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Sick boy and vets are puzzled

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have a 4 year old DHL that I adopted around Halloween with his sister. They were both underweight and stressed- not eating. not grooming ect.

The adoption and tlc they got at their comfortable home did wonders. The both started eating and gaining weight. About 2-3 weeks ago we noticed Salem the boy was looking quite mangy and didn't seem interested in food and he was sneezing a bit. Brought him to the vet. lost 1lb and change. was severely dehydrated. Vet didn't see any signs of URI and did a full blood panel that came back negative of pretty much anything. Recommended warming up the food to entice eating or otherwise syringe feeding baby food for a while.

Tried that. force fed baby food for a week but his health declined. He developed a stuffy nose and was sneezing regularly. Brought him back to the vet. They had no more answers but urged keeping him overnight. He stayed over friday night and they wanted him to stay longer. He is still there but I get updates twice a day. He is doing better but not eating. They still offer no answers as to what is going on with my little man.

Has anyone had this experience? Any advice or suggestions? I do trust this vet. I have been going to them for 20 years so I am alarmed when they say they don't know. Not to mention the bill is rising and rising...
post #2 of 12
Blood work negative
Sneezing but no URI

Probably not eating because nose is stuffy....I'm wondering if there isn't something stuck in his nose....or maybe nose cancer....or I dunno. Something causing him to sneeze a lot & impeding his ability to smell.

Is his nose snotty?
post #3 of 12
I would think they would try a antibiotic to see if that may clear up a cold or sinus type infection. It would be worth trying to see if that helps..
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
yes his nose is quite stuffy and snotty. its gross when he sneezes poor thing. They didn't give any antibiotics that I know of but I will definatly ask about that tomorrow.
post #5 of 12
If his nose is snotty....to me that says classic URI! Why did the vet say it wasn't a URI?!?
post #6 of 12
sounds like Uri maybe try a different vet
post #7 of 12
What about Cat Flu? Is that a possibilty?

How the kitty getting on now?

Have you tried different types of food? Try some raw food, or nice coked chicken. Cooked fish always perks my cats up as a treat. Try that?
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
well Salem spent a few days at the vet. Friday-monday. he was force fed 4 times a day and they started him on an oral antibiotic. (Amoxicillin i believe) that he gets 2x a day and an eye ointment he got 3x a day. His health in general seems to have improoved and he did gain a few oz while at the hospital but he is still not eating on his own. He continues to be more active. sneezes less. but wont eat. They sent me home with a few cans of prescription diet a/d that i give him about 1/2 can once a day I cant get him to stay still for more then 2 or 3 syringes at a time.

So heres where we are at now.

he gets the antibiotics 2x a day and I still syringe feed him but once a day 3 or 4 fulls worth hoping his hunger will push him over the edge to eat on his own. Ive tried about 10 different flavors over 4 brands. Nothing. he sniffs it. he looks at it. He scratches around it and stares at it. he will climb your leg to get to what you are eating but wants none when you offer it. Ive tried feeding him on different plates and in different rooms on different surfaces. Im at a complete loss. I cant keep up the syringe feeding it is just me and he is getting stronger and wont hold still and claws me up.
not to mention he runs away from me now wich makes me sad. I dont know what to do and the vet is recommending xrays but he says everything is ok...

Anyone have this happen before? Any ideas on how to give him that push to finally eat on his own? Going on a month or so now im super worried about my boy.

Oh someone asked why the vet said it wasn't a URI. He said despite the stuffy nose his lungs and breathing sounded fine.
post #9 of 12
A URI diagnosis does NOT require the lungs to be involved. The Upper Respiratory System consists of the nose, sinuses, pharnyx (back of the mouth, and larynx. The lungs would be in addition to the URI. So vet loses major points in my book.

With the congestion and pressure of a sinus infection, you feel awful. It's hard to breathe and eat, takes a lot of energy. Small frequent feelings may work better. My vet always suggests slightly warming the food so it smells stronger.

Isn't there a tube of a high calorie food supplement? I can't remember the name of it though.
post #10 of 12
The supplement is probably Nutrical, though I think there are others out there as well. Unfortunately, there's just no rushing a cat who is not eating on their own--they'll start when they're good and ready. In the meantime, feeding small frequent meals is best, and it's important to get enough food into the cat to at least maintain their weight.

Have you or the vet examined the kitty's mouth to look for sores, inflammed gums, or broken teeth? Wanting food but not eating it could be due to pain, or possibly to nausea. You may want to ask the vet about giving some Pepcid to help in case the kitty is nauseous.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
yes he was free of sores, absesses, and any apparent sign of tooth decay/damage or gum disease. I'm glad to see through the forums that other people have had to tough it out and spoon feed so to speak for a long time. i guess my week + is nothing. Well i hope the antibiotics work their magic. he seems to get a little more social every day.

how much should i be feeding him. im so afraid he isnt getting enough. he is about 6 or 7 lbs.
post #12 of 12
He should be getting about a can per day, but ultimately, he needs what will allow him to maintain his weight. You may want to check out the Assist Feed website and Yahoo Group:


They have tons of information and experience with assist feeding.
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