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Elderly cat mysterious illness

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm just looking for some thoughts on this matter, seeing if maybe someone can come up with some suggestions that our vet hasn't looked at thus far.
We have a cat named Samantha, she's somewhere between 13-15 years old. In the past she's gone up to 22lbs in weight and has always been a food loving, high purring kitty.
Over the past couple of years her weight has been dropping slowly, and the vet has been coaxing us to "do whatever you're doing cuz it's working". Other than a cyst on her leg which was removed years ago she hasn't had any health issues.
Last Sunday she stopped eating, and vomitted a few times. We kept her comfortable overnight, and dad took her in first thing in the morning. She was a little dehydrated, had lost 4lbs in the last year, had a mild bladder infection, and her red blood count was off. Needless to say she stayed at the vet from Monday-Wednesday. During her stay they did a full panel, and x-rays. Still not eating, we've been force feeding her a high calorie food given to us by the vet and she's been taking antibiotics. On friday I took her back, and had more blood work done. All of the levels have gone back to normal and she's gained something close to 4 ounces. The vet can't figure out what's wrong with her and is running out of possibilities.
Problem is that she's still refusing to eat by herself, and it's almost impossible to get the full can in her every day, let alone 1 1/2 cans. Otherwise she's acting normal again (even peed on the rug yesterday...which is normal *sigh*).
Thoughts? Suggestions?
post #2 of 10
Did he do a dental check? Bad teeth can stop an older cat from eating
post #3 of 10
My elderly cat is taking steroid shots and steroid pills (not at the same time) and they are like the fountain of youth for her. she was vomiting and not eating and the vet did a full cavity xraY and determined she had a touch of asthma. Maybe your vet can try that, they won't hurt her short term. Please let us know what happens. My cat is 17, the younger one is one and a half.
post #4 of 10
Do you feed your cat dried food. It seems with my senior the size of the food particle makes a difference with him-smaller being much better.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
I forgot to add one thing yesterday and remembered late last night...she also had a high temperature for a few days, but that has also cleared up.

Yes, the vet did a dental exam, said she has some inflamation, but that it shouldn't be causing these problems. The X-ray that she had also was full body (they were checking for tumours), plus she doesn't have any real breathing problems.

She was eating the high calorie stuff off of my fingers a couple days ago (also something I forgot to mention sorry!), but when offered the plate, there was a loud and resounding "NO!". Yesterday after I wrote you folks she started eating a itty bitty bit of the can by herself (maybe 1/16th of a can) before running away and hiding because she knew I was going to force the rest. Last night just before bed I caught her eating around 5 kibbles from our dry food and apparently dad saw her doing the same this morning. Since starting the dry again she's completely refusing the wet. The dry is Natural balance and the size isn't bad at all. We can't change it either, because it's the allergy formula for one of our other cats. Thanks for the idea though Gail, my kitty who lives over the rainbow would throw up anything that wasn't a certain shape and size for the majority of the 20 years that she was with me.

I guess I'll continue trying, it's all we can do right now. Fortunately she looks bigger by the day, so this stuff seems to be at least helping that way.
post #6 of 10
Has she had a ultrasound? Im not sure if its much different then a x ray but its worth a try.My prayers are with you both.
post #7 of 10
Has your vet given you an appetite stimulant? I forget what it is called but it woked on my dearly departed Sparky. The other thing guaranteed to get the appetite started is valium. It makes them a little dopey, but in the short term to get some nutrition in, and maybe then she will begin to eat a lot again on her own.
post #8 of 10
You said she had a fever and a bladder infection for which she was given antibiotics. Some antibiotics and be really tough on the tummy. Is she still on the antibiotics?
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sorry for not replying for a few days, it's been hecktic around here.

She hasn't had an ultrasound done because the vet doesn't know what's wrong with her. Chesters recent ultrasound of chest and heart was about $750, and they add up the body parts...so to do a full body ultrasound would be something like $1500 I figure. Also my parents just don't have the money to spend after having spent $600 on her staying at the vets those days (plus X-ray).

I suppose dad should call the vet and tell her that sams still not really eating by herself. He's offering her food throughout the day and letter her eat what she wants. Every once in awhile she'll go for the hard food by herself too, or at least ask us to get some of the canned stuff out. Neither situation gives us more than a couple mouthfulls though. Now that he's home (retired) I'm letting him handle that stuff and giving him suggestions as we go. I suppose if he really flubs, I'll get involved again. I'll mention the meds to him in a few minutes.

She is indeed finished her antibiotics, and has been for a couple of days. So far I haven't seen any appetite differences from when she was on them. Good idea though!

thanks for your help and support guys
post #10 of 10
From personal experience, I can tell you that a cat cannot go long (max a few days) without substantial nutrition. Their liver becomes affected, I forget what it is called, but once that happens, getting back to normal is extremely difficult. You have to get the cat to eat ASAP! Forget about why she is not eating for now, just get her to eat. You can work on the causes or not, but without nutrition she doesn't have a chance. When I had this problem I tried appetite stimulants, forced feeding, and finally the valium got her to eat. After a few days of that she ate on her own.
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