Sick cat....Help, cat people!

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Sick cat....Help, cat people!

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    05-12-2013, 03:20 PM
Super Moderator
Sick cat....Help, cat people!

Just to start off, we are working closely with a vet -Booth has been in twice in the last week- and I'm mainly posting for fresh ideas/support. He's also scheduled to go back in tomorrow, for more tests, if he hasn't perked up significantly by then.

The cat in question is almost 3 (birthday is May 27), Domestic Longhair (seems to be some kind of Siamese/Maine Coon mix, if someone had to guess), male, was fixed at 7 months (found him in the forest by himself when he was 5 weeks), is generally VERY active+playful+happy, usually very exuberant. He is a slight bit neurotic - collects things, eats paper when he can, etc, but nothing really terrible. Indoor only.
He eats Wellness wet food and Before Grain dry food (I would ideally have him on an all wet diet but he gets really "bite-y" sans dry food so I have him on the dry food with the highest meat content I could find).

Basically, last Tuesday he was acting sort of "off." His stomach felt bloated (he would meow if you poked it), he was acting a bit sleepy but he was fighting it, and he was throwing up A LOT. I initially just thought they were hairballs, since little hair clumps were coming up each time, but after the 5th or 6th time, a hairball was obviously not the issue.
Anyway, we rushed him to the emergency vet where they took xrays, did some bloodwork, diagnosed him with severe constipation, then gave him an enema, a shot of 10-day antibiotics, an anti-nausea drug, and sub-q fluids.
He subsequently de-constipated himself and we went home.

The next day he was feeling better, though not back to his normal self. The next day showed no improvement or decline, but he did barf/cough up a LARGE hairball. THEN on Friday, he began acting really out of it again. He had not gone #2 since Tuesday night/Wednesday morning so I called our normal vet and set up an appt for yesterday morning.
I also noticed that he really has not groomed himself since Monday (pre-constipation). He's usually VERY fastidious. Now he might lick his paw a few times or lick his shoulder, but that's it. No "real" cleaning.

Friday evening/afternoon he also stopped really eating. Usually he's a freaking chow hound and will eat his entire portion of food in a matter of seconds but he barely touched his meal (about 1/3 the amount I usually feed him).

Overnight he went #2 (looked normal, but small) but he was even more out of it yesterday. So we still took him in.
He got a full examine yesterday, more anti-nausea (in case that would help with his appetite) stuff, and more sub-q fluids (he's been going #1 just fine this whole time, they just wanted to make sure he stays hydrated with whatever is going on). They couldn't find anything obviously wrong with him during the physical exam.

He was perkier when we got him home from the vet but soon went back to "bump on a log"-mode. Usually he's VERY interested in everything, always on the move, but right now his M-O is basically "sit in one spot, maybe purr if a human pets him, collapse into the arms of anyone who wants to hold him" etc.
And he's still not eating great. He'll eat maybe a lick of wet food and a few kibbles but no real "meal". He'll act interested in food, then sniff it/lick it, eat a little, then leave. He will eat lunch meat so I've been giving him a small bite of lunch meat with probiotics inside, hoping that maybe his gut just needs some help... I only started him on probiotics yesterday morning but I would have figured that they would have had an effect by now.....

Anyway, I'm just really worried.
He's basically my child (lol) and I really don't know what I would do without him.

The vet is going to do more blood tests tomorrow, if Booth hasn't come around by then, and specifically test for pancreatitis. I don't really understand how Booth could have gotten pancreatitis, if that's the case, but many of the symptoms do fit.

If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them! I just want him to feel better!

Lockwood likes this.
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    05-12-2013, 03:36 PM
Pancreatitis is kind of a magic cat thing- they can get it for no apparent reason. It also has a tendency to upset their gut and their liver (aka triaditis) when it happens. I would think about having another x-ray done as well, to make sure there aren't any signs that the constipation is back. Though he hasn't been eating much to need to go much, constipation can make cats vomit and feel sick all by itself (another fun little cat thing). If he sometimes eats paper, or other things, a repeat X-ray could also help show if there's anything in there that shouldn't be that might be partially blocking him up.

A friend of mine has a cat that became allergic to his food when he was 4 or 5 and the only way he showed it was a bout of pancreatitis. Changed his food and all the meds for the pancreatitis and he was good to go. Tried to go back to his old food and BOOM pancreatitis again.

It sounds like your guy is definitely sick. I hope he comes around soon for you and your vet is able to help him get back to his normal self. :hugs:
Lockwood likes this.
    05-12-2013, 03:56 PM
Super Moderator
Good thinking, I'll mention the idea of taking another xray tomorrow. I'm praying that we won't have to go back in....but Booth is not really looking like he's going to make a miraculous overnight recovery. Haha (looking on the bright side, Booth's vet is not an unattractive gentleman....)

He did squeeze all Booth's insides yesterday, trying to find any sort of blockage, and he couldn't feel anything (and going with Booths current "bump on a log" mindset, he got a GOOD feel of everything! Haha)...but I'll mention it.

That's VERY interesting that you mentioned being allergic to his food! Booth is already really allergic to fish and I have noticed that his coat has become more dandruff-y in the last few months... He'd also been itching more, which I assumed was residual from the war with fleas that we've been fighting (finally got rid of them for good, I think!), but it certainly could be an allergy.....

Any suggestions for something to switch to, just to try? I want to, obviously, stay away from things with fish and stay grain free.

Thanks a bunch!!
    05-12-2013, 04:08 PM
I like Natural Balance for foods, but Wellness, Taste of the Wild and several other brands all have good options. I'm not really a fan of Science Diet or Purina for cats generally speaking, but their hypoallergenic formulas wound up being the only thing my friend's cat could eat for years, and one of my cats eats Science Diet for a completely different medical reason that makes it so he can't tolerate a grain-free diet anymore. I used to be on the grain-free bandwagon, but now I think it's just more important to find a food that the individual animal tolerates and does well on than what *I* would like to feed him.

Be careful though- you don't want your cat to associate feeling sick like he does now with a new food that you want him to like. How many of us can't stand strawberry ice cream anymore after that was the only thing we could keep down during a bout of the stomach flu? Same idea for cats.
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    05-12-2013, 05:18 PM
If you suspect food allergies, then its worth doing a little research into a raw diet.
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Wallaby likes this.
    05-12-2013, 05:55 PM
I second the raw diet, or at least home made.
Does he have kitty grass? It definitely helps with the hairballs. I have two indoor felines, DSH and DLH. The shorthair, Floppy, eats kitty grass every day, NEVER brings up any hairballs. The longhaired one, Princess on the pea( seriously), never touches the grass, is grooming herself obsessively, and produces hairballs 4" long and as big around as my thumb. The only way to stop her grooming is Feliway constantly.
Seeing that Booth is longhair too....and was producing hairballs...maybe there's still some in there.
Sorry I can't help any more
Wallaby likes this.
    05-12-2013, 07:30 PM
Why not get him outside so he can eat grass. Let him eat all he wants. He'll puke it up but it seems to serve as a digestion aid.
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    05-12-2013, 09:20 PM
Has your vet checked for megacolon? I think that's what it's called. The colon gas stretched somehow and forms a pocket where the feces settles instead of being able to move through normally. We had a cat that developed this and he had to have surgery, not cheap but then again those emergency clinic visits add up to that amount quickly too. He did fine with surgery and lived many more years. Don't know what causes it, he used to be outdoor cat, just took up at our barn one day, shorthair by the way. I'd never heard of this before him. Just something to rule out hopefully.
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    05-13-2013, 10:31 AM
Super Moderator
Sounds like you've gotten some great advise for Mr. B.
How is he today?
Sending you a hug and him some jingles.
Wallaby likes this.
    05-13-2013, 10:58 AM
Super Moderator
Thank you all for your thoughts and advice! I really appreciate it!

Luckily he seems to have made some kind of miraculous turn-around! He started grooming himself again last night, ate all his dinner at nearly normal speed ('only' took him 15 minutes to finish half his normal portion), and is just all around perkier. Maybe the probiotics started working, maybe the antibiotic shot wore off enough, I'm not sure. But I'm thrilled!!

I did start doing some research on the antibiotic shot he was given and boy, I'm glad he seems to be ok! There are many reports of cats dying from it and/or exhibiting really similar "sleepy+doesn't want to eat" symptoms for MONTHS after receiving that shot. SCARY!!
I'll definitely be thinking twice if the option of that shot is offered again in Booth's life.
I'm just mildly PO-ed that the emergency vet would offer something like that, that's not even in favor with the veterinary community any more, without telling me of the risks. His white blood cells were just a bit elevated in the original bloodwork and the antibiotic was just a "safety precaution"...what if it had killed him?!

Anyway, my current plan is to keep an eye on him, worry less, and take him in again if he goes downhill. Hopefully though he'll keep on this upward trend. He's literally doing better than he's done in a week! So glad he seems to be "back."

He does have cat grass that he loves, so much!

I'll look more heavily into a raw, or raw-er diet though! We still don't know why he got constipated in the first place and I'd hate for it to be an unknown food allergy that's plaguing him without anyone knowing. And really, if it's manageable for all those involved, it might be easier for everyone. Who knows. We'll see. :)

Lockwood likes this.
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