Ask the Veterinarian/Buttermilk


QUESTION: Dear Dr. Anand, my cat named Buttermilk was having soft motions, like pudding, not watery diarrhea--took her to vet, he said labs looked good  except basophils up a little so he thought she had a parasite and gave her topical Proventil. 5, 6 days later not improvemtn so I took her back, I thought she didn't absorb the Proventil because had big wet spot in her fur where theygave it , so the gave oral dewormer and suggested probiotic capsules.  I tried this, it didn't seemed to help at first but I kept with it and it seemed to get some better but not totally back to normal, butthen she started not eating as much and sleeping a lot  she is almost 17, and I could tell she was in the ltter but not using it, and going outside the box in differecnt places, but urination was all fine, this just problem with bm. about two weeks had gone by from the last vet visit and she woke me crying and vomiting and panting I rushed her to vet, these symptoms stopped but they kept her, they now felt mass in her abdomen, but she wasn't eating now.  and no bm and they wanted to do ultrasound, but had to wait a few days for it to be available so she stayed at vet but wasn't eating and no bm for several days, then ultrasound showed cystic mass, they did surgery but she is so week by this time she hasn't eaten or bm all week--and surgery showed intestines very swollen, and mass was actually not a mass but where the omentum and folded over itself or something and stuck together and was holding all this fluid in it--so dr dissected this out and took biospies, but she died like 24 hours later. do you have any idea what could cause all that in her abdomen?  all that swelling etc?  I am very blown away I feel so bad she got so sick I wish I had done more, taken her back right away when probiotic didn't cure her, but she seemed ok at first, only the last few dayas before I took her back did she really not eat as much. but vet didn't know why all the intestinal swelling.  would you have any ideas?

ANSWER: Hello Paige,

I am very sorry for what has happened to Buttermilk.But the thing is to understand and adjust with the situation.There are many medical conditions in which early diagnosis are very difficult and of course can lead to death,even though proper treatment is instituted.At times miracles do save life also.
It is difficult for me to say the exact reason in buttermilk's case.But my thoughts are that it could have been either intestinal stricture due to omental strangulation or an intussusception.Tumors has to be ruled out with the biopsy report.

Any problem that interferes with the passage of intestinal contents through the GI tract results in a blocked bowel. The most common cause is a gastrointestinal foreign body. Other causes are tumors and strictures of the small and large intestines,  and intussusception-a condition in which the bowel telescopes in upon itself, much like a sock pulled inside out. On occasion, obstruction of the colon may be caused by a fecal impaction or tumor. An intestinal blockage can be partial or complete.

Signs of complete blockage include sudden pain, vomiting without relief, dehydration, and swelling of the abdomen. When the blockage is in the upper small bowel, the vomiting may be projectile. Blockages in the lower GI tract cause abdominal distension and the vomiting of brown, fecal-smelling material. Cats with complete obstruction pass no stool or gas through the rectum. In general, cats with lower bowel obstruction are less sick than those with upper intestinal obstruction.
Treatments are of course surgical  and often do have complications.



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QUESTION: Dear Dr. Anand,  thank you so much for your answer and helping me understand, I also have another question--when Buttermilk was having the loose motions or diarrhea it was yellowish in color, and one time it was like mucus , could she have had a giardia infection, could that have caused all that intestinal swelling and all?

ANSWER: The mucous  could have been due to abraded mucosal lining of the intestines along with faeces  subsequent to constant straining which is natural in cases of obstruction,and not necessarily be due to giardia.

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QUESTION: ok and the fact that theyb were yellowish in color, that doesn't mean it was giardia? I mean could yellow diarrhea/soft stools be caused by something besides giardia?  I have seens info on the internet about that now but I didn't realize at the time I should have told the vet about that then, I just feel bad if I could have done more to help her, like maybe she just needed metronidazole?

please check with the biopsy report and probably a reason for all episode could be found out.Yellowish stool means rapid transit and diarrhoea means bowel wall irritation  and decreased absorption.Other than Giardia and coccidia, you may get these symptoms in Enteric corona virus, Rota virus  or Astro viral infections.

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Dr S Bindu Anand


Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine


A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health – EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife. Health Promotion & Disease Prevention-Boston University School of Public Health. Bioterrorism, Bioterrorism Preparedness-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Good Clinical Practice-London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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