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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20618
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have a 14 year old cat that was just diagnosed with a

Customer Question

I have a 14 year old cat that was just diagnosed with a thyroid issue and not on medicine. Looking at iodine radiation or maybe iodine enriched foods. Last two days he has not been eating or drinking much. When I finally got him to eat, he started opening his mouth repeatedly. Looks like yawning, that went on for ten minutes. Please help.
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 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 situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

What type of food are you feeding?

Any hissing or growling at his food?

Does he seem to want to eat but then turn away?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking or vomiting?

Any drooling, pawing at his mouth or making grinding sounds with his teeth?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He eats Blue Buffalo grain free and fancy feast or canned tuna chicken whatever I can get him to eat. No teeth grinding or drooling. He wants to eat and eventually when hungry enough he did. Right after he started opening and closing his mouth as if he were yawning. I felt under his chin and it felt like a convulsion. He took a break and ate some more and gagged. He git upset and went and hid.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does not growl at food or hiss. Yesterday he was very lathargic and did not respond to me calling him when I was right next to him, he always responds. Today normal activity.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now the reason for my questions is because sudden anorexia in a cat that wants to eat and is also "yawning" is actually something we see with cats that have oral discomfort. The most common reason will be dental disease or a rotten tooth. Other potential cause that we'd also have to consider are oral ulcers (if he has any kidney issues or is a herpes virus carrier) and also growths/masses in the mouth (we can even see some cancers appear under the tongue). And just to note if he is gagging, then we'd also have to consider a possible underlying nausea here.

Now in regards ***** ***** you are right to tempt him with anything he will have. Further to what you have offered, I would note that I find they tend to be more amenable to pate style foods when their mouths are uncomfortable. As well, it can be useful to use calorically dense diets to get more nutrition in with every bite we give. Examples of these kinds of diets would be Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or even kitten wet food (since it has more fat/calories/protein). And these can all be watered down to make an easy to lap gruel or even syringe feed. Finally, in the same vein as that, there are also liquid diets like Catsure + Clinicare that could also be of use here too.

Finally, if you did think he was nauseous with this, you could potentially cover that base by treatment with an antacid. Common ones we use in cats include Pepcid (MoreInfo/Dose @ and
Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ So, as long as he is on no other medications that you didn't mention, these could be tried to rule out nausea and see if we can get him eating.

Overall, Marvin's signs are highly suspicious of oral discomfort but we cannot fully rule out nausea. Therefore, I would suggest the above supportive care for him. But further to this, we may need the local vet to have a check of his mouth to assess it for painful rotten teeth or those other concerns. Depending on their findings, they can get him onto some cat safe pain relief +/- address the underlying cause to get him more comfortable and back to eating properly here.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you I will schedule an appnt
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

I do think that is ideal in this case, since we don't want him losing weight or causing himself other issues with this.

Best wishes for Marvin,

Dr. B.