The digestive system of the kitten is very sensitive. Therefore, during this stage of his life it is not uncommon for him to suffer some kind of problem that he has with diarrhea, which can be defined as a change in the frequency, consistency or volume of bowel movements and feces.
From the entrance of the food through the oral cavity until the excrement exits through the anus, the entire digestive tract can be affected by endless problems.
Diarrhea originating in the small intestine
Small bowel disorders of kittens are often frequent, due, among other reasons, to the large number of acute enteropathies that may affect them. Among the main causes of these alterations we have dietary alterations (poisoning, foreign bodies, inadequate food, food excesses ...), infectious agents, parasites, viruses, drugs ... All of them with a common symptom: diarrhea.
To understand a little better the mechanisms of diarrhea, we will see the most common presentation in kittens:
Osmotic diarrhea or malabsorption
It is the most frequent in companion animals: the presence of nutrients not absorbed in the intestinal lumen produces a passive diffusion of water into the intestinal lumen, which concludes in a liquid diarrhea or soft stool, usually due to poor digestion, poor absorption and Overfeeding This type of diarrhea usually resolves after 24-36 hours of fasting.
Diarrhea secondary to impaired mucosal permeability
The intestinal permeability barrier is formed by epithelial junctions, lymphatic vessels, blood capillaries, as well as the immune system of the area, the presence of any problem in any of these structures may be the origin of this type of diarrhea.
The stool may have blood, in which case the diet is usually not enough to solve it.
Acute inflammation of the small intestine (enteritis) is always linked to acute gastritis, so the process is known and treated as acute gastroenteritis, one of the most common diseases in our pets.
Among the main causes are infections, toxic and improper handling of food.
Animals with acute gastroenteritis usually present with vomiting and diarrhea, in many cases they are depressed and without appetite. In the case of puppies, an untreated gastroenteritis can be life-threatening.
The main problem will be dehydration, so the treatment will consist of providing fluids, if the animal does not vomit, water will be provided through the mouth. If the state of the animal does not allow it, hydration by venous route will be necessary.
Diarrhea originating in the large intestine
Among the problems that affect the large intestine of companion animals, colitis is the most common disorder, among the causes: infections, toxic and inadequate feeding.
Dietary causes are often frequent: changes in diet, incorporation of foods high in fat, addition of meat to commercial food, consumption of "human" foods and access to garbage. As we can see, they are often frequent but easily avoidable causes.
In most cases of acute large intestine diarrhea, fasting solids with access to water for 24-48 hours reduces or resolves diarrhea.
As we have been able to verify, the election of a suitable food, specific for our kitten, will avoid a great number of problems, since with the suitable election and a correct handling, the digestive system of our small feline will keep in form. Finally, this table will allow us to differentiate diarrhea originating in the small intestine or those derived from the large intestine.