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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7524
Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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My cat got outside last night and finally came in this

Customer Question

My cat got outside last night and finally came in this morning....he seems lethargic and kind of contorting his body to get something out of his throat....nothing is coming out like normal. He did get a little saliva out that had some pinkness to it. Not sure how to help him. He won't drink any water and just is acting off from his normal
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your boy Striker. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next 5 - 10 minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thank you for your patience. There are a number of things that could be going on here with your boy, and given the symptoms of the pink tinged saliva and discomfort in his mouth/throat, it is very likely that there is an oral issue here. This could include anything from a broken tooth (or teeth), a foreign body stuck in his mouth or throat, a wound inside his mouth (from licking or eating something sharp), or long-standing bad dental disease that is becoming more noticeable now.

The main concern here is that Striker seems quite lethargic. It is unlikely he is going to want to eat or drink if he has oral pain, and that could quickly become an issue as he could become badly dehydrated if he doesn't drink. Continue to try and encourage him to drink water now if you can. If he won't even attempt to lap at it, then you really are best to get him seen by your local vet now. Striker will need a full oral exam, and while it is possible your vet could do this, it is quite likely Striker will need to have an anesthetic to allow a full physical exam.

If you can get Striker seen right away - that would be the best way forward here. The symptoms you have outlined definitely warrant a full vet check up and investigations today. If you can't get Striker seen anytime soon, then for now, please keep an eye your boy's mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate today as follows (do be careful that your boy doesn't try to bite you):

Mucus membranes - flip his lip and look at the color of his gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get him to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on his gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if he is continuously panting or open mouth breathing at all tonight, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

Continue to try and encourage Striker to drink now if you can. If you have any soft/moist food, you can also try him with this. If Striker seems particularly lethargic now, won't drink, seems to be in pain and/or has active bleeding from his mouth, please get him seen right now.

I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.

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