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Cat not eating well..losing weight..Please help!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I found this site a few days ago and have been lurking for a while. Everyone is so friendly and helpful . . . I thought it was time to join up and see if anyone can help me with some health issues one of our cats is having.

We have 2 two-year old male traditional Siamese kitties, Alfie and Jasper. Our saga began right around the time the recalls (grrrrr ) started. Luckily, our kitties weren’t on any of the recalled food. They both only ate Science Diet regular adult dry cat food at the time. Around that time, I noticed that Alfie was scratching himself more than normal. Also, he (and sometimes Jasper) would occasionally vomit on the SD food, so between that and worries about the recalls prompted me to do more research into finding a better food to feed them. I settled on trying to switch them to Natural Balance – both wet and dry, with the hopes of switching them completely over to wet food eventually.

They didn’t really take to the dry food. I mixed it with their old food as the bag suggested and they would eat it grudgingly at first, but eventually stopped. Jasper really took to the wet food. Alfie liked it somewhat, too, but he is such a grazer, it was difficult to get him to eat very much of it at a time. The problem was Alfie wasn’t eating much of his old food either. I decided the NB dry was a no-go, so I ordered some small bags of Innova regular and EVO. They didn’t like the Innova much at first, but then they really seemed to warm up to it and they eventually choose it over their old food. Neither of them likes the EVO, though.

Around this time (on 4/17), they had their annual vet visit for a routine check-up and shots. Alfie had an allergic reaction to his shots last year so the vet decided to skip his feline leukemia shot this year since he is strictly an indoor cat. I also told her of his itching and vomiting. She noticed the back of his throat was mildly inflamed and thought that he might have a food allergy. I told her we were in the process of switching to Innova and she said to see if that helped and get back to her if it didn’t. I didn’t mention that he was not eating that well at that time because I thought it was due to the food switch. He weighed 11.0 lbs. at his check-up.

After the visit I noticed that he was eating even less and seemed to be losing weight, so we took him back to our vet on 4/26. He had dropped about 4 ounces in a week and his temp was 102.7. She also noticed that there was a slight wheeze when listening to his lungs. She decided to give him a Depo-Medrol shot at that time and had us follow-up with her in a few days. He still continued to eat the same (only about ¼ to ½ of what he should eat in a day; some days more and some days less), but he also started to get very lethargic and act as if he was in some pain. He also stopped playing. I closely monitored him and he seemed to be drinking fairly well. His stool seemed well formed and it didn’t seem like he was having any difficulty urinating. No peeing outside the box or pain when going or anything.

So, we took him back to the vet on 5/2. His weight was down another 4 ounces (to 10.5 lbs) and his temp was up to 103.6. Also, our vet said his wheezing was a little bit worse. She tested his urine and he tested positive for an URI. His leukocytes, protein and ph were all off and he had bacteria present, but he didn’t have any blood present in his urine and, luckily, he did not have crystals. She put him on 1/2 Orbax tablet for 14 days and also gave him some sub-q fluids (I guess to flush him out – she didn’t really say). To further complicate matters, NB announced their recall for ocean fish wet a couple of days earlier. Both of our cats had only eaten parts of 2 cans of the stuff approx. a month prior and we never bought any more of it since they didn’t really like that flavor. The vet immediately ordered a blood panel for Alfie. She called us the next day and said it came back pretty normal. BUN was 21 and CRE was 1.2. His white blood count (neutrophils?) was high, but she said that was to be expected with an URI.

After 3 days on the antibiotics, he really started to perk up and act like his old self. He still isn’t as active as he was before all this started but he has started playing with his favorite toys again. He is definitely feeling much better. But, he still isn’t eating very well and it seems to be getting worse in that area. He often acts like he is really very hungry and will loudly meow (as Siamese kitties are famous for) for food but he is still only eating about ½ the food he should or less on a good day. Right now he is back on the Science Diet dry with some occasional wet food because that is the only thing he will eat a little bit of.

We called the vet again a couple of days ago and she said to try some pepcid because the antibiotics may be upsetting his tummy. It doesn’t seem to be having any effect. I was thinking of trying to feed him some of that paste in a tube to supplement some additional calories but our vet says they don’t usually use that unless the cat has completely stopped eating. I weighed him today and he has lost another 4 ounces and is down to 10.25 lbs. I can really feel his spine/ribs now and he just looks so thin. I am at my wits end. I’m really scared I’m going to lose him.

We just called the vet again today and she is going to see him at 5:00 this afternoon. She mentioned that she may start Alfie on Prednisone. Do you think this may help? Does anyone else have any ideas why this could be happening or things to help him get back to eating well again? Or, other things I should discuss with my vet? I’m worried he may end up with fatty liver disease from not eating enough.

Sorry for the long-winded post. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
post #2 of 4
This may sound overly simple, but did the Vet look at his teeth?

A couple of months ago I was having a real problem with my cat Lizzie.
I noticed she was drinking a lot, but I didn't notice that she had also almost completely stopped eating dry food...we have four cats and they all get a little canned food twice a day and she was wolfing that down.
Then one day I saw her just sitting and staring at the dry food, but she wouldn't eat.
She just laid around, wouldn't play...just drank water and ate the small amount of canned food I was giving her.
Because of the amount of water she was drinking she was in the litter box all the time and peeing MASSIVE amounts.

All kinds of terrible things ran through my head.

Turns out that ALL of her teeth are bad...her last check-up was in May of last year...she had been once since then because she has the Feline Herpes Virus and she'd had a flare-up...but the Vet didn't check her teeth at the time...they were fine last May.

Lizzie and her Sister Gracie were the kittens of a pregnant cat that showed up on my best friends doorstep.
*Please, anyone who has barn cats don't be offened by this next statment.*
Turns out their Mother was one of MANY unspayed female cats that lived in her neighbors barn.
These people started out with one male and one female..and never had either fixed.
I can't begin to tell you how many cats are in that barn now.
These people are of a certain religion...anyone reading this from PA will probably know what I mean....and they tend to have a lot of barn cats that are never fixed, so there's a lot of inbreeding that goes on.

Because of this Gracie and Lizzie have some health issues and the problem that Lizzie has with her teeth seems to be just another one of those that seem to crop up out of nowhere.

Lizzie lost a lot of weight and is now starting to gain it back...she's on antiboitics for the infection in her teeth and mouth and she now gets plenty of canned food...she's just now starting to eat a small amount of dry.
Her teeth will have to come out after the infection clears up...but that's a whole other problem...the Vet wouldn't even spay her because of the breathing and other health problems she has..said it's to risky to put her under so I have no idea how were going to get those teeth out!

Anyway after that novel...I'd ask the vet to check your cats teeth...maybe he's not eating because he can't.
Like I said in the beginning of my book that maybe overly simple, but it's worth checking out.

Good luck, I hope he feels better soon.
post #3 of 4
First, hello and welcome to a fellow Kansan

I would get a second opinion ASAP.

I can tell that you've been trying very hard to help Alfie and I feel for you...I know it's tough when they are sick.

I'm not real impressed with the course of treatment that your vet has taken.

Alfie had an irritated throat, and the vet thought it was a food allergy? I understand he was scratching some, and maybe his throat *could* be irritated from the vomiting, but I just don't think so based on the other info.

Then he had a temperature so she gave him a steroid shot??

So then his temp was higher, so she did a urinalysis??

But she did send home antibiotics, because she diagnosed it as a urinary tract infection (UTI)? URI is upper respiratory infection...but given the urine test, I'm assuming you meant UTI.

She wants you to wait to give him any Nutri Cal or similar stuff until he completely loses his appetite?

I do not think Prednisone will help. It sounds like he has a virus or bacterial infection of some kind...his body is trying to fight it off - Prednisone will make it harder. It suppresses the immune response. The depo medrol shot probably didn't help either.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound harsh but it just doesn't sound right. I'm NOT an expert but I think a 2nd opinion would be a good idea.
post #4 of 4
Oh Geez, how did I miss the part where she checked his throat?
If she checked his throat, then you'd think his teeth would have been checked also.
So I guess that shoots the bad tooth thing out of the water.

I agree with Beandip, a second opinion would be your best option.
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