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  1. #1
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    Default Sick cat won't eat or drink

    One of our cats started acting funny yesterday, and when I took him to the vet this morning I was told that he is in critical condition due to fluid in his lungs and swelling in the chambers of his heart. They said there is no "cure", but they prescribed 3 medicines to try to manage his symptoms.

    I am supposed to be monitoring his food and water intake as well as litterbox use, so I set everything up in our guest bathroom (to separate him from our other cats) and have been checking on him throughout the day/evening. He has not touched his food or water and has not used the litterbox at all. I don't think he ate or drank yesterday, either.

    He appears very weak and dehydrated, but has no interest in his food or water even when I put it right under his nose. I am worried he will not have a fighting chance of feeling better if he does not eat and drink.

    Is there anything I can do to at least get some water in him?

  2. #2
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    If he's in such poor condition, why did they send him home? Molly nearly died once when she lost half her body weight-a later vet believes it was allergies that sent her liver and kidneys into shut-down-and the only thing I could do to get her interested in eating again was start serving canned food, which she had never had before. That way she was eating, and at least getting a little bit of moisture. I was paranoid for years afterwards, especially since I still, 5 years later rarely, if ever, catch her drinking water.

  3. #3
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    When our kitten had surgery we gave her water in a syringe. We had to give her several medicines, so we would just fill up the syringe with water and squirt it into her mouth.

    Another thing we did when she wasn't eating was heating up wet food in the microwave to make it smell more. We would actually spoon-feed it to her.

  4. #4
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    when I took him to the vet this morning I was told that he is in critical condition due to fluid in his lungs and swelling in the chambers of his heart.
    Did they use the word "cardiomyopathy"?

    Regardless, patients with cardiac problems often have no interest in food or drink. Intravenous fluids (which can be done for cats just as for humans) may help short-term if he is truly dehydrated, but would make his congestive heart failure worse. Diuretics can reduce the fluid overload, but exacerbate dehydration. Why is it you feel he looks dehydrated? Overall fatigue and malaise, a very weak appearance, as you mentioned, is classic in congestive heart failure.

    I lost my childhood cat to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy three years ago. We tried all kinds of tricks to encourage eating, but as the end drew near they all stopped working. My heart goes out to you - I wish your kitty some comfort and you the peace of knowing he's been so loved his whole life, and always will be.
    "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." ~ Jackie O.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTB
    Why is it you feel he looks dehydrated?
    My vet told me an easy way for my hyper-worried momma self to tell-pull up their back fur when they are standing up, it should fairly easily slide/spring back into place. If it stays put or is slow to move, kitty is dehydrated.

  6. #6
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    Uh, thanks M+M... but... kind of a non-sequitur, no?
    "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." ~ Jackie O.
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  7. #7
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    If he is that ill, he needs to be hospitalized. He will not improve at home.

  8. #8
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    I agree that improvement won't be seen at home, but at least for my dear kitty, by the time the diagnosis was reached it wasn't about improvement. The focus was comfort and love, not spending the time she had left in a hospital - quality of life, not quantity. Anything that a hospitalization could've achieved would've been temporary anyway, and taken away from us enjoying our time with her while it remained.

    OP, did your vet give you any indication of how much time (s)he thinks your sweetie has left?
    "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." ~ Jackie O.
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  9. #9
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    Agreed, but the condition described is not one of comfort. I'm all for palliative care for endstage conditions, but if a pet is rapidly dehydrating and anorectic in the face of pulmonary edema, then I would discourage home care.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTB
    Uh, thanks M+M... but... kind of a non-sequitur, no?
    I wasn't trying to be funny, but thanks for trying to make me feel bad.
    Shelby, I hope your kitty feels better, or at least more comfortable, soon.

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