Urinary Blockage; Cat Not Eating; Vet Says Nothing Wrong

Chameleoncat

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So our 3 year old male cat ended up with a urinary blockage 5 days ago. We managed to get him to the emergency vet pretty quickly. They ran the usual tests, did the catheter and 3 days later said he was good to come home. They did warn us he wasn't eating in clinic which I assumed was due to environment. Sure enough, we got home and he devoured the prescription food like a champ.

The first night was good but the next morning a bit after giving him his meds we noticed he was very lethargic and wasn't eating or drinking at all. He would sniff his food and water but would gag or shake his head and walk away and go back to sleep. I even placed his regular food/treats in front of him just to see and same reaction. He was still pooping and peeing but by the end of the night I was very concerned as he hadn't ate or drank all day so I was pretty sure he was feeling unwell from the medication. We called the emergency vet back and brought him in for an anti-nausea shot and they told us he was blocked again. So he is back in the clinic for another 3 nights.

We received an update this morning that he is doing fine, but still not eating OR drinking. I told the vet several times my concern that he isn't eating and asked what could be done because obviously he is going to block again if he won't eat or drink. I know my boy well and he has no preference for food; he will devour anything you give him so if he isn't eating, something isn't right. First they argued with me that he just may not like the flavor of the food which I know isn't the case because he is also gagging at the smell of water. Then they pretty much told me that they have no way of knowing but he is doing fine right now so they will hopefully send him home tomorrow.

I'm super anxious about everything and I don't want him coming home again if he isn't going to eat because I know he will end up right back at the clinic. He obviously can't flush out the crystals if there is no food or liquid to flush out. Is there anything we can do or that we should ask the vet to do?
 
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Chameleoncat

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Thank you. It really is. Unfortunately, we are a fairly small city so we only have one emergency vet too so there's really no where else we can take him until he is out of the clinic :(
 

profcat

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We just went through this with one of our cats blocking. His appetite was really crappy until he started feeling better. Is he on an antibiotic that might be affecting his appetite? Can you give him fluids at home to keep him comfortable and hydrated and hopefully avoid another blockage until he starts eating again?
 

fionasmom

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If this is an ER only vet, they won't go to the next step for you. Having said that, I could be wrong and this might be an ER/regular vet in which case they are just not being helpful.

ER vets are in the business of saving lives, which they well may have done for your boy, but the quality of care usually ends there.

Do you have access to a regular vet who can take over? If I am reading this correctly, he has blocked twice in 5 days?

There are appetite stimulants as a fallback position. Were you offered any? It does not solve the underlying issue, but would increase the appetite.

An ER vet is not going to work on the nature of the crystals or the next step. If you are in a rural or remote area, I certainly understand that you have limited options. He has to be released from the ER in order to see another vet?
 
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Chameleoncat

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We just went through this with one of our cats blocking. His appetite was really crappy until he started feeling better. Is he on an antibiotic that might be affecting his appetite? Can you give him fluids at home to keep him comfortable and hydrated and hopefully avoid another blockage until he starts eating again?
From what I've read, yes. They have him on Metacam, Buprenorphine, Prazosin and Gabapentin every 8 hours for the first 3 days which I've read are known to cause nausea/loss of appetite. We tried to give him water when he was home to help keep him comfortable but he was refusing that too and even threw up after sniffing it.
 
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Chameleoncat

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If this is an ER only vet, they won't go to the next step for you. Having said that, I could be wrong and this might be an ER/regular vet in which case they are just not being helpful.

ER vets are in the business of saving lives, which they well may have done for your boy, but the quality of care usually ends there.

Do you have access to a regular vet who can take over? If I am reading this correctly, he has blocked twice in 5 days?

There are appetite stimulants as a fallback position. Were you offered any? It does not solve the underlying issue, but would increase the appetite.

An ER vet is not going to work on the nature of the crystals or the next step. If you are in a rural or remote area, I certainly understand that you have limited options. He has to be released from the ER in order to see another vet?
It is sort of an ER vet. I live in a small city; it's the only vet clinic with overnight staff. No matter what vet we take him to, he HAS to go to the 24/7 staff clinic after the blockage is cleared so that they can place the catheter and monitor.

Yes to the blockage in 5 days. We took him to the 24 hour vet on Thursday at 8pm; no other clinic would take him because they closed soon. They released him Saturday at 6pm. He ate and drank and urinated fine that night. Sunday we gave him his first dose of meds and about 30 minutes later he passed out. Monday at 5am he was gagging at the smell of water. When I called the clinic they kept telling me he probably just didn't like the food/we could try another flavor but I pushed that he was not okay. Monday at 9am, took him in for an anti-nausea shot and they told me he was blocked again. Which, no duh? He wouldn't drink? How can he pass crystals if he won't consume anything?

They didn't offer any appetite stimulants. He is currently in their care as he had to be unblocked and recathetered but as per their update he still hasn't ate as of 9am this morning. I did push that him not eating is an indicator something is wrong; I asked if it could be his medication and what we could do to help get him to eat but they didn't offer anything and ignored my question about the medication. They are hoping to release him Wednesday afternoon if he pees well which I'm not hopeful about but until he is released, he cannot see our regular vet. Our regular vet has agreed to see him on Thursday at 9am but I'm worried it will be too late.
 

fionasmom

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I do see your predicament. Ask specifically about an appetite stimulant; I am not a vet and they may give you a good reason why they are not using one, but I would ask.
 

njariesgirly

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Try baby food or those churros squeeze cat mousse? They are treats but it smells good to them. You can try to microwave the food 5 seconds too. I got my cat to eat doing this recently.
 
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Chameleoncat

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Try baby food or those churros squeeze cat mousse? They are treats but it smells good to them. You can try to microwave the food 5 seconds too. I got my cat to eat doing this recently.
Thank you for the recommendation :) However, I wanted to rule out if food flavour was the issue or it was something medical so these were some of the first things we tried and he still did the sniff and walk away or gagged. That's when we know something was wrong. He is very food motivated lol.
 

YULGirl

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Any update? My cat had a blockage 10 days ago. He lost his appetite as well but it’s coming back gradually.
 
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Chameleoncat

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Any update? My cat had a blockage 10 days ago. He lost his appetite as well but it’s coming back gradually.
I'm so sorry to hear your kitty is going through this :( I hope they are doing well and have a smooth recovery.

So far things are going well. He came home 2 days late due to kidney levels but in that time we convinced the vet to relook at his medication. They ultimately cut 3 of his 4 meds and his appetite started back up. He still refused the Royal Canin S/O but would eat about 2 tablespoons of regular store bought wet food a day and was actually active this time lol. It was a HUGE improvement from the first time. The vet was NOT helpful in finding a different urinary food so we ended up comparing the ingredients of the store bought wet food with some prescription foods to find one that was comparable and since then it's just been letting his tummy slowly recover. After almost a month home he's back up to eating a can a day. We're still taking it day by day but it's slow improvement!
 
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