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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20856
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Cat is lethargic and occasionally spitting up mucous. Does

Customer Question

cat is lethargic and occasionally spitting up green mucous. Does not want to be touched or bothered.
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 with your wee one today.

How long has she had these signs? Did either the kitten or other cat have signs of this nature?

Is Ginger coughing up the mucous or vomiting?

Is she eating and drinking? Can she keep water down?

Any changes to her breathing? Does she sound congested?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, does she have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could she have eaten something she should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Has she had any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No one had her symptoms. The kitten is on an antibiotic for sinus infection. Jake, the cat who passed had complications from diabetes. There are no changes in her breathing. She doesn't seem to have any tenderness or tensing with her belly. I have plants but they are closed up in my bathroom. Not sure if she has diarrhea as we have 5 cats although someone does just not sure which one. We are very careful as far cat proofing our home but accidents could happen. No tinsel, artificial tree, no ribbon, careful with foods. They all eat Science Diet cat food.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

My apologies that I didn’t catch your reply before I had to be away to see one of my own patients.

In any case, I would first note that her signs aren’t likely directly linked to the other kitties. Still, the stress of so much life change relative to the other cats could certainly raise her stress hormones, cause immune dampening and thus given an infectious agent (bacteria, virus, etc) a foot hold to cause her GI upset. Of course, we could also see this if she has pancreatitis, a general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of something harmful items (which sounds thankfully less likely here).

With all this in mind, if she is vomiting (and not showing respiratory signs like the kitten), then we can try some home supportive care to see if we can settle her stomach. To start, if she hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest her stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating her with an antacid. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use include:

*Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid)
*Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet)
Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention. As well, if you try this and find her nausea too severe to keep it down, then that is usually a red flag that we need her vet to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication.

Once that has had time to absorb and she is steadier on her stomach, you can consider starting her on a light/easily digestible diet. Start with a small volume (a spoonful). Examples you can use are cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. When you offer that spoonful, give her 30 minutes to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As her stomach stabilizes, you can offer more. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and help if she is the one with diarrhea too. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until her signs are settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet.

Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check this and ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure her eyes are not looking sunken and that she doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue for her (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the GI upset we are seeing and all the issues with the other cats likely have taken a toll on her immune system. Therefore, in her case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-vomiting medication +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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