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My cat is a stray we took in about 2 months ago. Recently he…

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My cat is a...

My cat is a stray we took in about 2 months ago. Recently he hasn't been eating much - we took him to the vet and they said his lymph nodes were swollen so they put him on an antibiotic. That was about a week ago and today we noticed that his right eye had started to tear up and is really watery. He's still not eating much and having very few bowel movements

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the cat's name?

Luna (we thought he was female at first and the name just kinda stuck!)

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Luna?

I'm worried he may have ingested some plant material - we have a lot of plants in our home. I thought none of them were toxic to cats but now I'm not certain.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Did you see what Luna ate?

I've caught him nibbling on multiple plants throughout the house, though I don't know their exact names

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
1/9/2018
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,845
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

I am sorry to hear that your new kitty Luna is not feeling with a poor appetite, less stools being produced than usual, swollen lymph nodes, and now a tearing eye.

I understand that he really hasn't improved much despite the use of antibiotics, and is chewing on household plants.

I doubt that the plants are causing his symptoms. I suspect he is chewing on plants as a way to try to combat nausea. Cats that are nauseous or very sick will often chew on or lick things and may even ingest non-food items (called pica).

Since he has more than one swollen lymph node then a systemic infection, particularly tick borne infections or an immunosuppressive virus like feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus would be possible concerns.

Has he been tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses?

I am concerned that he isn't seeming to respond to antibiotic therapy.

Generally cats with a systemic infection will run a fever and feel poorly. Given his poor appetite that may still be the case with him, or it may be that he has something else going on.

The other possibility is that he has a primary cancer of the lymphatic system called lymphoma. That would explain multiple abnormal lymph nodes, and his loss of appetite, as well as his eating plants.
Ideally your fellow would be re-examined as soon as possible, not necessarily an emergency today but as soon as possible would be good.

If he has not been tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses that should be done. He should also have an aspirate or biopsy of his enlarged lymph nodes checked for signs of infection or cancer.

At home to try and settle his stomach and get him eating better you can give either:

1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of ¼ of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours

OR

2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of ¼ of a 20mg tablet per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight every 24 hours

These are acid reducers and could help him feel better. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if necessary.

You can use a medicine syringe to try and force water or clear broth into him orally.

A couple of hours after giving the acid reducer I recommend offering soft foods mixed with water to make eating and swallowing more comfortable.

If he is refusing to eat even soft foods you can try offering meat baby foods or a bland diet of 2/3 boiled minced white skinless chicken and 1/3 boiled white rice mixed with some low salt chicken broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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