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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16462
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My name is ***** ***** m. My cat, booties, ate some birds in

Customer Question

Customer: my name is ***** ***** m. My cat, booties, ate some birds in the last few days - starting yesterday he has become very tired, isn't eating or drinking and doesn't want us to mess with him. Help
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: He is a inside/outside cat. We evidence that looked like he ate some bird/birds (feathers and bones). he has been very quiet, moving from the chair to his bed, to the hallway. He is not eating or drinking anything for almost 2 days now. We don't know a lot about cats, but I know this is not normal. Our vet is closed and we don't have lots of money to take him to an emergency pet clinic. Can you help. Got him to take a little water with eyedropper.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I’m sorry to hear that your fellow Booties ate some bird pieces according to the left over evidence that you found.
The concern when cats eat wildlife is two fold, one is the sharp bones and indigestible pieces, and the other is bacteria that birds can carry, such as salmonella. The chances of tearing his intestines or stomach as they contract to force the bones through is high, and indigestible chunks can compact leading to an obstruction. I hope he at least chewed a little before he swallowed as that will make passage a little easier. And if wildlife is slow enough to get caught it may be sick, so chances of it carrying high bacterial counts is increased.

Ideally he would see a veterinarian since this has lingered beyond the 24-48 period.

I understand that may not be an option so in this case we need to try and hope that we can get this material to pass through his gastrointestinal tract. And that his stomach acid helps us by dissolving the fragments and killing bacteria.
Since he isn't vomiting to help I recommend starting with lubricants like those intended to help with hairballs. You can dose him 3-4 times a day for the next few days to try to increase lubrication and get the pieces to pass. This hopefully makes the bone pieces slip rather than catch and/or perforate.

I would try forcing water or clear broth (chicken or beef bouillon) in with a medicine dropper every 2-3 hours. Dehydration predisposes to forming a blockage.
For the next few days, until the pieces pass, if you can get him to eat he needs to be fed a bland diet with lots of fiber added in small meals several times a day, 4 to 6 meals is ideal. We do this so the bone pieces are surrounded and the gut isn't irritated contracting on just bone.
A homemade diet for this is 2/3 boiled white, skinless chicken, all fats drained off the meat and 1/3 boiled, plain, white rice. Add 1 tablespoon of canned pumpkin, not pie filling, just pumpkin, to each meal for fiber to help push the pieces through.
You'll need to check his stools frequently for bone pieces in the next few days.

Signs that things aren't going well, and he needs an immediate veterinary visit, are vomiting, a tense painful belly, continued lack of an appetite, a fever (more than 103.5F rectally) and extreme lethargy.
If he refuses to eat and you aren't seeing bone fragments in the next day or two a veterinary visit and an abdominal radiograph to see where the bones are is needed. If it doubt at all that things aren't going well it is always best to have him checked.
Once the pieces are passed and he's feeling well then start mixing in his regular food, adding a little more regular and less bland at each meal. It should take a week to get him converted back to regular food.

If he continues not to eat a veterinary visit is essential so we don't get into trouble with hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease caused by overwhelming the liver with fats broken down for energy to live when they don't eat).

Let me know if you have any questions.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Emma ingested some grapes, but pleased to hear that vomiting was promptly induced and hopefully most of them were vomited back up.

I understand that you are concerned about Emma eating grapes as they can be toxic to dogs, but they must eat a certain amount per pound of body weight to get sick. Grapes can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, then increased water consumption, lethargy, and kidney failure in dogs, but the toxicity is dose dependent meaning a big dog would have to eat more than a small dog.

Some dogs are more sensitive than others but a toxic dose is usually 3 grapes per kilogram of body weight (3 grapes per 2.2 pounds).

In very sensitive dogs they report that dangerous doses begin at about 0.18 ounces of grapes per pound of dog weight. That’s 1.8 ounces (one or two grapes) for a 10-pound dog, and 3.6 ounces (three or four grapes) for a 20-pound dog.

Raisins: About 0.07 ounces of raisins per pound of dog weight may be toxic. In real terms, that’s a mere 0.7 ounces of raisins for a 10-pound dog, and 1.4 ounces for a 20-pound dog.

if she weighs 70 pounds she should have to have eaten more than 70 grapes to see signs of toxicity.

I understand there is a lot of conflicting information out there. To be safe we recommend no grapes. But they do need to eat a certain minimal amount per pound of body weight.

I always recommend that owners watch their pups for vomiting and/or diarrhea several hours later just in case she ate more then you thought she did. Signs of toxicity usually occur with 12 to 24 hours, but in some cases 48 hours. Further signs of toxicity include lethargy, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, increased water consumption and finally lack of urine production.

I tell owners if they see vomiting and diarrhea with any amount of grapes fed we need to get them on intravenous fluids to protect the kidneys.

I would not expect to see bleeding secondary to grape ingestion. It is possible that she chewed on something else that irritated her mouth. But at 7 months if she isn't spayed it is also possible that she is starting her heat cycle. If her vulva appears swollen you can take a white kleenex and see if you get any bloody discharge from her vulva. If so then she is likely beginning her heat.

Best of luck with Emma, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

My apologies about the second half of my response. I'm not sure how it happened but apparently somehow another question I was responding to ended up as part of my response to you about your fellow that ingested bird parts.

Please disregard my comments about the dog eating grapes, the first part of my response stands as accurate however and again I apologize for any confusion.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara