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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20925
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Should i take my cat to the vet. He is 5 yrs old. Last night

Customer Question

Should i take my cat to the vet. He is 5 yrs old. Last night he ate some cooked ground beef and jarred 4cheese spahgetti sauce from a pan left out..he immediately vomitted it allover the floor. That was aprox midnight. He has continued to vomitting..6x in 14hrs..last vomit was 2hrs ago..all bile only now. He did skip breakfast and shows loss of appetite. Not terrible active but he isn't at this time anyway.. no lethargy, alert, purring when given attention, moist membranes, moist tongue and hus tongue is still pink.
Not sure what else to look for. i am a registerrd nurse for humans but not too sure about cats. I am comfortable monitoring him at home if its appropriate at this time as he is not showing signs of distress or serious ailment. But if there is more i should be concerned about i would like to know and if i should be bringing him to the vet..also if i am monitoring him at home how ling should this go on for. I dont think he's dehydrated... yet.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Was there any garlic or onion in the sauce?

Will he drink? Can he keep water down?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He's drinking some now, not a lot. Ill know if he can keep it down soon. No tenderness at all tensing or signs of discomfort in his abdomen. Gums are pink. No idea what was in the sauce as my husband took the trash out last night..4cheese so shouldnt have been heavy garlic or onions neither of which were noted in flavor or visibility but..i dunno. I didnt add any of either.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad that you didn't add any and hopefully there wasn't much in the sauce. The reason I ask is because both are cat toxic and can cause GI upset as well as delayed (days to weeks later) onset anemia. So, we'd want to keep an eye on those gums this week to just make sure those don't change. Otherwise, in a situation of this nature, our approach does depend on the severity of their nausea. If a cat is vomiting profusely, cannot keep even water down, are dehydrated, or has any of those signs I asked about; then those tend to be our cue to have the cat seen.

Still, since he sounds more settled then that, we can try some home supportive care to try to settle his stomach. To start, if he hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest his stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating him with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid), or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet). Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Though if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

Once that has had time to absorb and he is steadier on his stomach, you can consider starting him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning him slowly back to his normal diet.

Since dehydration is a risk in vomiting cases, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue for him (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, we do need to tread with care in cases of nausea and anorexia in cats. Still, if he doesn’t’ have those other signs, we can consider trying supportive care to settle his stomach. Of course, if he can’t keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration and start him on symptomatic treatment (ie injectable anti-vomiting medication, fluids, etc) to get him settled.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Best wishes for you,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )