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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8940
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Female cat more than 10 years old, She only had a UTI 1 and

Customer Question

Female cat more than 10 years old, She only had a UTI 1 and a half years ago. She's been lethargic almost all day.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 5 months ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb. I recently came online and see that your question about Flipa hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can. I'm sorry for this concern for Flipa. I suppose a uti might cause her to feel lethargic although it's not a symptom that I typically associate with this problem.There are, however, several other different explanations for her behavior; lethargy in a cat this age isn't specific to one particular condition.1. She could be running a fever. If you have a rectal thermometer, you could take her temperature although this is often very hard to do in a cat. Normal is between 100 and 102.5.Of course, then we'd have to wonder why the temperature is elevated. Explanations for this could be a viral or bacterial infection or auto-immune disease or even cancer, I'm sad to say. There is a condition in cats that is called Fever of Unknown Origin which is exactly what it sounds like: we can't find an explanation for the elevated temperature. Treatment is primarily supportive which consists of fluids and drugs to reduce the fever. Most cats recover very quickly once treatment is started. 2. Pancreatitis can happen very suddenly and the patient becomes lethargic; sometimes their appetite's will be off as well. We don't have a good explanation for why this condition develops either.We do have testing for pancreatitis although I've come to doubt its reliability in some cases; treatment consists of fluids and pain medication (we believe the pain is why they behave as they do). 3. Other systemic diseases such as kidney disease, liver disease, anemia, problems with the heart, etc. would all have to be included on the list given her age. In most cases, blood work will help to determine if one of these problems exist although an ultrasound is usually needed to diagnose cardiac conditions.You can check the color of her gums which if they're on the whitish side might indicate anemia (gums should be pale pink). 4. Some cats will just have "off" days and will then return to normal within 2-3 days at most. In most cases, we're none the wiser as to why they were 'off' in the first place.It’s not considered advisable or safe to give cats any over the counter drugs since cats are so sensitive to many of them and they could cause more harm; therefore, I wouldn't feel comfortable suggesting that you give her any otc medication. Maintaining hydration with water or Pedialyte is important, though, especially if there’s a fever. You can dribble this into the side of the mouth with an eye dropper or syringe every several hours. If she is still drinking, you can mix canned food with a lot of water or tuna juice and see if you can get her to "drink" her meals. If she continues to be lethargic and/or other symptoms develop, then a vet visit may be prudent.I hope this helps although, again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 5 months ago.
Hi Brenda,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Deb
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Dear Dr. Deb,
I contacted you that night because I had to leave the house for a work trip early on the next morning.
I'll be finished with my work seminar on Monday afternoon.
I left a friend to take care of my cat and she'll tell me if anything is wrong. (I hope)
Unfortunatelly I couldn't cancel this trip or I would get in big trouble with my boss.
Let me know what do you need to know so when I arrive home I can check on the cat and answer you.
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 5 months ago.
Brenda:Unfortuantely, I didn't see any response from you about Flipa:( My apologies if there were site issues which might have prevented your response back from posting for some reason. As I understand it, you're still out of town and not back until Monday?What has your friend said about how she's behaving while you're gone?Is she still lethargic? Deb

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