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My cat threw up a large amount of mostly digested food about…

My cat threw up a...
My cat threw up a large amount of mostly digested food about 30 minutes ago and is now very unsteady on her feet. Seems like she's "drunk" and is having depth perception issues. She is approx. 9 years old and I found her as a stray in the winter of 2009. She is a strictly an indoor cat. There are no prescription or illegal drugs in the house.
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Answered in 26 minutes by:
8/25/2017
Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,967
Experience: Veterinarian - BVSc
Verified

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your girl Gracie who has been vomiting and unwell tonight. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next few minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

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Hi again,

Thank you for your patience. There are a number of things that could be going on here with Gracie this evening to cause this vomiting and the change in behavior, and we need to consider anything from an infectious gastroenteritis, to a toxicity (hopefully there isn't anything your girl could have gotten into), to intestinal worms or even a foreign body obstruction. Whatever the case here with Gracie, you will definitely need to continue to keep a close eye on your girl, and if this vomiting and disorientated behavior continues, then you will need to get her seen by your local ER vet tonight.

For now, make sure Gracie has plenty of fresh water available and encourage her to drink. The biggest concern right now is that she could become dehydrated. If she won't drink or can't keep water down, then you are best to get her seen by your local ER vet tonight where they can start her on some intravenous (IV) fluids. You can with hold her food until the morning now, and from then you can start her on a bland diet of cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast and boiled white rice. Don't worry about getting her to eat tonight, but definitely encourage her to drink now and over night. If she isn't interested in drinking, then you could try making her up a fresh chicken broth. For this, just boil up some fresh chicken until cooked, scoop off the solids, allow the liquid to cool, then feed her this luke-warm broth.

Over the next couple of hours, please keep an eye on her mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate tonight as follows (do be careful that your girl doesn't try to bite you):

Mucus membranes - flip her lip and look at the color of her gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get her 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 her 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 she seems to be panting or breathing rapidly throughout the night, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

Best of luck with Gracie and hopefully these symptoms settle in the next few hours. As above, if she can't keep water down, or if any of the parameters above don't seem right, then definitely play it safe and get her seen tonight. Likewise, if she is continuing to stumble around and still seems drunk in a half hour, you really are best to play it safe and get her seen straight away. 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.

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Hopefully that message came through? Let me know if you have any further questions?

Dr E

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Apparently the door to the room she was in did not completely close and now she is nowhere to be found! I am extremely upset and panicked. I have looked everywhere a cat could fit. No outside doors have been opened. She has to be here but has gone into hiding. I have retraced my steps three times. I don't know what to do. I'm afraid she has crawled somewhere to die. When I checked her the last time, she seemed a little less wobbly but still disoriented. Her breathing was a little rapid but calmed when I petted her. I checked her gum color (but not by pressing -- didn't know that then) 30-45 minutes ago and they seemed normal. I know she needs to go to urgent care (if I find her) but I cannot afford the higher prices they charge. I don't know what to do.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I can't afford any more than the $22, so I can't really call.

No problem - we can chat here. Oh dear! Keep on looking for her, keep calling her name and shaking her biscuits if she has dry food, and hopefully you'll find her. You'll then just need to keep her confined and rested as is possible. Hopefully she continues to improve once you find her. If on the off chance her symptoms worsen, then you will need to get her to your local ER vet. Thankfully there are credit facilities for this exact type of situation, and I would personally recommend CareCredit who are fantastic: https://www.carecredit.com/vetmed/

Hopefully you can track her down as the first mission.

All the best,

Dr E

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
She managed to sneak into a closet (which I thought I had thoroughly searched) before I had closed it off. Her gait is much improved but she is still very sluggish. Her capillary refill time seems good but it's hard to tell for sure since her gums are multi-colored. Her breathing seems to have stabilized.Do you know of vets in my area (Evansville IN - 47710) that offer care for low income pet owners?
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I know you can't really know without seeing her but do you think she had a stroke or maybe a seizure?

Great that you found her! And excellent to hear her gait has improved. The only real option at this time of day is the All Pet Emergency clinic, but thankfully they offer Care Credit - https://www.allpetemergencyclinic.com/carecredit/ . Cats don't really have 'stroke' events, and if this was a seizure, I would expect her to be back to normal by now. I am most suspicious of a toxicity of some sort, so it would pay to check around your home and yard for toxins and drugs she could have gotten into. There are even some normal house hold items like lillies and cleaning products that would cause a toxicity.

All the best,

Dr E

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
There are no live plants or flowers of any kind in the house and Gracie is a strictly indoor cat. The few OTC meds I have are where they always are and are undisturbed (child-proof caps on all). She has no access to any types of cleaning products. She is seeming more like herself as time goes by but I am very confused and worried about what happened! I have used Care Credit for dental work in the past but cannot log in to their site tonight for some reason. As I recall, their interest rates are extremely high.

OK - hopefully you don't need to head to the All Pet Emergency Clinic - but at least you know they're there if needs be. It may even be better to use a credit care in the short term if that is the case. Yes, it is definitely a worry regarding your girl's symptoms, particularly if there is absolutely no chance of a toxicity. A full blood and urine test is really the next best step, but hopefully you can arrange these with your regular day vet tomorrow morning if she continues to improve, as they will be a lot cheaper than an ER vet.

Dr E

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
No info on any vets in my area (Evansville IN - 47710) that offer care for low income pet owners? My finances have taken a down-turn and my current vet is a little more pricey than I can afford right now.

Hi again - no I can't find any details of that online. You may have to ring around in the morning if you can (unless she worsens tonight). Hopefully you find a vet locally who can accommodate you and your girl.

Dr E

Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,967
Experience: Veterinarian - BVSc
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you for your help!

No problem at all - all the best with your girl

Dr E

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Gracie is eating, drinking water, and acting completely herself again now. Think it's safe for me to get some sleep and address this with a vet tomorrow?
It sounds like she's doing much better. If she has settled and is sleeping, then yes, following up with your vet tomorrow will be fine.
All the best,
Dr E
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thanks!

No problem!

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Hi Monica,

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

Pet Doc
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