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Old August 30th, 2013, 10:20 PM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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How long should I force/assist feed my cat?

Ok this is a long one so but I'll try and cut it down some.

It is my 12 year old male Tigger who will not eat enough to maintain his weight and I have been assist feeding him since July/19. He used to be a heathy 9.8 to 10 pound cat, he now hovers around 8.2-8.6 pounds, all skin and bones.
First off he always was a fussy eater and always took extra effort to keep his weight up. He also had major surgery for a blockage in hi stomach in 2011 and almost died from that...but he came back)

So this tale started on July 17 when he came into the house and went to his bed and stayed there. I picked him up and he had nothing, like a rag doll..needless to say off to the vet we went. Dr. said your cat is in a dangerous dehydration and needs immediate care, IV Fluids and of course some blood work and X-rays to see what the problem is. To make a long story short everything came back with in normal range.

Found a bump on his back and had it biopsied and it came back negative for any cancer. The last test was an ultra sound, which came back with thickening of the stomach and bowel lining and some abnormalities in that area. Basically did not know what problem was but hinted maybe cancer or IBD. He can't definitely say cancer without a biopsy of that area which would mean major surgery again. I'm already over $3,000 dollars trying to find out what the issue is and there is no guarantee what they will find or if Tigger could tolerate the surgery. So he sent me home with prednisone and I add in Pepid AC incase of upset tummy and in the feeding I add slipery elm also to help with tummy issues.

So my dilemma is should I continue force feeding him? If so for how long? What are the signs that it would be some kind of cancer?

Aside from him not eating and being skin and bones he relatively normal, the only behavior that is cropping up is he's afraid of anything that is not the same as it was yesterday or they last time he went by that area. For instance my rubber boots are usually by the back door, but I brought a small bucket in and have it by my boots, well you'd say it was some evil critter according to his behavior. Maybe eye site is going? Or he has high anxiety? I've requested something to help with his fear/anxiety. He loves being outside casing things and running up trees, he may not run as fast or climb as high, but he still has interest.

I am very frustrated with it all, as it is so very time consuming having to force feed him every day, several times a day and sometimes I can't find him as he's hiding somewhere. He will eat maybe an ounce to two ounces on his own, with me casing him around with food, so I have to force the rest into him and usually most gets done at night.

Anyway a long story, but I don't know the ending, so any advice or suggestions are welcomed. If you need more technical info. I have all the test results.

Thanks again guys..oh and he's spraying up the house, my hubby is going to kill him since spraying his clothes my guess is anxiety and a need to feel secure in familiar territory.
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Nikko and Spencer, brothers - 3 months
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Old August 31st, 2013, 09:10 AM
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marko marko is offline
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I'm so sorry you are going through this. If this were my cat, I would still continue the force feeding...as the cat will get weaker and more dehydrated and will get worse otherwise. To me the cat still has quality of life.

Here is a general article on cancer in cats and dogs with an additional link at the end. http://www.pets.ca/dogs/tips/cancer-...s-pet-tip-230/

Here is an older thread on cats, cancer and nutrition just in case it's cancer
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=34372

Hope this might help
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Old August 31st, 2013, 09:33 AM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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When my beloved hearing dog got cancer and stopped eating I never tried to force him to eat as I trusted my dog to know what he was doing. He would vomit his food right back up. Our pets know when they had reach beginning of their trip to the Rainbow bridge . My dog did.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 12:14 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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How long has he been on the pred? In dogs, anyway, pred really seems to stimulate their appetite--and can be used to treat IBD and as 'quality of life' drug for cancer. It might be all you need to get him back on track. So I'd still assist his feeding for at least long enough for the pred to have some effect...
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Old August 31st, 2013, 02:08 PM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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Hi everyone

Just some added information. Tig has been on 1/2 pred. 2 times a day for about a week, then we will slowly decrease the amount in hopes that a smaller dose will work.

He does attempt to eat, it's the fact that he does not consume enough to even maintain his weight. So I have to shove food into him, making him more adverse to food. The food I do give he keeps down, no throwing up and as far as I know no diarrhea. He's indoor/outdoor so his bathroom habits are harder to gage and of course the 6 other cats make it impossible to tell, unless I see him pooping. He mostly sprays the back yard and unfortunetly has sprayed up the house, and this is the first time my house has smelt like cat pee. I can't keep up with his spraying and now Akira, 3 year old female is also spraying.

Does pred. Make the cats more anxious? Could some of the eating be anxiety related?

I will continue with the assist feeding, as today was a good day, he was outside and managed to get ahold of our strays dry food and had a few nibbles. I've spent the last 2 months getting everyone off kibble, onto grain feed wet food and then onto the raw. A couple prefer the raw, others it will take longer.

What confuses me with Tigger is he does not act like dying cat, just one that does not like to eat. I had another cat a few years ago I had to put down as she was suffering more than living, and our 18 year old let us know she had enough, so that part I understand.

I don't know what to expect with this guy and some days the force feeding is a disaster. And trying to increase his weight is proving to be near impossible. We don't know if the pred is working unless he has another ultra sound and I can't afford another $1,000 + to get that done. Only way to tell is his eating will increase, which is not happening.

Anyway I will keep on feeding, trying to blend down some raw food to syringe feed, but hard to get the food liquidated enough to work in a syringe.

Any suggestions on how to get it more liquified would be appreciated, and I'll look at the sites given.

Anyone else has suggestion, I'm all ears/eyes)

Thanks
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Callie and Tigger, brother and sister - 12
Akira - 2.5
Peanut - 2
Nikko and Spencer, brothers - 3 months
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Old August 31st, 2013, 09:30 PM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
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Have you ever tried an appetite stimulant? Our older cat occasionally stops eating, and our vet gave us Cyproheptadine Hydrochloride for her. We had to cut the pill in fourths because the whole pill worked too well, she ate too much. After a day or two on the pills she seems to start eating on her own again. Good luck.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 01:15 PM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindapalm View Post
Have you ever tried an appetite stimulant? Our older cat occasionally stops eating, and our vet gave us Cyproheptadine Hydrochloride for her. We had to cut the pill in fourths because the whole pill worked too well, she ate too much. After a day or two on the pills she seems to start eating on her own again. Good luck.
Yes we have tried appetite stimulants. Not much of a change and with the steroids, I would not add in the appetite stim., for fear of 2 much anxiety. He's skidish now.
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Rosie - 13
Callie and Tigger, brother and sister - 12
Akira - 2.5
Peanut - 2
Nikko and Spencer, brothers - 3 months
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