication, a cat can enjoy the time in his home instead of loathing the time in the litter box.