Hi, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and I'm happy to help. Please stand by while I have a chance to type.
I am so sorry to hear that Lucy is not well.
Did I understand correctly that she's been avoiding food for about 2 days now?
Is she experiencing any diarrhea?
Thank you for the clarification.
I do think it would be wise to talk to them about Lucy not eating and discuss her going to the vet for care. Here is my main concern: When cats begin not eating well 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 your companion 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, gastric foreign material, constipation, etc. all contribute to not eating in any age of cat. I would suggest a CBC, full chemistry, electrolyte, thyroid and pancreatic profile to start. You can find a clinic in your area searching here: https://www.petflight.com/vet_clinics
Failing this, I can give you some steps to take at home to help your companion’s stomach feel better and help to restore their appetite back to normal without digestive upset. 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. If you need help finding a location that can see your pet (even just to keep on hand), I can help. I’ll need you to provide your location as the website does not give us this.
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.
You can give regular pepcid (famotidine) every 12-24 hours if no other medications are being given that we haven’t discussed. This should help with GI symptoms. You can find the dosing information available here: https://www.petcarerx.com/medication-guides/famotidine-for-pet-stomach-ulcers/1116 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. If your companion is avoiding taking medication, you will likely need to use 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). Be sure to give a few teaspoons of water following any dry pilling to help flush the pill down to the stomach. [Note: once symptoms have resolved for at least 48 hours, please discontinue the famotidine.]
2 hours after you have given a dose of famotidine, the time needed for the medication to begin working, you can offer a small amount of 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). Aim for 75% chicken and 25% rice by weight. Avoid skin and bone. Use no salt, butter, oils, spices or other enticing additives. Boil on medium until it turns to mush and the meat 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 using or adding in pureed baby food in chicken, turkey and similar flavors. Avoid those that contain onion or garlic in the ingredient panel. You want to 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 a 10 day period. 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.
If in the USA, you can find vets open in your area here: https://www.petflight.com/vet_clinics Be sure to call before heading in to ensure that they can accommodate you and your companion.
If finances might limit your ability to obtain care for your companion at this time, please visit this link where I have comprised 26 links to help with financial aid, financing and fundraising: https://www.dropbox.com/s/o3mxuiqvbt8drjk/JAFinancialAid.docx?dl=0
Does this all make sense? Do you have any additional questions I can address today on this topic?
You're quite welcome. If you need any additional support on this topic, I'm just a message away.
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