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Worried about Willow

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
On Saturday I went to see the local cat specialist because Willow wasn't acting like herself. Not eating as much as normal and sleeping a lot. I had recently changed the food I was feeding her, so thought that might have something to do with it. She had been on an all dry diet, and I switched to a higher quality wet food. This was the first time seeing this vet, but I did have her records from the previous vet and her weight had not changed at all as of her last examination in March.

The vet examined her, checked her teeth and temperature, checked her ears, couldn't find anything wrong. She recommended having her teeth cleaned as they had a lot of tartar buildup, and advised on monitoring her food intake for the next few days. The previous vet visit had recommended teeth cleaning as well, but I had put it off because I had a bad experience with a pet dog dying under anesthesia and I'm hesitant to put my animals under for that reason.

Willow seemed normal on Sunday and Monday, but as of last night she's gone completely off her food. Won't eat at all. I gave her one of her favorite treats (which happens to be a crunchy pellet) and she did try to chew it, but then she made this strangled yowling sound and ran across the living room, dropping the treat halfway. She spent the next two or three minutes dry heaving, then ran and hid behind the toilet.

I will be calling the vet in the morning and hope to get her in tomorrow. Does it sound like dental problems or could it be something else? Willow is a little overweight, and I'm worried about fatty liver disease if she goes too long without eating.
post #2 of 34
it could be

How old is she?? has a blood panel been run??

do you know how to assist feed??
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Willow is a little over five years old. The vet mentioned blood tests on Saturday, but recommended observation since she didn't have any obvious signs like an elevated temperature. I'll probably have them done when I take her in tomorrow.

I tried watering down her food until it was almost a soup, but she wasn't interested. Is it possible for one person to force feed a cat?
post #4 of 34
A bad tooth can definitely cause a cat to lose interest in eating, and infection beneath the gum can set in, causing them to sleep more. Sometimes the teeth don't look bad above the gum line, maybe just some tartar, but beneath the gumline (which is why xrays are necessary) there can be resorptive lesions (similar to cavities in humans, for the most part).

1. How old is Willow?

2. Does she go outside at all and perhaps got into something she shouldn't have? If she does go outside, please - keep her inside at all times so that you can closely monitor her.

3. How long has it been since she had bloodwork done, to check kidney function, liver, sugar level, CBC, etc? If not recently, she should have it done. Often times this basic bloodwork can reveal a lot (eg: diabetes, kidney disease, liver problems, infection, etc). This should also include an analysis of the urine (urinalysis) as that too can give a lot of good info re: the presence of bacteria, how well the kidneys are doing their job, if blood is present (eg: symptom of bladder infection), if there are crystals, etc.

Dental disease in cats can lead to kidney disease because bacteria under the gumline can spread into the bloodstream and to the major organs, like kidneys and heart.

I hope you'll be able to get her into the Vet as soon as possible tomorrow; try to explain to them the urgency of this, that she's not been herself for several days, and then her recent episode on top of that.

It's possible, too that she didn't like the canned food so I'd put her old dry food back out for her to at least nibble on if she so chooses, so that she's at least getting some food into her.

Is she peeing more than usual? Drinking more than usual?
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
I haven't noticed any changes in her litterbox habits. It's easy to tell her pee from the kitten's, since he leaves lot of little ping pong ball sized clumps, and she leaves bigger ones. She is definitely drinking less, but I was told that was normal when switching to wet food.

She had urinalysis done back in March when we did the last checkup and the vet looked over the numbers and said they were normal.

I still have a little of her old dry food left, so I'll try softening it with some water and see if she'll eat it.
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Just an update... As far as I can tell she didn't eat anything last night. Some of the food disappeared, but I'm positive the kitten ate it. I called the vet first thing this morning and they agreed that it was most likely dental problems and had me bring her in to do the cleaning today. They said they would check for any teeth that need to be extracted and pull them at that time, but they would cap any cavities if it was possible to save the tooth.

They also agreed to do the blood work to look for any underlying problems. They said that she should be ready to pick up by the time I go on lunch at 5:30 PM (I work late) but I think that I will have them keep her overnight for observation. The surgery isn't scheduled until 3:00, and if she's groggy and in pain then having a rambunctious kitten around who wants to play all the time would probably stress her out. I'm supposed to receive a call from the vet once the surgery is done and they have results from the blood test, so I'll update later.
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well, the blood test says that her kidney and liver functions are consistant with being a little bit dehydrated, but no diabetes or kidney or liver issues. Her white blood cell count is very high though. The doctor cleaned her teeth and said that they cleaned up beautifully. She had a touch of gingivitis around one tooth, but no abcesses and they didn't see any cavities or pull any of her teeth. So now the vet suspects an infection or inflammation in her abdomen, since she showed signs of pain when palpatating her stomach. They did x-rays looking for a foreign body and checked her throat with an endoscope and couldn't find anything, or any signs that her intestines may be bunching up like she'd swallowed a string. So they did an ultrasound and found a mineralized mass stuck to the wall of her bladder. I told them to go ahead and run a urinalysis to see if there was blood in her urine, since she was going to be staying overnight anyway.

The vet says they can't see any obvious reasons why she would be off her food or have such a violent reaction when eating. So they're going to put her on antibiotics and give her an appetite stimulant to see if she starts eating.

So far we're at around $600 and counting...
post #8 of 34
Is it at all possible she is a fussy eater? Has she always been a god eater? And I can imagine her electrolytes would be down if she was not eating at all. Cats just do not have the reserve not o eat - if she ever does that again, get a syringe and give her some specialized cat food or even pediayte but there are recipes fr cats who won't eat. Still, it does not sound like she is near that state yet or your vet would have told you.

Has anything happened to upset her recently? Cats can stop eating when they are very stressed. There are many studies on this and a proven correlation between lack of eating and severe stress. It may even be stress you are unaware of. A cat outside that bothers her - even if she is an indoor cat. A change in her litterbox. New peple in your and thus her life. Any kind of major change.

I wish I could help you - but it's hard without seeing her.

I hope your vet and you with Willow's help can figure it out!
post #9 of 34
i hate big vet bills! sending & that this solves the problem!
post #10 of 34
Happy everything went well, was looking forward to reading your update!

So what do they think about the mass on the wall of her bladder? What do they think it is? Is that something they're going to pursue/further investigate? Do they think it could be related to the abdominal tenderness?

Bet she'll be thrilled once she's back home, you too!
post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 
She has never been highly food motivated, but she has always eaten enough to maintain her weight. I adopted a kitten about a month ago, but she has lived with other cats in the past and had been eating just fine up until now so I don't think that's the problem. I live on a second floor apartment, so I don't think she's seen another cat outside.

The vet said that they should know more about the mass once they get the urinalysis results, but at this point they weren't recommending surgery to remove it.
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well, I picked up her up this morning. The vet was checking out her urinalysis results when I came in. Her urine is actually really diluted. The vet suspects that it may be an indication that the infection might be in her kidneys, or possibly an early sign of kidney failure. Her blood test results don't show any sign of diabetes. According to the vet, this means that the mineralized mass is probably in the wall of the bladder and be from a time in the past when she had more concentrated urine.

She did eat at the vet's after being given the appetite stimulant, so the vet gave me a few day's supply. They also gave me some Clavamox for the infection to bring her white blood cell count down.

She did seem happy to see me and come home, and immediately hid under my bed once I let her out of her carrier. I had to leave for work immediately afterwards, though.
post #13 of 34
I hope its not in her kidneys.
Coco's bladder infections got to her kidneys.
Do you know what her bun is?
post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
They didn't find any bactiera in her urine, so I doubt it's a kidney infection. I don't know what her numbers are offhand, but I did get a copy of the blood and urinalysis paperwork. I just didn't get a chance to look to look at them before I had to leave for work. I'll see if I can scan them tonight.
post #15 of 34
Sounds like she has something else.
I hope it isnt Diabetes or Kidney Failure.
post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well, they said the blood test results didn't indicate diabetes, so at least we can rule that out.
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
As promised, here are the results from the blood and urine tests. Do any of these numbers indicate anything I should ask the vet about? Keep in mind the blood test was done after she hadn't had anything to eat for a day and a half. The urinalysis was taken later the same day, but after they had put her on an IV.

Since then she has gone back to eating, though still not as much as I would like. I've been successful in mixing her medications in with a small amount of her food and feeding it to her first, making sure she eats it all before giving her more. Otherwise I'm sure it would end up in the kitten's stomach instead. It's like he has a hollow leg or something.

L = Low
N = Normal
H = High

I bolded the out of range results.

Hematology Data

Leukocyte Data

WBC / 26.5 / H / 5.5-19.5 (10^3/mm^3)
LYM # / 4 / N / 1.8-6.5 (10^3/mm^3)

MON # / 1.1 / H / 0.2-0.6 (10^3/mm^3)
GRA # / 20.4 / H / 2.8-13 (10^3/mm^3)

LTM % / 15.5 / N / 0.01-99.99 (%)
MON % / 4.7 / N / 0.01-99.99 (%)
GRA % / 79.4 / N / 0.01-99.99 (%)

Erythrocyte Data

HTC / 36.96 / N / 25-45 (%)
MCV / 45 / N / 39-50 (fl)
RDW / 16.01 / N / 13-17 (%)
RBC / 8.16 / N / 5-11 (10^6/mm^3)
HGB / 12.49 / N / 8-15 (g/dl)
MCHC / 33.8 / N / 30-36 (g/dl)
MCH / 15.25 / N / 12.5-17.5 (pg)

Platelet Data

PLT / 98 / L / 200-500 (10^3/mm^3)
MPV / 10.04 / L / 12-18 (fl)

Chemistry Data:

Renal Analytes

BUN / 9 / L / 15-35 (mg/dl)
Creatinine / 1.8 / N / 0.6-2 (mg/dl)

Metabolic Analytes

Total Protein / 9.2 / H / 5.8-8 (g/dl)
Glucose / 159 / H / 70-125 (mg/dl)

Hepatic Analytes

ALT / 12 / N / 10-100 (IU/L)
ALP / 20 / N / 0-90 (IU/L)

Urinalysis (Complete)

Color / Yellow
Appearance / Cloudy
Specific Gravity / 1.013 (LOW) / 1.015-1.060
pH / 6.5 / 5.5-7.0
Protein / Negative / Negative
Glucose-Strip / Negative / Negative
Ketones / Negative / Negative
Bilirubin / Negative / Negative
Occult Blood / Negative / Negative
WBC/HPF / None Observed / 0-3
RBC/HPF / None Observed / 0-3
Casts/LPF / None Observed / Hyaline 0-3
Amorphous crystals (2+)

Bacteria / None Observed / None Observed
Transitional Epithelia/HPF / None Observed / None - Rare
Squamous Epithelia/HPF / None Observed / None - Few
Renal Epithelia/HPF / None Observed/ None - Rare
post #18 of 34
I see some of her numbers are low and some are high.
The high wbc could be a infection.
The low bun could be a liver problem.
What is the vet saying she has?
post #19 of 34
Your results look pretty good! Obviously the elevated WBC would show some kind of infection going on; is kitty on antibiotics?

The total protein is a bit elevated but that's likely due to kitty having been a little dehydrated at the time bloodwork was done.

Low platelets don't really mean much because generally in cats, they 'clump' so the result is never accurate (my clinic's lab will always add the note 'clumping' beside the number)

It's interesting that kitty's urine specific gravity is very low considering her kidney values (BUN and Creat) are good. BUN is a little on the low side but BUN is greatly affected by diet so if kitty wasn't eating much prior to when bloodwork was done, that could account for this. That's generally the type of dilute urine you'd see in a cat with chronic kidney failure (such that the kidneys aren't able to properly concentrate the urine and it's therefore dilute). I'm wondering if kitty could have a kidney infection?? This is something you should ask the Vet..........this would certainly cause infection (high wbc) and problems with the kidneys concentrating the urine). Kidney infections are sometimes a little difficult to diagnose........but an ultrasound of the kidneys would be helpful.

The elevated glucose isn't a concern because it always goes up when a cat is stressed, I've seen it much much higher!

Liver enzymes look good (ALT and ALP)

OOPS! I'm sorry, I realize I hadn't read a few of the past posts where your Vet also commented on the dilute urine and possibility of a kidney infection. The early stages of kidney failure won't cause such dilute urine; you usually don't see it that dilute until their Creat is way higher (the Creatinine level is the better indicator of kidney function, as compared to BUN). I'm sure they did hydrate her well with the IV so that could account for some of the dilute-ness, but not all of it.

I'd be wondering if Clavamox is really the best antibiotic for a possible kidney infection?

My understanding of cats w/ a kidney infection is that they need to remain on antibiotics for more than the standard 7-10 days.

Are you scheduled to bring her back in at some point to have her bloodwork done again; even if it's just a CBC to see if her WBC count has gone down?

I don't mean to scare you at all but I would be concerned about any type of mass seen attached to the wall of the bladder.....unless perhaps it's a large stone that's embedded in the lining? - that is possible.
post #20 of 34
Sending Willow Prayers and
post #21 of 34
Thread Starter 
They put her on Clavamox because she was on it for a UTI about a year and a half ago and it responded well and she didn't have any adverse reactions. The vet wants to do another blood test after the infection clears up and she's back to eating normally to check her liver function.
post #22 of 34
It might be normal once she eats.
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
That's what I'm hoping. She is eating more, since I bought some tuna based cat food (Meow Mix wet) to hide the taste of her medication. She doesn't come running to eat like she used to, but if I take the food to her and set it down in front of her she'll eat it as long as the kitten isn't around. I know tuna isn't a good long term food for cats with urinary issues, so I'll switch her to something better once she's more enthusiastic about eating.

I'm thinking I may have to separate her from the kitten though, because he thinks it's all a big game. Besides trying to help himself to her food while she's eating it, he tries to play with her and jump on her while she's sleeping. Before she got sick she'd hiss and swat at him and drive him off, but now I think it's stressing her out
post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
Just another update here... I gave her a piece of dried fish last night, and she had the same reaction, but I think it was her coughing. She kind of made these 'kack kack' sounds and thrust her toungue out of her mouth like she was trying to eject something. The vet throughly inspected her throat and took x-rays and didn't see any signs of inflammation or anything she might have swallowed, so I think the infection might be laryngitis. Her meow sounds kind of scratchy. I've been keeping her on soft foods.

I think she's starting to feel better, though. She slept in my lap last night for the first time since she got sick, and when the kitten tried to jump on her she growled at him. When he did it anyway, she reached over and put him in his place by reaching over and swatting him one.
post #25 of 34
I would try not to give her fish because it makes bladder problems worse.
I hope she keeps feeling better.
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
Just mainly trying to get her to eat anything.

It does look like I spoke too soon though, because even though she had been eating well the past few days, today she has refused her food. She acted hungry and I gave her a couple of tablespoons with her medications mixed in like I have been doing, but she only ate a few bites and has not touched anything else since. I left her alone in the bedroom with the door closed to eat so the kitten wouldn't get in and steal her food, so I don't know if she had another coughing fit when trying to eat, but when I opened the door she was hiding behind the toilet again, so I think so. I have offered her several different types of wet food, but she hasn't even tried any of it. I had to give her the medication by syringe for the first time.

Next I'm going to try meat baby food.
post #27 of 34
Hi there,

Sorry that she isn't eating well today. If you're going to give her meat baby food (just in case you didn't know this), make sure it doesn't contain any onion or garlic powder (be sure to read the ingredients) as they are bad for cats and can cause a type of serious anemia.

Maybe a trip back to the Vet is in order?
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'll keep an eye on the ingredients list. It's very odd, because for the first time in awhile, she acts like she wants to eat, running around and meowing when I open the can, then she takes a taste and eats maybe a mouthful, then meows and runs off and leaves the rest. The vet said they couldn't find anything wrong with her teeth even after extensive probing, though they didn't do any dental x-rays. That and the scratchy meowing why I was thinking maybe a sore throat. Then again, the vet also looked down her throat all the way to the gastric sphincter and didn't see any inflammation. It's very puzzling.

I wonder if some anti-pain medication will help her eat more? Or maybe she's getting an upset stomach from the Clavamox? Last time she had it she was fine, though it was in pill form. We crushed the pill and mixed it in with her food same as this time.

In every other respect she is acting much better. Much more alert and active, showing an interest in toys, standing up to the kitten again, ect. I'll continue trying different foods and talk to the vet again on Monday.
post #29 of 34
It might be the Clavamox.
The very first time Coco had it she was ok but after that she would get terrible stomach aches and throw up and refused to eat.
Your cat might be getting stomach aches from the clavamox.
post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
I left her shut up in the bedroom with some of her wet food (also access to a litter box and fresh water) and she did actually eat on her own, which is a big relief. I locked her up to make sure it was her eating the food and not the kitten. She ate about 1/3rd of a can of Wellness while I was at the store buying baby food.

While I was there I looked at the pet food asle and found Brandon Farms Naturals for $1 a 6.5 ounce can. The ingredients list seems good and the price is definitely better than what I've been paying for Wellness grain free. Anyone have any experience with this food? I bought the beef, chicken, and turkey.

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