HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats.. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats..

This has been the worst week ever. My 5 year old cat started throwing up Monday night, so I called the vet first thing Tuesday morning, and they said just keep an eye on him, if it persists to call them back. He didn't throw up all day Tuesday, but started again at 9pm Tuesday night.

So I immediately got him into the vets by 10pm that night, and they kept him over night and put him on IV fluids, did xrays and blood tests and sent him home to wait for the results. As soon as I got him home at 4pm Wednesday, he was throwing up again. He couldn't even take a drink of water, much less eat food without throwing it up. So I took him right back in, and they did more tests. The blood work came back negative, so they did a dye test (serum?), to make sure there was nothing stuck in his stomach, which also turned up negative.

So finally, Friday they felt it was best to do surgery, and open him up and see what was going on. When they opened him up, they said all of his organs were bone dry, from dehydration, and his stomach and intestines are inflamed. While they were in there, they hydrated all of his organs, flushed out all of the bacteria and closed him back up. And said their "best guess" is that it's a viral infection, because everything else was fine.

Saturday they gave him anti-nausea shots and force fed him 6 times (because he still won't eat or drink on his own), and they said he kept his food down all day yesterday. Today (Sunday), they did not give him the anti-nausea shot, and force fed him again, but hes back to throwing up. I just spoke to them, and they said they're going to give him another anti-nausea shot, and then force feed him again in a couple hours to see if he will keep it down. The vet said that she has seen this in other cats, and at his age, she feels he will pull through this just fine, but its a waiting game of letting the virus runs its course. She says he'll be fine as long as they keep him hydrated and get food in him, but may need to call in a specialist, if the problems persist...

This really has me scared and devistated. He's my spoiled baby, and I can't lose him. I've been in hysterics all week. Counting tonight, he's now been staying at the vet hospital for 5 nights and going on 6 days tomorrow, and they said since he threw up today, he could possibly be there another few days to a week or more. Which is just added stress on my cat, because he's used to being spoiled and pampered, not poked and prodded and stuffed in a cage.

What scares me the most is, they said the viral infection is their 'best guess'.. and it just needs to run its course. What if they're wrong, and I'm putting my cat through all of this suffering, just to end up having to put him to sleep, and have to remember the last week of his life in that horrible place being poked and tortured? I'm just beside myself, and don't know what to do... I can't very well pick him up, and carry him out of there to another vets for a second opinion in his condition.

Has anyone else ever had a cat with a viral infection, that could shed some light if any of this is normal?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 07:42 PM
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Re: HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats..

I had a similar situation with Nanook this fall. He had diarrhea and vomiting with no explanation. We ran everything under the sun. Nothing showed up. X ray, ultrasound. Nothing. He had also stopped eating. He spent three days at the emergency hospital ($$$!!!) on fluids, anti nausea meds and antibiotics and God knows what all! I was scared out of my wits! Finally they said to try taking him home, since he was getting extremely depressed at the hospital, and see if he improved there. I spent the next several days force feeding him and then, slowly, slowly he started eating on his own. We never did find out what it was. It was either a viral infection or being severely upset from the loss of his brother, Little-one, who had died a week before. We'll never know, which is very frustrating. Thankfully, he's fine now.
I wish I had more insight but, having gone through a similar situation, I know what you're going through. It's horrible!
I hope your kitty recovers soon.

Victoria
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats..

Thanks for your reply. I know its going to cost me a fortune for this vet bill, because the first night he was there cost $445, and that was just one night. He's been there 4 more nights after that, plus more tests and surgery on top of it - so we're talking a pretty penny, but my baby is worth every penny to make him better. I don't care what the cost, as long as they can send him home to me. And yes, it is extremely scary. I haven't been able to sleep or eat myself this entire week worrying myself sick over him. I know I probably drive the vets office nuts, because I call them all day every day, and have even flipped out on them because I felt like they weren't helping him (Flipping = my stress working in overtime, and had to take it out on someone!).

My poor baby has been in there 5 nights, and they said he will probably not be able to come home anytime soon. Depression is what really worries me as well, because he is very spoiled.. and the one day that they did let me bring him home, he was extremely upset and shaking and crying. Mix depression in on top of being sick, just not good. It just breaks my heart thinking about him sick, scared and alone in that cage for so long.

They said theres no chance of him coming home sooner, because he needs the IV fluids, since he will not drink.. he would dehydrate at home. Plus, he can not keep anything down without the anti-nausea shots they are giving him, and they can not be administered at home. So he is stuck there, until he is able to at least keep down the force feeding, without the anti-nausea shot. And they have no idea how long that could take.

It just really worries me that they're only guessing its a viral infection. I'd like to get a second opinion, but I don't want to pull him off the IV fluids and drag him to another vet, that would be bad for him, not to mention more traumatic. I'm not sure if other vets are allowed to go into someone elses office to examine him? I have never been in this situation before...
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 10:31 PM
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Re: HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats..

I would look into a second opinion. Taking him off the IV for a couple of hours shouldn't be a problem and they should leave the catheter in so he doesn't have to go through that again.
Is there a cat specialist near you? Or a good teaching hospital? Nothing against this vet, but sometimes a fresh set of eyes is good or another practice may have come across a similar case.
I'd certainly look into it.

Victoria
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats..

I agree. I'm definitley going to call around tomorrow. The place I have him at now, is a Veterinary Hospital, not a teaching one.. just a regular one.

But I'm going to look up specialists tomorrow, and get some more opinions.. and see if I can get a specialist that will go into their office. I'd much rather be able to find someone to go in there to him, instead of having to stress him out thinking he's coming home, only to move him somewhere else with more unfamiliar faces.

Do you know if other specialists will visit the current hospital clinic he is at? I have never had this issue before, so this is all new to me. But I will be making calls everywhere for sure tomorrow. I want him to have the best care possible, to get out of that torture chamber as soon as he can. I'd hate to see him stuck in there for Christmas, and the way its looking.. he will be...

By the way, what type of specialist would I look up? I am not even sure what to search for, I was just trying to google.. but not sure what to search for as far as specialists go?
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 11:07 PM
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Re: HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats..

More than likely you want an internal medicine specialist, and while it isn't typical for a specialist to come to a regular vets office to examine a pet, it is very common and even expected for your regular vet to send the specialist the full medical history, lab results and x-rays and get a second opinion. A specialist could learn a great deal about what is going on by looking at that informations and present a series of possibilities and treatment options. I would request that your vet confer with a specialist (which it sounds like from your original post that he was already considering). That way you wouldn't have to move him or upset him, but still get fresh eyes on the situation. He doesn't need to actually see your cat to give a diagnosis differential. This happens all the time in human medicine too. Doctors confer on cases of patients they have never met. Meanwhile, please know, that you may never know for sure what caused this. It sounds like your vet has already done everything diagnostically, even an exploratory surgery which is extreme. It probably is a virus and it probably will just have to run its course. But by all means, get that second opinion. You owe yourself that much.

I hope your kitty is back home and well for Christmas.

Rachael with Thurston, Sully and Ninja.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats..

That is a great idea, thank you. My vet did say today, that they would consult a specialist if his condition did not change. But I don't want to wait any longer, I think a week is way too long already. I am going to call them first thing in the morning, and tell them that I do not want to wait, I'd like the specialist consulted tomorrow to be on the safe side. I'll see who they suggest, and also make some calls myself to several specialists.

This whole thing has had me so stressed and sick all week to the point where I'm obsessing and can't stop picturing his poor little face looking so sad in that cage for so many nights. I can only imagine what my poor kitty must be feeling.

Thank you both for your suggestions. Its nice to have others that understand, and give helpful suggestions.

I may need a hospital visit myself, if this stress keeps up
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 11:50 PM
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Re: HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats..

Take a deep breath. Have some tea and a hot bath. Try not to let your mind drive you nuts! As long as he is getting supportive care, he is not in any imminent danger. I know it's easier said than done, but you're no good to your kitty if you're sick too. Believe me, I understand. I spent hours on the Internet trying to figure out what was going on with Nanook. There's nothing you can do tonight, so turn off the computer and take care of yourself.
Let us know how it goes tomorrow.

Victoria
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats..

Weird, I posted an update once.. but the post didn't show up So if this shows up double, sorry.

I am still stressing of course. I talked to the vet this morning, they said they gave him another anti-nausea shot yesterday, and he's keeping his food down again. The bad thing is, he will not eat or drink on his own. They basically said, they do not expect him to eat for them in there at this point, because its partly psychological from depression being in there for so long. And they can't send him home.. because he can't keep food down, without the anti-nausea shot..

Sooo, here we are.. stuck in a catch 22. They are having to force feed him, and he is 20lbs. The amount of food intake he gets being force fed, is only feeding the size of a kitten, not a 20lb cat. So obviously things can not go on the way they are, because it will start to effect his liver. They said a possibilty, would be to give him the anti-nausea shot which lasts 24 hours, and let him come home with me.. to see if he will eat for me at home once he de-stresses, but the bad side to that is.. he will no longer have the IV fluids in him, and could dehydrate quickly again if he doesn't drink at home. And at this point, he's very stressed and depressed, so he may not even eat at home right away either, which will still land him right back in there.

Per my request, she is going to consult with an internal vet specialist today, and see if there's anything else they can do for him. At this point, its not looking good though...

Ugh, what a mess...
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 04:05 PM
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Re: HELP! Cat can't stop vomitting - Viral Infections in Cats..

Uch! This is awful!
Hopefully, the specialist will have some ideas.
If you can, I would try taking him home and see how he does. You can always bring him back to the vets if necessary. If they give him the anti nausea shot and sent you home with SQ fluids, wouldn't he be okay for a day or two? As long as he's not vomiting. SQ isn't as effective as IV but it will give him some hydration and it's easy to do at home (provided your cat isn't a maniac). Also, when one of my cats was sick, years ago, they gave me some anti nausea pills to give him. Maybe that's an option?
It's a hard call. I know with Nanook, if I hadn't brought him home, he would have just continued to go downhill. I did have to pretty much stay home, and I force fed him (plain meat, human baby food) just a little bit about every hour or so. After about 4 or 5 days, he started licking food off my finger and a few days later, slowly, slowly started eating on his own. We both had to put on quite a bit of weight once the ordeal was over!
I wish I could be more helpful. I'm so sorry you're both going through this and I hope he pulls through.

Victoria
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