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Breathing problems, not eating/drinking (sort of urgent)

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
We have a 5 month old 'street cat', (we got him at 6 weeks from a friend). Monday night he went out on the town for the first time. Tuesday morning he was at the door looking a little dishevelled and breating heavily. We thought that he was in shock after a difficult night.
He calmed down during the day but didn't eat and kept himself hidden in quiet places. The next day was the same. Day three (yesterday) we took him to the vet and was told he had caught pneumonia from his wild night out.
He got his anti-biotics, a vitamin shot and intravenous injection to boost his liquid, as he still wasn't eating or drinking.
We're giving him Augmentin (three times daily) - quote from the website: 'Augmentin is used to treat many different infections caused by bacteria, such as sinusitis, pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis,...',
Today he is the same, though I think the breathing is a little deeper.
We're back to the vet this evening for more shots and another intravenous.
My question: how can we get him to eat? Can we 'force feed' him using the doser (plunger?) supplied with the Augmentin.
Foece feed sounds a bit dramatic but I was thinking of a mix of blended milk, egg and fish in a very liquid form.
post #2 of 22
My first concern would be his temperature. If he is pneumatic, often fever accompanies this. If he is feverish, you need to drop his body temp, if he is below normal, you need to warm him up....... Force feeding is often futile, meaning they won't digest nutritional needs through digestive system or even into stomach. In this case it would be best to find something that stimulates the senses and makes him want to eat, tuna, Fancy Feast, ham, turkey, fish, shrimp, something that perks him up.......all kitties are different! The best sign for recovery is appetite and/or senses stimulation!
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
He had a temperature (we'll check that again today). Food wise, he refuses everything, tinned food, tuna, sardines, milk, ham, turkey - was not even interested in the fresh-fish delivery just now.
post #4 of 22
Is he congested? If so, then he can't smell his food and therefore won't eat. If you have a vaporizer or humidifier, confine him to one room and start running it. If you don't have a vaporizer, get the bathroom nice & steamy and take him in there with you. Stay in there until the steam is gone. This will help open up his airways and be able to breathe better.

Also if he's fighting a fever, all of his body's energy is used up doing that, so he's not going to eat a lot. He does need to eat something. If possible, try some baby food meat that doesn't have onion or garlic. There's something here in the States called Pedialyte, which is given to babies when they're sick that provides nutrients. If you have it in the UK, get some and try to give him some syringe-fulls of that. Make sure it's the plain variety, no flavoring added.

To enhance the aroma of food, try warming it up in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. That should be enough to bring out the stinky smell and it might entice him to eat SOME. In my opinion, eat SOME is better than eating NONE.

If he becomes dehydrated, you might need to ask the vet to give him some sub-q fluids to rehydrate him. When my kitty had a severe URI, she stayed at the vet's for 4 nights and got fluid everynight.

Stephanie
post #5 of 22
I had to get my cat eating after an upper respiratory infection lately, and I found that dipping my finger in the food (I used the Gerber baby meats #2, lamb) and offering it to her worked better than offering it in the bowl.

If he is stuffed up, I've heard that a drop of saline in each nostril may help clear him up. He will eat sooner if he can smell it. I hope he feels better soon!
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
He was at the vet again yesterday (we'll be going again this morning), got a vitamin shot, a big fluid shot (here they call it 'The camels hump' :-). At home he's getting his anti-biotics 3 x daily.
The baby food suggestion sounds good, as well as the steam room (it's very dry here - North Africa - rained once in the last year).
Would a baby-bottle of egg & milk help? Maybe a Barbie-baby-bottle. Can I force-feed him? It soungs dramatic, but I'm thinking more of using the anti-biotic doser and not a pressure pistol :-)
post #7 of 22
His system will start to shut down if he doesn't eat, and he will suffer permanent and often fatal liver damage. I force feed my cats in this situation (and I have had to do it three times in life-threatening illnesses) with a mix of goat milk (you can use cat milk from the store too but not cows milk) and egg yolk, beaten up well and fed from a syringe (with no needle of course) into the side of the mouth, very slowly. Try and get at least 30cc of liquid into him every three hours while he is not eating. You can get a syringe from the pharmacy. I find it works better htan a feeding bottle when they won't eat.
post #8 of 22
I agree about the importance of feeding smaller amounts more often.

Just be aware that you will need to feed it slowly. Pneumonia interfers with the bodies ability to absorb oxygen, so it takes several breaths by your cat to equal a normal one. Also, it is taking a tremendous of amount of energy to breath at this point, so he may tire out from the first several feedings quicker. As he absorbs the feeding, he will get a bit stronger for the next one.
If the 30 cc every 3 hours doesn't work, try 20 cc every two hours for a couple of feedings (to get the blood glucose level up a bit) and then back to the 30 cc every 3 hours. Or whatever works for you two.
post #9 of 22
I'm surprised your vet hasn't started him on a feeding tube as an "in patient" - discuss with this him. Also, the vet can give him an appetite stimulant.

And yes you can force feed (hand feed is the gentler term). Another way to do it is to liquify wet food by adding water to it until its soupy, or get baby food stage one (never above stage 1) chicken flavor and add a little water to that. Your vet can give you detailed instructions and can even do a demo for you.

The cat MUST get food into his system very soon. At this point you must act without delay.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Back from the vet. The news was optimistically positive. The lungs are sounding clearer.
He got his intravenous liquids (150 ml, hence 'the camel's hump'), another vitamin shot and an immune booster.

Re feeding: I discovered that here the only baby-food available in glass bottles is chocolate, vanilla and peach.
So I boiled a little fresh fish in a water-milk mix, added some vegetables, added a Whiskers Salmon in Jelly and finely blended the lot. It smells great :-). I'll try it after he has his The-Wicked-Vet-Did-Nasty-Things nap.

Another positive sign was that today he complained rather loudly. The last 3 days he's taken everything stoically. My wife says it reminds her of me, when I'm ill. When I start to complain she knows I'm on the road to recovery.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Another positive sign was that today he complained rather loudly.
Most definitely a good sign!! Also, when he starts grooming himself is another good sign. Continue to push the food and water. Those are vital!! Steam him in the bathroom to help break up the gunk in the nasal cavities and lungs. Lastly, I think one of the key things to recovery is LOTS of TLC, even when he's feeling puny and just sleeping. Knowing you love him will help him keep up the fight.

Sounds like you're doing a fantastic job! Keep us posted!

Stephanie
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, the food went down - and stayed down, which is another good sign. Score: only 10 scratches, so quite good :-). He emerged from the dog-box during the night where he's been hiding, (we have a liberal, equal-rights, multi-kulti house here), and slept completely stretched out on his bed. Another good sign.
We're off to the vet again this morning; he's being nice and opening on a Sunday for us.
post #13 of 22
If you need to continue hand feeding you can wrap him in a towel like a mummy with only his head showing to reduce scratching.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve1 View Post
Well, the food went down - and stayed down, which is another good sign. Score: only 10 scratches, so quite good :-). He emerged from the dog-box during the night where he's been hiding, (we have a liberal, equal-rights, multi-kulti house here), and slept completely stretched out on his bed. Another good sign.
We're off to the vet again this morning; he's being nice and opening on a Sunday for us.
IMO, those ARE good signs, especially the sleeping stretched out! Yay.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
His temperature is down from 41°C (106°F) on Friday to 39.5 (103) today, and he's a lot grumpier about going to the vet. The food is going/staying down. Raised it from 30 to 40 ml, 5x a day. Seems to be ok. He sniffed his bowl this afternoon, so we'll see. Back to the vet tomorrow.
post #16 of 22
Woohoo!! Those are EXCELLENT signs!! Yayyy!!

I've also found that boiled chicken with extra broth is a good enticement to eat. I just put a chicken breast in water with no seasonings and boil until done. Then, I cut it up into smaller pieces and grind up in the blender. You could also shred it with two forks. When serving, I add some broth and my kitty laps it up.

Stephanie
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
He ate two pieces of dried food from his bowl and a little salmon, before sticking his nose up to ALL my other (delicious) suggestions.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
When I came down this morning he was munching away from his bowl. Seems one of the major hurdles has been crossed.
post #19 of 22
I'm glad to hear that he's well on the road to recovery!
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Temperature down to 39 (102), good appetite and drinking water from the bowl. Getting impatient and wanting to go 'walk-about'. Looking good.

Thanks everybody for the support.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve1 View Post
Temperature down to 39 (102), good appetite and drinking water from the bowl. Getting impatient and wanting to go 'walk-about'. Looking good.

Thanks everybody for the support.
Definitely sounds like the worst is over!
post #22 of 22
Steve, I'm so glad your little guy is doing better! Is his temp back to normal and is he still continuing to get better? You did a great job of taking care of him!

Stephanie
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