Cat Veterinary

Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.

Ask a Cat Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

My cat, Bella, a month shy of being 14 years old, has barely…

Hi. My cat, Bella...

Hi. My cat, Bella, a month shy of being 14 years old, has barely been eating or drinking. she's eatten dry food all her life but hardly touches it these last two weeks. About all she'll eat right now, and very little at that, is canned tuna in water. She has stopped drinking water from the kitchen faucet. She's urinating about twice a day & pooping once every four days. Some days, her energy level seems normal & other days more lethargic. I took her to the Vet a week ago, but because she becomes very "feral" (hissing, bittin & scratching) when at the Vet office, the vet wouldn't exam her without sedating her first, which the vet said could kill Bella due to her age. The vet essentially said Bella will either get better, or, due to her age, and possible kidney disease, she won't. I was sent home with various medications to force feed to Bella, which haven't seemed to make a difference. I'm wondering if Bella may be having intestinal problems & if so, can that be treated with medications? Any thoughts you may have would be helpful and very much appreciated. Thank you.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know if Bella will be able to digest that. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Bella?

She exhibited the same symptoms about two years ago & after just a couple of rounds of meds, she bounced right back. Other than that, Bella has enjoyed very good health.

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Answered in 42 minutes by:
3/16/2018
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11,258
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
Verified

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.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question

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 urge you to have Shah examined and to also 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.

One of the more effective ways of safely sedating a cat who is aggressive is to mask them to sedation. This can be done by making sure that Bella is inside of a small cat kennel when she comes to your vet. Your vet will place a bag around the kennel so they don't have to handle her (less stress on Bella) and will then instill anesthetic gas into the bag. Bella will fall asleep, can be removed from her kennel and blood drawn. Although she is at risk given her age, I can't recall the last time I witnessed a senior, sick or severely debilitated animal pass away with this procedure. The other option is to wait until Bella really feels so poorly that she refuses to fight (I'd avoid this, if at all possible).

Alternately, talk to your vet about trying some appetite stimulant medication if she will permit you to medicate her. I would also try KMR and pureed baby food in chicken, turkey and similar flavors. Avoid those that contain onion or garlic in the ingredient panel. If your vet has not dispensed pet-tinic, I'd ask for some and also consider using Hill's A/D diet if this has not been prescribed.

I hope this information has been helpful. 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 (bottom of the page if using the app). A 5-star rating is appreciated as top notch answers are my focus. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply so that I may help until you’ve received the assistance you need. Until you issue a rating, the website will not compensate me for helping you. You will still be able to chat with me even after issuing a rating at no further charge on this thread.

I will also check in with you over the next few days to be sure you don’t need any additional assistance. 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

PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11,258
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
Verified
PitRottMommy and 87 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi,Thank you so much for your quick reply to my questions, regarding Bella, and for your very informative answers and suggestions. A few follow up questions:1) The suggestion that you gave for using the masking procedure to sedate Bella, what is the common, or proper, term for this
sedating procedure; "Masking Sedation Procedure"? Is this masking procedure a common procedure that is available in
most, if not all, veterinary clinics? Is air able to get into the mask bubble, so that Bella will be in no danger of suffocating?
How much safer is this mask procedure vs sedating with a needle? Using the masking procedure, can the sedative be
administered in degrees, so as to make Bella non aggressive, but still conscious, or would she have to be put to sleep
completely?2) The vet I saw last Friday, in addition to saying that Bella shouldn't be sedated because it could kill her, also said that
there isn't much point to doing blood work on Bella because the sedation and testing could cost thousands of dollars,
and if the blood work shows that Bella does have liver or kidney disease, or cancer, there would be nothing that could be
done about those three diseases, and I would end up just wasting thousands of dollars to learn Bella has a disease that's
not treatable. I'm assuming that vet is not correct in his statement that liver or kidney disease is not treatable in cats?
What is the average cost to sedate a cat and do blood work?3) In the article on Fatty Liver Disease, that you sent me the link to, one of the statements the article makes is that a cat
should not be force feed, which is what my vet told me to do with Bella, and I have been doing. Should I stop force
feeding her (I'm using a syringe to force feed her with, as well as to administer her medications)? And just so you know, as
related to statements in the Fatty Liver Disease article, Bella is as far from overweight as any cat can be; she's not
under weight either. She has just always stayed at a very healthy, lean weight.4) The vet had given me a few days supplies worth of appetite stimulant medication, but it seemed to have no effect. I've also
tried giving Bella baby food, and Hill's A/D diet canned wet food. Bella won't touch any of it, let alone eat it. Bella will
occasionally still nibble at her dry food and her cat treats, but if she's going to eat or drink, it's mostly water canned tuna
and cat formulated milk from "Whiskas". I'm not familiar with "pet-tinic"; what is that medication and what does it do?5) Speaking of dry food diets for cats, I've heard arguments that a dry food diet is the worst diet a cat can be put on and that
a dry food diet can lead to symptoms that Bella is now experiencing. Is this true? What is your take on dry food diets vs
wet food diets for cats?The medications that were prescribed for Bella, last Friday (3/09/18) were: AD canned food; Mirtazapine tablets 15 mg; Cerenia 16mg tablets, and Metronidazole Susp. 50mg/ml. Other than the "pet-tinic", is there any other medications that you would suggest I ask my vet to prescripe for Bella?Thank you so much for your time and your help. Both are greatly appreciated.Bella's Dad

1) Isoflurane is the type of gas most commonly used, but sevoflurane can be used, as well. Describe the procedure and they'll know what I'm talking about. "Masking" involves actually using a mask, but if she cannot be safely handled the procedure using a tank or bag will work, as well. The anesthetic gas is mixed with oxygen so there's no risk of her suffocating. She has to breathe it in for it to work, so you know she's no suffocating if it's effective. It's safer to use gas in these cases because injectable anesthesia can take hours before full recovery occurs. It only takes minutes with gas. Gas anesthesia can be given lightly or heavily and is easier to offer this "varying degrees" option where injectable doesn't give this option without giving more medication.

2) I think your vet is misinforming you here. Bloodwork typically runs about $200 nationwide. That would show liver or kidney disease (as well as quite a few other conditions). Cancer, however, can be quite difficult to diagnose and costly--it all depends on what type of cancer might be present. I'd rule out the "easy" stuff before assuming it's going to cost thousands of dollars. I'd expect $300-$400 for exam, sedation and bloodwork. X-rays might be more if they feel they need to do it. Liver disease and kidney disease can be treated but not cured. We can discuss that further once you have a diagnosis as there's just too much information to share on a "maybe" basis.

3) Ideally, we don't want to force feed a cat. We want them to eat on their own. Try stimulation with the foods I recommended and ask your vet about an appetite stimulant. If these don't work, you will have to force feed her or FLD will develop. Overweight cats tend to have a higher risk of FLD but ALL cats can develop it if they stop eating completely for a prolonged period of time.

4) Pet tinic is a vitamin and mineral supplement. It can help regulate any vitamins and minerals missing from the diet and since she's not eating this can be a small step toward making her feel better.

5) This is true. I prefer wet food as it helps to keep the kidneys flushed. Cats are prone to chronic dehydration with dry diets. Cats living on a naturally wet/raw diet seldom develop kidney problems at the rate cats on a dry diet do. I'd push for bloodwork before pushing for more medication. Ask them about switching to Cyproheptidine from Mirtazapine. Ask about adding in famotidine, as well.

6)

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you, ***** ***** your clear, and detailed responses. I'll call my local vet clinic to see if they can do the masking procedure and blood work, and than get Bella in for such. Once I get the results back, I'll share them with you. Thank you again.

You're very welcome. Best of luck! I'll keep an eye out for any additional posts from you.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Quick follow up, what's the difference between Cyproheptidine and Mirtazapine? And what does famotidine do? Thanks.

Famotidine is an antacid and helps to neutralize stomach acid. It's commonly used along side cerenia to help overcome nausea.

Both medications are appetite stimulants, but sometimes one works better for a pet than the other.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer
Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you so much for following up. I checked with Bella's vet clinic about the masking procedure which you had described. They said that they do use that method, but the vet also said that they don't have a case that would fit over Bella's carrier and that they would have to use a trash bag over Bella's carrier, which would prevent them from seeing her and monitoring her during the sedation process, and therefore, they could end up giving her too much gas which could kill her, or not enough gas, which would make her even more agitated. So in short, the vet said masking is not a good option for Bella (I'm not sure this vet knows what he's talking about). The vet suggested that I try experimenting with various strength doses of a liquid sedative (which he would prescribe for Bella) to see if that would have any effect on her, allowing them to then be able to draw her blood for analysis. I'm having a hard enough time force feeding her food and other meds; I doubt I would be able to get enough of the sedative in her mouth for it to have much effect. Plus, I don't like the idea of me being the one (without veterinary training) trying to experiment on Bella with the sedatives, trying to find the right dosage, particularly with the vet saying that too much of the sedative could also kill Bella. If blood work were done on Bella, and it were to show that she's suffering from liver or kidney disease, or failure, what meds would be prescribed for those conditions to help Bella recover? Without Bella's blood work being done, can I just ask the vet to prescribe medications for those conditions, or would treating Bella with such meds, without confirmation of such disease or failure, do more harm than good? Bella is having good days and bad days, in terms of her activity level and eating. She occasionally withdrawals, and hides under the bed. The only things Bella has been eating, or drinking, over the last few days are her small, square sized, milk flavored cat treats (but she hasn't been eating much of those today), tuna in water, from the can (she particularly likes the tuna juice/water. But as of last night, she hasn't been eating much, if any, of the tuna meat. Is too much canned tuna bad for cats?), and she's still drinking her cat milk, but not as much today. She'll occasionally nibble her dry food (I prefer that Bella eats her wet food and tuna, but right now, anything she eats, I'm happy with). However, she's more active today, and behaving more like her "old" self than she has been for the last several days. She's still peeing 2-3 times a day, but only pooping once about every 4 days; she last pooped (solid, not soft or runny) Sunday afternoon. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster; one day she seems better, the next day, not so much so, and sometimes she is up and then down during the same day. Any insight or suggestions? I'll gladly take any words of wisdom you may have to offer. Thank you sooooo much.

There are clear trash bags on the market, as I am sure you are aware. It's not uncommon for us to check on cats as they're being masked down. Have you considered a 2nd opinion?

It would depend on the level of severity and which condition she has. Often a change in diet is implemented first. Kidney cats are often placed on medications like benazepril, phosphate binders, etc. Cats with liver disease may be placed on SAM-e. She can have nibbles of tuna, but don't make a diet of it. Feeding only fish can cause a thiamine deficiency.

Ask Your Own Cat Veterinary Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask PitRottMommy Your Own Question
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11,258
11,258 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue

PitRottMommy is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Cat Veterinarian

3,928 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

4,753 satisfied customers

UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

4,473 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Dr. Scott

Dr. Scott

Veterinarian

3,998 satisfied customers

15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.

Rebecca

Rebecca

Cat Veterinarian

3,557 satisfied customers

More than 30 years of companion animal practice.

Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew

Cat Veterinarian

3,072 satisfied customers

Small Animal Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Deb

Dr. Deb

Cat Veterinarian

2,883 satisfied customers

I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.

< Previous | Next >

Related Cat Veterinary Questions
Treatment options for a 15 year old cat with stage 2 kidney
treatment options for a 15 year old cat with stage 2 kidney failure and will not eat Hills KD food?… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
He acts like he has a kidney infection. His penis is super
He acts like he has a kidney infection. His penis is super red on the end and he has been meowing a lot. … read more
Dr. Sara
Dr. Sara
Small animal practicioner
Doctoral Degree
93 satisfied customers
Lost connection. Cat can't pee? Kidney decline. Been giving
Kidney decline. Been giving her subcutaneous fluids once a week. Today first time trouble. Crouching but nothing comes out. … read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
709 satisfied customers
18 year old cat with early stage kidney disease. He has
18 year old cat with early stage kidney disease. He has loose stools today with some bright red blood in them. … read more
Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey
Veterinarian
Post-Doctoral Degree
1,710 satisfied customers
My cat currently has kidney stones. We already took her to
My cat currently has kidney stones. We already took her to see the vet and he said to try changing her diet. She doesn't like wet food nor broths. Seems that she only likes to eat dry food. She never … read more
Dr Mick
Dr Mick
13 years in general practice
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
7 satisfied customers
What is the treatment protocol for a kidney infection - old
what is the treatment protocol for a kidney infection - old cat 18 yrs, excellent health history until about a year ago - … read more
Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan
Veterinarian and practice owner
Doctoral Degree
5,375 satisfied customers
We've been treating Buddy for kidney disease by feeding him
We've been treating Buddy for kidney disease by feeding him royal canin renal food mixed with his canned food and he always has dry food out. I mix water with his canned food mix and he likes to eat i… read more
Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
761 satisfied customers
My cat has advanced kidney disease. He's been in orbax for
My cat has advanced kidney disease. He's been in orbax for 3weeks for kidney infection. He now has diarrhea. Wonder if it's the kidneys or the meds? … read more
Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
761 satisfied customers
My aging part-Siamese, female cat has kidney problems. She
My aging part-Siamese, female cat has kidney problems. She drinks huge amounts of fresh water all day. The vet prescribed a med but she won't swallow the pills. He told me that the anesthetic might ki… read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
709 satisfied customers
What are the risk factors for a car developing kidney
What are the risk factors for a car developing kidney disease? Is there research that shows a causal relationship between the size of the cat and increased/decreased risk of dysplaysia? I'm asking bec… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
My cat is on Calcitriol and Benazepril for kidney failure
My cat is on Calcitriol and Benazepril for kidney failure since December 2016. I give him Miralax and have worked up to giving him a teaspoon twice a day. I took him to the vet because he couldn't poo… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
11,258 satisfied customers
He was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure about 2 months
He was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure about 2 months ago but he is still eating and drinking fine although very picky about his food now. … read more
CalCatDoc
CalCatDoc
veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
515 satisfied customers
He is 17 and of course has kidney problems and is blind.
He is 17 and of course has kidney problems and is blind. Still eating And drinking but starting spinning 4 times each time he sits down? … read more
Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
761 satisfied customers
Kidney disease. Creatinine 10.7. Posible lily toxicity. See
Kidney disease. Creatinine 10.7. Posible lily toxicity. … read more
Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
761 satisfied customers
My 15 year old Siamese has stage 3 kidney failure. Is it
My 15 year old Siamese has stage 3 kidney failure. Is it fair to get treatment and how long would she live? She is a small cat and is now 5 lbs seven ounces. Last June she was 7 lbs. That was the most… read more
DocPaul
DocPaul
Doctoral Degree
709 satisfied customers
What are the symptoms for kidney problems in papillions. i
what are the symptoms for kidney problems in papillions. i have chester who weighs 13 lbs. and he will be 4 in may. last year he had some crystals but wasn't a problem… read more
Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,928 satisfied customers
My cat has kidney disease and eats prescription food and a
My cat has kidney disease and eats prescription food and a little while after eating he then he barf up some food sometime liquid and food at the same time I don't know wath to do can u help me please… read more
Rebecca
Rebecca
Cat Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,557 satisfied customers
She has been diagnosed with kidney failure. She was
she has been diagnosed with kidney failure. She was overweight & now is skinny The vet recommended the Hills kidney care cat food, but she doesn't like tat, but she loves real Tuna & will eat that. I'… read more
Dr. John
Dr. John
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
5,051 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x