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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16296
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 19 year old cat won't eat dry food or wet food .

Customer Question

My 19 year old cat won't eat dry food or wet food for weeks. She is so skinny.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'm sorry to hear that your girl Minina isn't feeling well and is refusing to eat dry or canned cat food.What has she been eating? Is she vomiting?How have her stools been?Is she drinking normally or has that increased or decreased?Lack of an appetite can be related to eating foreign material (which could cause a full or partial gastrointestinal obstruction), chronic pancreatitis, a dietary allergy, toxin exposure, a viral or bacterial infection, inflammatory bowel disease, heartworm disease, hyperthyroidism (a tumor of the thyroid gland) internal organ failure, or even infiltrative cancers such as lymphoma.Because she hasn't eaten normally in several weeks and she has lost a tremendous amount of weight I am very concerned about her. If she isn't drinking well either she will quickly become dehydrated, and as her liver breaks down fats for energy to live she may develop a type of liver disease called hepatic lipidosis. This occurs when the liver is overwhelmed by fat metabolism in attempt to burn calories to live such that the liver cannot perform other vital functions. This alone can become deadly for her.Ideally she would see a veterinarian today. Simple stomach upset should pass within 24 to 48 hours.They could examine her, run blood tests and possibly check radiographs and/or an ultrasound to evaluate her and know best how to treat her.In the meantime they can administer injectable anti-nausea drugs and fluids to rehydrate her.If you cannot have her seen for whatever reason today there are some things you can try at home.At home to try and settle her stomach and hopefully get her eating you can give either:1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hoursOR2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 24 hoursThese are acid reducers and may help her feel less nauseous so that she will eat and hopefully not vomit. They are quite safe and can be used long term if necessary.You can use a medicine syringe to try and force water into her orally.A couple of hours after giving the acid reducer I recommend offering warmed meat baby foods or a bland diet of 2/3 boiled minced white skinless chicken and 1/3 boiled white rice mixed with some low salt chicken broth to make it more palatable and easy to lap up and swallow.If she continues to not eat she should see her veterinarian for an examination, diagnostics and intravenous fluids and supportive care.Please let me know if you have any further questions.