3 Year Old Cat Has Stopped Eating
My cat, Simon, has been in the care of several veterinarians for the last week, but so far they are stumped as to what could be causing his lack of appetite or inability to eat.
He went in for a regular check-up and received a rabies booster and Tresaderm ear drops for an ear infection. After I brought him home, he seemed fine, but didn't touch his food for several days. He has only ever shown interest in dry Nutro brand kibble - I tried several times over the years to entice him with wet food, even with human food like tuna and chicken, but he has absolutely no interest in it. Now, he will at best pick up one piece of kibble at a time, drop it a few times as he tries to eat it, and eat about half the piece of kibble.
The strange thing is that his failure to eat is his only real symptom. He licks his lips a lot after coming into contact with his food, but that's it. No vomiting, no sneezing, normal energy level, normal temperature, no trouble urinating. He is a little dehydrated, losing weight, and isn't producing stool - likely because he isn't eating.
He's been back to the vet several times over the last week. He's been treated with sub-q fluids, anti-nausia meds (cerenia, anzemet) and appetite stimulants (mirtazipine). He was hospitalized overnight and was given tests (urinalysis/complete t760, feline pancreatitis test, FELV and FIV) all of which were negative or inconclusive. He was x-rayed and nothing abnormal was found. He was given a dental exam and they found a retained baby tooth that was a little loose, but decided it was unlikely the cause of his loss of appetite. He was given a steroid shot (dexamethasone) to see if treating him for generalized inflammation would be effective, but he still does not eat.
Simon returns to his food bowl every now and then and acts as though he's pawing his litter, acting as though he's burying his food - a behavior he would engage in before this all began so this isn't new.
The next step, the vets say, is a specialist and an abdominal ultrasound. In the meantime, I'm force feeding him A/D. This is getting very expensive and I'm hoping someone who may have been through this before may have an idea where this is headed. Is it a coincidence he stopped eating right after his rabies vaccine and Tresaderm treatment? Is it cancer? Is he just being picky? Will he get over it before he does himself real harm? Will I end up with a 3 year old cat that will require 3-4 force feedings per day for the rest of his life?
Any help or experience you have would be appreciated. Thanks.