serious cat vomiting (bile)

blurushMarch 3, 2009

My cat (not even 1 yr old) has been throwing up bile lately. She is not eating. Sometimes she licks the food in very small amounts. She has lost weight but she's not all skin & bones.

Two times this has happened: I gave her tuna and she ate some. 5 hours later, she's fine. All of a sudden, she throws up bile (with some mucus). Happened yesterday & two days ago.

What is bile a sign of? It seems like whenever we give her something to eat, she throws up.

In case there is something in her intestines, we are giving her grass gel to break up the possible object in the intestine and have it transferred out the stool. (She pooped today) but she doesn't seem much better.

She's inactive, doesn't want to eat (it seems like she WANTS to eat the food, but she's scared D:), and throws up occasionally. We are SO scared of giving her anything at all because we don't want her to throw up & lose more weight.


We took her to the vet once - they did blood tests (negative) and xrays (all clear). They gave us prescription food (which she ate ONCE and only about a teaspoon) and amoxicillin and nausea pills. (She wouldn't take the pills and made these horrible howls when we tried to)

I KNOW we should take her to the vet again, believe me.

But what tests are you almost positive will help me find the cause of why she is doing this???????

Please let me know of likely diseases or causes of my cat's condition.

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These are all symptoms of a problem that a vet should deal with. Make an appointment with your vet for your cat.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 7:18PM
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Bile is what comes up after there is no food left to vomit. Get the cat to the vet tonight, let the vet figure out what tests to administer.

Look up "emergency pet hospitals" in your phone book, she needs to be taken care of immediately.

Good luck, let us know what happens!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 7:47PM
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michelle_phxaz, but why is she throwing up bile?
is her stomach upset or is it more serious than that?

we have scheduled the vet appointment for tomorrow afternoon..

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:28PM
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The bloodwork and x-rays were within the last couple of days?

The vomiting cat could have:

Swallowed abrasive material
Food sensitivity
Dietary indiscretion
Food sensitivity
Foreign body
Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
Rounds, hooks, whips
GI ulcer
Gastric dilation and volvulus (bloat)

Acute hepatopathy
Biliary obstruction
Acute renal failure
Vestibular disease
Drug reaction

Obvious that is a very long list of possible problems, and the physical exam and history is extremely important.

For a young cat, foreign bodies are very common, so my first order of business after looking at the bloodwork and x-rays myself (if they were recent) would be to sedate the cat and look in her mouth. Lots of times they have string foreign bodies and sometimes you can see the string wrapped around their tongue. Severe dental problems such as abscesses can also cause vomiting and decreased appetite.

I'd deworm the cat regardless of previous history and of fecal test results just in case parasites are the problem- it's harmless to deworm if that isn't the problem and sometimes you get lucky.

If you want THE test to find out what is wrong, then abdominal exploratory surgery is the answer. In a cat of that age, foreign bodies are extremely common, and while you're inside the abdomen trying to figure out what is wrong, you find it and fix it. If there isn't a foreign body, you can look at the pancreas and rule out pancreatitis, get biopsies of each section of GI tract and possibly diagnose IBD or other inflammatory GI problems or GI cancer.

Losing weight and not eating will lead to hepatic lipidosis which is a potentially fatal condition of anorexic cats. It is caused when their body sends all of their fat to the liver to make glycogen so the body can make ATP the source of energy for all life's processes. Unfortunately if the negative energy state continues, the liver becomes overwhelmed with fat and function decreases, causing even more nausea and vomiting, and if not stopped, leading to death. So it is extremely important to either get the cat eating on her own or to have a feeding tube placed so she can get adequate nutrition and prevent or stop hepatic lipidosis.

I hope your kitty gets well soon. Please keep us all updated- we're pulling for her!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:35PM
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You said..........."I'd deworm the cat regardless of previous history and of fecal test results just in case parasites are the problem- it's harmless to deworm if that isn't the problem and sometimes you get lucky."

With the history she's given on this cat, wouldn't deworming possibly add to the problem since the cat is already sick, weak and not eating? I can understand this being done if the cat is hospitalized and the animal is being closely observed, but my fear would be an owner trying this at home before taking it to a vet to see what's wrong with the cat.

My vets have always told me to never deworm a sick cat, puppy or dog. Have things changed?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 11:37AM
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I have never heard that you shouldn't deworm a sick animal, from anyone. If the illness could be caused by parasites, it makes no sense to me NOT to deworm it. Otherwise the animal will never recover- how could it when the cause of the problem is still present?

If the animal is vomiting or cannot swallow, then aspiration pneumonia may be an issue, but anything an animal in that condition takes in by mouth could kill it. You don't want to force anything by mouth into an animal or person who cannot reliably swallow for that reason. Besides that, there are no contraindications for deworming.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 9:25PM
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I realize this is an old forum, but as I just had a similar ordeal with our cat, I'd like to help anyone who stumbles across it like I did. Our Bonnie started violently vomiting bile recently. I first dismissed it as hairballs, but no hairballs weren't coming up. After about half a day of vomiting every half hour or so, we took her to an emergency vet. They did X-rays and bloodwork which both came up negative. They noticed some feces near her backside and her urine had bacteria which they believe caused a urinary tract infection. She is 1 and a half, but quite overweight and they felt perhaps she was unable to properly reach around to clear her rear which may have caused a uti.
They prescribed clavamox and sent her home. She continued vomiting for hours so we took her to our vet the next day. He kept her for observation and to administer sub fluids and meds. We picked her up the next day. He prescribed Amoxidrops as he felt the Clavamox would upset her stomach even more. Also Pepcid for her stomach.
She continued to vomit that day and he told us to bring her back. They kept her and it got very scary. She continued vomiting, wouldn't eat and no bowel movements. I started to lose hope, but the vet said he's seen this quite often recently. We were 99% sure she didn't eat anything bad for her.
After 2 days there she started eating and stopped vomiting. After 3 days they said she looked good! We kept her there 2 more days (5days) to be sure.
As I type this, she's staring up at me in our house, her normal, healthy, and playful self. She's still taking Amoxidrops and Pepcid, but she's doing great!! We're still very cautious and guarded, but I think she's doing great!
My point in writing this is to tell everyone that if this happens, get to a vet immediately!! It could be the difference between life and death for your kitty. They can dehydrate very quickly, leading to organ failure. If you have a regular vet, they may not charge you until the end like ours did. The emergency Places are very expensive, so call your vet immediately. Don't wait. Your furry family members are depending on you!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:49AM
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