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
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