13yr old male cat won't eat after dental surgery

LinB

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Messages
4
Purraise
4
My cat Kirby has not eaten for 6 days. He had surgery for removal of 4 teeth 7 days ago. He ate a little when he got home.
Since then he has not eaten anything. He does not purr or show any interest in anything. He drinks a little water. I took him back to the vet 2 days after surgery but my concerns were not listened to just given reassurance. I then took him to the emergency vet at the weekend who did a blood test but could find nothing wrong. We were given a few tins of food to try and tempt him. Took him back to the original vet after the weekend, she gave him a steroid injection and a pill to increase his appetite. Her did improve, started to purr again and drank more but still refused any food.
The Vet told me that during the surgery they had to reintubate him because he brought up a lot of mucus.
I have no idea how to syringe feed him and do not have any equipment. Please help.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
5,433
Purraise
7,841
Location
Los Angeles
Welcome to The Cat Site.....as I understand this, you have been given an appetite stimulant and a steriod and neither have solved the problem and your older cat has not eaten for 6 days. Did the vet tell you to start to syringe feeding him? It sounds as if you are not getting any support and I think that you need to call them back, tell them that you feel that he needs to be syringe fed, and ask for help. To me, this is approaching a serious condition. They need to know the extent to which he is not eating and that nothing has worked. Having had to reintubate him is one thing, but it almost sounds as if they are using it as an excuse.

https://americanpetsalive.org/uploads/resources/Austin-Pets-Alive-Force-Feeding-Cats-52F6.pdf

Both links give you the basics of what you need to do. The vet should be able to give you syringes and they may be available at some pet stores.
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
8,358
Purraise
15,222
Maybe you forgot to mention it. But I am not seeing a pain prescription. Did he get anything for pain? Any Buprenex, Simbadol, or buprenorphine? (Same drug, different names.) If not, I would recommend demanding a few days' worth. It may take a couple of doses to catch up to the pain relief. It's always easier to stay ahead of the pain than to catch up to it.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

LinB

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Messages
4
Purraise
4
Thank you so much for your reply and your support. Kirby was not given any pain relief after surgery and it is only after reading a similar case on this site that I heard about syringe feeding. After the steroid Kirby started purring again and drinking water for one day but still refused to eat anything. Towards evening he stopped drinking again and although I was up with him in the night he still refused to drink or eat. I made an appointment with the vet first thing this morning and took him in for 9am. They have kept him in and are going to do a more in depth blood test and he will be on a drip for the fluids he needs. I am waiting for a phone call in a few hours. I did mention that I thought his throat may have been damaged and asked if they could look at that but that would mean anesthetising him again and that is not a good idea, he is so weak. I do think he must be in pain and I will request pain killers for him when/if he comes home later today. I will also ask about the syringe feeding, at least I will not feel so helpless if I can help him.
Many thanks
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
5,433
Purraise
7,841
Location
Los Angeles
Please let us know what happens. You did the right thing to get him back to the vet.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

LinB

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Messages
4
Purraise
4
Kirby had a scan, this showed he had some masses in his stomach and intestines. We brought him home last night under lots of painkillers to say goodbye. Today he is making loud yowling noise and am afraid he is pain and we should take him back to the vet earlier, any thought on that? It would be appreciated. His appointment today is at noon and it is now just past 9am
 

Antonio65

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
4,477
Purraise
6,674
Location
Orbassano - Italy
A semi-feral cat that lives in my yard had a similar surgery September last year. She stayed at the vet's a couple of days, and when she was discharged I checked her mouth and saw some fragments of teeth still in her jaw bones. I asked the vets if that was normal, and they said yes. So she came home.
The cat was eating at home and everything was fine. The follow up visit a month later was clear.
Until two weeks ago, when she stopped eating again and I took her again to the vets' and they saw that her gums were inflammed and noticed the same fragments of teeth that I had told them about last year. So she was held and they removed the fragments right away, and now she's fine.

She was given a pain medication for the first day only, then she's on cortisone.

From my experience, your Kirby could be going through something similar, that is that the surgery wasn't done properly, that some pieces of tooth have been left in place and they're bothering him a lot. The fragments can be there even if you don't see it, and they can be painful.
I think that an x-ray of his mouth could clear this doubt out.
 

Antonio65

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
4,477
Purraise
6,674
Location
Orbassano - Italy
Kirby had a scan, this showed he had some masses in his stomach and intestines. We brought him home last night under lots of painkillers to say goodbye. Today he is making loud yowling noise and am afraid he is pain and we should take him back to the vet earlier, any thought on that? It would be appreciated. His appointment today is at noon and it is now just past 9am
Sorry, I didn't read your last post, just replied to the first one.
I'm sorry... :(
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
5,433
Purraise
7,841
Location
Los Angeles
I am so sorry for this news. You may already have taken Kirby back to the vet by now. Please let us know how you are doing and post if you need to talk or vent.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

LinB

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Messages
4
Purraise
4
Kirby was put to sleep yesterday, his last week on this earth was an absolute nightmare. he suffered so much.
Thanks you for all your help and thoughts it is much appreciated. I will close this thread now.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
5,433
Purraise
7,841
Location
Los Angeles
I am so sorry for your loss. It was sudden and unexpected which makes it so much harder. Kirby knew that you gave him a wonderful life for all those years and I hope that those thoughts will eventually comfort you.
 
Top