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Bootsie is sick

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
We got Bootsie about four years ago from a friend who was moving and could not take care of him anymore. He was a 3rd floor indoor apartment cat, and I think he was mistreated. He loves being able to go outside and hunt and stuff, he has always been a very active tom cat with a lot of personality. We have taken very good care of him to the point that anytime this friend came to our house, Bootsie would hide and would not come out.

But near the end of October he began acting strange. He came home one morning with a runny nose, and he was drooling all over the place. He would not eat or drink, would not even open his mouth. He did not appear to have been in any kind of fight, he had no wounds or tender spots. He didn't mind if you touched his jaw or face, but he wouldn't open up.

We took him to the vet, they gave him fluids to keep him from getting dehydrated and antibiotics. We took him back a few days later for more fluids and antibiotics. For his third visit a few days after that, they sedated him so that they could open his mouth to see if he had something stuck in there or something. They said that his tongue was raw. They didn't know if it was an infection that caused it, or if he had gotten into something or what. They gave him more fluids and antibiotics. They said that it was more important that he stay hydrated, and that he would start eating soon because his tongue was healing up.

Since then, he has gotten better, but his recovery has plateaued. He has started eating some, he tries to eat hard food, but he doesn't really chew it up. We give him a variety of wet food, tuna, and soft treats that he doesn't have to chew up. We give him water through a syringe, we fill it up and squirt it in his mouth. He does not use his tongue at all. He does not clean himself, and his behavior is strange. He just sits and stares off into space, he just now started meowing again. He will run up to anything that falls on the floor and try to eat it, usually without success. We have two other cats, and all three are trained to do their "business" outside, we do not have a litter box. Bootsie was litter box trained when we got him but quickly grew accustomed to going outside. But recently he has adopted the practice of peeing in the water bowl, even though we have started letting him go out again.

The changes in him have been significant. He is not the same cat that was even six months ago. Because he didn't eat for nearly three weeks, he lost a good amount of weight, and he has not regained much. He sleeps very little, he doesn't try to jump up on the chairs or anything.

We are not rich people, we can not afford to take him to the vet every week for fifty dollar treatments and medications. The other two cats are not showing any of the same symptoms, they are both healthy.

I am wondering if anyone has had similar experiences or ideas of what this could be. The vets don't seem to have any idea what is going on with him. I have tried to do research on my own, but I am not an expert and have not had much luck. He is eating and drinking, but he seems to be just surviving rather than living. We don't want to have to put him down, but I don't want to make him live this way forever.
post #2 of 16
I'm so sorry to hear about Bootsie. How about taking some soft food, mixing it with water and putting it in the blender to puree it. (like a melted malt) That way, hopefully he can eat it without a problem and will also be getting water at the same time to stay hydrated. I've heard of people making 3-4 cans at a time and freezing half so you don't have to use the blender daily. Hopefully there is a corner in the house that you could put a litter box in so he doesn't have to go out if he doesn't want to. Good luck Julie
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you, that is a very good idea. However, we did try canned wet food when this all started, and he would not eat it. In fact, none of my cats would! That is why we started giving him tuna. I get the kind that comes in water, and put it in a bowl without draining any of the water out. He more or less drinks the water and incidentally gets tuna at the same time.
We also just found this wet food that comes in a pouch. It is a little chunkier than the canned food and he really likes that. He will eat most, if not all, of that.

He enjoys going out, and we don't make him if he doesn't want to. We did keep him in the first few weeks when he was really sick, and it drove him crazy. He was constantly trying to run out the door every time it opened. Recently we decided that he would probably be okay to get fresh air, and when he does go out he spends 90% of the time sitting on the porch staring out into the yard. I have not seen him leave our yard at all.

Thank you for your advice, I will take all that I can get.
post #4 of 16
HI ! I am so sorry your kitty is not feeling good. Here in greece they sell some vitamin complex paste, it comes from a tube and smells like fish, the extra vitamins will help but i think you need to go to the doctor anyway. Maybe a bee/ spider bite his thong when he ate it? how long has been with antibiotics?
Good luck
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
He has been off the antibiotics for a couple weeks now, and his condition has not gotten any worse...but he has not gotten much better either. He is going back to the vet at the end of this week for a check up, hopefully they will have good news. I have gone through a million scenarios in my mind trying to figure out what happened, but there is no way to know.
post #6 of 16
I wish I had some advice or suggestions to give to you, but I don't. I hope the vet can figure out what the problem is, and be able to do something about it.

Many good & coming your way..

post #7 of 16
The fact that Bootsie is peeing inappropriately means that he is trying to tell you that he is still sick. I think you need to insist that the vet takes another look at his tongue. Perhaps even take a blood and/or urine sample and see if anything comes of that?

Hope your baby gets better soon. It's horrible when they get sick
post #8 of 16
here was a thread on here a long time ago with something similar. Been looking but can't find it. How about asking the vet for something for depression? Just a thought. Good luck at the vet
post #9 of 16
How old is Boostie??? did the vet do blood work??
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Bootsie is 5-6 years old, we are not sure how old he was when we got him, but he was grown, not a kitten, and we have had him about 4 years. There has been no blood work done, they just gave him fluids and antibiotics. It appeared to be clearing up, but he has not returned to his normal self and that is why I am concerned.
post #11 of 16
Hi ! Any update on Bootsie ?
post #12 of 16
My own Bootsie is sick too...

Purrs to your Bootsie so he can get better
post #13 of 16
I would go to the vet... I hate to say it, but its the best option! They would have a good idea of whats going on.
post #14 of 16
Did Bootsie go back to the vet last week? If so, how did it go?
post #15 of 16
One important thing to note, you say hes not gaining weight, and his diet is mostly tuna now?
According to you should only feed tuna in low moderation or risk serious health problems. It does not have the nutritional levels a cat needs to survive, and has other chemicals that can be very bad for it, including high amounts of mercury.
Additionally, the packaging process for tuna compresses the meat in a way that makes it even harder for the cat to digest (its hard for them anyway) and they get less nutrition for it.
Basically, its like trying to get a sick kid to feel better by feeding them nothing but cake.
That may be a (if small) part of why hes not regaining his weight and still acting listless. I dont have anything to offer for the rest, so just offering what little I do have, and

Also, quoted from the above article, "Canned tuna (all fish, really) is excellent quality protein, low fat, no carbs but it is not balanced vitamin wise. Again, one meal is not a problem; but if you feed regularly (more than 1X week) add veggies, E, taurine and a multi vitamin/mineral tab to balance out the fish. "
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your concern, I'm sorry I didn't post sooner, we've been busy.

The vet said that he is getting better, I'm just being impatient and that it will take time for him to fully recover. They said that he looks a lot better than the last time we brought him in.

He has gained a little of his weight back, and he is more active than before. As I said before, we found some cat food that comes in a pouch and is almost the same consistency as tuna, as in that it is kind of chunky rather than mush like canned food. We have been giving him 2-3 pouches a day for a little over a week now and it is making a huge difference. We do not feed him tuna "regularly," it was just the first thing we could get him to eat, and we thought that eating anything was better than eating nothing. I know that milk and tuna and things like that are treats and we treat them as such. I did not realize that it was not nutritionally satisfactory, and I am glad that we found this new food and it is helping him.
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