When to worry about poop color?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by CassandraCatface, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Alice had a high fecal score and recently started to normalize. Her body condition is improving, her appetite is back, she is gaining needed weight. My attempts to test glucose have so far been a failure. She's been eating poultry based wet foods, fancy feast and friskies alternating throughout the day, currently, and the food change is what I imagined was helping her best actually.

    So I noticed she has two large poops in the box today with that pale almost colorless grayish tone. They look generally still about as well-formed as the rest of the past week. She was super hungry when I went in to check on her, and that's normal, too.

    I do know that stool color is related to things like the gallbladder and pancreas, though. Emergency vet? Monitor for changes? I was planning to bring her to her regular vet this week for a checkup. I may not be able to afford that if I take her to an emergency vet today. Soooo. How alarmed should I be? She's been so much healthier seeming lately. I feel confused. A bit of beef-based fancy feast made its way into her mix so maybe she isn't used to the type of meat? That's all I can think of.

    Please help me learn and understand this! Thank you.
     
  2. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    What do you mean by a high fecal score? Gray stool can be a sign of malabsorption of nutrients. While not an emergency I would see what happens the next few days and if it continues call your vet. Different foods can cause different color stool but gray is usually not typical. My young ones’ stool is yellow and brown depending on which protein they eat.
     
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  3. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    https://goo.gl/images/fAAuS6 fecal score chart

    I wouldn't have fretted as much or so quickly I don't think if it weren't for the diabetes in the first place! I'll continue to monitor her litter box and call the vet tomorrow. Thank you for the reassurance. Unfortunately she isn't sleeping in my room for the past year almost, since we separated our cat who contracted herpes. I worry when she isn't next to me.

    Everything I've found on the topic of stool color basically says it would be related to bile and liver/pancreas/gallbladder... I would like to understand it better so I know what to panic about and what not. Shrug. :\
     
  4. Carol & Murphy

    Carol & Murphy Well-Known Member

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    Aug 9, 2015
    Does it have a really bad odor? That's also a hallmark of malabsorption.
     
  5. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    My cat’s stool definitely changes color depending on the food. I find poultry makes the stool a lot lighter and a little grayish, when compared to beef. But do have it checked out.
     
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  6. Tina and Boozle

    Tina and Boozle Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    We are going through this now. Vet says that it may be EPI or malabsorption, but could also be a byproduct of the good bacteria being killed off in the gut. We are pretty tapped out on cash and the test for EPI is pretty expensive. We are trying probiotics first and going from there.

    Sorry I am not much help, but I am interested in what you find out.
     
  7. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface New Member

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    Jan 8, 2019
    I wish I remembered what it was like then, specifically, compared to other times. I mean it's all been bad since she got sick. The urine odor is terrible too. I'm not sure what to think sometimes.
     
  8. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Well then. I can't say I can offer you any help but thank you, now I have another thing to ask my vet about. (No sarcasm there, I genuinely just want information and that's more information and possible direction.) Her suggestion last week, since Alice had lost weight again, was to start weighing her. The vet said she thought I was doing better with her diabetes than many people and to stop being so stressed. My vet also said she looked brighter, less "depressed" for lack of a better word.

    We discussed her urine output and it's still been high due to the increased water intake.

    Buuuut her poops seem bulky, and like there are a lot of them. I wonder if that relates to her not absorbing things. She had more feces in the box when I scooped today than she did urine chunks. That's sort of new, too.

    So anyway I got a baby scale from a friend and I am tracking her weight every day. She is two kilograms. All I can really do is feed, shoot, monitor, record, hope.

    Good luck @Tina and Boozle , I would be interested in what you find out, too.
     
  9. Teresa & Cricket

    Teresa & Cricket Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2018
    Hiya!
    Higher volume stool plus greyish plus extra stinky is generally malabsorbtion. Could be intestinal problems like IBS or could also be a food allergy/sensitivity. I went thru this with Cricket, the high volume eventually turned into loose, messy stools. Horrific odor.
    I started giving her S. boulardii, and that helped immensely with firming it up, then after much back and forth with foods, I finally figured out she couldn't have turkey or most fish. I had to feed her the same food for about 3 days in a row to figure out what the problem was. We have had normal stools since.

    Fingers crossed it is simply food for Alice!
     
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  10. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Adding another voice for possible malabsorption. That can commonly be from IBD, EPI, or food allergies (my kitty has all three).

    The testing for those conditions is expensive, but if cost is an issue, diet change to a food with a different protein and probiotics sometimes help. (If your vet suspects allergies and your kitty is on a chicken based food, watch out for chicken as a secondary ingredient in other foods -- I had to read a bunch of ingredient lists to come up with low carb, fully chicken free rabbit and lamb options.)

    However, just color change alone could be diet related. Are you feeding new or different food? Pants starting having greyish stools when she switched to a lamb-based food, but it was much darker and browner on rabbit.
     
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  11. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface New Member

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    Jan 8, 2019
    She is still having issues and I'm feeling lost and helpless about it today. :\

    Thank you for your responses. I think it would be worth trying to change her food. Did you find that your cat ate less in total when you got them on a food that worked for them? What system did you use to go about figuring out what to feed/what not to feed? To what extent did you document and track litter box and food issues? Maybe I need a spreadsheet and a schedule of when to check.
     
  12. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    I found this and I'm trying to make sense of it so I have a good idea of what to ask my vet about:

    "Veterinarians often ask which tests we recommend for dogs and cats with clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease. While every patient is different, there are some guidelines we use to determine a systematic diagnostic approach. For dogs and cats with chronic diarrhea we first recommend evaluation for parasitic infestation. Even if fecal smears and flotation are negative, the patient should still be treated with a broad-spectrum anthelmintic agent. If diarrhea continues or in patients with chronic vomiting we recommend ruling out secondary causes of chronic diarrhea and/or vomiting by performing a complete blood count, serum chemistry profile, urinalysis, and in cats above 6 years of age a total serum T4 concentration. If no specific abnormalities are determined a reasonable next step is to evaluate the exocrine pancreas and the small intestine. In dogs with chronic diarrhea and weight loss we recommend starting out with a serum cTLI concentration to rule out EPI and serum cobalamin and folate concentrations to rule out chronic intestinal disease, such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or malabsorptive disorders. If the clinical picture includes anorexia, vomiting, or abdominal pain the initial work-up should also include measurement of serum cPLI concentration to rule out pancreatitis. As pancreatitis in cats usually leads to rather non-specific signs we would recommend the measurement of serum fTLI, fPLI, cobalamin, and folate concentrations in all cats with chronic signs of gastrointestinal disease. We have recently found that hyperthyroid cats appear to be at increased risk for presenting with low serum cobalamin, low serum folate, or both. Thus, we recommend measurement of cobalamin and folate in all hyperthyroid cats, to screen for subclinical small intestinal disease."
    http://vetmed.tamu.edu/gilab/service/faq

    What testing processes have you gone through? Which specifically have you not?
     

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