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PLEASE HELP!! Will not eat after hairball issue!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I have a large, 11 year old, Maine Coon and we have trouble with hairballs. We get lion cuts each summer to combat the problem.

Last week he developed the worst hairball situation that I have ever seen. He was hacking up clear liquid mucus and then he quit eating. He started to just lay around and I could tell that his stomach was not OK. I called the vet and was advised to do several large doses of the hairball remedy that's like malt flavored Vaseline so I did it. There was no change so we went to the vet. The vet gave him a thorough exam complete with a senior profile blood workup. Then the vet injected fluids under his skin to be absorbed into his system. I was instructed to go home and give him more hairball remedy.

The vet called the next morning and said that his blood work was perfect and to continue the hairball remedy over the weekend. Still he was not eating although he did perk up a bit.

2 days ago the hairball remedy appeared to work, there could not be anything in this cats stomach. I had to bathe him from the laxative effect. So he's bathed and brushed and being treated like a pampered king but still he wont eat. I've seen him go to his bowl and take a nibble and walk away. He has lost several pounds as this has been going on for a week. He did drink water normally last night. I have discontinued the hairball remedy.

I have been frantic over his refusal to eat. I intended to force him to eat by swaddling him in a towel and putting wet food in his mouth with a large baby medicine syringe. I read several posts on this site that said how dangerous it is for cats not to eat so I just forced him to eat about 2 and 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of Science Diet canned food. By the way this cat hates canned food but Oh Well!

What now? Will getting a small bit of food into him get his system going again to where he will want food on his own? Should I do this again and if so how long should I wait?

Any advice would be appreciated. I love this cat so much.
post #2 of 13
If your current Vet isn't concerned that he's not eating, take your kitty to a new Vet promptly! You're exactly right, it's extremely dangerous for kitties to go an extended time without eating, and few tablespoons are not enough. A few tips to try:
Warm the canned cat food in the microwave several seconds to wake up the flavor.
Give the cat a small pinch of catnip (an appetite stimulant) before feeding.
Sprinkle grated cheese over the food. Dot the food with cream cheese.
Check the cat's nostrils for crusty discharge. Cats won't eat what they can't smell.
Acidophilus capsules- break one open, wet your little finger, dip your finger in the powder, and rub your wet finger on your cat's gum.
Give them forced fluids (either subcutaneous or syringed liquid (Pedialyte) an hour before meals.
You could also ask your vet for Cyproheptadine, which is an antihistamine, and an appetite stimulant.
This is a Feline Assisted Feeding support group where you'll find a great deal of information about assist feeding your kitty, and it also has a wonderful article about Hepatic Lipidosis, which you are striving to avoid. Hope some of this helps. Again, this is a very long time for your kitty to not eat, and he needs to be seen by a Vet immediately, preferably a Feline Specialist. Please do keep us updated how he is feeling.
post #3 of 13
I would be concerned that this might be more than a hairball and would opt for an x-ray to see what is bothering him. he does need to eat and drink. Is he doing anything else off besides refusing food?
post #4 of 13
I think Stephanie gave you great advice and I agree with Hissy...I'd either, if you are super happy with your vet, go back for a followup - express your concerns over the wt. loss, lack of appetite, and ask about an xray.

Or, I'd get a second opinion asap. I am not a vet or vet tech, so I don't know if there is a blockage present, if forcefeeding will actually cause a problem, but clearly this cat needs fluids and nutrition somehow.

I'd make sure he gets some food in - get some nutrical (petco and petsmart I think both carry, it's just a high calorie paste) to use as well for extra calories, and get him to a vet tomorrow.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Excellent...Thank you so much. I will continue to feed him today and we will go to the vet tomorrow for an xray.

I knew this...sometimes you just want confirmation.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
New friends...I would like to add that this cat is acting very normal in every respect since the bowel movement after the hairball remedy. It has been several hours since I fed him and I saw him run after our other cat who has been spooked out since this guy became ill. If Marshall (the sick cat) feels perky enough to chase Eddie (the weasle cat lol) he's doing better than I am.

I'm going to go give him some more food now. Vet tomorrow.

Thanks again, I honestly appreciate your replies.
post #7 of 13
Please let us know what the Vet says....we will be thinking about Marshall....
post #8 of 13
Thank you for letting us know how Marshall is feeling now and for updating us tomorrow! Feel better, Marshall!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is a very nice forum site. You guys are very warm and caring. Thank you so much. Marshall sends you all purrs.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
We fed him some slightly warmed Science Diet yesterday. We got 3 helpings of about 2 1/2 - 3 tablespoons down him over the course of about 8 hours. I thought that was good considering he had not eaten more than a crumb or two in 5 days, I figured his stomach must have shrunk so small meals were best.

GOOD NEWS!!! It worked. He's eating today!

post #11 of 13
EXCELLENT! I know you are SO relieved and so are we! Thanks for letting us know.
post #12 of 13
post #13 of 13
Great news!Marshall, you're such a good little boy!
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