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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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My 22 year old cat is having trouble swallowing and so is ...

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My 22 year old cat is having trouble swallowing and so is not eating or even drinking much. It seems he would like to each but physically can''t swallow, or maybe it just hurts too much to swallow. I have been forcing fluids with an eyedropper and will probably will have to do the same with blended food. This has been going on for about 8 days. Very few teeth left in his mouth, and probably has some mouth pain also. In pretty good spirits, just getting week from no food. Any ideas?
Does he attempt to swallow, but the food just falls back out?
Is he an indoor only kitty?
Is he up to date on his vaccinations?
Has he been having any vomiting?
Have you noticed him pawing at his mouth at all, or trying to rub his mouth or head on other objects?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. K's Post: Hi,
He has been an indoor cat his whole life. Have not vaccinated him in the last five years but he has no contact with any other animals. He seems to know that if he puts a chunk of food in his mouth that he will not be able to swallow it, so for example, he will just lick the gravy off the food chunks. No vomiting, not sing if him doing anything to his mouth. He makes a sound like he needs to clean his throat now and then when he is trying to drink and will sometimes cock his head to one side to swallow. He is using the litter box but there has not been much to get rid of since not much is going in the other end.
There are large number of possiblilities here, as his main signs really seem to be inappetance, plus an inability to eat normally. This can have many causes including:
Tooth abscess
Tumor of the mouth or throat
Kidney disease
Liver disease
Foreign body (such as a stick or twig, or piece of a toy) caught in the mouth

Because this has been going on for eight days now, I strongly recommend that you take him into the vet to be evaluated with a physical and some blood and urine tests. If this is as simple as a tooth abscess, often it can be fixed with oral antibiotics alone. In some cases, sedation is necessary to remove the offending tooth. The vet can also evaluate him for the possibilities of any cancer of the mouth or throat while he is asleep.
I am attaching some client information handouts that I use in my practice that discuss some of these problems in more detail. I hope that you find them useful.

Caudal Stomatitis (Inflammation of the back of the throat)

I hope that this information is of help to you, and that your kitty feels better soon. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr. K
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