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14-Year-Old Cat Fighting for Her Life Tonight

bkr51883
September 29th, 2012, 09:48 PM
I'm having some very serious problems with my 14-year-old cat Chyna, and if anyone can give me advice, I really appreciate it. I'll try include all the important details of this story. Basically, fleas are ridiculous here in Indiana this year. About a month ago, they made their way into our home. They immediately started taking over. Chyna was attacked the worst of our pets, and even though we treated her with a “spot on” medication and powdered the carpets, we don't have the problem under control yet.

While we continued to work on that flea problem, Chyna started to show a lot of signs of feline anemia – irregular eating/drinking habits, weight loss, excessive sleeping, rapid breathing, pale gums, eating litter, etc. And, while bathing her, I noticed a large circular lump on her stomach.

I took Chyna to our veterinarian this morning. It turns out that I was right about the anemia. Also, the lump on her stomach is a damaged/non-functioning kidney, and combined with the anemia and her old age, it's done a number on her body. The vet started by giving her an antibiotic shot (I think). He recommended flea bombing our house. Then he sold me Adams Plus Flea and Tick Mist, and probably most importantly, EnerCal Nutritional Supplement and Appetite Stimulant.

Since I brought Chyna back home, she's been more lethargic than ever. I'm trying to get her built back up. I rubbed the Adams Plus onto her body, and basically force fed her the EnerCal twice. She's slowly started to move around a little more, drink healthy amounts of water, and purr when I pet her – Unfortunately I can't get her to eat anything. I've tried giving her beef Fancy Feast (to build up her iron), feeding her tuna (because she'll normally eat that no matter what), heating up the Fancy Feast to make the smell more appealing, etc. She's not eaten more than one or two bites though, and after I give her the EnerCal, she lays down and starts back at square one.

So my questions are.. Could either the shot or the EnerCal be adding to Chyna's fatigue? Could the EnerCal be nutritionally “taking the place of” her food? And, most importantly, what can I do to get her to eat her regular cat food? I'll try anything.

Thank you.

pbpatti
September 29th, 2012, 10:09 PM
I wanted to say hello and welcome you and tell you how sad I am that Chyna is so ill. There are some very savvy cat people on this forum and hopefully they will be by soon to answer/help you with your questions. Keep your spirits up! We also love pictures so if you have any to shre please do.

bkr51883
September 29th, 2012, 10:42 PM
I hope so. Thank you.

Dog Dancer
September 30th, 2012, 12:40 AM
I'm sorry you had to come to the board with such trouble. I hope Chyna is starting to rally soon. Unfortunately I also have no advice for you, it's been years since I had cats and never had that issue. Sadly the weekends are often quiet times on the board, so don't give up hope for a reply yet. As pbpatti said, we have lots of very wise cat folks on the board. Good luck to you with healing Chyna, really 14 is old, but not that old! Have faith. :pray:

growler~GateKeeper
September 30th, 2012, 01:31 AM
A few things to try to up the interest in eating is try topping the food with small amounts of:
catnip
parmesan cheese
BBQ chicken without the skin
deli meat
crushed kibble
melted butter
yogurt
any human food she likes

Did you try to put a dab of food on her paw? Is she licking it off? Might be enough to get her interested in food again

Right now the focus is to get her to eat anything, at this point it doesn't have to be cat food

You can also try to give her plain no spices added chicken human baby food, try cooked chicken breast, scrambled eggs, cooked ground beef, liver you can buy it from grocery store (if she'll eat raw meat you can try it uncooked or lightly sear the outside or fully cooked), cooked ham even the deli meat is usually a big hit

Call your vet as soon as they open to ask about using a different appetite stimulant since that one isn't working.

Did your vet mention giving Subcutaneous fluids for the kidney issue? I've dealt with kidney failure in cats and they always feel better after getting fluids - less tired, more apt to eat etc

:goodvibes:

Koteburo
September 30th, 2012, 02:24 AM
Growler's tips are great advice to entice a cat's appetite. :thumbs up

How about some baby food (chicken)
Little chunks of fresh fish perhaps.

I truly hope she starts eating and recovering. Little Chyna's not that old my parents Goddess is almost 18 and doing fine. So Chyna get better cutie you still have a path of life ahead of you!
I'll keep her in my thoughts :goodvibes:

Love4himies
September 30th, 2012, 11:50 AM
A few things to try to up the interest in eating is try topping the food with small amounts of:
catnip
parmesan cheese
BBQ chicken without the skin
deli meat
crushed kibble
melted butter
yogurt
any human food she likes

Did you try to put a dab of food on her paw? Is she licking it off? Might be enough to get her interested in food again

Right now the focus is to get her to eat anything, at this point it doesn't have to be cat food

You can also try to give her plain no spices added chicken human baby food, try cooked chicken breast, scrambled eggs, cooked ground beef, liver you can buy it from grocery store (if she'll eat raw meat you can try it uncooked or lightly sear the outside or fully cooked), cooked ham even the deli meat is usually a big hit

Call your vet as soon as they open to ask about using a different appetite stimulant since that one isn't working.

Did your vet mention giving Subcutaneous fluids for the kidney issue? I've dealt with kidney failure in cats and they always feel better after getting fluids - less tired, more apt to eat etc

:goodvibes:

In addition to Growlers excellent suggestions is pulverized freeze dried salmon/chicken or what ever flavour is her favourite sprinkled on her food. You can find this in higher end pet food stores.

Was any bloodwork and urinalysis done to determine exactly what is going on with your kitty and the extent of damage done to the kidneys?

Good luck.

Was the shot Convenia? Here is a thread that discussed this medication http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=57265

bkr51883
September 30th, 2012, 12:47 PM
Chyna had a long night, but she's hanging in there. She drank a decent amount of water throughout the day. I didn't notice her sneaking anywhere to urinate though. Also, I forced her to eat the EnerCal supplement/stimulant (which has a list of, like, 25 vitamins on the back). After some other food ideas didn't work, I had to give her a couple syringe shots of a liquified beef cat food. And, in case she wanted to go in the night, I had her comfortable with a favorite shirt, food, water, etc. She was still laying there alive and lethargic when I woke up this morning.

At this point, I think I'll keep trying different ideas. Hopefully her lethargy and lack of appetite are mainly do to the shot. I hadn't really considered that before reading online, but she was still eating half a can of cat food in the days before the shot. Our usual vet (who's the popular/award-winning vet in our area) isn't in on Sundays, but there's a second vet in the area in case of any emergencies. I'm not sure if I should keep nursing Chyna for another day, or have her hooked to IV's at this other vet -- who's actually hurt one of our animals years ago.

bkr51883
September 30th, 2012, 12:49 PM
In the meantime, I'll try some of the food ideas soon.

Longblades
September 30th, 2012, 01:10 PM
Poor Chyna, I'm sorry this is what brought you here. I have not had that exact problem but not eating, yes, have had that. So I'll add one more idea and that is to offer only tiny, wee, miniscule amounts of food at a time. Like so small as a 1/4 of a teaspoon or even less. Maybe 1/8 tsp even. It takes forever to get a decent amount of food into them but sometimes normal amounts are overwhelming. You may have felt that way yourself with a flu bug. Good luck.

Rgeurts
September 30th, 2012, 01:21 PM
Was the shot Convenia? Here is a thread that discussed this medication http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=57265


:thumbs up

That was my first thought. I have it in the files for both my babies, at both our vet clinics that they are never to receive this medication. There are some great articles out there against the use of this drug, and for very good reason. If you google, you will find many pages, including a Facebook page dedicated to having this drug removed from the market by people who have had their furbabies die, or their health severely affected after being given the injection:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Convenia-adverse-reactions-in-catsfelines-and-dogscanines/118697391502152
This is a link to a great article written by a veterinarian:
http://catinfo.org/?link=convenia

There are several people who have had no issues as well, but why chance it. If this is what your kitty was given, I hope it is not exaggerating her issues. Chances are, your vet will defend it and tell you it couldn't possibly a cause of any problems. If that happens, do your research, print articles to show your vet, including ones that show the differing lists of adverse reactions between North America and foreign markets. In foreign markets they reported these voluntarily:

FOREIGN MARKET EXPERIENCE: The following adverse events were reported voluntarily during post-approval use of the product in dogs and cats in foreign markets: death, tremors/ataxia, seizures, anaphylaxis, acute pulmonary edema, facial edema, injection site reactions (alopecia, scabs, necrosis, and erythema), hemolytic anemia, salivation, pruritus, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and inappetance.

You won't see a lot of these listed on the drug inserts here in North America, which I believe is one reason the vets here use it so frequently.


Also, if you feel this has affected your baby, please demand that the vet complete an ADE. That's the only way this drug will ever be pulled from the market. It has had adverse reactions on both dogs and cats, but cats seem to be more susceptible.

Good luck and I hope your baby makes a full recovery :grouphug:

Barkingdog
September 30th, 2012, 02:10 PM
I'm having some very serious problems with my 14-year-old cat Chyna, and if anyone can give me advice, I really appreciate it. I'll try include all the important details of this story. Basically, fleas are ridiculous here in Indiana this year. About a month ago, they made their way into our home. They immediately started taking over. Chyna was attacked the worst of our pets, and even though we treated her with a “spot on” medication and powdered the carpets, we don't have the problem under control yet.

While we continued to work on that flea problem, Chyna started to show a lot of signs of feline anemia – irregular eating/drinking habits, weight loss, excessive sleeping, rapid breathing, pale gums, eating litter, etc. And, while bathing her, I noticed a large circular lump on her stomach.

I took Chyna to our veterinarian this morning. It turns out that I was right about the anemia. Also, the lump on her stomach is a damaged/non-functioning kidney, and combined with the anemia and her old age, it's done a number on her body. The vet started by giving her an antibiotic shot (I think). He recommended flea bombing our house. Then he sold me Adams Plus Flea and Tick Mist, and probably most importantly, EnerCal Nutritional Supplement and Appetite Stimulant.

Since I brought Chyna back home, she's been more lethargic than ever. I'm trying to get her built back up. I rubbed the Adams Plus onto her body, and basically force fed her the EnerCal twice. She's slowly started to move around a little more, drink healthy amounts of water, and purr when I pet her – Unfortunately I can't get her to eat anything. I've tried giving her beef Fancy Feast (to build up her iron), feeding her tuna (because she'll normally eat that no matter what), heating up the Fancy Feast to make the smell more appealing, etc. She's not eaten more than one or two bites though, and after I give her the EnerCal, she lays down and starts back at square one.

So my questions are.. Could either the shot or the EnerCal be adding to Chyna's fatigue? Could the EnerCal be nutritionally “taking the place of” her food? And, most importantly, what can I do to get her to eat her regular cat food? I'll try anything.

Thank you.

If your cat is drinking more water than normally she could have a kidney disease. She may be too ill to eat her regular food. I was told to feed my dog baby food when they were too sick to eat. It had to be plan chicken with rice
baby food and the food could be mixed with a water little to made it easier to eat. Did you get the fleas under control? I am not sure if you plan on using fleas bombs if you do you have to turn off all your gas appliances.
I knew a woman that used 12- 13 fleas bombs and when she when back home later in the day her house was gone. It had blown up ! The woman left the gas appliances on.

http://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-kidney-disease.htm

bkr51883
September 30th, 2012, 02:11 PM
Good news (I hope): I smeared some of the EnerCal on her paw and put some beef cat food over it. She completely ignored it and went to sleep. An hour later, I heard a slight licking/smacking noise, and came in to see her paw without the food on it and what looked like the last second of her licking the "blanket" (tshirt) she was on. I started petting her as soon as I noticed this, her purr came back for the first time in about 24 hours, and she went back to sleep. I have to think this is a really good sign.

bkr51883
September 30th, 2012, 02:12 PM
If your cat is drinking more water than normally she could have a kidney disease. She may be too ill to eat her regular food. I was told to feed my dog baby food when they were too sick to eat. It had to be plan chicken with rice
baby food and the food could be mixed with a water little to made it easier to eat. Did you get the fleas under control? I am not sure if you plan on using fleas bombs if you do you have to turn off all your gas appliances.
I knew a woman that used 12- 13 fleas bombs and when she when back home later in the day her house was gone. It had blown up ! The woman left the gas appliances on.

http://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-kidney-disease.htm

Oh, god..

bkr51883
September 30th, 2012, 07:28 PM
Alright, I've got some questions about "nursing Chyna for another day". I'm sure a few of you have really good answers. After slowing/stopping on her food yesterday, she's done the same with her water today, and I've decided to force food and water/Pedialyte until I can get her back to the vet for, I assume, fluids tomorrow (I was wrong about the other vet in the area being open on Sundays). In the meantime, I've fed her beef and gravy cat food from a syringe with the tip broken off. It might have been the most pitiful part of this whole experience. About half of it got all over her face, and as she's gone back to laying around, the purring and signs of life have gone away again. Even though I'm trying to help her, it feels like torture.

So here are my questions: Is there a "best" way to force feed a cat? How often should I do it? How much food/water in one session? Should I rotate food sessions and water sessions?

lindapalm
September 30th, 2012, 07:47 PM
Ask your vet about trying the appetite stimulant Cyproheptadine Hydrochloride, if it would be safe for your cat. We have an older cat and occasionally have to give her a dose. It works so well that the prescription we have for 4 mg is too much, so we only give her a half pill.

Koteburo
September 30th, 2012, 08:07 PM
Baby feeding syringes or like the one you have without a tip will do. Baby food is easy for this purpose. Try using chicken one (the one that's only chicken and chicken broth with no vegetables) put it in the syringe and force feed some in her. Do small sessions every time. I know this is a stressing experience for her and for you as well however she needs some food or else how will she get a bit stronger right?
:goodvibes:Chyna:pray:

Barkingdog
September 30th, 2012, 11:36 PM
Baby feeding syringes or like the one you have without a tip will do. Baby food is easy for this purpose. Try using chicken one (the one that's only chicken and chicken broth with no vegetables) put it in the syringe and force feed some in her. Do small sessions every time. I know this is a stressing experience for her and for you as well however she needs some food or else how will she get a bit stronger right?
:goodvibes:Chyna:pray:

I would mix the baby food with a little water and this way the cat will get some fluid too. I am concerned about force feeding a pet if you do not know why it not eating . An animal will stop eating when it know it dying. I am so sorry this happening to your cat.
http://www.peacefulpassings.org/advice.htm


I found this web site that tell how to feed a pet that is not eating.

Love4himies
October 1st, 2012, 08:35 AM
Kitten Wellness mixes well with water so it is easily to syringe and you ensure your kitty is getting all of her vitamins.

How is your kitty doing today?

binkybuff
October 1st, 2012, 01:36 PM
When I have had extemely ill animals and having to force feed them, I used some Rice baby pablum made into a real thin paste with water. Then squirted it into their mouths. I used a small syringe and only a small amount at a time, feeding a dozen times a day if they would take it.


After doing that for a couple of days, I added some pate style animal food, and slurried it all and force fed until they either started looking for more food, again using the small syringe, or I had to elect to put them to sleep.

Your kitty sounds very ill, I am sorry to say.

take care
binky

bkr51883
October 1st, 2012, 02:26 PM
I'm in an extremely tough position right now. Chyna's not eating/drinking/peeing/moving. I've been giving her syringes of food, water, and Pedialyte, and when it looked like last night was going to be her last, I gave her a favorite shirt, catnip, and a lot of attention to make her feel comfortable. She had the most shallow breathing when I finally fell asleep this morning. But, after I woke up, she was still breathing soft and steady.

The vet's schedule was packed today, but I talked to the vet's assistant. First, she said that we could bring Chyna in later today, have fluids pushed into her, see if that changes her behavior, and if it doesn't, think about having her euthanized. And, when I explained that Chyna's not getting up at all, she mentioned leaving her at home one more day, giving her a full day of forcing fluids, and seeing whether she improves before bringing her in.

I love the thought of doing everything I can to save Chyna's life. But I hate the idea of "torturing" her (and then possibly killing her) on a table in some strange room instead of letting her go in the room she's literally spent 99.9% of her life in. What would you do?

bkr51883
October 1st, 2012, 02:37 PM
Also, as I was typing this, she just threw up stronger than I can remember. And went into this dazed look in her eyes.

Dog Dancer
October 1st, 2012, 03:08 PM
Honestly, I would be taking her into the vet immediately. No appointment, if this is your regular vet they should see you right away. I certainly would not wait another day. If it is Chyna's last day your vet can help to ease her passing rather than having her suffer through the night to no end. Praying for a possitive outcome for Chyna and yourself. Please go now.

Rgeurts
October 1st, 2012, 03:45 PM
"Honestly, I would be taking her into the vet immediately. No appointment, if this is your regular vet they should see you right away. I certainly would not wait another day. If it is Chyna's last day your vet can help to ease her passing rather than having her suffer through the night to no end. Praying for a possitive outcome for Chyna and yourself. Please go now."


DD, I couldn't agree more
:thumbs up

Barkingdog
October 1st, 2012, 03:53 PM
Also, as I was typing this, she just threw up stronger than I can remember. And went into this dazed look in her eyes.

This is what I was worried about , when my dog was dying I did not force him to eat , he did tried to eat on his own and threw up his food immediately after eating it . That was when I knew his cancer was so bad he could no longer eat and I had to help him go to the bridge. I am so sorry your cat is so ill , this is the saddest thing to read and it always bring tears to my eyes. My thoughts are with you .

Dog Dancer
October 1st, 2012, 05:05 PM
Sorry, I didn't say this earlier, but your vet tech is not a trained vet. Trust your gut with this. Only the vet should be giving you advice at this stage. No disrespect to your tech, but truly, I hope you are at the vet right now. If the tech didn't talk to the vet it's not good enough.

I listened to a vet tech tell the owners of a 10 lb dog to feed the dog 7 - 8 cups of their prescription dog food per day! I had to step up and correct her and say no it would be 7/8 of a cup - the dog owners were foreign and the tech didn't have a clue.

Barkingdog
October 1st, 2012, 09:53 PM
Sorry, I didn't say this earlier, but your vet tech is not a trained vet. Trust your gut with this. Only the vet should be giving you advice at this stage. No disrespect to your tech, but truly, I hope you are at the vet right now. If the tech didn't talk to the vet it's not good enough.

I listened to a vet tech tell the owners of a 10 lb dog to feed the dog 7 - 8 cups of their prescription dog food per day! I had to step up and correct her and say no it would be 7/8 of a cup - the dog owners were foreign and the tech didn't have a clue.

I agree , when I ask a vet tech a question she will talk to a vet then tell me what the vet said. My vet never told me to force feed a sick pet , I was told to bring my pet in to be seen. I can understand wanting to keep your pet alive but I look at this way if a person was dying you would not force feed them so why do this to a beloved pet?

sugarcatmom
October 2nd, 2012, 08:32 AM
I can understand wanting to keep your pet alive but I look at this way if a person was dying you would not force feed them so why do this to a beloved pet?

Except that we don't know that this cat is dying. Most cats lose their appetite when they feel sick and many need feeding assistance until they recover. http://www.assistfeed.com/MyCatWontEat.htm

Love4himies
October 2nd, 2012, 12:04 PM
BKR: have you had some blood work taken to find out what is going on?

Love4himies
October 2nd, 2012, 12:04 PM
Except that we don't know that this cat is dying. Most cats lose their appetite when they feel sick and many need feeding assistance until they recover. http://www.assistfeed.com/MyCatWontEat.htm

So true! Great point.

Dog Dancer
October 2nd, 2012, 12:12 PM
I agree 100% that we don't know if Chyna is dying or not. That said, I stand that the cat needs to be seen by a vet. I hope we get an update soon to hear how things are today. Praying that Chyna is rallying.

Barkingdog
October 2nd, 2012, 02:02 PM
So true! Great point.

I am going by the title of this thread. I hope the cat is not dying and that it been to the vet to find out why she is not eating. It is so hard watching a pet be sick and not knowing what is wrong.