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Anemic Cat Won't Eat

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iloveferals

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My 12-year-old cat, Minnie, developed watery eyes and a runny nose last Thursday night (which cleared up Friday evening). She barely ate on Friday and Saturday and was losing weight really fast, so I took her to the ER vet Sunday morning. The vet said she's mildly anemic, has a high bilirubin, and a high white blood cell count. He gave her fluids, an appetite stimulant, and a Cerenia injection.

She completely stopped eating after the trip to the ER vet. So I took her to our regular vet's office on Monday. Our vet thinks Minnie has an infection. She gave her some fluids, Cerenia, B12, Nutri-Cal, and 3 types of antibiotics. Minnie has a bit more energy and her nose is starting to look more pink (it was turning slightly yellow), but she still won't eat. I'm syringe-feeding her every few hours and giving her Nutri-Cal in between meals.

The vet keeps recommending a feeding tube, which I absolutely cannot afford. So, does anyone have any ideas on how to get Minnie to start eating again? I tried tuna, lickable treats, boiled chicken, and different brands and flavors of canned cat food. The vet said if Minnie's not eating by tomorrow, she will need the feeding tube for sure.
 

rubysmama

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I'm so sorry you and Minnie are dealing with this. :alright: Here's a TCS article that might be helpful: How To Get Your Cat To Start Eating Again

A couple foods I've seen suggested in the past are sardines, and KFC.

Sending healing vibes that Minnie feels better soon.
:vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
 

LTS3

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ArchyCat

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Have you tried Kitten Milk Replacement or Goat milk? You can find both at Pet Smart. And probably other pet shops. Good luck, and keep us updated! iloveferals iloveferals
 
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iloveferals

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I'm so sorry you and Minnie are dealing with this. :alright: Here's a TCS article that might be helpful: How To Get Your Cat To Start Eating Again

A couple foods I've seen suggested in the past are sardines, and KFC.

Sending healing vibes that Minnie feels better soon.
:vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
I like the KFC idea!

I think Minnie is starting to feel a little better this evening. She's been walking around the house instead of hiding. I'm about to try feeding her again.
 
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iloveferals

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Have you tried Kitten Milk Replacement or Goat milk? You can find both at Pet Smart. And probably other pet shops. Good luck, and keep us updated! iloveferals iloveferals
I tried Cat-Sip, but she wouldn't drink it.

I'll definitely keep everyone updated!
 

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Cerenia makes some cat’s anorexic. It destroys my Krista’s appetite. Does she need the Cerenia or can you try to leave it out? Then again. Three kinds of antibiotics can also wreck a tummy. Maybe try a different appetite stimulant.
 
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iloveferals

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Cerenia makes some cat’s anorexic. It destroys my Krista’s appetite. Does she need the Cerenia or can you try to leave it out? Then again. Three kinds of antibiotics can also wreck a tummy. Maybe try a different appetite stimulant.
She received Cerenia on Sunday and Monday, but she hasn't received another injection since then. I'll have to see if the vet can prescribe a different appetite stimulant. I thought 3 antibiotics was excessive, but the vet said she wants to cover all bases.
 

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I like mirtazapine for my 15 year old for long-term use. But I found Entyce was really effective in the short-term. But it doesn't last. I gave it once a day but it wasn't working as well by dinner time. There's also cyproheptadine which I have no experience with. Maybe others too.

A feeding tube isn't so bad (or that expensive) if it's going to save her life. You'll mind it more than she will. The only time my Krista ever paid it a second thought was when I fed her too fast or I fed her too cold. In both cases, I got instant feedback. I learned and adjusted. It will make medicines easier and you'll be able to assure she gets enough nutrition to recover. It won't preclude her from eating on her own. And when it's ready to come out, she'll heal up within a week like it was never there. Sometimes cats need an extra assist when they're not feeling so great. A feeding tube will give you an active hand in her recovery.
 
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iloveferals

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I like mirtazapine for my 15 year old for long-term use. But I found Entyce was really effective in the short-term. But it doesn't last. I gave it once a day but it wasn't working as well by dinner time. There's also cyproheptadine which I have no experience with. Maybe others too.

A feeding tube isn't so bad (or that expensive) if it's going to save her life. You'll mind it more than she will. The only time my Krista ever paid it a second thought was when I fed her too fast or I fed her too cold. In both cases, I got instant feedback. I learned and adjusted. It will make medicines easier and you'll be able to assure she gets enough nutrition to recover. It won't preclude her from eating on her own. And when it's ready to come out, she'll heal up within a week like it was never there. Sometimes cats need an extra assist when they're not feeling so great. A feeding tube will give you an active hand in her recovery.
Minnie was given Entyce. It didn't help her at all.

The cost of inserting the tube isn't too bad. But the vet wants me to hospitalize Minnie at the ER clinic until the tube is removed. It would cost at least $200 per day for hospitalization, and that doesn't include medications or other treatments. If she would teach me how to care for Minnie at home, I would be happy to do the feeding tube.
 

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High bilirubin alone causes nausea by the way.

Check with the vet if FortiFlora would be OK to use. It's antibiotics but also help to get cats eats I'm told. It also has some vitamins in it, not just probiotics and with that said to support the immune system as well. I don't know if they do there but where I live vet clinics also sell the single doses individually. The box is expensive but if you can get a single dose and if it works, then you can buy more.
 
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iloveferals

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High bilirubin alone causes nausea by the way.

Check with the vet if FortiFlora would be OK to use. It's antibiotics but also help to get cats eats I'm told. It also has some vitamins in it, not just probiotics and with that said to support the immune system as well. I don't know if they do there but where I live vet clinics also sell the single doses individually. The box is expensive but if you can get a single dose and if it works, then you can buy more.
I just wish I knew what was causing her bilirubin to be so high. She had this same problem last September with anemia and a high bilirubin. She refused to eat then too. The vet treated her with an antibiotic, probiotics, and IV fluids. She perked up and started eating within 3 days.
This vet won't do the IV fluids. (Same clinic, different doctor.)

I'll check into the FortiFlora. I know our vet carries it, but I don't know if they sell single doses at this clinic.
 

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Check with the vet if FortiFlora would be OK to use. It's antibiotics but also help to get cats eats I'm told.
FortiFlora is not an antibiotic. It's a probiotic supplement. Most people use it to get inappetant cats to eat. The animal digest in the product is irresistible to cats. FortiFlora is only sold by the box but some vets may let you buy a single packet out of the box.

If your vet doesn't know what is wrong with the vet and is just recommending more meds, feel free to seek out a different vet at a different vet hospital. An internal medicine vet is ideal.
 

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Have you tried warming meat flavoured baby food?

I have fed cats with a syringe to get them to eat. The vet has food that is thin enough to go through.
 
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iloveferals

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Have you tried warming meat flavoured baby food?

I have fed cats with a syringe to get them to eat. The vet has food that is thin enough to go through.
I haven't tried baby food. The vet gave us samples of different types of food to try.
 
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iloveferals

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FortiFlora is not an antibiotic. It's a probiotic supplement. Most people use it to get inappetant cats to eat. The animal digest in the product is irresistible to cats. FortiFlora is only sold by the box but some vets may let you buy a single packet out of the box.

If your vet doesn't know what is wrong with the vet and is just recommending more meds, feel free to seek out a different vet at a different vet hospital. An internal medicine vet is ideal.
I will probably stick with this clinic, but I would like Minnie to be under the other vet's care again. She just wasn't working at the beginning of the week.

At this point, I'm heavily considering the feeding tube, and I will see if either vet will teach me how to care for Minnie at home instead of hospitalizing her.
 

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Minnie was given Entyce. It didn't help her at all.

The cost of inserting the tube isn't too bad. But the vet wants me to hospitalize Minnie at the ER clinic until the tube is removed. It would cost at least $200 per day for hospitalization, and that doesn't include medications or other treatments. If she would teach me how to care for Minnie at home, I would be happy to do the feeding tube.
Feeding tube does not need to translate to an extended hospitalization. She could have it inserted in the morning and ready for first feeding in 12 hours. Usually that’s the reason to keep the patient overnight—to make sure that first feed goes well and no complications. Then you should have a vet tech appointment the next morning to learn how to use it and how to clean the insertion site. If you bring in your own prescriptions, you should be able to save on those medications for that day.

Ask about mirtazapine or Mirtaz (the transdermal formulation.) for appetite stimulation. The side effects—increased vocalization—can be alarming. In Krista’s case, I liken it to having her drink spiked. She gets a serotonin surge and she just wants to be held and stroked until the rush has passed (10-20 minutes) and then she’s off to the plates. Krista has been on mirtazapine for about a month (or two?) now. We have fleas. After everything she’s been through (Ibd, pancreatitis, liver and gallbladder inflammation, and multiple rounds of tooth resorption and associated extractions), I wasn’t going to let fleas be the thing that’s takes her out.
 

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FortiFlora is not an antibiotic. It's a probiotic supplement. Most people use it to get inappetant cats to eat. The animal digest in the product is irresistible to cats. FortiFlora is only sold by the box but some vets may let you buy a single packet out of the box.

If your vet doesn't know what is wrong with the vet and is just recommending more meds, feel free to seek out a different vet at a different vet hospi
tal. An internal medicine vet is ideal.
True! I meant to write probiotics. My apologies.
 

PushPurrCatPaws

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... She had this same problem last September with anemia and a high bilirubin. She refused to eat then too. The vet treated her with an antibiotic, probiotics, and IV fluids. She perked up and started eating within 3 days.
This vet won't do the IV fluids. (Same clinic, different doctor.)
Why won't the current vet give her fluids?! Does she have any heart issues, or anything like that?
 
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iloveferals

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Why won't the current vet give her fluids?! Does she have any heart issues, or anything like that?
I don't know why she won't do the IV fluids. She just does the sub q fluids and sends her home. On the first day there, I asked for IV fluids, and the tech said it was too late in the afternoon. I wanted to take her in early Tuesday morning to do IV fluids, but the vet insisted on doing sub q fluids again.

When Minnie was sick last year, her vet at the time said sub q fluids weren't enough. She needed IV fluids to flush out the bilirubin. I'm about to set up an appointment with that vet, so maybe we can get her some help! She would also be the one to insert the feeding tube because the other vet said she's not comfortable doing it herself. I just hope it's not too late. Minnie seems very lethargic this morning.
 
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