Both 3 vets we visited told us that his diarrhea is part of the spinal cord problem and that his bowels are not working correctly to digest the food
I have never heard a vet say that before.
I have hesitated to say anything because critters and BendyMom have tons more experience with this. I agree that chronic diarrhea is not normally part of paralysis. But paralyzed pets can get it like other pets, of course. With any paralyzed pet, it can be hard to differentiate between what is related to the paralysis and what is just an ordinary health problem, especially when you did not know the cat before he was paralyzed so you did not know his previous health history. The diarrhea does sound like it is unrelated to the injury. I know the vet said the prolapsed rectum was related to his accident. Maybe that is true. However, chronic diarrhea is another thing that can cause the rectum to prolapse because of too many trips to the litter box.
In addition to infections like giardia, I wonder if a possibility is inflammatory bowel disease. I am no expert on it but in this article they are saying that IBD usually presents with diarrhea and vomiting, but if the inflammatory cells are in the lower GI tract is it more often diarrhea, and if they are in the upper GI tract you see vomiting.
http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_I ... re_ibd.cfm wrote:
For example, if the inflammatory cells are affecting the stomach or higher areas of the small intestine, then the cat may exhibit symptoms of chronic vomiting. If the inflammatory cells are in the colon, then the cat may have diarrhea or blood in the stool. The symptoms may not always correspond to the area affected, especially if the entire digestive tract is involved
If you think it is a possibility, you might want to check out the feline IBD yahoo group with 1412 members.https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/group ... eibd1/info
I do not know how hard it would be in your multi-cat household, but it might be an idea to change the feeding routine? I'm sure you've probably thought of that already but hesitate. It sounds like you are "free feeding" where food sits out all day, as many people do. Sometimes with special needs cats you are forced to end up "meal feeding" if you have a bunch of cats on special diets and you don't want the different cats eating the food that is not for them. There are ways to do it like having a separate crate for each cat (that's what I do) or feeding each cat in a different room with the door shut. If you have 2 that are eating the same thing and they are friends, you could close them both in the same room together. Some people feed once a day, I feed twice a day, morning and night.
If this is too complicated, then perhaps you could compromise where you have the food sitting out exactly like you do now, but just do it for one hour or two hours at a time, and during this time keep this cat in the bathroom with his Hill's w/d. After an hour or two hours, take up the bowls and put them away and let him out of the bathroom, then put them out again in the evening for another hour with him in the bathroom again. That way they can still kind of eat at their leisure and it is not too big of a change for them. If you decide to feed in different rooms, it is amazing how well they will learn the routine, like if you feed Snowy in the bathroom and Tiger in the laundry room and Missy in the pantry, etc. Each cat will follow you to his room and go to his bowl and you can shut the door, it is not chaos, it is very organized and very quick, and it does not take them long to figure out who goes where. It is not frustrating because they learn the system and cooperate. The same is true of feeding crates. If each cat has his own feeding crate, he will go there when you put the food in, he will not try to go to another cat's crate, they are extremely intelligent and it is efficient. I'm only suggesting that because you say he does OK when he stays on the Hill's w/d. If you can just keep him out of the other food, maybe the situation would improve?