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My cat who is 6 years old started getting very lethargic the…

Customer Question
My cat who is...

My cat who is 6 years old started getting very lethargic the other day, I noticed he had not come downstairs all day even when being fed. He has not eaten in 3 days and yesterday morning he threw up, tonight I tried to feed him again and still I can not get him to eat, he is not making any noises that he’s in pain but when I sit with him, he just lays there and doesn’t move

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your cat?

He’s taking small shallow breaths I’ve noticed more tonight

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 6 hours by:
1/5/2018
Cat Veterinarian: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12,202
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Cat Veterinarian: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 6 months ago

Here are my concerns: When cats begin not eating their liver suffers the effects. This can result in a condition known as Fatty Liver Disease (aka Hepatic lipidosis) which can result in liver failure if not addressed. More info here: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2135&aid=217 I would schedule some diagnostics at this time. Bloodwork to look at the liver values would be wise, but also to determine on the blood work if there are any additional concerns which might have originally been the cause of not eating. We can see medical concerns like liver disease, pancreatitis, kidney disease, bladder infections, periodontal disease, etc. all contribute to not eating in any age of cat.

If you must approach this at home, I can give you some steps to take at home to help your companion’s stomach feel better. However, if you do not see a marked improvement from your pet or you see worsening of symptoms, they absolutely must be examined by a veterinarian.

It often helps to give medication to calm the stomach and a bland diet with higher fiber a few hours later once the medication has been given time to work. This can help to reduce the instance of nausea/vomiting, restore/improve the appetite, avoid or address changes in the stool, help to move ingested items through the GI tract, etc.

The first step is to administer a dose of regular pepcid (famotidine) every 12-24 hours. This should help with GI symptoms. You will want to give 0.5mg/pound of body weight (a 10# ***** would receive 5mg, a 5# ***** would receive 2.5mg, etc). For this, you can visit any human pharmacy and buy the OTC brand name Pepcid, or you can use the cheaper, off-brand “famotidine” that’s available. Either will be useful. If your companion is avoiding taking medication, you will likely need to using a pilling technique like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P6NfbxeLX0 (this video is of a dog as it shows the finer details of how to complete the action, this method can be used in dogs, cats and other mammals needing oral medications). [Note: once symptoms have resolved for at least 48 hours, discontinue the famotidine.]

2 hours following a dose of famotidine, the time needed for the medication to begin working, you can offer a bland diet. To make the bland diet, you’ll combine white or brown rice, boneless, skinless chicken breast and sufficient water for cooking in a stock pot (note: if your companion is allergic to chicken you can use a protein source they can have such as ground turkey, a filet of salmon, etc). Boil on medium until it turns to mush and the breast is easily flaked. To avoid nausea, start with small amounts to begin with and offer the amount every 2-4 hours. A few teaspoons to start is typically sufficient and you can work your way up every 2-4 hours in incremental increases until you’re sure no vomiting will be seen. If your companion requires a more palatable food, try adding in pureed baby food in chicken, turkey and similar flavors. Avoid those that contain onion or garlic in the ingredient panel. Work up to feeding exclusively until at least 3 days following the resolution of symptoms. After this, work on slowly switching back to the regular food that your companion typically eats over 10 days. My recommendation is a 10% switch every day. Day 1: 10% new food, 90% old food; Day 2: 20% new food, 80% old food; Day 3: 30% new food, 70% old food, etc. This slow switch process should minimize any risk of GI upset from changing food.

I will be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further. Also, before signing off today, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me. Until this is done, the website will not compensate me for helping you. You will still be able to chat with me even after issuing a rating.

I will also check in with you over the next few days for updates on your companion to be sure you don’t need any additional assistance. Letting me know how your companion is doing would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future for pet-related questions, you can do so by accessing this page: http://www.justanswer.com/pet/expert-pitrottmommy/?rpt=3800

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