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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21201
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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She laid in her bed for two days, now she's moving around

Customer Question

She laid in her bed for two days, now she's moving around but still won't eat
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the cat. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Roxy
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Roxy?
Customer: Lastnight when she jumped on the couch to lay beside me, she acted like it hurt to lay down. Then she curled up and when I got up she stayed there. Usually she jumps down.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How old is Roxy?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or vomiting?

Can she keep water down?

Any changes to her breathing (more than 30 breaths a minute)?

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

If you press on her belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

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

Any chance of a fall or injury?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She threw up we'd and coughed up a hair ball. She's been drinking water and using her litter box ( pooping) we don't have live plants in the house. No drooling, lip licking, gagging...just out of energy it seems. She's not walking funny as if she was hurting, just not my lovey cat. She is 7 years old and usually when I come home she's waiting for her treat, she won't touch them. Then she jumps up on the couch and head buts and wants her forehead kisses. Not in the last three days:(
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

Now I am quite worried about Roxy. When a cat goes off their food with lethargy/depression, it is a vague clinical signs that can occur with a range of issues. If we are able to remove oral differentials (since there has been no drooling or noted struggling to eat) then we can turn our attentions to the conditions that affect the body as a whole. This includes grumbling bacterial infection, viral disease, pancreatitis, cancer (ie lymphoma), metabolic conditions, organ disease (ie liver or kidney troubles) toxin and/or foreign material ingestion (the last two be less likely for Roxy).

To complicate matters, we get very concerned for cats who go off their food (so we want to get her eating as quickly as we can) because cats were not well designed for the anorexic lifestyle. When they are off their food, body fat is broken down and released into the blood stream, causing their liver distress (ie. hepatic lipidosis) that can make getting them better even more difficult for us.

Now if she is refusing even treats, then it her signs could include nausea despite not showing any vomiting (often nauseous cats go off their food rather then eat/vomit like a dog would). That said, this can be GI based but it can also be associated with systemic diseases that have an associated nausea. To rule out nausea as an anorexia differential, you can try her on antacid like 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). This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if she does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to easy her upset stomach.

As well, you will want to try and see if you can get her eating (as I am sure you have been). Favourite foods are allowed or you can tempt her with a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used here (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity.) If she refuses to eat and since she isn't vomiting now, we can offer or syringe feed watered down Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, canned kitten food, Catsure or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are critical care diets that are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise. And if we are worried about more hair obstructing gut you can also treat her with OTC cat hairball treatment.

On top off all of this, you do need to keep an eye on her hydration. To do this and make sure she is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether the pet has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). They use a big dog but it makes it easier to see and the principles are exactly the same) If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have your kitty seen by her vet before this gets out of control for her.

Overall, Roxy's signs are a worry. Her lapse in appetite is likely making her weak but it can cause liver issues if we do't get it under control as quick as we can. So, in this case, you can try but do not see improvement in 12-24 hours or she worsens (vomits, etc), then you do want to get your vet involved at that stage. They can assess her hydration, check her signs of any sinister lumps/bumps or internal issues. As well, you may consider having them check a blood sample to assess the state of her organs. They can also cover her with antibiotics, anti-nausea/vomiting medication by injection and even appetite stimulating drugs if necessary. Depending on the findings, the vet will be able advise you on what is likely our culprit and what can be done to help Roxy before she just fades away on us.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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