Cat Giardia Nightmare

by Bob Damia
(Huntington Beach, Ca. USA)

We are in the midst of a cat giardia nightmare. We recently rescued two younger cats from a local shelter, a male (TUX..approx/10 months old) and a female (Bella..approx 6 months old)...both were sick immediately upon delivery to us.

Bella needed to be "fixed" prior to us taking possession and was finally delivered to us with fresh glue stitches holding her belly together and a plastic "cone" for protecting her surgical area...she was going crazy with the cone and we removed it in less than a week...fortunately she did NOT rip herself open even with vigorous "kitty" play...but her health issues were well beyond anything related to her surgery.

We noticed almost immediately her stools were extremely foul smelling and loose...she started to display other "symptoms" of Giardia and when we brought both Bella and Tux to the Vet we were informed they both needed to go on meds for Feline Giardia...both Flagyl (10 days) and Panacur(5 days) were administered on both cats and neither responded to treatment...after additional veterinary visits and no success with either cat, Bella started covertly peeing on furniture. Then to our surprise she no longer has and decided to evacuate right in front of us...Bella HAD to go...we returned her with multiple health issues as well as what we thought was a behavioral problem too.

TUX hasn't been healthy since. He has developed cat giardia with amazingly smelly poop and flatulence that could clear out a stadium...disgusting...soanother round of treatment with Flagyl and Panacur along with probiotics and two sessions of antibiotics for a diagnosis of an upper respiratory infection that he can't seem to get rid of either.

In addition, he was on meds for his eyes (leaking and runny)as well...this poor creature hasn't had a healthy day in the three months we've had him...he's BACK on his Giardia meds..we rotate three litter pans and 2(each) food and water bowls trying tostop his re-infection but he cleans
himself after each time he uses the litter box and we don't have the facilities to stop that from occurring when we aren't home.

The entire house stinks to high-heaven when we walk in the door sometimes and after 2 completed treatments he's still infected with the parasites and we've spent over $1200 on this guy thus far..he's also begun peeing on one couch in particular, but we think he was doing it even earlier when both cats were still here together. Weare almost "done" and without some relief from this ongoing problem and sickness I'm afraid TUX will have to be returned to the shelter

He has got "other" issues as well but the health problem is one that is becoming extremely expensive and frankly, the smells can be overwhelming...HELP !!!

Vet Suggestions Treating Giardia in Cats

Hello Bob,

I’m sorry for what you and your cats have gone through. What a nightmare!

I am worried that there may be something going on with your cats’ health that is making it hard for them to clear the Giardia from their systems. Have they both been tested for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus? If they were tested once and came up negative, you should have them retested. It sometimes takes two negative tests separated by at least 60 days to be sure a cat is not infected.

Another possibility is a different type of parasite called tritrichomonasfoetus. Special tests are often required to diagnose this disease. It may have been missed on a routine fecal examination. Ask your veterinarian if he or she has looked specifically for this parasite in your cats.

Less likely but not completely impossible is a food intolerance or other, noninfectious causes of diarrhea like inflammatory bowel disease. If your current veterinarian cannot get to the bottom of this situation, consider getting a second opinion, ideally from a veterinary internal medicine specialist.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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Jul 17, 2018
Shifting the guilt .. NEW
by: Anonymous

The story of Tux was heartbreaking..But to read he died of a horrible , painful death is DISGUSTING.

no pain meds were given to relieve his suffering..DISGUSTING..I Don't know what Vet he was at but shame on everybody ! His prior owners sound like they tried just about everything ,and since he passed away ,I believe much was over looked in his tests.And it seems someone's trying to make his prior owners feel terrible, when their not the ones to blame !!!!

May 15, 2018
Remembering neglected Tux NEW
by: Anonymous

Forever in our thoughts Tux . You was abandoned in life but not anymore you are loved with all your faults and ways across that rainbow bridge.

Mar 14, 2015
Tux has passed ?
by: Bob Damia

Anonymous...please explain how you know about Tux's passing? How do you even know which shelter it was? That (specific) info was withheld by me purposely...do you have ANY facts that you'd divulge? It makes me very sad because we tried so hard to get him healthy. He just would not respond to ANY treatment and despite the rather large outlay of money he appeared to be getting worse when his physical ailments were subsequently exacerbated by his "behavioral" problems..we tried so hard to get him healthy..now I wish we tried harder... :(

May 28, 2014
Poor Tux
by: Anonymous

Tux later died a horrible, painful, and lonely death in the shelther. goodbye tux

Mar 27, 2013
by: Bob Damia

Dr. Coates...thanks for your response. It's several months later now and after thoughtful consideration we decided to return TUX to the shelter..it was heartbreaking to give him up but he had become more than a handful. The stool messes(he was getting it on the floor just outside his box, regularly, prior to his return), the incessant and obnoxious smells in the house, the constant (and costly) trips to the VET and the near impossible administering of the daily MEDS. Add that too his peeing on our family room (only that one room, thank God)furniture and we simply had no choice...with tears in our eyes we dropped him off at the Veterinarian office next door to the shelter with the assurance that he'd be looked after and returned to good health.

They DO have him available for adoption again on their website and if we could be assured of his good health we'd pay again and take him back in a NY minute...unfortunately his behavioral issues (urinating on the couches)cannot be dismissed and as such we decided to just get another cat.

So..We did just that..an 8 lb., solid grey, gold eyed bundle of energy and thank God she's a joy...healthy, happy, a bit crazy and just so much fun...we both just love her.

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