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HELP!! sick senior cat

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
hi everybody. i'm totally new here but i don't know where else to turn. i have a cat (obviously) and he's been quite ill for the last week. He is about 11 years old (hard to say exactly as he is a rescue kitty). last week friday he started throwing up. it was mostly white foam (from an empty stomach, i assume). he wouldn't sleep with me at night and for the next day or so he wouldn't even come out from under the bed. now he's coming out more, but he isn't acting his normal self. he's been throwing up a couple of times a day ever sense. there up until the last 2 days it's been clear (i assume just water) or foamy. now it's yellow again. he's eaten some but sunday i put his daily meal in his bowl and it's still not gone yet.

i took him to the vet and they gave him fluids and run a blood pannel. the liver enzymes were a little higher than the normal range and the glucose was at the high end of the normal range but the vet didn't really do anything. he did give an antibiotic shot, even though his blood pannel didn't show any signs of infection.

to be quite honest. i don't know what it could be. is he just old and preparing to die? or is there something wrong with him that i can fix and he'll live happy for a while longer? i'm preparing myself for the worst but i don't want to give up hope on him.

any ideas? thoughts? experiences?
post #2 of 24
11 is a senior, but not old.

In your shoes, I would definitely seek out a second vet for another opinion.
Possibly going so far as to have x-rays done to check for blockage, like a hairball, etc.
post #3 of 24
Absolutely - call your Vet and tell him what has been going on!!!
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
oh. i forgot to mention that....he threw up 2 hairballs at the beginings...no history of eating things (just tearing up paper).

if he has a hairball or something, wouldn't he have thrown it up by now?
post #5 of 24
Not if it is lodged in the stomach or intestines.
This really does sound like a blockage to me, he needs to be re-evaluated ASAP.
post #6 of 24
Hi! I'm Coco Poco, BTW! Glad you found the site.

I am going to second the opinion that you see another vet. I finally took Twitch to another vet after a very long time & the new vet probalby saved her life. Right now, I bet you wish Caramel(not Buck ) could tell you what's wrong. Hope somebody on here can help more!
post #7 of 24
Is she still puking now? Maybe she chewed on a plant you have? Has she eaten since she's been home from the vet?

My cat had the same symptoms but once she was on the IV for a while, she came home and was perfectly fine.
post #8 of 24
Time to at least call a er vet .... I would if possible take kitty in...
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
hi coco! (or not so coco)

i guess i'd be much more agreeable to think that it was a blockage of some sort if he had a history of eating things or if the bloodwork didn't show that he had elevated liver enzymes. i was leaning more towards liver problems. but i just don't know. i know a heck of a lot more about dogs than i do cats and i'm completely at a loss.
post #10 of 24
Your cat doesn't have to have a history of eating things.
Even though he brought up some hairballs, there could still be one causing blockage.
When cats go without eating they can quickly develop Hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease).

Cats do not metabolize body fat like dogs do when they go without food.
This cat really needs to see a vet.
post #11 of 24
I think you should call your vet and tell him your cat isn't getting better, maybe he should have more tests or refer you to a specialist (gastrointestinal?). My cat is prone to liver infections and my vet said she was most likely born with it. Her liver levels were very high, (she had an infection and I had to pill her the first time and the second I had to give her liquid antibiotics, but since your cat didn't have high liver levels, the liver may not be the reason. She had a liver infection and the antibiotics cleared it up. He told me that just the stress of going to the vet and getting blood drawn could make the liver levels alittle higher than normal, so it may be something else. My cat also threw up a few times and drank alot of water, but your cat's condition sounds different from mine, and worse.

It seems when vets don't know the cause, they try one thing first, and if that doesn't work, they try something else. I don't know what an antibiotic shot does, how strong it is and how long it lasts. It really sounds like more tests are needed, and if you don't have confidence in your vet, you need to go for a second opinion quickly. And it's true that they can get very sick if they don't eat after a short time. I hope a vet can find out what's wrong with your cat soon, I know how awful you must feel.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
ok. so. i'm a little behind...but i did take him to another vet. i did not like the way i was treated at the plast place and if you can't explain to me what you're doing and why....you're done....

ok. so i went to one that was recomended a couple times over and spent nearly 3 hours there. i took all my bloodwork and paperwork and everything....they kinda looked funny when they found out what the first vet wanted me to give him. lol. made me feel a heck of a lot better about it! (and them).

we got some x-rays done and there were 2...somethings.....somehwere....lol. MIGHT be in his GI track. MIGHT not. the xrays were not conclusive. she had the other vet at the practice look too. they couldn't say with any certainty...but it seems to support the symtoms...so i'm going with it.

i was so happy though...she gave me options the whole way....TALKED WITH ME. not to me. or lecture me. it was pretty amazing! so, if we assume that the things in the xrays are actually in the gi tract, there are 2 options...surgery or getting him to pass it himself. i can't do surgery. so we're trying to get him to pass it....3cc's of hairball stuff 3x a day and 5 cc's of....ohhh...i don't have the thing with me right now...but it's something that's given to people with ulcers...it coats the insides...she described it as an internal band-aid.

i'm very concerned about fatty liver at this point....we're coming up to 2 weeks on no food intake of any quantity. and he's VERY food motivated.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat'sCat


.3cc's of hairball stuff 3x a day and 5 cc's of....ohhh...i don't have the thing with me right now...but it's something that's given to people with ulcers...it coats the insides...she described it as an internal band-aid.
I would bet it is carafate. Have they suggested assist feeding? You are right to be worried about the lack of food intake for this length of time.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
yes. i just got home and it is carafate....

assist feeding? do you mean force feeding him aka "assisting" him in eating? i did talk to the vet about that and she said that ultimately it wouldn't help. that he would need to get more nutrients than his blockage would allow. basically...SOME nutrients would be absorbed in the stomach but not enough to prevent fatty liver.

not to mention the fact that he started throwing up again.........ughhhh........

off to look into fatty liver and if carafate and the hairball stuff could be making him puke
post #15 of 24
[quote=Kat'sCat]yes. i just got home and it is carafate....

assist feeding? do you mean force feeding him aka "assisting" him in eating? i did talk to the vet about that and she said that ultimately it wouldn't help. that he would need to get more nutrients than his blockage would allow. basically...SOME nutrients would be absorbed in the stomach but not enough to prevent fatty liver.

Force feeding is a misnomer - you can't "force" a cat to eat, but you can help him eat, thus, assist feeding. A great source of information on assist-feeding is at www.assistfeed.com.

Your cat *must* get nutrients somehow, so I'm not sure what your vet expects you to do if she says assist feeding won't help. Isn't getting *some*nutrients into your cat better than no nutrients at all?
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTLynn
Your cat *must* get nutrients somehow, so I'm not sure what your vet expects you to do if she says assist feeding won't help. Isn't getting *some*nutrients into your cat better than no nutrients at all?
Exactly, this doesn't make a lot of sense to me...the cat can not live off what fat it has, that is the whole problem with cats and rapid weight loss. There is an excellent article on this site, under health articles, on hepatic lipidosis, I hope you'll read it over.

By assist-feeding, it can mean using an oral syringe, feeding tube or feeding moist food by hand. If your vet feels the blockage precludes volume, how about asking for a high calorie paste or liquid that would help get some nutrition in and forestall developement of HL.
post #17 of 24
I hope things get better. My boy is 14 and I'm dealing with other issues right now with him - the aging process - and I just wanted to send a hug and a prayer that your guy will only get better with all the love and care you have shown for his welfare!
post #18 of 24
I'm really glad you were able to find another vet. There is one at my practice who is so abrupt and uninterested in the animals that i just refuse to see him now. Fortunately the head vet is a lovely woman who knows exactly what to say, explains everything at length and doesn't object to sobbing women in her surgery lol. Most importantly she fusses over and loves every animal she sees which made me feel a lot happier about leaving my Tab with her.
I have my fingers crossed for you. Let us know how you get on.
post #19 of 24
Glad to hear from you! I was wondering when it was polite to PM you to find out how things went. As dumb as this sounds, I would just syringe feed him. Even if it doesn't help a whole lot, at least it is something. Twitch spent a lot of time where she would only lick up gravy off canned food...so I bought tons of Nutro pouches & fed her the gravy only. At least it is something.
post #20 of 24
I send good wishes. Lots of people here know a ton of stuff.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
no change here. it's about time to give him his meds again though. he hasn't eaten anything and is still throwing up a couple times a day. i'm calling the vet tomorrow and am planning on getting an xray done to see if anything has moved. if not, he's going to be PTS. if so.....and he's not showing severe signs of fatty liver, i'll continue to try to get him to pass it. thanks for all the advice and support!

and don't worry about polite with me. lol.
post #22 of 24
Kat'sCat-

I'm sorry your little guy isn't doing any better. I feel so bad for him - it's miserable for a cat to be vomiting - they lose a lot of precious fluid which only makes them feel worse. If he isn't drinking on his own, use a syringe to give him water (slowly down the side of his mouth, not straight down the throat) to keep him hydrated. I worry too about how long it's been since he's eaten.

You'd mentioned in one of your first posts that you can't do surgery. I hope you don't mind me asking, but why not? If it's a financial concern, speak with the vet about it, you may be able to work something out. Some vets will let you do a payment plan. It's certainly worth a try.

I'd hate to see him PTS for something like an impacted hair ball, especially since he's been otherwise healthy and is only 11. An ultrasound may give a clearer picture of what's wrong than an X-ray, but it's an expensive test, much more than an X-ray. You might as well put the money toward surgery if an X-ray shows the "2 somethings" are in the same place.

I'm hoping for the best for your kitty.
post #23 of 24
I am so sorry you are dealing with this! I hope your kitty's blockage is moving. I think he should be fed little bits, too. Even if he pukes them up, he may get some benefit.

I can see hesitating about the surgery...since you don't know what is causing the blockage. I hope that surgery isn't necessary!
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
my decision was against surgery becasue (in no particular order) 1. his age 2. the bodies were not conclusively the problem (they might not have even been in his gi tract 3. the money. 800 bucks. 4. at this point, the likelyhood that he'd go into fatty liver anyways. it was not a decision i took lightly....and if i had a lot of money kicking around, the dicision MIGHT have been different. but honestly...i'm not sure that it would have been.

it was not a hairball....the xrays showed that it was dense...it was almost as dense as bone. (perhaps as dense as non-weight bearing ones).

but it's all kinda moot now. i took him back to the vet because he's been getting worse. i did not come home with him.

thank you all for your support and your advise. i'm sorry that i'm a hit and runner...i do a few dog boards and it seems like we always get a bunch of people that post once and then disappear....anyways.....thank you again.
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