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Decreased Appetite

jfranco

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Dec 1, 2017
14
5
Hello all,

(There's a TL;DR at the bottom of this)

My 9 year old male cat has had a decreased appetite for about 6 days. It started with a bit of vomiting and a small bout of diarrhea. He's been to the vet twice so far. The first time the vet said his belly was sore and swollen. They gave him some pain meds and some anti nausea/anti acid meds and sent home. They said if he didn't get better to bring him back.

I brought him back to the vet 2 days later because his appetite still wasn't normal but the vomiting had stopped and so did the diarrhea. They xrayed him and ran a full CBC? (the full panel blood test?) and found everything completely normal. The only thing they saw on the blood was very slightly elevated pancreas levels. They told me he could have just eaten something that didn't agree with him and he's still getting over it. They gave him more anti nausea/anti acid and some fluids and sent us home again. They also gave me an appetite stimulant.

So here we are, 3 days later, and his appetite still isn't back to normal. He's acting about 80% normal. He's loving, giving kisses and wants my attention/affection, but hes just not completely right. He's not acting like he's in pain or anything, but he also hasn't been as mobile as usual. (Generally i can't keep him off of counters/bed/dressers/anything within jumping distance.) Since he hasn't been feeling well, he hasn't been jumping and running hardly at all.

He's lost about a pound since last week and isn't showing much interest in resuming his eating schedule. I show him the food, he looks interested, sniffs it, but walks away. He'll eat a few mouthfuls every couple of hours, but he used to have a much bigger appetite. Ive tried his normal dry kibble, his normal wet food, super smelly liver snacks that he usually loves, tuna, turkey, everything i can think of and he's just not eating like normal.

What should i do? Just give it more time? Bring him back to the vet? How long does a slightly inflamed pancreas take to clear up? I'm about at my wits end worrying about my guy. He's my best friend and I need to make sure he's alright. Any advice would be extremely appreciated.

TL;DR: Sick cat, been to vet twice, says bloodwork/xray normal. slightly inflamed pancreas, ETA on recovery???
 

abyeb

Charlie's Purrson
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Feb 18, 2017
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Has he been pooping okay? Constipation can cause loss of appetite in cats.
 
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  • #3

jfranco

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Dec 1, 2017
14
5
Hey Abyeb. He has had 2 BMs since being to the vet on Wednesday. Small, but normal looking.
 
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  • #4

jfranco

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Dec 1, 2017
14
5
And he literally just threw up. No food or bile or anything, just water/saliva. completely clear.
 

babiesmom5

TCS Member
Super Cat
Jan 24, 2017
736
869
Even a "slightly inflamed" pancreas is nothing to fool around with. It can go from mild to raging in a short time, and if untreated, or not brought under control, can be fatal.

The fact that your cat is throwing up digestive juices, is lethargic and has lost appetite is cause for concern. I would take your cat back to the vet tomorrow. Do not wait. If your vet is not open, I would take your cat to a Vet ER hospital as he may need IV fluid therapy and further tests to determine if there is an underlying issue. Pancreatitis usually does not occur in a vacuum.
 
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  • #6

jfranco

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Dec 1, 2017
14
5
Got it, thank you for the advice. I'll bring him to the vet first thing tomorrow morning. Will report back with their findings.
 
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  • #8

jfranco

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Dec 1, 2017
14
5
They did prescribe special food, which I've made available to him, too. Its Hills ID digestive health. He's not a fan of it at all. He won't even sniff the can.

We've got an appointment at 1130 today, so hopefully the vet can shed a little more light on the situation.
 

carebare

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Nov 17, 2005
185
58
Nor Cal
The vet can explore possible diagnosis via tests. Ask about other foods maybe. He may be intolerant to something in the food, which may show in more subtle form at first. My cats hate Hills, too. There are different types of hills: pate, gravy chunks, other flavors. Or Royal Canin or something else. My cat hates all those so he's on a different limited ingredients diet.
 

babiesmom5

TCS Member
Super Cat
Jan 24, 2017
736
869
I am very glad to hear you are taking him to the vet this morning.

When cats are in an acute pancreatitis flare, they will not eat ANY food...and if they go 36-48 hrs without eating, or low caloric intake, they risk getting hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). They will not drink, or drink sparingly...and risk getting dehydrated...which only exacerbates the inflamed pancreas.
 
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  • #11

jfranco

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Dec 1, 2017
14
5
So, we went back to the vet this morning. He got another round of anti nausea/anti acid along with a steroid injection and we scheduled an ultrasound for monday/tuesday next week. They also took blood to test for thyroid issues.

I asked the vet about syringe feeding, she said to hold off on that until we can get the ultrasound done and see whats going on. They gave us a different wet food to try, which he won't eat. They also gave us another round of pain meds and a daily steroid (Prednisolone) to give him. The vet said the steroid might help with the inflammation and his appetite, since he was not responding to the other appetite stimulant.

I'm at the end of my rope worrying about my guy. Could all of this really be just from an inflamed pancreas? i'm trying to stay hopeful, but i can't help but wonder if its something more serious.
 

carebare

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Nov 17, 2005
185
58
Nor Cal
My cat's tests came back fine but he was having a severe reaction that affected his gut, eyes, weight, and skin. My cat may have had GI upset combined with side effects from his medication. It's hard to know with cats, as his tests came back fine and the vet was adamant it was not a food allergy, but he's refusing all the food I put in front of him including prescription food. He is on a special diet which seems to be helping. So it could be something as simple and as complicated as an allergy.
 

babiesmom5

TCS Member
Super Cat
Jan 24, 2017
736
869
It is good you have a GI Ultrasound scheduled for Monday/Tuesday because pancreatitis usually does not occur in a vacuum. There is usually a chronic underlying issue such as diabetes, hepatic lipidosis, cholangitis, and inflammatory bowel disease present. The Ultrasound should help with diagnosis.

The mainstay for Pancreatitis is fluid therapy, pain management and nutritional support. It is very important for you to keep your cat eating. At this point, I would try to get him to eat something...anything. Have you tried plain chicken baby food slightly warmed?
Have you tried warming some of his favorite food? Try something smelly.

Hopefully, the pain meds, anti nausea meds and steroids will "kick in" soon. If they don't, the next step is hospitalization with IV support. They may have to put in an esophageal feeding tube to get nourishment into him temporarily until he can resume eating on his own.

So in answer to your question: "could all this be just from an inflamed pancreas"? Short answer, yes, but I suspect something more is going on. You have to find out what that is; meanwhile do everything you can to treat and heal the inflamed pancreas.

A good source on this topic is www.ibdkitties/net/pancreatitis.

Please keep us posted. Fingers crossed he turns around soon.
 
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  • #14

jfranco

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Dec 1, 2017
14
5
Thank you both for your support. A small bit of history that i forgot to include. About 2 years ago, he had to have abdominal/intestine surgery for a foreign object (hair tie and some carpet fibers.) They were able to remove it, he healed up and all was fine. Since then he's had two flare ups very similar to what he's going thru now, but both times prior he started eating within 2-3 days.

I've tried all of his favorite foods both wet and dry, chicken, turkey, cheese, etc, but i haven't tried baby food yet. i'll run to the grocery store this morning for some. He has been eating a very small amount of wet food that ive hand fed him each day but its only maybe 5 mouthfuls. I'll keep doing that and keep trying to get him to eat on his own.

Thanks again.
 

babiesmom5

TCS Member
Super Cat
Jan 24, 2017
736
869
I hope you are having some success with baby food...or something. It is very good that you are handfeeding and/or doing whatever it takes to get food/fluids into him.

I was in your same situation with a cat about a year ago. Vet tried same things yours did, but cat would not eat. Next day, vet had me bring cat in where she was given fluids and syringe fed throughout the day up until about 8 hrs prior to the ultrasound. This really helped.

I would use this time today, up until time for cut-off of feeding prior to ultrasound, to get whatever nourishment you can into him. It can only help...and can help prevent hepatic lipidosis...which complicates recovery greatly.

Your cat may have some residual irritation in the GI tract from the prior abdominal surgery.
The "flares" were probably warning signs. Right now it is "acute" and must be treated by vet.

I have been down the rocky pancreatitis road with 3 cats, so can empathize.
 
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  • #16

jfranco

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Dec 1, 2017
14
5
Quick update, no success with 3 different kinds of baby foods. Cold or warm, he won't eat. Vet had to reschedule ultra sound to tomorrow, and they're most likely going to keep him overnight to give fluids/medicine and monitor. Once the ultrasound is done, we wont have the results for at least another 24 hours. Ugh, thats going to be the longest 24 hours of my/our lives.

Fingers crossed and trying to keep happy thoughts.
 

babiesmom5

TCS Member
Super Cat
Jan 24, 2017
736
869
I am sorry no success with baby food. It wouldn't hurt to try syringe feeding him thinned baby food up until the stated cut- off time prior to the ultrasound.

It is good they are going to keep him overnight at least for fluids, medications etc. Mine were there several days until they were stabilized. You don't want to bring them home in this shape and not eating or you will be right back to where you started from.

Yes, fingers crossed and lots of positive thoughts!
 
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  • #18

jfranco

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Dec 1, 2017
14
5
Small update. The vet did his ultrasound and more bloodwork yesterday and kept him overnight to keep him on fluids. His white count is slightly elevated and he also has a low grade fever now (103). Hopefully we'll have the ultrasound results back soon, but I'm really fearing the worst.
 
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  • #19

jfranco

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Dec 1, 2017
14
5
We got the ultra sound results back. They found a foreign body in his intestines and we had to rush him to the DR for surgery asap. Dr is hopeful so I'm trying to stay the same. Should have an update around 5pm tonight. Anyone reading this, please keep Murray in your thoughts and prayers tonight. We really need it.
 

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