Running Out of Time with Sick Kitty

daphne_2009December 13, 2009

Hello -- I'm grateful for any input. I found my cat in distress a couple of weeks ago (heart racing, labored breathing) and took him to the vet. He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (he's only eight) and anemia. They were able to get the fluid out of his lungs and his heart rate returned to a more normal pace. He has an enlarged heart (they did x-rays and an ultrasound), and I am keeping him on meds to keep the fluid out of his lungs. He refuses to eat but he drinks a lot of water. He vomited bile on occasion for a few months prior to this diagnosis, which the vet seems to dismiss. I am successful in getting just a little food in him by injecting it into his mouth, but he doesn't want to eat. He's wasting away. The vet is waiting for him to regain his strength before running tests to see what the underlying condition may be. Any thoughts? I am grateful for any help.

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Either you misunderstood the vet,
or the vet doesn't realize that the cat isn't getting any nutrition,
or it's time for a new vet.

Nobody can "regain strength" without eating.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 4:19PM
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I wrote a very specific post, and deleted it because I didn't in any way/shape or form want to look like I was diagnosing or trying to be a vet.....because I'm not. I am versed somewhat in physiology because I was in the human health care field and this is what I'd be doing if my cat were in that situation.

I'd be informing the vet that the cat is drinking excessively and taking in no nutrition. I'd ask specifically if the cat had any renal panels done (blood work for kidney function). Why? Because cats who take in abnormally large amounts of fluid could be sufferenting from several conditions and one of which is renal failue (that's how my geriatric cat presented) and because there is a condition called cardio renal anemia syndrome. It is CHF, anaemia and underlying kidney disease.

I have no clue whether he/she is going the most conservative approach before proceeding, in hopes the animal will snap back. I'm not against that and often my vet does that. But, it's my job to let them know if it's working and keeping him updated. I also try to find out why he's taking a certain approach and what he may suspect if the conservative approach isn't working and what the prognosis is. If this cat has multiple problems, it might be easier on you and the cat to find out up front so you can make good decisions. IOW, I ask a lot of questions and throw out a lot of what ifs. They probably run when they see me coming, but good dialog is very important and owners understand it better than some vets think they do. LOL. I also think a talk with your vet shouldn't be postponed too long if he's doing this poorly. Starving cats, especially heavy cats who suddenly stop eating are at risk for fatty liver syndrome.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 6:28PM
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I agree with calliope, and if it were my cat I'd be asking the vet to do a full blood panel. Loss of apetite, refusing to eat, vomiting bile and drinking excess amounts of water are all symptoms of kidney disease and if he doesnt start eating soon he will not recover but until you get a blood panel done you wont know for sure. If he does have kidney disease he may need fluids then antacids and anti nausea meds and a diet change will get him eating properly again.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 8:46PM
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I agree that 1) not eating is a serious problem that needs to be addressed ASAP 2) drinking excessively could be diabetes, kidney disease, UTI, or just trying to keep up with the diuretics he's been given for his heart. Either way, kitty needs vet ASAP. Wasting away is no way to go. I'd certainly opt for a second opinion or a vet who cares.

It is very common for cats with CHF and very mild underlying kidney disease to go into full-blown kidney failure once diuretics are started. I've had several do that, and unfortunately there is very little that can be done. The heart can't take excessive fluids, and the kidneys demand them. It would take only a simple blood test to find out if this is your cat's problem. If he is in kidney failure along with heart failure and is not doing well, unfortunately it may be time to let him go. I hope that is not the case and that he recovers. But waiting for diagnostics until a sick cat gets better without treatment isn't logical IMHO.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 9:05PM
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