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Discussion Starter #1
About a week ago, she stopped eating, and then a day or so later, we noticed that she was congested. She has always been a good eater, and has always been a little heavier than average, so she isn't thin or underweight yet. We took her to the vet, he found a bad tooth that was infected, removed it, and gave her teeth a good cleaning. He did a full slate of boodwork which came back looking very good, and x-rays which showed nothing. She has been on clavamox for a week, but she is still congested, and other than a couple of mouthfulls, she still hasn't eaten. We are to take her back to the vet this afternoon for more fluids. We are very concerned and are considering going to another vet. Do these symptoms sound familiar to anyone? Thanks, Milton.
 

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If Lilly Bell has one of the common viral upper respiratory infections, antibiotics won't help. Vets often prescribe antibiotics even when a cat has a viral infection just to avoid a secondary bacterial infection from setting in. Unfortunately, many antibiotics can cause digestive upset and inappetance in cats, and Clavamox is one of the most notorious for these complications. I recommend you ask the vet for a different antibiotic with fewer gastric side effects.

Lilly Bell may also be refusing food because of the congestion. Cats generally won't eat what they can't smell, and if she's congested, she's probably not smelling much of anything. You can help drain her sinuses by putting her in a steamy bathroom for 15-30 mins immediately before you feed her. Once her sinuses are clear, she should be able to smell and hopefully eat. It's also helpful to feed really smelly canned food (the fish flavors are good for this) and to warm the food just enough to REALLY bring out the aroma (but not warm enough to make her reject it because of the heat).

Dehydration can also strip the appetite, so it's good that you're having her hydrated at the vet's this afternoon.

It's extremely important that you get food into Lilly Bell one way or another, so if the above tips don't do the trick, read the following links and do whatever is necessary (assist feed) to get adequate nutrition into her until she starts eating on her own again.

Tanya's Feline CRF Info Centre - persuading your cat to eat
AssistFeed.com: Advice to help a sick cat who will not eat
Feline-Assisted-Feeding : Feline-Assisted-Feeding

On the good chance that Lilly Bell has herpesvirus (probably the most common of the viral URI's), it can be helpful to give L-lysine. L-lysine inhibits replication of the herpesvirus, making it easier for the cat's system to fight off the infection. Even if she doesn't have herpesvirus, L-lysine won't hurt. It's just an amino acid. You can buy it anywhere vitamins are sold. Just crush a 500 mg tablet and mix it into a canned food meal once daily until she's fully recovered.

Laurie
 

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If you have a vaporizer, put her in a small room with it to help with the congestion. Sounds like a URI to me. You can also use pediatric nose drops (this is what my vet told me) to help. If she can smell, she will eat unless she's got ulcers in her mouth.

What kills cats with URI is dehydration. Get some pedialyte and feed with a dropper if you must. Supplement it with goat's milk for calories.

Usually for URI, the vet will prescribe amoxicillian. If she's had the congestion for awhile then it's likely that it's become bacterial rather viral and she will need antibiotics.

Hope Lilly Bell gets well soon.
 

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As for the feeding, use wet and warm it for a few seconds in the microwave or use warm water added. Making it really stinky may stimulate her appetite. Many times the congestion makes it difficult for them to smell, and they won't eat what they can't smell. Especially those that are finnicky.

Stick with wet for now...the higher hydration will do wonders for her, it's also easier to make stinky. Also, look for higher calorie formulas (for obvious reasons). And finally make sure she's drinking. Get water into her one way or another.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much for all the replies. Still no luck with the eating. We have tried numerous things to no avail. We are going to a different vet this morning just to get a second opinion. She had a coughing spell about 3:30 am and then threw up some ugly brown liguid. I'm thinking this is beyond an uri. Thanks again all, Milton.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Went to the other vet yesterday, he thinks it's an uri, and that the area around the extracted tooth looks good. He gave us some antihistamine appetite stimulant (which must taste really bad), and changed her antibiotic to clindamycin drops, and he gave her a B12 injection.About a half an hour later, she ate a little bit, not a whole lot but encouraging none the less, and she has been drinking water. But this morning it's back to no eating. I think it was the B12 that prompted her eat yesterday. This is so exasperating, not to be able to do anything to help her.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
:smilesAn update on Lilly Bell. The vet changed the antibiotic liquid to capsules which Lilly took much more readily and insured that she got the full dose. We fed her for a few days with a syringe and could tell that it was helping her. We stopped the anti-histamine. The great news is that Saturday morning she started eating on her own, AND SHE HASN"T STOPPED!! HOORAY FOR DR. KING who believed all along that it was a uri. He is our new primary doctor.We are so relieved to see Lilly Bell behaving like her old self again! Thanks to all of you who offered advice and kind words! Milton.
 
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