Kitty wont eat or drink

dredreAugust 3, 2010

I took my precious baby Emma to the vet four days ago....

Emma is 13 years (still plays like a kitten) old and I took her into the vet because I noticed she was drinking a lot more water than usual. I did a little research on-line and freaked out that she may have kidney problems. I took her in and they ran a senior screen which checked her blood, urine,sodium, liver test and some other random stuff. The results came back pretty normal with the exception of the kidneys, they showed a little concern but her doctor said she is older and this is normal "her kidneys are hanging in there"?

So, I get her home and naturally she's not happy with me but got over it quick and was eating and drinking like normal. The following day she threw up three times. It was a lighter beige color, no food in it and it was almost mucousy. She threw up again last night at least three times. Now today she hasn't eaten much and puked twice. I called the vet and he said to keep an eye on her. I went and got her nuti-cal and force feed her a little. Now she's hiding in the closet.

Is it possible that she caught the kitty flu from the vet or is there something else I should worry about here? Has this happened to anyone else's babies?

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Generally speaking, any time a cat won't eat or drink, you should assume there is something serious going on. Cats hide that their sick and if they can no longer hide it any more, there really may be something quite bad going on. I'm not sure why your vet told you not to take it into the vet. 99% of people on here will tell you that anytime a pet, especially a cat, won't eat or drink, it's time to go to the vet.

I would consider going to another vet.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 10:49PM
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"Pretty normal" and "a little concern", combined with frequent vomiting and refusing food and water are all reasons for significant concern! If you don't have copies of all of your cat's test results, go back to your vet and get them. Then come back online and research her results yourself. You need to know what, "her kidneys are hanging in there" really means, because by the time any renal insufficiency shows up in bloodwork, at least 2/3 of kidney function has already been lost. If she was drinking a lot before the appt, it's because she's dehydrated and trying to keep up with her fluid requirements. If she's vomiting and not drinking now, she's going to quickly dehyrate even further, which will make her feel even sicker. You don't "keep an eye on" a cat in renal failure who can't keep food down and won't eat or drink. You need to get her back to a vet. She probably needs fluids and perhaps an anti-emetic to control the vomiting.

Get those test results and post them here. That'll give us a much better idea of how she's doing and what specific issues she may be dealing with. The vague phrases your vet gave you really aren't telling you anything useful.

I do hope you can find a more proactive vet who will put more effort into treating Emma. A cat in renal failure can go downhill very quickly without proper supportive care and management.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 11:36PM
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I agree that there is probably something going on that needs to be identified.

Did your vet do a thyroid panel? My kitty has kidney problems and is also hyperthyroid. While she has problems like you mentioned, we have a lot of debate about whether they are caused more by the thyroid or the kidneys. Her kidneys have been pretty much in check for the past few years, but her thyroid is constantly out of whack. When she vomits frequently (similar to what you described), we can guess that her thyroid is not properly controlled.

Also, the excessive drinking is generally associated with kidney problems, but I've also read that thyroid issues can lead to dehydration, which can then lead to nausea. Sometimes I wonder if the hydration we practice with our cat is more for her kidneys or her thyroid.

Especially if she's not eating, you need to take further action. I'm sometimes a proponent of waiting and watching for a day or two (providing kitty is eating, drinking, and not lethargic), because sometimes they do get a little under the weather and then snap out of it. I'd be a little worried if your kitty is hiding away from the world, and that is unusual for her.

Best of luck. It stinks when they are sick and can't tell you anything.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 11:15AM
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I'd first call your vet and ask the prognosis of your cats condition and what he meant by 'her kidneys are hanging in there'.
If you're not comfortable with him or his response, take her to another vet and have him/her request all the records from your previous vet.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 12:12PM
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Thanks all!

Update on Emma-I took her back to her old doctor (she hated the long ride) and I'm glad I did, they treated her like the princess she is! I was not at all satisfied with the treatment I got from the one I took her to on Saturday!

Her regular dotor read over the test results and said that they we good and not real concern. I told him what the other doctor had said about her kidneys and he said that there was nothing there he was concerned with (don't know what that other guy was talking about)?

He did say that she has a very full bladder and that they couldn't get her to urinate. I had them do an X-ray and it showed that her bladder was so full it was pushing on her intestines and this is why she wouldn't eat or drink and why she was probably vomiting. They ran a urine test and said that there were no crystals or blood. He couldn't figure out why she couldn't go and now believes that there might be some blockage? The X-rays showed a little darker area but he wasn't able to tell if it was some sort of mass? What the????

They ended up keeping my poor girl over night to observe her. Hopefully she can pee on her own. I don't even want to think about what will happen next if she can't go. I will be stopping by the other vet tonight to get those results to post.

I miss her :-(

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 6:44PM
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Maybe they can do something to drain her bladder (catheterize her?) while she's there to at least alleviate her discomfort.

I know how much you must be missing her. I hope she will be okay.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 8:14PM
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Thanks for the update. At least she's in good hands and being taken care of!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 10:21PM
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Thank you for an update! I always appreciate those! And I'm really happy to see you went back to your old vet for a second opinion.

Good luck and keep us updated.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 1:50AM
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UPDATE- Emma's doing well, they still couldn't find what was blocking (preventing) her from peeing. For the past two weeks she's been eating, drinking and functioning as normal. The vet did say she has the first signs of kidney disease and would like me to start feeding her hill's prescription diet K/D Feline. Has anyone used this? I'm not fond that this food does have meat-by-products but I will use it if that means it will help her.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 8:36AM
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Thanks for the update, dredre! Like Krycek, I always appreciate those..

About the food, unless you are talking about the canned version, the Science Diet K/D is not going to do much for your kitty's kidneys. It is not so much the 'by-products' that are troubling (with ALL Science Diet fry foods) but the absence of meat --and moisture, obviously. Cats are obligate carnivores, and Science Diet is not species appropriate for cats. Also, it is MUCH, MUCH too high in carbs (corn, wheat..) for a healthy diet. This is just my opinion.. However, it is always better for a cat to eat, than not eat. Some cats (I have one of those!!)won't change from kibble to canned food, and cats with kidney issues are notorious for being finicky eaters!!! Is she on dry or wet food?

By the way, my male cat (who also had kidney issues) did have a small 'mass' (seen on X-ray) in the pelvic area that made it very hard for him to pass stools. According to our vet, that mass grew over a few months, and by pressing on the bladder, prevented him for passing urine at the end. WE expressed (manually) his bladder, for a few days and finally reached the final decision. It was never clear what that mass was, but, because of his kidney issues, did not pursue surgery. This was not meant to scare you, but keep an eye on her urinating... Maybe another X-ray in a couple of months might be helpful, unless all is normal, of course--which I hope. Looks like, at this point, it is all resolved for Emma.

I am so glad Emma is doing WELL. She has a GREAT mom!! Give us an update whenever you can.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 9:49AM
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Did you ever get copies of her test results? Exactly what indicates to the vet that she has "the first signs of kidney disease"? Again, you are being given vague references by your vet that are essentially meaningless without the test results to put them into context.

Renal prescription diets are a matter of considerable debate among both CRF caretakers and vets. Old school vets still believe that renal diets are indicated for all stages of CRF, while more current-thinking vets acknowledge that the reduced protein content of renal diets may actually do more harm that good for early stage CRF patients. Cats need high quality protein to sustain their bodies, and restricting protein intake in the early stages of this disease may seriously weaken the cat. Please read the information at the link below so that you can make a more informed decision about how or if to adjust your cat's diet.


Here is a link that might be useful: nutritional requirements for CRF cats

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 10:45AM
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I would stick to the prescription diet for now, but I would also do a little more research yourself on other alternative diets for your kitty. Just because after the death of my previous cat I realized that nutrition is so important for your kitty's overall health so if you can give them the BEST POSSIBLE food then you should do it.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 11:09PM
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Canned food, not dry, because she needs to flush her kidneys and get as much fluids naturally as possible. Cats tend to not drink as much as dogs, so wet food forces hydration to some extent.

I really think hydration is as important as diet.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 6:57AM
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My cat's been on Royal Canin Renal LP (mostly dry, because that's what she prefers) for almost a year.

I believe that it's helped keep her alive. She used to eat Wellness. Like you, I was horrified to switch from good quality food to garbage, but...

If your cat's already showing early signs of kidney problems, I'd make the switch.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 11:38PM
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