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Need help for poor appetite cat.

I'm looking for any help for my little bundle of joy.  I'll give you some background first:

I took my cat in as a stray.  After they cleaned her up, the vet was unable to give an exact age for her, but he said she was probably 1-2 years old already and had had children in the past (they also spayed her).  I have now had her for 17 years, so she is probably somewhere between 18-19 years old.  I know this sounds old but other than recent problems she has really been doing well.  She is very active, plays all day (with me and with my other 1 cat), normally eats a ton, and has regular urine and bowel movements.  She is a lover and is very loved.  She gets non stop attention all day from my husband and I and she is always around us.

Around 5 years ago I noticed she was losing some weight.  She historically has been around 11-12 pounds.  When I took her in to the vet she was down to 9 pounds (so I really dropped the ball on watching out for her, I know).  He did some tests, and found out that she had an irregular heartbeat (as well as it going quite fast) and had a hyperthyroid.  All blood work revealed nothing else wrong with her.  I should probably mention that she is also a very stubborn kitty at this point.  She would not take pills, and we even tried custom food treats with the medicine baked in, but to no avail.  We finally tried transdermal gel (that is applied to the inside of her ear) for both the heart medication and the thyroid medication, and she was fine with it.  She seemed to do quite well for a while on that.  We have had to make some minor modifications to the medicine over time as needed, but other than that she has been fine.  She went back up to around 10 pounds and has stayed there.

Just around a month ago, we noticed she stopped eating.  Not a decrease in eating, just stopped completely.  She was still drinking water, a LOT of water, and urinating often.  We suspected a UTI, and the vet confirmed he did see blood in the urine.  A urine culture produced NO results however (he said this sometimes happens, that nothing grows).  We started giving her human tuna (tuna meant for humans) as that was historically her favorite food (I know it's not good for her, but even the vet said just get her eating, even if it is just tuna).  He placed her on oral augmentin, and after 2 days of that she stopped eating entirely again.  She was also burning up (nose and ears on fire), so he said to stop that immediately.  Convenia was out of the question as we gave that to her a few years previous for another infection and it caused her to vomit for nearly 3 days straight.  The vet said she was allergic.  He then tried Amoxicillin, which he said had a slightly similar base to Convenia but should be different enough, and was milder than Augmentin.  We gave her that, and after 1 day she started projectile vomiting, the same as with Convenia.  So we had to stop that as well.

At this point she was losing more weight and wasn't doing well.  I asked the vet if I could just take a week and try to feed her her favorite things to recover from the antibiotics and then we could resume trying to cure her.  He said 3-4 days and we did get her to eat well during that time.

He then had us try a really small dose of Amoxicillin again (0.3ml, it was really just a drop in her mouth), but again the vomiting started.  We stopped immediately.  He decided to test her urine again rather than submit her to more antibioitics and saw no more blood and nothing again in the culture.  It seems as though either the minor amount of antibiotics she got cured the infection or she beat it herself.  The tests did reveal a slightly high thyroid level so we also bumped up her thyroid medication, but only by a very small margin.

However, since then (it has been around 2 weeks since that time), she still will not eat very much at all.  She is again losing weight, but not quickly.  The vet has tested her blood and urine and given her an ultrasound of all organs and given her a perfect clean bill of health. She also continues to vomit, although not very often.  Still, historically she almost NEVER vomits (once every 3-4 months), and now she is vomiting maybe once every day or every two days.  The vomit is also almost always just spit and stomach acid; it rarely has any food in it.

For the last 2 weeks I have tried everything to get her to eat.  She was always very picky before but now it seems exacerbated.  She will eat human tuna, but only for a day or two before she refuses it.  We gave her KMR kitten milk (super high in protein and fat) and she drank a can a day for 3 days but since then will not go near it.  I have tried plain whole chicken, cold cuts (always low or no sodium), sardines (deboned, in water, no salt), Nutrical, and every single type of cat and kitten food that my supermarket and pet stores carry (literally every brand and every flavor).  Nothing will get her eating again on a consistent basis.

We have tried all of the natural food stimulants to no avail.  We have tried cepraheptadine, and it only made minor increases to her appetite for a day or two, and then her appetite actually got worse, so we stopped.  Valium/Diazepan is not an option for her.

If she continues on this path she will continue to lose weight and I'm sure liver and probably kidney problems will follow.  She is too scared to go into the vet (even the vet said that her heart races so fast that he has made us his only home visit, though we are now around an hour away from him).  We also have tried to give her injections in the past, and after a single injection, she learns what is going to happen and it becomes too stressful for her (so sub-q feeding is out).

Can anyone please suggest something I have not yet tried?  I am already in your debt for your having read this far.
4 Responses
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
I'm sorry to read about all the problems your poor little girl is having, with your good care she has lived to an awesome old age and has done remarkably well thus far.
I don't know how we could help you much further, we are only pet parents here and not Vets..and it does sound like you have a very thorough and caring Vet who has taken great care to do all the tests....you didn't mention whether or not he had checked her blood sugars for diabetes? I amassuming he did since that would be routine with all the other blood and urine testing.
Has he also checked her teeth? many cats will stop eating d/t a sore mouth...but at her age and health concerns I wouldn't recommend a dental and anesthesia, too much of a risk.
I don't really know what to suggest to get her eating...sounds like you'v tried everything possible to entice her, one of my boys is on a homemade diet which is very bland with no smell (cats won't eat the food when they can't smell it...)
I sometimes need to entice him with a very small sprinkle of parmessan cheese (very small b/c there is salt in the ingred.)...he loves it and will eat the full bowl afterwards.
I'm sorry I'm not of more help, I can tell you are very worried as I too would be...I am thinking your little girl has just had enough, not unlike an elderly human who will also just stop eating when they feel they've had enough???

Medhelp does have a Vet forum, with a dr. that does specialize in cats I will give you a link to Dr. Redfords site and suggest you post this same info to him and perhaps he can give you more guidance. I wish you and kitty all the luck in the world♥

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Animal-Health---General/show/112?controller=forums&action=show&id=112&camp=msc
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
hi again, I wonder if your Vet has considered pancreatitis? this is often overlooked in cats...symptoms no appetite, lethargy, vomiting...just a though..sending some info and some ((hugs))

http://vetmed.tamu.edu/gilab/research/pancreatitis-information
Avatar universal
Thank you very much for your kindly advice.  I will repost this over there with some new additional information (just from the last day) and see if I can get any more advice.

Thank you once again, I really appreciate you taking the time to read all of that and help me out.  Diabetes was for certain checked.  I am not certain on the pancreas (I can call and ask tomorrow), however the ultrasound supposedly gave her a clean bill of health on all organs (and was reviewed by a radiologist).
1217293 tn?1467357944
What level was her kidney results? My poor little girl had the some issues and it was because she was in kidney failure and it was making her sick to eat.
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