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4 year old male cat - VERY lethargic, won't eat, won't drink, vomiting

post #1 of 197
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately, our cat is exhibiting the very general catch all symptoms... I'm just looking for any ideas.

 

Our 4 year old cat, Cage, started vomiting very sporadically about a month ago.. like once a week.  It looked like a black mass... not bloody.  There was no odor or anything.  It kind of looked like a hairball but with no hair.  I've had cats all of my life and they vomit so I didn't think much of it.  Then yesterday, he vomited four times and started becoming very listless.  Like he had no energy.

 

We made a vet appointment and took him in this morning.  The vet said he was slightly dehydrated but they need to do a blood panel before they can know more.  We brought him back home and he is just laying in the closet all day.  They also gave him a sub-q injection to hydrate him, took a urine sample, and gave us liquid amoxicillin.  We won't get the blood results until tomorrow.

 

It's so frustrating because he's an ultra active cat, talktative, and everything.  Now he looks like a zombie.  When he lays down, he just stays in the same position even if it looks uncomfortable.  He has like a "1000 yard stare" where it doesn't look like he's focusing on anything in particular.  It's heartbreaking because 2 days ago he seemed totally normal.

 

My primary concern at this point is that he has not eaten in at least two days.  He has absolutely no interest in any food.  I normally have him on Urinary Tract food because my other male cat has had blockages.  Cage has no interest in that so I tried tuna, wet food, baby food, and treats.  He refuses to do anything with them.  He also is not drinking any water.  I had a cat in the past that got hepatic lipidosis so I'm very, very worried about it.  It was a months long fight to save him.  

 

I tried to assist feed him using my finger and the wet food but it was nearly impossible.  He fought with every bit of strength he has left.  I finally gave up.  I next gave him his amoxicillin via an eye dropper which was difficult but able to be done.  I keep checking on him and he just lies in the corner of our closet either sleeping or just staring.  About an hour ago, he had a ton of very loud noises coming from his stomach and I'm hoping it's just air from when I gave him his medicine.  

 

This is so terrible and hard to deal with.  I can't do anything until we here from the vet tomorrow so I've been online for hours looking for solutions.  Unfortunately the symptoms are so vague it could be anything from an upset stomach to cancer.  I guess I'm just kind of venting at this point but if anyone has any advice I'd love to hear it.

 

He has only vomited once today but he also has nothing in his stomach at all.  He also used the litter box to defacate but no urine.

 

Ughhh...  poor guy.

post #2 of 197

He is clearly feeling very unwell.  It's horrible having an ill cat and not knowing what the problem is.

 

Hopefully the blood results will clarify what the problem is and what treatment is needed.

post #3 of 197

I noticed your post just now, I too have a cat who is vomiting and lethargic, we noticed it about an hour ago. She will barely move, won't eat or drink and we are going to bring her to the vet once it opens in an hour and a half. She has also had fatty liver before so I understand how your feeling.

 

I know how hard this is, and extremely stressful. Did the vet stress that you try and get food in her? If so, you could always feed her by syringe. Keep trying with your finger, hopefully the amoxicillin will make her feel better.

 

Sending positive healing vibes to your kitty vibes.gifvibes.gif
 

post #4 of 197

I'm sorry to hear you and Cage are having a rough ride at present.

 

Has he urinated at all since he received subq fluids at your vet's office?   Has he been tested in the past for FIV/FeLV?  Did the vet palpate his abdomen and say anything about findings - mass, tenderness, any bloating?

 

Stale blood looks black, but it would still smell or iron. Is there anything in your home that he could be eating on the sly?  Does he eat wool or other fabrics?  Or plants, or other things we don't want them to get into?

post #5 of 197

We just got back from the vet, she gave our cat an injection for nausea and pain and a pepsid injection (for heartburn) to see if she'll eat and keep her food down. So far so good, she ate a little and now its dependent on how she feels once the injection wears of tomorrow and if she can keep her food down, fingers crossed. Otherwise we'll have to go in for blood and an ultrasound.

 

Since they gave him amoxicillin, I'm assuming they think it might be an infection of some sort? Hopefully you'll hear back soon about the blood work.

 

Hope your sweethearts doing better, keep us posted!! vibes.gifrub.gif

post #6 of 197

I reckon they are covering the possibility of an infection in giving an antibiotic.  They don't know what's wrong yet, but if it's an infection the sooner it's treated the better.  It all looks like symptomatic treatment - treatment to make her feel better.  Hopefully the blood results will help them get a better idea what the underlying cause is.

post #7 of 197

What brand and type of food are you feeding?  There is a cat food recall.  I thought the tainted food harmed the kidneys, not sure about stomach, but both could affect appetite.

 

Does the cat stay inside or could it have found something outside that was poisonous/bad for him?

post #8 of 197

Pet Food Recall Update May 7, 2012

Diamond announced the expansion of its volunatry recall of pet foods today. The recall now includes nine brands of dry pet food formulas manufactured between December 9, 2011 and April 2, 2012. The concern is potential Slamonella contamination. Both dog and cat foods are now included on the list. Natural Balance, Canidae and WellPet LLC have also issued recalls.

Manufacturers affected with links for specific information:

 

 

According to the CDC, 14 cases of Salmonella poisoning in humans have been linked to pet food contamination in 9 states.

“People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods,” CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell said.

And “multiple brands of dry pet food” produced by Diamond at their South Carolina facility have been linked to some of the human Salmonella infections.

Individuals handling dry pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product.

 

Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning in humans:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

 

Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning in dogs and cats:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Shock
  • Weight Loss
  • Mucous in stool
  • Increased heart rate

 

If your pet has consumed the recalled product and shows any of these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. Also, pets can be carriers of Salmonella prior to showing symptoms.

If you are unsure if the product you purchased is included in the recall, or if you would like replacement product or a refund, you can contact Diamond Pet Foods via a toll free call at 1-866-918-8756.

post #9 of 197

I'm concerned about that for both of you as well, the pet food recalls. If there's even a chance that you've fed those foods, please call your vet back immediately and tell them! I don't understand rattlemebones how your vet let him go home like that. My vet would have hospitalized my cat if he were like that. If you've had a kitty already with HL then you know this is very dangerous. Never mind using your finger! Take some canned food and put it in a blender with some water, get a syringe and start syringing immediately. I don't have to tell you how dangerous this is. Having gone through this myself, I'll never hesitate a minute to force feed now if need be. I've done it for my sister's cat and it works! Can you call your vet back and tell them how concerned you are? There is plenty he can do in the meantime, he could even give you an appetite stimulant. hugs.gif

post #10 of 197
No matter what, you HAVE to feed your kitty - get a syringe, and start syringe feeding him. You have experience with HL, so you know that this can't wait until he wants to eat - you need to do it for him.
You can blend food, or better yet, you can get food from the vet, syringe ready - Hills A/D works amazingly well for that. Get a large syringe. Kitty needs to eat well, not a few CCs a day.
Also, if the kitty is vomiting, get something for the nausea - Cerenia works well.
I agree that the black sounds like blood - IMHO an ultrasound should be in order.... there is something amiss. Blood tests are, in a lot of cases, not nearly enough.
An appetite stimulant can be of great help as well.
Please please be proactive for your baby vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
post #11 of 197
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the replies

 

Just got off the phone with the vet with the blood results.  As I kind of expected, they didn't tell us much.  The kidneys appear to be ok and liver enzymes are slightly elevated.  He had "high stress levels" but I am not sure what that means from a clinical perspective.  The vet told me that it's because he was stressed from being at the vet... which seems kind of obvious to me.  The vet did not seem to have an answer for what is causing these symptoms. 

 

The good news is that late last night, Cage got up and drank a huge amount of water, the first drink I've seen him take in two days.  When I got up this morning, though, it was vomited all over the living room.  He was back at the water again this morning so I am glad he is hydrating himself.  He is much more active today than he was yesterday so I'm hoping thats a good sign.  He still has no interest in any food and I conveyed this to the vet.  He seemed a little concerned about HL, but not nearly as much as I am.  Cage weighed 17lbs at the vet yesterday and I will weigh him when I get home tonight to see if there is any change. 

 

I will be picking up a syringe and food from petsmart when I get off work because he has to get food. His stomach is making gurgling sounds about every 30 seconds that I can hear from a couple feet away which is kind of disturbing. 

 

The vet said that he might have an infection, pancreatitis, or inflammatory bowel disease but he's not sure without doing an ultrasound... which is $400 that I don't have.  I'm kind of frustrated because this isn't my normal vet but someone filling in for him and I feel like I'm having to pry information from him instead of him telling me everything he can.  I feel like if I wasn't so proactive, nothing would be done.  The vet doesn't sound like he thinks this is a serious issue so I don't know if it IS a serious issue or he is just nonchalant sounding.

 

I'm hoping some assist feeding will kick start his appetite.  Unfortunately, he fights with ALL of his strength when I try to hold him down.  Ugh.. gonna be a long night
 

post #12 of 197

I know it stinks you have to fight with him to feed him but I always remember what my vet said. "an angry kitty is one that is still fighting for his life".

post #13 of 197

shoots, what I meant by that is when they are still fighting, they aren't ready to give up. LOL. sorry I wasn't more clear. 

post #14 of 197
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simka View Post

I'm sorry to hear you and Cage are having a rough ride at present.

 

Has he urinated at all since he received subq fluids at your vet's office?   Has he been tested in the past for FIV/FeLV?  Did the vet palpate his abdomen and say anything about findings - mass, tenderness, any bloating?

 

Stale blood looks black, but it would still smell or iron. Is there anything in your home that he could be eating on the sly?  Does he eat wool or other fabrics?  Or plants, or other things we don't want them to get into?

 

He tends not to chew on things... with the exception of ear phone wires... but he hasn't had access to any.  I have not seen any urination, only a bowel movement.  I believe he tested for FIV/FeLV as a kitten but can't recall.  The vet did not mention this.. but then again I have to pry information.  Vet did palpate his abdomen but did not mention anything out of the ordinary, but my girlfriend was the one who took him in and I don't think she asked a lot of questions. 

post #15 of 197
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcarst View Post

What brand and type of food are you feeding?  There is a cat food recall.  I thought the tainted food harmed the kidneys, not sure about stomach, but both could affect appetite.

 

Does the cat stay inside or could it have found something outside that was poisonous/bad for him?

 

The food I am feeding him is Purina One Special Care Urinary Tract Health Formula

 

Edit:  Forgot to clarify he is indoors only

post #16 of 197
With a 17lb cat and elevated liver enzymes, I would be very very careful about Hepatic lipidosis - in fact, I would be careful to an extreme. Meaning, there is no way on earth my cat would get any less than what he was supposed to get a day.
DO get Hills A/D from your vet - it will make your syringe feeding life 100% easier as not only is calorie dense, it is syringe ready.
They sell these syringes at Petsmart:
300
The brand is Four Paws - they are 1/2 oz, and quite good.... you can buy a few sets, and feed 1 to 1.5 oz per meal. Then you can make several meals a day.

If you have a lot of difficulties feeding him, get yourself a cat bag:
http://www.amazon.com/Feline-Restraint-Bag-15-25-Royal/dp/B001AH11PU/ref=pd_sim_petsupplies_5

I would urge you changing vets.... with a problem like that, if your kitty has IBD for example, you want a vet who you can trust for the long haul...
Also, an essential part of digestive issues is the food they eat - what are you feeding him? My Bugsy has IBD and had horrible issues until the day I got him on a raw diet - from then on he got all better.

Anyways, for now what you need to do, IMHO, is feed your baby and look for a new vet ASAP..... then go from there vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
hugs.gif
post #17 of 197
computer problems again thewife.gif sorry about that
post #18 of 197
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina View Post

With a 17lb cat and elevated liver enzymes, I would be very very careful about Hepatic lipidosis - in fact, I would be careful to an extreme. Meaning, there is no way on earth my cat would get any less than what he was supposed to get a day.
DO get Hills A/D from your vet - it will make your syringe feeding life 100% easier as not only is calorie dense, it is syringe ready.
They sell these syringes at Petsmart:
300
The brand is Four Paws - they are 1/2 oz, and quite good.... you can buy a few sets, and feed 1 to 1.5 oz per meal. Then you can make several meals a day.
If you have a lot of difficulties feeding him, get yourself a cat bag:
http://www.amazon.com/Feline-Restraint-Bag-15-25-Royal/dp/B001AH11PU/ref=pd_sim_petsupplies_5
I would urge you changing vets.... with a problem like that, if your kitty has IBD for example, you want a vet who you can trust for the long haul...
Also, an essential part of digestive issues is the food they eat - what are you feeding him? My Bugsy has IBD and had horrible issues until the day I got him on a raw diet - from then on he got all better.
Anyways, for now what you need to do, IMHO, is feed your baby and look for a new vet ASAP..... then go from there vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
hugs.gif

 

Picking up some Hills a/d from the vet after work.  I will report back.

post #19 of 197
Thread Starter 

Got home and weighed him, he's a little over 16 lbs according to my scale so he either lost a pound or my scale is slightly off from the vet.  Tried my first assist feeding with the syringe using Hills A/D and it ended in a disaster.  Me bleeding and Cage not getting a single bit of food.  Watched some online videos on technique and will try again but I'm not holding out much hope... he's fighting like he's being killed.  

 

The vet is doing further tests on his blood to check for pancreatitis.  Will know tomorrow.

 

He actually came out on to the apartment patio with me today and now he's hiding in the closet because I probably traumatized him trying to get some food in.  Ugh this is so frustrating.

post #20 of 197
This is a thread I did before on assist feeding, it has a video there.... Video is on post 7
http://www.thecatsite.com/t/227858/syringe-feeding-lucky-video-if-your-cat-is-not-eating
post #21 of 197

Wow!  Been catching up and noticed this thread.  Poor Cage!  I feel so sorry for both of you to be going through all of this.  Yes, the assisted feeding sounds like a must and you sound like you are right on top of things.  Please take care and keep us posted!  Sending vibes vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
 

post #22 of 197
Thread Starter 

Just tried again and failed again.  I wrapped him in a towel as I saw in a youtube video to substitute the cat bag.  It saved me bleeding but unlike the cats in every video I'm watching, he is absolutely fighting with all of his strength.  The cats in the videos look like they don't care one way or another.  Cage is twisting and tearing at the towels and I'm spending all of my effort just trying to get the syringe to his mouth.  I can't even get his mouth to open.

 

I've never in my life been so frustrated.

post #23 of 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by rattlemebones View Post

Just tried again and failed again.  I wrapped him in a towel as I saw in a youtube video to substitute the cat bag.  It saved me bleeding but unlike the cats in every video I'm watching, he is absolutely fighting with all of his strength.  The cats in the videos look like they don't care one way or another.  Cage is twisting and tearing at the towels and I'm spending all of my effort just trying to get the syringe to his mouth.  I can't even get his mouth to open.

I've never in my life been so frustrated.

Step away from him, and calm down...... you need to be very, very very calm to do this..... even a bit of stress will pass through him.....vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
If he can't be fed like this..... and in fact he is tested for pancreatitis, you might be looking at a feeding tube.....
I never had luck with towels..... But cat bags always worked for me - did you watch my video?
post #24 of 197
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolina View Post


Step away from him, and calm down...... you need to be very, very very calm to do this..... even a bit of stress will pass through him.....vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif

Yeah I'm taking a break.  I just know that this is day 3 going on day 4 with no food and am getting extremely anxious.

 

Edit-- ugh my posts are being held for moderation because I'm new.  If I don't respond right away, thats why.

post #25 of 197

Does he show interest if you put it in a saucer?  My cat would eat nothing esle when she was ill, but she would eat this if I hand fed her or put it in a saucer.

post #26 of 197
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcarst View Post

Does he show interest if you put it in a saucer?  My cat would eat nothing esle when she was ill, but she would eat this if I hand fed her or put it in a saucer.

Absolutely no interest in any type of food or treat, in a dish, on my finger, or otherwise

post #27 of 197
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the help, by the way.  Very trying times.

post #28 of 197
Thread Starter 

Tried one last time... got about 4ml of food in him before he literally fought so hard he ripped the towel I was holding him in.  I feel he is going to hurt himself if I try any more.

post #29 of 197
hun, you will have to get an appetite stimulant on him, and fast.... tomorrow morning..... and if he doesn't eat tomorrow he will have to go into a feeding tube - a chubby kitty can go down with HL in just a few days.... and that's a few.... vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
Where are you located?
post #30 of 197
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking feeding tube as well.  I literally feel like he's going to be hurt if I continue to try to restrain him.  He's really fighting that hard.

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