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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16234
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Mr fluffy has been lethargic, not eating or drinking

Customer Question

Mr fluffy has been lethargic, not eating or drinking for 24 hrs. Has long hair and has been vomiting hair balls. Today he just vomited a greenish slimy liquid. He is an indoor cat, not exposed to any cleaning products. He may have eaten a lizard that got into the lanai.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
How long ago was that last vomit?
Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?
If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?
Besides the lizard, any chance he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, plants, etc)?
Has he had any diarrhea?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Last vomit about 90 min ago
I picked him up and he didn't seem to wince
He is black so his gums are not really pink or white
I felt his gums and they are more moist than sticky
I checked his box and he did poop and urinate at some point between yesterday and today
We have no indoor plants and no bones, sticks, etc
Poop was firm no diRrhea
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** am glad to hear that Mr fluffy doesn't have a sore belly and that he isn't suffering with lower GI signs as well as upper. Furthermore, I am glad to see that he has had no access to toxins, plants, or anything we'd have to worry about causing a blockage.
Now as I am sure you can appreciate, when kitties start vomiting there can be a number of culprits. This includes bacterial infection, viruses, parasites, pancreatitis, dietary indiscretion, sensitive stomachs, toxins and foreign bodies. Since we can rule out toxins and foreign bodies, then we can consider the remaining differentials for his signs. As well, we can start some supportive care to see if we can settle his stomach.
Now it will be nausea that has triggered his vomiting and caused him to refuse favorite foods and water. Therefore, we need to address that for him to see if we can settle all those signs. Now if it has only been an hour and a half since his last vomit, we may need to first rest his stomach for a few hours. Otherwise, if we start trying to treat too soon, we can actually see them vomit despite our intervention. Therefore, let him have access to water, but not huge volumes (since overdoing it with the water can cause vomiting as well) for the next few hours.
If he doesn't have any more vomiting and appears a bit more settled, then we can try to address the nausea triggering his stomach upset. To do so, you can consider treating him with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the ones I tend to recommend are:
* Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine-pepcid/page1.aspx#.VGJLgsn9XPg) or
* Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/ranitidine-hcl-zantac/page1.aspx)
* Tagamet (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet)
These are usually given 20 minutes before food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if he has a pre-existing condition or is on any medications.
Once that is on board, you can consider tempting him with a small volume (a tablespoon worth to start) of 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 in cases of gastroenteritis, notable Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity. Now if he can keep the small amount, he can have a bit more after 30 minutes. And as he keeps it down, he can have a bit more. The aim of light diets is that they are easier on the stomach and therefore not as likely to cause vomiting. These diets can be fed until his signs settle and afterwards you can slowly wean him back to his usual diet.
As well, since he refused water, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To make sure he doesn’t become dehydrated, there are some signs that we can check at home. To see how to check hydration, I would advise you to watch this video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). They do use a large dog as an example (since its easier to see), but the tests/signs are just the same. As long as we are not seeing those dehydration signs, once his stomach is more settled with the antacid, you can try an encourage him to drink but 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.
In regards ***** ***** question about pushing fluids, this is not something we want to do with nauseous animals since it often just leads to more vomiting. Still, if he did settle, we could consider doing so if need be (though be aware that his daily fluid requirement is 48 ml per kilogram of his body weight per day).
Overall, Mr. Fluffy's signs do tell us that he has an underlying nausea triggering his vomiting and lack of appetite. Since he has not been vomiting profusely, we can consider initiating some supportive care at this stage. So, I would advise the above approach. Of course, if you do and don't see improvement over the next 24 hours or so, then we'd want to follow up with his vet. The vet will be able to assess his hydration, rule out fever, have a feel of his belly to make sure he hasn't eaten something he shouldn't have, rule out any brewing pancreatitis, and determine the underlying cause for his signs. As well, the vet will be able to cover him with antibiotics against bacterial gastroenteritis and anti-vomiting medications by injection to help settle his stomach and get him back on track as quick as possible.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Lynne,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.