Covid "shelter-in-place" rule + vet emergency?

hoosiercatlady

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
16
Please help. I need some advice as soon as possible if anyone has any insight.

Gus my 16 year old cat who's has issues in the past with fleeting bouts of acute/chronic pancreatitis that self corrected after months, and hasn't caused issues in 4 years.

I live in part of the U.S. with a big Covid explosion and we're only allowed out for essential errands. For the past month, I've been fighting the worst cold/bronchitis I've had in my life, which could easily have been covid based on my symptoms, but our city wasn't testing well at the time. This is relevant because, even though I'm doing better now, I'm still feeling kind of crappy and I definitely don't want to give this to anyone else—especially if it's covid. Further, even if that is not what I have, with my lungs still being so beaten up by the "bronchitis," I definitely do not want to get covid on top of this. (I also have autoimmune issues.)

This morning I woke up to a little pile of saliva type vomit where the cats usually sleep. I didn't know if it came from Gus or his sister, but they're both acting fine, so I shrugged it off since it's not abnormal to find these occasionally.

As the day went on, Gus was his normal relatively sociable self, I saw him trying to eat some plastic off of a variety pack of canned cat food we recently purchased from Amazon (this is not the first time he's attemped this week). Ordinarily this is not the type of food they eat, but we decided to purchase some to have on hand since we're all isolated and we didn't know how long their dry food would last. He's eaten bites of it fine for the past week, so I don't think it's likely to be that.

As the day went on, he threw up bits of the wet food one time, and then, a few hours later just now, he threw up barely digested dry food.

(Looking at the packaging on the cat food, it doesn't look like he could have eaten that much plastic, if any. The missing piece is only about 1.5 inch across.)

I started to notice him acting more touchy and lethargic, whining when we tried to handle him.

He was pawing at his ears a LOT today. To my embarrassment, he does have incredible waxy buildup in his ears that I try to manage as best as I can, but he is such a sensitive cat that manhandling him too much since him into a panic. It's heartbreaking to watch, so I don't clean them as often as I should.

I took his temperature, and it was 100.5, so no fever (though in my mind, his ears felt warmer than normal; my husband disagrees).

I grabbed some (probably expired by now) veterinary miconazole drops from my cabinet, and swab the inside of his ears with some of it dampening the swabs. He struggled and hated me all the more since he already felt crummy, then had his temperature taken, then going through this.

I also gave him about 1/2 tsp of colloidal silver just because I didn't know what he's sick with, and that can't hurt him.

At this point, I decided to try Cai our vet's office, knowing that even though we would not be able to go in, she might be able to walk me through some options. She's out of the office and won't be back in until tomorrow. They took a message.

In the meantime, he's moping around and acting whiny and in minor/moderate pain, and I am beside myself.

On top of this, my brother, with whom I'm close seems to have come down with covid, and is having a rough time of it tonight, on quarantine at his house, trying to decide if his lung symptoms are bad enough to go to the hospital.

So I am at my stress limit. I'm not sure if the way Gus is feeling is because of potentially eating a small plastic, new wet food, a recurrence of this semi chronic pancreatitis we haven't experienced in years, or if it's somehow possible severe ear infection can be connected to nausea and vomiting. Oh, and looking back, I used a Steramine spray (used by veterinarians often to clean kennels and such, and effective against covid) last night to sanitize my entryway floor after setting delivered groceries down, but I went back with water later to make sure any remaining reside was now dilute, but what if it wasn't and he licked his paws and has been poisoned?

I'm just... so... anxiety laden, and I don't know what to do. Any other situatin and we'd be at the emergency vet RIGHT NOW, but I can't risk getting anyone else sick or anyone getting me sick (or leaving sick germs on my cat that I could later catch from him if someone else brought him in).

The vet is supposedly calling be back tomorrow, but in the meantime, any ideas on what we might do or even which "why is he puking and feeling crappy" scenario seems most likely?

The meds we have on hand that could potentially be safe for him if needed: miconazole drops, prednisolone (his sister's), and flagyl (Rx of mine from last year i only took two of because of bad side effects).
 

Kieka

Snowshoe Servant
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Sep 6, 2016
Messages
9,310
Reaction score
13,257
Location
Southern California
You are right, it could be any of them. I might have missed it, but is he eating fairly normally and using the litter box. Also check the tent test to see if he is dehydrated (pinch the skin between his shoulder blades and if it take more then a count to go down you are looking at dehydrated, more then a 3 count is severe). If that all checks out, I would feel comfortable waiting for your vet to call you back.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

hoosiercatlady

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
16
You are right, it could be any of them. I might have missed it, but is he eating fairly normally and using the litter box. Also check the tent test to see if he is dehydrated (pinch the skin between his shoulder blades and if it take more then a count to go down you are looking at dehydrated, more then a 3 count is severe). If that all checks out, I would feel comfortable waiting for your vet to call you back.
Thanks for your reply; that's incredibly kind of you, especially in such already anxious times for everyone.

I know he won't be around forever, and whenever his time comes I'll be devastated, but I am not ready to deal with this now-now. 😩 I have OCD and a major germ phobia, so a global pandemic is one of my nightmares. I love my family tremendously, and by brother having severe symptoms is gutting me. I know so many people right now are going through devastation hugely catastrophic (no pun intended) like human loss, job. So my monologue right now (at least as it pertains to my sweet cat) feels selfish and indulgent, but I'm nonetheless at max anxiety.

To answer your question.

He had been eating very normally, just until this morning. He's a very skin-ny cat (not skinny, but always has lot of loose skin, so skin turgor tests are tricky for him. He nose Two other varables/possibilities:

1. He is not used to eating wet food. His littermate sister seems to have taken to it well as a daily treat for the past week, but Gus has only just nibbled at it. Last night, instead of tossing if out an hour after we'd given it to them as we'd been doing all week, we forgot at left it overnight—nkt long enough for any foodborne illnesses, but maybe enough for him to eat more than he has lately, and he ended up with the "food-change pukies"? Would it cause that much of a dramatic delayed reaction a fully week into it though? Even if he did eat more than normal having full access last night, these dramatic whining and mopiness seems over the top.

2. He went about 8 hrs with only a bit of water in his bowl. Our tap water is EXTREMELY hard and smells like a swimming pool, so I don't put it in my body or theirs (especially thinking of senior kitty kidneys). The water delivery hadn't arrived yet, so I thought they'd be fine for a few hrs. with the tiny bit of water left from their last water bottle until the delivered ones were here this morning. (I rationalized this by reminding myself, he always stays well hydrated and they've gone overnight without water before on nights before surgeries, so they'd be fine until morning. I wouldn't think that could have played a part though, right?

Thanks so much again, and I hope you and yours are safe and healthy through covid and all the ripples out from it. 💛
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

hoosiercatlady

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
16
Apolog for all the typos. If you can believe it, I'm in communications and often edit for a living. Clearly proofreading was not front-of-mind for me right now... 😐
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

hoosiercatlady

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
16
Apolog for all the typos. If you can believe it, I'm in communications and often edit for a living. Clearly proofreading was not front-of-mind for me right now...
A typo in a disclaimer about typos... Oy
🤦‍♀️ Safe to say I need to step away from the keyboard and make myself a nice cup of tea and work on calming my nerves...
 

Kieka

Snowshoe Servant
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Sep 6, 2016
Messages
9,310
Reaction score
13,257
Location
Southern California
It could be food changes still, those can take 14 days to normalize sometimes. Overnight minimal water isn't horrible and the hard water might have been more of a shock to the system then it is worth. It sounds like waiting for a vet call (and call them back tomorrow about an hour after they open if you don't get a call) should be okay. I'd probably check him until then, offer any treats he likes and see if he will play, just to be safe that he is still eating and moving okay. As long as he is eating something you can wait; it's the not eating that gives you a time period of 24 hours to get him seen.

I tend to over stress too so don't worry about it. I also am one to rush to the emergency vet too. So far I have taken my rabbit in (beginning GI stasis, IV and released with meds) and my Moms cat (yeah, my parents were out of town when things went crazy and still are because they can't get home. Turns out he had an ulcerated Colitis just a week ago). We are in California, both my brother and I are essential workforce. My rabbit vet was early March and business as usual, my cat vet was late March and they didn't even allow me out of the car. He was hospitalized for a week and now doing good. So trust me, I get the stress of everything. We can only take it one day at a time and make the best decisions we can in the moment.

I find photos help me look more critically. I took photos of my Moms cat when he started seeing off and 24 hours later. There was a huge visual difference that you don't notice as much when you see them progress through the stages. But I also do photos for healing wounds and any thing slightly off (I swear my whole crew is either accident prone or I am paranoid).
 

molly92

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
1,549
Reaction score
1,284
Location
Michigan
I'm so sorry you're dealing with so much! I don't know what's wrong, but I think talking to your vet before doing anything else out of the ordinary is probably the best course of action.

You can also look at his gums to see if he's dehydrated.

I also gave him about 1/2 tsp of colloidal silver just because I didn't know what he's sick with, and that can't hurt him.
Don't give him any more colloidal silver. It's not shown to have any benefits when ingested. It's a potential irritant, but more commonly, it can build up in the system over time and cause problems. One dose will not have that effect and I'm sure he's fine, but it is not harmless. The bigger concern is that it does block some medications, and if he needs to take something else you don't want that in his system.

Let your vet know tomorrow what medications you have on hand, but don't experiment with anything until you have a vet's OK. I think the Steramine poisoning is unlikely from that amount. It's very possible that the stress of the current situation is affecting him as well and aggravating some issues. I think your best course of action is to encourage him to eat and drink tonight (if you have some plain canned tuna water that could be great), and just take it easy with him and try to have a quiet evening. I know that's easier said than done right now, but there's nothing you can do till morning. None of this is your fault. Read a book or watch some TV if you can't sleep, take deep breaths, and settle in for the night.
 

DesperateMistrustful

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
44
Reaction score
63
I've been to numerous hospitals/vets throughout the pandemic, they're taking extreme measures right now: you call from your car, a tech takes your baby in without you, the vet calls you after the exam, you pay over the phone, the tech returns your baby along with any papers or medications. They're only allowing clients inside under extreme circumstances (euthanasia/long hospital stays).

If you were to venture out in a mask (really easy to make one!) and disposable gloves there's a very low chance of anything being transferred even from Gus because they, too, are wearing gloves and masks. You could wipe down the carrier before/after and leave any items they give you outside for 3-4 days which is the longest the virus survives on certain surfaces (unless it's important medication, but it sounds like you're a pro at wiping stuff down by now).

Just wanted to share this to reassure you in case the vet does advise bringing him in. I hope Gus and all of your family will be okay.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

hoosiercatlady

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
16
I've been to numerous hospitals/vets throughout the pandemic, they're taking extreme measures right now: you call from your car, a tech takes your baby in without you, the vet calls you after the exam, you pay over the phone, the tech returns your baby along with any papers or medications. They're only allowing clients inside under extreme circumstances (euthanasia/long hospital stays).

If you were to venture out in a mask (really easy to make one!) and disposable gloves there's a very low chance of anything being transferred even from Gus because they, too, are wearing gloves and masks. You could wipe down the carrier before/after and leave any items they give you outside for 3-4 days which is the longest the virus survives on certain surfaces (unless it's important medication, but it sounds like you're a pro at wiping stuff down by now).

Just wanted to share this to reassure you in case the vet does advise bringing him in. I hope Gus and all of your family will be okay.
Thanks. I want to believe they would be careful and stringent, but while our vet is the Dr. House of veterinary medicine on terms of amazing diagnostics, her office is pretty ghetto and it's not super sanitary. At all. We'll have to do what we have to do though. Hoping his stomach will calm overnight or he'll bring up an enormous hairball. This may be the most eager I've ever been to find a hairball....
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

hoosiercatlady

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
16
It could be food changes still, those can take 14 days to normalize sometimes. Overnight minimal water isn't horrible and the hard water might have been more of a shock to the system then it is worth. It sounds like waiting for a vet call (and call them back tomorrow about an hour after they open if you don't get a call) should be okay. I'd probably check him until then, offer any treats he likes and see if he will play, just to be safe that he is still eating and moving okay. As long as he is eating something you can wait; it's the not eating that gives you a time period of 24 hours to get him seen.

I tend to over stress too so don't worry about it. I also am one to rush to the emergency vet too. So far I have taken my rabbit in (beginning GI stasis, IV and released with meds) and my Moms cat (yeah, my parents were out of town when things went crazy and still are because they can't get home. Turns out he had an ulcerated Colitis just a week ago). We are in California, both my brother and I are essential workforce. My rabbit vet was early March and business as usual, my cat vet was late March and they didn't even allow me out of the car. He was hospitalized for a week and now doing good. So trust me, I get the stress of everything. We can only take it one day at a time and make the best decisions we can in the moment.

I find photos help me look more critically. I took photos of my Moms cat when he started seeing off and 24 hours later. There was a huge visual difference that you don't notice as much when you see them progress through the stages. But I also do photos for healing wounds and any thing slightly off (I swear my whole crew is either accident prone or I am paranoid).
A few hours later, he had parked back up and was he jumped on the back of the couch to play with the drawstrings on the blinds. He was even chatting with me.

We tried a tiny bit of tuna water (with small pieces of tuna, which he happily ate... And then vomited 2 minutes later.)

We don't have any hairball remedy on hand, so I knew that some people use pats of butter, I got about half a teaspoon of soft butter by placing it little by little on his tongue (he wasn't interested in eating it on his own). And he then proceeded to throw that up, again with nothing resembling a hair ball in it.

I wonder if it could be the water. Our regular brand of spring water was not available to order, so I got LIFEWTR, which I only realized when it got here is supposedly pH balanced and includes electrolytes for taste. Today is the first day I gave it to them. I'm trying my best to remember if he had already vomited by the time I filled the water out this morning.

They overtreat our water, so it tends to smell of chlorine faintly, and I figured that would be unhealthy for them (hence giving them bottled water), but maybe that's a safer alternative right now. I'm going to switch it out and see.

Thanks for your input. Anxiety is high right now.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

hoosiercatlady

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
16
I'm so sorry you're dealing with so much! I don't know what's wrong, but I think talking to your vet before doing anything else out of the ordinary is probably the best course of action.

You can also look at his gums to see if he's dehydrated.


Don't give him any more colloidal silver. It's not shown to have any benefits when ingested. It's a potential irritant, but more commonly, it can build up in the system over time and cause problems. One dose will not have that effect and I'm sure he's fine, but it is not harmless. The bigger concern is that it does block some medications, and if he needs to take something else you don't want that in his system.

Let your vet know tomorrow what medications you have on hand, but don't experiment with anything until you have a vet's OK. I think the Steramine poisoning is unlikely from that amount. It's very possible that the stress of the current situation is affecting him as well and aggravating some issues. I think your best course of action is to encourage him to eat and drink tonight (if you have some plain canned tuna water that could be great), and just take it easy with him and try to have a quiet evening. I know that's easier said than done right now, but there's nothing you can do till morning. None of this is your fault. Read a book or watch some TV if you can't sleep, take deep breaths, and settle in for the night.
I chose my words poorly over the colloidal silver. I know that it's not harmless, but it seems like something that I could try, but yes, it makes sense not to go rogue on this.

A few hours later, he had perked back up and jumped on the back of the couch to play with the drawstrings on the blinds. He was even chatting with me.

We felt confident and tried a tiny bit of tuna water (with small pieces of tuna, which he happily ate... And then vomited 2 minutes later.) 😩

We don't have any hairball remedy on hand, so I knew that some people use pats of butter, I got about half a teaspoon of soft butter by placing it little by little on his tongue (he wasn't interested in eating it on his own). And he then proceeded to throw that up, again with nothing resembling a hair ball in it. (Now whether he threw that up because of an obstruction or it was just a reaction to the dairy, cats being lactose intolerant, I don't know.)

I wonder if it could be the water. Our regular brand of spring water was not available to order, so I got LIFEWTR, which I only realized when it got here is supposedly pH balanced and includes electrolytes for taste. Today is the first day I gave it to them. I'm trying my best to remember if he had already vomited by the time I filled the water up this morning.

They overtreat our water in our county, so it tends to smell of chlorine faintly, and I figured that would be unhealthy for them (hence giving them bottled spring water normally), but maybe that's a safer alternative right now. I'm going to switch it out and see.

Thanks for your thoughts. I really am trying to chill out, but I'm scared of fatty liver but also scared of the risks of going to the vet right now...
 

molly92

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
1,549
Reaction score
1,284
Location
Michigan
I don't know much about water quality, but I don't think it's a likely culprit. It sounds like he'll be fine overnight if he managed to eat at all, even though he did throw it up.

Hopefully you don't need to go in and they can suggest some options over the phone first.

Once in a while I have a cat get an unsettled stomach for no clear reason, and I have good responses to probiotics. This could be something you get later if it doesn't resolve. I've ordered it on amazon before (specifically this one). One capsule, with little to no food, and then a small amount of food an hour or two later, and if that stays down, a little more food with more probiotic another hour or two after that.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

hoosiercatlady

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
36
Reaction score
16
Update: So, Gus was fine the next day, and then repeated this scenario three days later. Then was fine for a week. Then repeated it a week later. From the looks of it, as far as we can tell, it looks like he just still has a very sensitive tummy that gets upset and stays upset sometimes.
 

neely

May the purr be with you
Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
9,275
Reaction score
15,995
I understand your concern about going to the vet amidst the Covid-19 crisis but did you call the vet as molly92 molly92 suggested for some options?

If it helps at all, our cat was at the vet last week for major dental surgery. Everything went well and we never left our car. I know that may not alleviate your anxiety but I thought it might make you feel a bit more comfortable if it became necessary to see your vet. You have been very attentive to Gus so perhaps calling your vet and discussing his symptoms would help pinpoint whether it's an upset tummy as you mentioned or something else. Fingers crossed he bounces back and your brother and you feel better too. :crossfingers:
 
Top