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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21416
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat is very lethargic, is not eating much but is still using

Customer Question

My cat is very lethargic, is not eating much but is still using the litter box
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We just got her a few weeks ago and she is still adjusting.
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 wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me: How long has she had these signs?Any retching, gagging, lip licking or vomiting?Any coughing, sneezing, wheezing or eye/nose discharge?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.
Thank you for your response. She's had the signs the past couple days. We kind of spoiled her because we got her From the humane society and was kind of shy at first. She retches every now and again and we think she has hairballs although she doesn't clean herself as much as other long haired cats do but we are planning getting her hairball medicine today. No coughing or sneezing or discharge. Her gums are pink and we think they were moist. We don't notice any discomfort when we touch her belly, but we did notice that she isn't as open to belly rubs as she was when we first got her - she used to roll and loved belly rubs now she kind of just lets us do it. There isn't anything she could have eaten that she shouldn't have. She hasn't had any diarrhea. Thanks again for your help
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** isn't an uncommon situation for kitties that have recently rehomed. This is because the stress of so much life change can cause dampening of the immune system allowing brewing infectious agents to gain a foot hold and cause bother. And often it will happen in the first few weeks of their coming home Considering this and her retching, we'd be most wary of a low grade GI infection or possible throat inflammation (ie bacterial or viral tracheitis). And if she suddenly doesn't want her belly rubbed, then that could be a clue that it is her stomach that is unsettled and putting her off food. With this all in mind, as long as she can keep water down, 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), or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet). As well, we could use a small dose of Milk of Magnesia (0.25tsp every 8 hours) just as it is a liquid and would coat her throat and stomach. 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. Once that has had time to absorb we can plan to tempt her with a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use boiled chicken, boiled white fish, 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. 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. 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 for our kitties, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check this and ensure she’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, Lilith's signs are most suspicious of a low grade GI infection. Therefore, in her case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours (since cats are not meant to be off food for long); 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, gastroprotectants to coat the stomach and throat +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself. Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please make sure to rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Chelsea,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.