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Hi. Welcome to Just Answer. My name is***** and I've been a veterinarian for 15 years. Thank you for your concern for this girl that has led a little harder life than most. It is always makes me feel good when I see those individuals out there that want to help an animal that is not doing well. Thank you. I'll be honest and say that as far as the Benadryl making her sedated to be able to get her in a carrier is not that likely. My best advise for getting her into a carrier would actually be through using a live trap. I know this sounds drastic and all, but these can be used very safely, effectively and with absolutely minimal stress. A lot of times the local humane society or animal control can loan one out for people in the area to use. It can be set up with food to lure her in to then catch her to take the vet's office. I would strongly recommend this as again it is quick, easy and minimal stress. It also keeps you from inadvertently being scratched or bit. Once at the vet's office, they can sedate her effectively to check her over to see what can be done for her. I'll be honest and say that she may have something that is not treatable. Could she have cancer in the oral cavity that is at the root of all this? If that is the case, then they can help make a quality of life decision for her. Could she have a bad infection and ear mites that they can do some longer acting medication to take care of? That would be the best case scenario. I'm hoping for the best. Thank you for taking the time and effort to care for her. Please let me know what questions this has brought up by hitting reply.
Thank you for getting back to me. A veterinarian can prescribe an oral sedative like acepromazine to use in situations like this, but that is something that each veterinarian has to make the call on based upon what they are comfortable with. Technically they can't send it home unless a veterinary / client / patient relationship has been formed. It would technically be against their license to send something home without seeing the pet. I know the live traps can be something they learn about, but if the food in it is that tempting and they are that hungry… they usually work. Maybe getting her into something other than a carrier. A sturdy cardboard box by chance that can be secured shut? The problem with carriers is that they are small with openings into them and they can use their legs and such to make that near impossible. Can she be set down in a cardboard box?
The acepromazine isn't available over the counter. There just isn't anything that will be available that way to sedate her for transport. If you have a veterinarian that you've worked with before and have a good relationship with, sometimes they can "bend" the rules in a situation like this.
As far as orally, there isn't anything comparable to the Acepromazine that can be used. I know time is of the essence here, but more than likely what is going on with Bella isn't going to escalate quickly here in the next day or so. That would give you time to get ahold of your vet / the vet that you plan to take her too and see how they can help out. Cats metabolisms are very sensitive and there just isn't anything else that is available for an owner to give at home in a situation like this. I wish I could say something else, but there isn't.
I absolutely understand your compassion and your concern for her. I don't know if you realize this, but I most likely am not in your immediate area. I'm in the midwest. I'm not sure if this was something you thought I was closer in location to you. I'm hoping that here soon this little one is going to be feeling better. Do you have a local vet you can bring her too?