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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17135
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat is lethargic and vomiting foam

Customer Question

my cat is lethargic and vomiting foam
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 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.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

How long has she been vomiting?

Can she keep water down?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly,does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could she have eaten something she should not have (ie bones, string, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Has she had any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just started yesterday afternoon. Don't know how her night went. She's 14 and has been very strong and active. It's possible she got into something in the yard. She only threw up slipperyi liquid and foam. I'll just see how she does this morning and check the things you have suggested. Thank you
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

If you can check those, that would be grand, since changes in those parameters can mean urgent issues for our kitties.

Otherwise, based on her signs we do have a few concerns. Now when older kitties start vomiting there can be a number of culprits causing this. This includes bacterial infection, viruses, parasites, metabolic diseases, organ troubles, pancreatitis, cancer, foreign bodies, and toxins (hopefully these last two will be less likely for a kitty her age).

Now as long as her ingesting something harmful is unlikely, then we can try to settle her stomach at home. First thing, if she is actively vomiting, I would rest her tummy for a wee while (6-8 hours) and give it a chance to settle. Let her have access to water, but not huge volumes since overdoing it with the water can cause vomiting as well.

Once she is a bit more settled, you can try her 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/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid)
*Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac)

* Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet)
We tend to give these 30 minutes before offering food to give it time to be absorbed.

If the vomiting does subside by that point, then tempt her 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(ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). Now if she can keep the small amount, she can have a bit more after 30 minutes. And as she keeps it down, she can have a bit more and so on. The aim of these light diets is that they are easy on the compromised GI and tend to be better tolerated.

As well, do keep an eye on her water intake as profuse vomiting can quickly dehydrate a cat (and dehydration will make them feel worse and complicate their situation). Therefore, you do want to keep an eye on her hydration status. To check this and make sure she is not 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 she 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 that would be a red flag to have her seen urgently by the vet before this gets any further out of control.

As long as she isn't showing signs of dehydration and she can keep water down, then you can try and make sure she stays hydrated. To do this, you can try and encourage her to drink but offering fresh water or even low-sodium chicken broth. But since she is vomiting, don't be tempted to try giving fluids via syringe since we don't want to cause further vomiting.

Overall, we do have some serious concerns for Lulu's signs. Since she is older, we do want to check those other signs I asked about but we also need to tread with care. Therefore, I would advise the above but if she doesn't settle within 24 hours, then it'd be ideal to have a check with her vet. They can just rule out infection, sinister lumps or bumps, or even check bloods to make sure her organs are working as they should. Depending on their findings, they can advise you of the cause and start her on injectable treatment to get her settled and feeling like herself.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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