Kitten Diarrhea Diagnosis

Kitten diarrhea may not seem like a big deal. But considering the sensitivity of the small cat’s body, this can be a big deal. Diagnosing the cause behind a kitten’s diarrhea can help him recover quickly.

Diarrhea in Kittens

Diarrhea is typically defined as loose bowel movements. A kitten’s stool is already softer than an adult cat’s, so diarrhea is sometimes determined by the increase in the amount of bowel movements and stool. The color and smell of a kitten’s stool may be different when a small cat has diarrhea as well.

If a kitten has had diarrhea for more than 24 hours, he should be seen by a veterinarian. This is especially true if the stool has blood in it, or is black and tar-like, or the kitten has a fever.

Causes of Kitten Diarrhea and Diagnosis

When a kitten is in the process of weaning, the switch between milk and solid foods can be initially hard on his system. The ingredients in the new food can also be the cause of the kitten’s diarrhea if he is sensitive or allergic to one of the ingredients.

Since diarrhea is so dangerous to a kitten because of the risk of dehydration, the young cat should be seen by a veterinarian. The veterinarian will want to know about the volume of the stool and the frequency of his bowel movements. He will also want to know if the kitten is straining to relieve himself, if there is any blood or mucous in the stool, if the kitten has lost weight, if there has been an increase in gas, and if the kitten has been vomiting. The kitten’s temperature and heart rate will be measured, and the vet will also look for signs of anemia and jaundice.

A vet will complete a physical examination and conduct a fecal floatation test to check for parasites. Other cultures of a kitten’s stool may be performed to look for a bacterial or viral infection. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will be run to look for such infections and other diseases that would cause a kitten to have diarrhea, like cancer. Blood tests would also be able to find the presence of toxins a kitten may have ingested.

A veterinarian may check to see if the kitten is suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or an intestinal obstruction. X-rays or ultrasound images may be taken to diagnose this or abnormalities in the kitten’s anatomy. If needed, a kitten may need to have a colonoscopy or surgery using an endoscope to verify the reasons behind his diarrhea.

After the Diarrhea Diagnosis

Treatment for a kitten’s diarrhea will be dependent upon the final diagnosis and the cause of the stomach upset. A vet may recommend the kitten be treated with medications and/or a change in diet. His fluids will need to be replaced if he is dehydrated. In more extreme cases, surgery will be needed for conditions such as intestinal blockages, cancer or anatomical abnormalities.

Kitten diarrhea can be a big deal or not. Watchful, waiting is the key when it comes to a kitten’s stomach upset to see if he requires medical care for a serious illness.