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Old September 29th, 2012, 08:48 PM
bkr51883 bkr51883 is offline
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14-Year-Old Cat Fighting for Her Life Tonight

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.
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Old September 29th, 2012, 09:09 PM
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pbpatti pbpatti is offline
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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.
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Old September 29th, 2012, 09:42 PM
bkr51883 bkr51883 is offline
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I hope so. Thank you.
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Old September 29th, 2012, 11:40 PM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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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.
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Old September 30th, 2012, 12:31 AM
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growler~GateKeeper growler~GateKeeper is offline
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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

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Old September 30th, 2012, 01:24 AM
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Koteburo Koteburo is offline
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Growler's tips are great advice to entice a cat's appetite.

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
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Old September 30th, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by growler~GateKeeper View Post
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

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
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Last edited by Love4himies; September 30th, 2012 at 11:00 AM.
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Old September 30th, 2012, 01:10 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkr51883 View Post
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
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Old September 30th, 2012, 01:12 PM
bkr51883 bkr51883 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingdog View Post
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..
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  #10  
Old September 30th, 2012, 06:28 PM
bkr51883 bkr51883 is offline
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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?
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  #11  
Old September 30th, 2012, 06:47 PM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
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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.
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Old September 30th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Koteburo Koteburo is offline
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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?
Chyna
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