Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
First, I have to say that I am quite concerned about Brewski and it would be best to seek a alternative local vet that has time and is open on the weekend to help him. Because the longer he is feeling poorly and off his food
, the more risk of complications like dehydration and fatty liver syndrome that could make getting him better a real struggle.
Now, as I am sure you can appreciate, lethargy and a poor appetite are vague clinical signs that could be caused by a range of issues. That means we have to consider issues like grumbling bacterial infection, viral disease, dental or oral pain, pancreatitis, metabolic conditions (ie hyperthyroidism
), cancer (a concern at his age), organ disease (ie liver or kidney
troubles) toxin and/or foreign material ingestion. Hopefully, at lease the last 2 are less likely at his age.
Now if Brewski just won't eat, then I'd be concerned that that poor appetite is secondary to nausea. To rule out nausea as an anorexia differential, you can try him on antacid therapy. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are :
* Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine-pepcid/page1.aspx#.VGJLgsn9XPg)
* Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/ranitidine-hcl-zantac/page1.aspx)
This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if he does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease his upset stomach.
Once that is on board, we need to keep him eating. Favourite foods are allowed or you can tempt with a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used here (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity.)
Further to this, if tempting doesn’t work, then we do have to consider initiating syringe feeds to get food in. In that case, we do often use Hill's A/D or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. Still, if you have a liquid food on hand, then you use this for syringe feeding. This way it would a means of getting food, staving off hepatic lipidosis (a concern for cats with anorexia since it will make them even more unwell), and keeping him going until he can get to his vet on Monday or another one sooner.
On top off all of this, you do need to keep an eye on his water intake and hydration. Since you noted that he may not be drinking well, then we do want to check his hydration at this point. To check his hydration and make sure that he isn’t becoming dehydrated, there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether he has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). They use a big dog but it makes it easier to see and the principles are exactly the same) If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have your kitty seen by that ER vet before this gets out of control.
In regards ***** ***** you can do to help stave off dehydration at home (though do note that if he is already then he will likely need more the oral rehydration), encourage him to drink by offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. As well, wet foods (as mentioned above) are 35% water, so getting him to eat will help us deal with water intake as well. If he isn't amenable to drinking, you may wish to offer unflavored pedialyte via syringe feeding. While we cannot do this if they are vomiting, it may be an option for this situation if he has had no more vomiting. A typical maintenance rate for hydration in an animal 48mls per kilogram of his body weight a day. If you do give syringe pedialyte, this should obviously be divided up into multiple offerings through the day rather then all at once. This value will give you the total he needs for the day and is a good starting point to give you an idea of his daily requirement. If he does vomit if you give pedialyte, I would discontinue this as a therapy. (since we don’t want vomiting because of our intervention).
Overall, when an elderly cat is going off food and hiding away (a sign that he feels very poorly with this), it can mean a wide range of underlying issues. Therefore, at this stage, we'd want to tread carefully and start the above supportive care. If you do but do not see improvement within a few hours or he worsens (vomits, etc), then you do want to get another vet involved at that stage. They can assess hydration, check for signs of any sinister lumps/bumps or internal issues. As well, you may consider having them check a blood sample to assess the state of his organs. They can also cover him with antibiotics, anti-nausea/vomiting medication by injection and even appetite stimulating drugs if necessary. Depending on the findings, the vet will be able advise you on what is likely our culprit and what can be done to help your wee one before Brewski just fades away on us.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )