Giardia - will not eat, help

FosterMamaUK

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Currently fostering a 12 week old kitten who tested positive for Giardia yesterday but symptoms present from Saturday.

He is in Virbac and Panacur to clear it up and commenced yesterday and he's had anti-sickness meds as he had been vomiting a lot. Good news is the vomiting has stopped *touch wood* and he is drinking. He's going to the toilet OK (terrible diarrhea aside)

The bad news is I cannot get him to eat. In the last 72 hours he's had the equivalent of half a pouch of kitten food altogether. He has refused everything else including boiled chicken. I have tried all the tricks to get him to eat but he won't. When he has shown an interest in food the most he can do is lick it, but normally he puts his face to it but won't eat which suggests to me he's still feeling sick. Vets have said they have given him all the meds they can in terms of getting him to eat and that his appetite will return soon.

My question is do I just have to be patient and his appetite will return or do I need to escalate to the vets again? If you've had a cat that won't eat due to Giardia how long did it take for their appetite to return?
 

FeebysOwner

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I would try baby food meat (Gerber Stage 2 or Beechnut), just so he is eating something. It seems a lot of cats, even those who are nauseous, will eat them. They are not nutritionally complete for a cat, but a few days isn't going to be that much of an issue.
 

verna davies

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You could also try sprinkling a little Fortiflora on the food, its a probiotic so might help his gut improve. Try a mousse cat food and see if he will lick it off your finger.
 

catsknowme

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Are you supplementing with unflavored pedialyte? Also, it may help to ease the nausea by rubbing white Karo syrup or honey on his gums. On a personal note, I had recurrent giardia but due to kidney issues, I had to switch from metronidazole to atabrine; nausea and upchucking undigested food was one of my worse symptoms (I lost over 7 pounds in one night). Electrolyte replacement and getting my blood sugar up was key to being able to overcome the nausea and vomiting. Beef broth, small amounts of bacon and tiny amounts of salted boiled potatoes worked for me as a human; relying on my own personal experiences, for sick kittens, I rub Karo on the gums & give 1/4 teaspoon of Pedialyte to start and & wait 10-15 minutes and if that stays down after 45 minutes-1 hour, then try giving tiny, tiny amounts of Gerber stage 2 baby food, beef or ham. I start with slightly diluted baby food and give about 1/8 teaspoon and continue small amounts/wait times, gradually increasing the amounts of food and reducing the intervals between "doses". The medications might be continuing the nausea and perhaps the vet can consider adding Ondansetron (aka Zofran).
 

Sarthur2

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I’m not familiar with Virbac. What is that? Many kittens are given metronidazole, and since your kitten is nauseous and vomiting, he likely needs an anti-nausea med such as cerenia.

It’s good you are returning to the vet tomorrow. In the meantime, try giving 1mL of clear Pedialyte (electrolyte solution in UK) once an hour with a syringe. He probably needs fluids since he’s not able to hold anything down.

Here is a link to read about Giardia:

Giardia in Cats | VCA Animal Hospital

Poor little fellow. He sounds miserable. Please keep us posted. I hope he gets relief soon.

F FosterMamaUK
 
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FosterMamaUK

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Update: he has been at the vets all day on a drip to get his meds in and rehydrate him and get him nutrients. They can't get him to eat either. They are keeping him overnight for monitoring as they aren't sure exactly what's going on so have run some more tests that should be back by tomorrow and also doing scans once he's more hydrated.

It's very much touch and go at the moment so just a waiting game now. Keeping everything crossed for him.
 

Sarthur2

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I really hope he turns the corner soon and begins to show improvement. Whatever he has, the supportive therapies will help. It may take a few days. I’m rooting for him!
 
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FosterMamaUK

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Another update: he is a bit brighter today and they have finally got him to eat after having no success yesterday. They will be keeping him in all today and possibly overnight again depending on the test results.
 
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FosterMamaUK

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He came home yesterday. Nothing else was found other than Giardia. They told us he very nearly died in Wednesday night. He will be on Eradia for a further week and has a special diet for the foreseeable to help his stomach recover. He is much brighter and seems back to himself so touch wood he remains that way.
 
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