How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Doc Sara Your Own Question
Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
Doc Sara is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 10 year old female tabby has been in excellent health. We

Customer Question

My 10 year old female tabby has been in excellent health. We have 3 cats all indoor outdoor though they stay on the porch and the front and side yards. She was fine Thurs night, eating, drinking, steady urine stream. Friday she started walking around the house crying and since Friday afternoon has been in a ball under the bed completely lethargic. Semi pink gums, bladder seems empty, no lacerations punctures or abcesses. Will not drink water or eat at all now and seems miserable.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you guys answer by messaging online or only via email?
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi I'm Dr. Sara - your answer will appear right here as soon as I've finished typing :) Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Good evening - I'm sorry to hear that Gimli isn't feeling well. I know that it can be frustrating and a bit scary when our pets are sick.

Unfortunately the symptoms that you are describing are very vague and definitely not specific for any one disease in particular. I'm glad to see that her gums are pink and that you don't note any wounds on her, but there is still a very long list of potential problems that could be going on. A rectal temperature would definitely be helpful - if I see fevers in cats who spend time outdoors, bite wounds/abscesses pop to the top of my list. Cat teeth are so small that they can leave such tiny marks that they heal over quickly, leaving the bacteria deep inside to fester and not really become obvious until days later.

Sometimes with kitties with such vague symptoms, I do need to run some blood work and/or take some X-rays to get to the root of the issue. If she's not perking up, I'd definitely call your vet as soon as you're able to get her seen. There's just so many different things that could be going on, I can't tell in this venue.

Please let me know if I can answer any other questions :)

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok no problem... thank you for your time My only other question is how long is too long without water for her...that's my biggest concern.
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Oh i do see a phone call request that I missed. I apologize that I'm not set up to speak on the phone (small children sleeping, could wake up at any moment, haha).

It's less about how long since drinking and more about current hydration status. One way to assess for dehydration is to check the moistness of the gums. Dry gums = dehydrated. Another is to check skin turgor - to do this, lift upwards on the skin over her shoulder blades. It should fall straight back down when you let go, indicating normal hydration. You can compare how her skin feels to how your other cats' skin feels. If the skin stays tented up, this indicates significant dehydration.

Hope that this helps :)

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
dry gums but the turgor is ok for now.. a little sticky but not overly high... I know if I can get her through tomorrow we'll be at the vet first thing Monday. I just don't want her to suffer overly. Do you suggest trying to force fluids ..small amounts via syringe? It sucks that tomorrow is Sunday and everything is closed! That is my biggest concern for sure. And never apologize for kids...mine are sleeping we both should be I'm sure. I"m really leaning toward something toxic or intestinal as her urine stream two days ago was very clear and strong..or even a spider or small snake..again I've seen no puncture wounds at all and she's not gimpy's tough..the small crying meows are indicating there anything that I could give her for that before we're seen?? I know that's a dumb question but I was a vet tech many years ago..cats are just much harder than dogs to diagnose sometimes!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I"ll make that my last ?.. I really appreciate your time!
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

No such thing as dumb questions! I think I say that about 10 times a day at work, haha.

You certainly could try syringing a little water, pedialyte, or even watered down canned food. My experience is that it's not going to make up for all of the deficit but if the kitty tolerates it without a fight it's unlikely to be harmful.

Unfortunately the pain issue is more complex. Cats are notoriously difficult to treat for pain, as they do not metabolize NSAIDs well - even small doses can be toxic. Because of this, I can't point you in the direction of any meds for pain. It's even difficult to pick meds off my own shelves at work.

Please let me know what the vet finds - I'm curious :)

And good night! I'm off to catch a few winks, but will be back online tomorrow :)

~Dr. Sara

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Doc Sara