Cat has been very fussy with food following an intussusception surgery

gabicards

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Hi all,

My cat, Louie (1.4 years old) had an emergency surgery for intussusception on Saturday. He came back home on Monday afternoon and it has been extremely hard to feed him since then, he mostly just sleeps. I noticed he moved around a bit more today, and his wound seems like it's healing okay (it's not warmer than the rest of his body, there's no liquid in it, no blood). He gets curious about food, goes to his tray (I change the kibble so that it stays fresh, in the hopes that he'll eat it, and I've offered 7 or 8 different types too), but he either eats 1 or 2 pieces and leaves, or nothing at all.

His stomach isn't completely empty, however, because he accepts treats. Yesterday I also gave him a bit of wet food with a syringe, but very little because I was afraid he was feeling nauseous or something.

I'll be honest, his own vet isn't being very helpful with this. I've called multiple times asking about when it should start to concern me, what type of food I should give, and he just said I should prioritise gastrointestinal food (he was eating that before, so no problem). I called the clinic that did the surgery on him and they said I should speak to his vet, so I'm at a loss of what I can do now.

I figure I shouldn't just keep feeding him treats, right? He's my first pet and I'm not very knowledgeable about nutrition, but my research says he should be eating good food to improve his healing process... so I'm worried. Does anyone have any advice? Is there any human food I could give him that might increase his apetite, without being dangerous to him?

Thoughts and discussion are appreciated. I'm very tried after this week taking care of him, and desperate to help him feel better.

P.s.: I'm giving him two different pills in the morning (Kesium and Metrobactin), the same two pills at night + an anti acid medication.
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. He needs to be checked by the Veterinarian that did the surgery. This is not normal.

Time to be polite but very firm. Call the surgery center and explain what is going on. No matter what, don’t bad mouth your regular Vet, just let them know what you were told to or not to do. Ask them for help. Ask what you should do now.

As for your regular Vet, try speaking to him directly if you haven’t already. If you have, try to find a feline only veterinarian to help you.

Your cat had a major surgery. It is a big deal and you need follow up care.

What caused the initial problem?
 
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gabicards

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Hi. He needs to be checked by the Veterinarian that did the surgery. This is not normal.

Time to be polite but very firm. Call the surgery center and explain what is going on. No matter what, don’t bad mouth your regular Vet, just let them know what you were told to or not to do. Ask them for help. Ask what you should do now.

As for your regular Vet, try speaking to him directly if you haven’t already. If you have, try to find a feline only veterinarian to help you.

Your cat had a major surgery. It is a big deal and you need follow up care.

What caused the initial problem?
The initial problem was intussusception. There's no way to know what caused the intussusception, but it could have been as simple as some of his own fur that he ingested, for example. Nothing was found inside his intestines, so nobody knows... the explanation I was given is that he might have a predisposition for this type of issue, and it can only be solved through surgery. They cut a small piece of his intestines out. It sounds horrible.

Thanks. I'll try calling again tomorrow, but I'm a bit helpless... specially because he's drinking water, he *is* eating, but only what he wants to, so he's being more picky. I'm wondering if he's traumatised by the food he was eating when he got sick. He goes near it, sniffs it and turns away. :(
 

silent meowlook

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I am wondering if this is pain related. Not to scare you but you also have to be cautious of the bowel leaking where it was sutured and causing peritonitis.
 
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gabicards

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I am wondering if this is pain related. Not to scare you but you also have to be cautious of the bowel leaking where it was sutured and causing peritonitis.
I've been terrified of this, but his vet isn't worried, which doesn't really soothe me.

So, an update: I got my cat Purina Pro Plan Gastrointestinal, which he loved as a kitten, and he ate more than in the previous days of the week. He also pooped today, more than he did on Wednesday (2nd time after surgery).

He's still sleeping more than usual, but I feel like a little less than on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. My flatmates noticed he's purring more, too, and jumping into higher places (the damn kitchen counter, which we sadly can't restrict him from) and becoming a little more curious again (he used to sniff literally everything that came near him, and he stopped completely). I'm holding out hope that these are good signs, but I'm keeping an eye on him.

Tonight I'll try the food again + Fortiflora, which he loves. I'm hoping this combination will bring his appetite back and that it isn't anything more serious.
 
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gabicards

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Update: Unless I took his temperature wrong, he doesn't have a fever.

He's responding to food a bit... less than he would normally, but more in the previous days. I hope he's okay!
 
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gabicards

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So, today Louie has been more quiet than in the previous days of the week - his behaviour seemed to be slowly improving before - and I fed him some wet gastrointestinal food with a syringe, also gave him some water at different times throughout the day.

His temperature is 39.8c. I called the clinic that operated him and the vet that talked to me said this temperature isn't concerning, but that I can take him back tomorrow or Monday because he might be in pain. That made me realize that Kesium and Metrobactin are both antibiotics, which means he isn't taking anything for the pain... does this sound like regular practice?

I mean, he had a part of his intestines remove. I would imagine any living creature would be in pain after this. Are cats normally not prescribed anything after surgeries? I'm genuinely confused, concerned and feeling sorry for him. I'm also afraid of some type of infection that could be life threatening, and frustrated that after calling his vet 4x this past week he never explained that the lethargy/lack of appetite could be due to his antibiotics, or that maybe he could be given something for nausea or pain.
 

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Yeah, that’s why I stated in above post that it could be pain related and I am sure some of this is. What concerns me is the improvement then decline today.

Cats have the same ability to feel pain as humans. So, if something hurts us it also hurts them. At the hospital where I work, he would have been hospitalized for 3 days on a CRI constant rate infusion of fentanyl, then sent home on oral Buprenorphine for another 3 days.

I would consider finding a feline only veterinarian in the future. I would still bring him in for the recheck ASAP.
 

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So your cat’s temp is 103.6 f right? That would concern me. If they offer you Metacam turn it down. Horrible stuff.
 
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gabicards

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So your cat’s temp is 103.6 f right? That would concern me. If they offer you Metacam turn it down. Horrible stuff.
Yes, it was that last night. It's 102.7 now, so no fever... but I'm taking him in again at 3pm today. They can do a full check up and (hopefully) give him something for the pain. I'll certainly ask if that's a possibility, because he's clearly uncomfortable and I feel so sorry for him.
 
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gabicards

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I had to leave him at the vet for another surgery, the prognosis isn't good as the original surgery was just 7 days ago. :(

They did an ultrasound and found an abscess and another blockage - apparently it's fur, and right at the site of the previous surgery.

I'm at a loss for words. Poor Louie, he's always had it so rough with his health. He's very weak now, so I understand the risk of the procedure, but I wanted to give him another chance.
 
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