Won't Eat and constipated, weepy eyes, two vet trips so far. HELP!

artyldr01

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Hello, my first post and I want to get straight to the point for some help, then I will give the back story.

Mittens (approximately 17 years old, neutered, FIV positive) has been to the vet a few times in the last month because he wouldn't eat much if at all and was losing weight (he was overweight 17 lbs, now 13lbs and super skinny) and X-Rays showed (last Thursday) that was very constipated, and was provided an enema. He has not had a standard bowel movement but has had a fair amount of wet "movements" but more of a seepage than diaharea. We have been syringe feeding him (but probably still not enough calories) but without him having a genuine BM yet I worry about balancing nutritional intake with exascerbating the problem. We do provide him Miralax every day as well. We gave him a warm bath that he seemed to relax and enjoy and massaged his belly a little bit and some gas came out and he continued to release some material but only one small, soft stool so far. He is purring again when I pet him (he is a prolfic purr-er normally, very content kitty). I understand with his age and FIV diagnosis he has already beat the odds but I still feel his ailments are treatable...I mean, constipation for Pete's sake! If we fix that I believe his appetite would likely improve, although I also think his teeth aren't as good as they used to be. All that said, even at the vets he has not shown distress, discomfort, anger, etc, (except after we have had to give him his blood pressure meds, antibiotics, and syringe food).

OK. The rest of the story.

He was a neighborhood cat when we lured him in back around 2014 (we believe he was abandoned). While he was still a neighborhood outdoor cat he was hit by a car (shaved a strip of fur clean off his back with NO blood...miracle). He was later bit by a snake. We finally got him fully into the house as we moved (I'm Army so we move fairly frequently). He went from skinny to "well fed" too much really.

In the last couple months he started losing weight steadily but not super rapidly, and I saw when he ate his dry food (he didn't really like wet food) he was leaving more "gravel/crumbs" in the bowl and therefore it seemed less was going in his belly (It didn't dawn on me but I think his teeth may be hurting).

About three weeks ago he had a couple episodes of vomiting bright yellow bile but it was only a couple times, I took him to a vet for some labs and testing and his labs showed slightly LOW liver reading but the vet wanted to keep an eye on it but didn't express concern. They gave him some antibiotics, subcutaneous fluids and an appetite enhancer. About a week later I came home from work and he was lying at the top of the stairs, a bit wobbly so I took him back the next morning and they gave him more fluids and a cortisone shot and some different higher calorie foods that he seemed to like a little bit but still was just nibbling in general. That night I came home and the wobbliness was worse then he started falling down and having mini "lock ups" similar to a seizure but not full on convulsions. We rushed him to the ER, short answer he had REALLY high blood pressure over 200. He had temporary blindness and hearing loss but once we put him two BP meds (I will get the names when I get home tonight) he began to recover. He now has hearing and vision, but was still wobbly and not eating enough so about a week and a half later (last week) we had an appointment for our primary vet but then they cancelled and I ended up, taking them back to the ER vet which is where they re-did the labs which showed some minor elevations / lower levels on a couple tests that again were worth monitoring but the big thing they found with the X-Rays is that he is constipated all the way back to his stomach with gas (why the original vet who did X-rays didn't see that or hopefully it wasn't there then and is a fairly new condition but it sure doesn't seem like it). They gave him an enema, more fluids, anti-biotics for his teeth (a little bit of gingivitis), pain medication. He came home that night and started over Thursday night through Saturday he was seeping fecal matter and fluids so it MAY have cleared him out and his belly doesn't feel nearly as "bloated" so I'm hoping he is clear now, but he only pooped once so far and we still syringe feed him.

ALSO, he has a white discharge from his left eye recently, though intermittently over the years he would get a weepy eye every so often.

Again, I know he may be near the end and has beaten the odds, but I can't help but believe it really is a simple fix and he can get back to a new normal. He is tired, lethargic, but not again, not in discomfort or any distress and is back to purring after his bath. I know when I'm constipated, I'm not hungry but once back to normal am good to go! LOL

ALSO, he does drink water and urinate regularly.

Any further home remedies, or assistance, observations, or anectdotes are appreciated (and prayers, or thoughts as you see fit).

Thank you.



Thank you in advance for any help
 

FeebysOwner

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What was his test results for CKD and/or hyperthyroidism? CKD cats can demonstrate weight loss, lack of appetite, constipation, as well as lethargy.

Some cats that are experiencing arthritic conditions will also appear lethargic, and sometimes will hold their poop in order to avoid using the litter box because it is painful.

As far as the FIV, is your cat on any anti-viral meds?
 

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Are you dissolving the Miralax in some water before giving it to the cat?
 
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artyldr01

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Hi

Did the vets say anything about his eye discharge?
They did not say anything about the discharge, though today it is more standard to what he has had intermittently over the years and appears to be clearing up.
 
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artyldr01

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Are you dissolving the Miralax in some water before giving it to the cat?
Yes. We dilute/mix it. We are only using small, medicinal syringe, Ill check the dosage when I can.
 
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artyldr01

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What was his test results for CKD and/or hyperthyroidism? CKD cats can demonstrate weight loss, lack of appetite, constipation, as well as lethargy.

Some cats that are experiencing arthritic conditions will also appear lethargic, and sometimes will hold their poop in order to avoid using the litter box because it is painful.

As far as the FIV, is your cat on any anti-viral meds?
No, he issnt on anti-virals, should he be? I was not advised to when he was diagnosed 8-years-ago.

He is very lethargic and sedentary now, more so than usual, he was old and 18lbs a year ago. Now around 13lbs. He lies in his cat bed. then moves under the bed, then under the chair. He has his favorite spots. He LOVES to lay outside under the shrubs or car.

He still purrs when snuggled/pet.

Here are his latest lab results.

Thank you!
 

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artyldr01

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I got home from work today. He was chilling in his cat bed on the back porch but had a messy and sore butt again. I opened a can of albacore in water as a possible treat, he licked the juice twice then no more. He is very weak but when I put him in the grass he was very content and walked around some, nibbled on some grass.

I brought him in and gave him another bath to cleam his rear and massage his belly. a few "bubbles" came out. I kept it deep enough to alleviate stress on his legs, ala physical therapy, and seemed to like it. He becomes very relaxed.

As I type he is on my lap in the towl purring away.

Here is is now and in one of his favorite spots.
 

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artyldr01

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Here are some from happier times, though, to be fair, he didn't enjoy the road trip as much as I did. He ALWAYS waits until I turned out the light on my night stand, roll on my side, then come sleep on ny elbow...but he can't do that right now. :-(
 

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artyldr01

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Thank you, I really appreciate the site! This vet was the first vet we went to when he adopted us, with the car accident, snake bite, FIV diagnosis, etc. They were amazed he was still alive. I believe they are good, but just a couple causes for concern, like how is it the emergency vet found his blood pressure was astronomical (using doppler, which I'd never heard of) and they didn't just a day before? Isn't BP standard intake info?
 

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Isn't BP standard intake info?
I can't answer for certain on that one - I've had to specifically ask about it from one of my veterinarians since my 17 yo Poppycat has so much going on including hyperthyroidism now.

So, granted, we have to stay on top of things to the nth degree sometimes for our cats, but the difference between your two vets regarding the constipation, and that the general vet felt comfortable cancelling an appointment for what is a possibly quite sick kitty or at least with things occurring that deserve resolution but that he (the vet) doesn't seem to be seeing, really bothers me, both for your boy and for you. You shouldn't have to go to an ER vet :( although it turned out to be good that you did.
 
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artyldr01

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I can't answer for certain on that one - I've had to specifically ask about it from one of my veterinarians since my 17 yo Poppycat has so much going on including hyperthyroidism now.

So, granted, we have to stay on top of things to the nth degree sometimes for our cats, but the difference between your two vets regarding the constipation, and that the general vet felt comfortable cancelling an appointment for what is a possibly quite sick kitty or at least with things occurring that deserve resolution but that he (the vet) doesn't seem to be seeing, really bothers me, both for your boy and for you. You shouldn't have to go to an ER vet :( although it turned out to be good that you did.
Agreed. Part of my worry is that the primary clinic didn't really give me any indication of something to worry about or any of my specific concerns, and that I may have not given my concerns enough emphasis and that may have caused (preventable) harm to my buddy.

To clarify, they cancelled the appt becaue the travelling doppler / ultrasound tech (one of the reasons for the appt) wasn't going to be there thet day, but they didn't await our response (I work in a building where I can't bring a cell phon
 

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Your kitty is such a cool customer! And clearly very loved. Your kitty may need a second enema. My cat, due to anesthesia and opioid pain meds for a surgery, was massively constipated like your kitty (seen on x-rays at ER) and the first enema didn't work. She ended up hospitalized overnight at another ER where she got a second enema and then produced very large amounts of solid poop in two sessions about 13 hrs apart. The seeping diarrhea you're seeing now isn't that the constipation is resolving, it's that the fecal matter is still in there only allowing liquid wastes to pass by. So your kitty may need to stay in the hospital for at least a day and get that second enema and some fluids. Only another x-ray will show if the stools have passed or not, unfortunately. Hopefully that will work! The butt will be sore and there will be some diarrhea after the bowel is finally empty of stools, and it can take 4 to 5 days after that for the kitty to have a normal, formed stool. Good luck!!
 
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artyldr01

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Your kitty is such a cool customer! And clearly very loved. Your kitty may need a second enema. My cat, due to anesthesia and opioid pain meds for a surgery, was massively constipated like your kitty (seen on x-rays at ER) and the first enema didn't work. She ended up hospitalized overnight at another ER where she got a second enema and then produced very large amounts of solid poop in two sessions about 13 hrs apart. The seeping diarrhea you're seeing now isn't that the constipation is resolving, it's that the fecal matter is still in there only allowing liquid wastes to pass by. So your kitty may need to stay in the hospital for at least a day and get that second enema and some fluids. Only another x-ray will show if the stools have passed or not, unfortunately. Hopefully that will work! The butt will be sore and there will be some diarrhea after the bowel is finally empty of stools, and it can take 4 to 5 days after that for the kitty to have a normal, formed stool. Good luck!!
Thank you...I was beginning to think that as well. We are worried about anesthesia for him with FIV and general health condition, but I agree, I think a second enema is in order as well. I also worry about the serious/emergency impacts that could be life-threatening by not getting that stuff out of there.
 

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Your kitty is such a cool customer! And clearly very loved. Your kitty may need a second enema. My cat, due to anesthesia and opioid pain meds for a surgery, was massively constipated like your kitty (seen on x-rays at ER) and the first enema didn't work. She ended up hospitalized overnight at another ER where she got a second enema and then produced very large amounts of solid poop in two sessions about 13 hrs apart. The seeping diarrhea you're seeing now isn't that the constipation is resolving, it's that the fecal matter is still in there only allowing liquid wastes to pass by. So your kitty may need to stay in the hospital for at least a day and get that second enema and some fluids. Only another x-ray will show if the stools have passed or not, unfortunately. Hopefully that will work! The butt will be sore and there will be some diarrhea after the bowel is finally empty of stools, and it can take 4 to 5 days after that for the kitty to have a normal, formed stool. Good luck!!
Also, the Doppler is the most reliable machine for cat blood pressure, just in case you're wondering (that's what the hospitals would use, esp during surgery and anesthesia). There are other types of machines more like what humans use, but for cats they are less reliable. Since cats have the "white coat syndrome" that produce overly high readings a lot of times, vets don't usually do BP readings unless it's asked for or if the kitty has a condition (thyroid, kidneys, diabetes, etc) that need regular BP monitoring. 🙂 I do think that the vet probably still could have used a non Doppler machine and taken a series of readings on your little dude, since he seems like a friendly kitty. They could do it with him on your lap, which is how my primary vet took my cat's BP using a non Doppler machine.
 
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artyldr01

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Also, the Doppler is the most reliable machine for cat blood pressure, just in case you're wondering (that's what the hospitals would use, esp during surgery and anesthesia). There are other types of machines more like what humans use, but for cats they are less reliable. Since cats have the "white coat syndrome" that produce overly high readings a lot of times, vets don't usually do BP readings unless it's asked for or if the kitty has a condition (thyroid, kidneys, diabetes, etc) that need regular BP monitoring. 🙂 I do think that the vet probably still could have used a non Doppler machine and taken a series of readings on your little dude, since he seems like a friendly kitty. They could do it with him on your lap, which is how my primary vet took my cat's BP using a non Doppler machine.
He is the most docile, and calm cat I've ever known. He is just a purr-MACHINE. He is SO grateful (I know I'm applying my human perspective, but I believe it to be true) I feel because we are almost certain he was abandoned by a previous family and not a pure "stray/feral" cat. This is why I can't give up on him. He has lived a helluva life, I just don't believe it is over yet. He is very content (which makes force feeding him hard because we don't want to stress him but he needs calories).
 

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I like the word hand feeding :) and you're right they don't like it but it has to happen. In my Poppycat's situation I'm in between a rock and a hard place, because I chose the diet method of controlling his just diagnosed hyperthyroidism but he won't eat the food in his own, plus he's getting a supplement for his liver that he won't eat on his own.

Royal Canin mother and babycat might be an option for you or other kitten food, to get the most nutritional values into him. You might also see if using a tongue depressor (suggested by my vet) would be more bang for your buck regarding the quantity you get into him as opposed to the syringe, thus decreasing the time spent and stress.

I put down a nonslip mat, lift Poppy onto a kitchen counter (the mat helps him feel more stable), grab some paper towels, scoop a little moistened pate style food on the Popsicle stick, open his mouth and gently scrape the food off on his tongue.
 
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artyldr01

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We have tried the high calorie gel (doesn't like it but it helps) we also found using the "tubes" of paste(?) treat and just squeezing into his mouth is better, but those do not have a lot of calories. Another phenomenon is when we feed him often he will grind his teeth as he is fighting swallowing the food...it sounds awful! I will definitely look into your recommendations.
 
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