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Last Saturday I notice my girl if 10 1/2 years wasnt eating, and she was vomiting every 90 mins. This came on suddenly and while I stayed up through the night with her, I decided I couldnt wait until Monday to take her in. My husband and I were going on vacation this next week, and have been trying to save money, but Chii is my child since atm I cant have any.

Chii is my best friend. She was my first pet when I moved out on my own, shes been by my side no matter what and has saved my life (I feel) from otherwise stupid mistakes I would have made out of depression. If I was alive, it was for her. When I got married, and we added two new cats to the family, she still, was only mine. In 10 years she has never cared for my husband, and the other cats she can care less about.

Chii has never been sick until now, and is a purely inside cat. If you know me, you know Chii. I even carry pictures of her. So when this started to happen, cost and canceling the vacation was without question.

Lately we have had some issues with Chii's attitude and the new kitten, Ive even posted here about her recently looking for some help. But what happened this past weekend was something I could have never predicted.

The ER wanted to keep her over night on fluids, and to do a series of tests. As much as money isnt really an object, we couldnt lay down over 1k right then and there, and opted to do the bloodwork first. She came back completely negative on everything so the Dr ruled it out as an upset stomach, gave her SQ fluids and we took her home where she continued to be lethargic and she was still vomiting. Watching her, unknowing... was torture.

We took her into our normal vet the next day, he looked her over, agreed that other than being lethargic and vomiting she really was still very healthy. He said to give her about another 24 hours and we would wait to see if some antibiotics for any upset stomach from the ER helped. It didnt, and we took her back the next day. They put her out and gave her bromine (sp?), which the xrays showed it was building up and taking a while to pass from the valve of the esophagus to the stomach. Herein, he thought, was our problem. He started to settle on thoughts that this is Inflamatory Bowel Disease, or an acute bought of Gastritis. He gave her a shot of Cortisone to see if it helped at all, and sent her home.

48 hours later, she still hasnt eaten or drank a thing, and shes still horribly lethargic. Chii started at 14.14lbs. She has a lot of reserves, and shes not showing any signs of a fatty liver issue. Still, we take her back for an exploratory surgery. This was Thursday, and we took her in for the next step which was exploratory surgery.

Chii is still recovering after exploratory surgery. The good news is that the Dr didnt find any masses. We still dont know what is wrong tho, and likely wont have any other ideas until the biopsy comes back. That can take up to 5 business days. We were supposed to get her back tomorrow morning, but she is still uninterested in food and water.

The Dr suggested probably keeping her until we get the test results back so she can remain on IV and heal right because she will likely still be just as lethargic and uninterested in food/water as she has been for the past week.

I feel so horrible leaving her there, but on the same hand, I am going to ask them to keep her there so she will still be getting fluids and good treatment. I need her to heal... if she can. Whereas here she still wouldnt be eating or drinking and would be just as listless.

It's so hard because I feel some of this decision is so selfish because I cant bare to sit there and watch her like that for another 4 or 5 days while we wait. Because Im not strong enough to watch her just lay there, or look out the window and not even have the energy to hold her head up, so instead she rests it on the window.

Before the surgery I already asked the Dr. to make sure she wasnt suffering or that this was more for us than her. The reality is, she still has half her life left and he said the surgery was really worth doing, and he still feels confident it wont be anything major.

The worst thing in the world is waiting, unknowing, and seeing her so sick. I might not have kids, but shes the closest thing Ive had for 10 years. Shes mine, there was always a comfort in the fact she didnt like anyone else but me. This past week has been **** and something I would never wish on anyone.

All I can do is know that shes in God's hands, and beg, even silently, that she will be okay.
 

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I know exactly how you feel. Waiting is so **** hard, especially when you don't know what is actually wrong or what to expect. Some people who don't have pets or aren't very attached to their pets can't understand how attached we get to these little balls of fur. They are our close friends... they are our family... they give us so much and are always there for us when times are tough... Seeing them sick or suffering and feeling helpless to do anything other than wait for tests to come back, or treatment for the symptoms to hopefully kick in is a horrible horrible feeling. The unknowns surrounding something like that are so hard to deal with.

You aren't being selfish at all wanting her to be at the vets either. Her being able to remain on the IV so she gets plenty of fluids is what's best at this time. It's in her best interest to be in the care of a vet right now with what's going on with her so they can do whatever is needed to get her healthy again. You are doing the right thing.

Please keep us updated as to how things are going. I hope that your vet is able to get to the bottom of this, find the cause, and treat it soon so you'll have your Chii back to normal quickly!
 

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awwww I am really sorry to hear Chii is poorly & I send my best wishes for her recovery bless her & you x

not knowing & waiting & hoping for some good news is just awful but you have done the right thing by leaving her with the vet as she needs fluids etc to recover ~ dont beat yourself up over this you are doing the best for your baby xxxx

really preying for some good news for you & Chii xxxx stay strong x
 

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So sorry that Chii is going through this. She is at the right place, she's needs to keep her strength up if only by IV. My husband and I never had children either, I never really cared for kids. But our 4 cats are family and they bring so much happiness, laughter and love to our lives that I don't know what we would do without them. I hope Chii gets better soon and please keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys for the reassurance Im doing the right thing....

The vet called, and indeed we are going to keep her there. He said it looked like she vomited a little again last night. Her incision looks good, and otherwise she looks good as well. He says that shes not having any abdominal pain, swelling or tense muscles when he palpated the area.

He says hes almost worried that the biopsy will come back negative too, in which case its still a guessing game. He says hes still pretty sure its nothing major and that he would be checking on her periodically today and tomorrow. I lamented that the hardest thing is waiting and not knowing.

He said he could have put rush order on the tests but he didnt want them to rush any miss anything.

How can my house still feel so empty even tho my husband and two other cats are here...
 

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Chii is back from the vet today!

We still dont have any test results, but the Dr had told us she was getting very angry at them lately which shows her spirits have returned =)

She still wont eat or drink, but shes a little more active and aware which is sooooo nice to see. Lets just hope the tests come back soon so we can get her interested in food and water again!

One quick question that I forgot to ask the vet... she has a bandage on her leg from the IVs... how long til we take those off?
 

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I'm very glad to hear that Chii is home from the vet, but I'm very concerned that the vet doesn't seem to have given you any instruction on her medical management. If she isn't drinking, you should have the vet teach you how to administer subQ fluids at home to keep her hydrated (VERY important). If she still isn't eating, you should be assist feeding her at home (even MORE IMPORTANT, and the vet should have been doing the same while she was hospitalized). If she still has a bandage on her leg, the vet should have told you when to take it off.

OK, one thing at a time. The following link will provide you with information and links to tutorials on how to administer subQ fluids at home, but you will still need to get prescriptions from your vet to purchase the necessary supplies:

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Subcutaneous Fluids

The following links will provide lots of tips, tricks, and techniques to get nourishment into your girl:

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Persuading Your Cat to Eat
AssistFeed.com: Advice to help a sick cat who will not eat

As far as the bandage is concerned, my vets have always told me to remove an IV bandage as soon as I get home.

Laurie
 

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Actually my vet isnt as negligent as you act. She's been at the vet for 4 days, and has been on fluids and IV that entire time. Shes not dehydrated and pretty sure she wont be after one day. Shes doing a LOT better than when I first even brought her in. We've had her just over 12 hours now and Im not too fussed. Im still calling the vet in the morning to give them an update.

Other than not eating/drinking and this gastro-intestanal issue, shes perfectly healthy, so its not as if shes on deaths door. All of her other tests are fine and its not a kidney issue, and it seems a little rash to be so pessimistic when shes been home less than 24 hours and seems to be doing much better.
 

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You just got advice from one of the kindest and most knowledgeable members here who is sharing her experience and giving you great links to look into. I'm sure what you meant to say is "thank you!"
 

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I just reread all of your posts in this thread, and I don't see any mention of your girl having taken in any nourishment by mouth since at least May 5. There also isn't any mention of her getting anything other than IV fluids at any of the vet hospitals. That's 10 days since the last time your girl ate anything, right? I really don't mean to upset you, but a cat can't be perfectly healthy and not have taken in any nourishment for 10 days.

I have no doubt that she feels much better having been fully hydrated while in the hospital, and I'm not at all surprised that she's not thirsty at the moment. However, if her lack of thirst continues beyond 36 hrs after coming off the IV, you should ask your vet about subQ fluids at home to prevent her from becoming dehydrated again.When were your girl's liver values last tested?

There's a difference between pessimism and concern. I am holding all good thoughts that your girl's test results will come back with good news, or at least news of a treatable condition. But I can't help but be very concerned over her apparent lack of nourishment and the effects that could be having on her liver. I just don't want to see things get worse for her instead of better.

Laurie
 

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I just reread all of your posts in this thread, and I don't see any mention of your girl having taken in any nourishment by mouth since at least May 5. There also isn't any mention of her getting anything other than IV fluids at any of the vet hospitals. That's 10 days since the last time your girl ate anything, right? I really don't mean to upset you, but a cat can't be perfectly healthy and not have taken in any nourishment for 10 days.

I have no doubt that she feels much better having been fully hydrated while in the hospital, and I'm not at all surprised that she's not thirsty at the moment. However, if her lack of thirst continues beyond 36 hrs after coming off the IV, you should ask your vet about subQ fluids at home to prevent her from becoming dehydrated again.When were your girl's liver values last tested?

There's a difference between pessimism and concern. I am holding all good thoughts that your girl's test results will come back with good news, or at least news of a treatable condition. But I can't help but be very concerned over her apparent lack of nourishment and the effects that could be having on her liver. I just don't want to see things get worse for her instead of better.

Laurie
Explaining it makes it easier to handle. It seemed (at least via text) that you were really just talking down to my vet, and being pessimistic about any progress/attempts to take care of Chii. But again, text can make them seem things they arent, so thank you for taking the time to explain why you were concerned so I can identify why. Just throwing me links and saying you were concerned in his lack of his job just doesnt come across as well as the reasons why.

I get what youre saying, and really, we are at a total loss to that. Also, Im really cautious as to force anything on her without the vets take on it. We arent super experienced and I feel like Im walking on egg shells now because shes finally not vomiting and really... this whole thing 2k later and over a week has made me feel like one raw nerve.

Um... to answer your questions her tests were run Sunday morning. I get that shes not 100%, and that our time is limited the longer it goes, trust me I cry about it every couple of hours. The vet doesnt want to seem to do anything except wait for when the tests come back (should be no later than weds) and TRUST me, continuing to not eat or drink is not an option. I was going to call him tomorrow about it anyway and tell him the same even before this thread/conversation.

But what if the tests also come back without showing anything? We cant afford to keep poking around in the dark, nor can we just expect her to wait and waste away. Also, force feeding her/subQ is no way of life either. Talk about being between a rock and a hard spot. How long do you keep waiting, or testing, or forcefeeding? I know thats usually up to the owner, but I mean whats reasonable?

Im afraid if we force feed her shes going to start vomiting again. Isnt that a step backward? Also... she had surgery on Thurs, could the stress of that and the tense action of the muscles hurt the incision?

But again, I planned on having the conversation with him that its been 2k and over a week later, we still know *nothing* and shes not getting any better (mostly). But .... even then I mean we cant force him to come up with something, or can we? Idk...
 

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Ktns, I recognize that you are one big, frayed nerve at the moment. I'm right there with you, because I live on a farm with a boatload of animals with various medical concerns that I manage every day. The only difference is that I've been doing this for decades, so I have a somewhat more experienced perspective from which to respond. Please understand that I'm just trying to share some of my experience in the hope that it will help you help Chii.

It seemed (at least via text) that you were really just talking down to my vet, and being pessimistic about any progress/attempts to take care of Chii.
You're not entirely wrong about my attitude toward most vets. I've dealt with a lot of vets in my lifetime, and I can count on one hand (with several fingers left over) the number of vets I've dealt with who I consider to be really exceptional ... or even as knowledgeable or as good at dealing with human clients as I think it's reasonable to expect them to be.

What I have learned about vets over the years is that they are, indeed, human. They are - as are we all - sometimes imperfectly knowledgeable, forgetful, overworked, overwrought, under-educated, and yes, frayed. Yet many of their clients (myself included) often impose an expectation of unrealistic perfection on them. That expectation has caused me a tremendous amount of frustration and anger toward vets in the past, and still does occasionally when realistic thinking evades me.

Over the years my unrealistic expectations have been largely replaced by resolved disappointment. It has, much more productively, also been replaced by my assuming responsibility for overseeing and actively advocating for my animals' health care. This includes researching my animal's health concerns, networking with others dealing with similar animal health issues, and partnering strongly with my vets. Long gone are the days when I blindly accept everything my vets say or recommend without question or input. I question everything, and my vet and I discuss treatment and management options. We listen to each other and bounce ideas off of each other. And when all is said and done, I implement whatever treatment strategies make the most sense to me based on my own research, my vet's input, and most importantly, on what I believe to be in the best interest of the individual animal.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I feel it's crucially important for caretakers to assume active roles as advocates for their animals' veterinary care and to become partners with their vets, rather than servants to imperfect veterinary masters.

Whew! Off that little soapbox ... for now.

Im really cautious as to force anything on her without the vets take on it.
Do I really need to get back on my soapbox again so soon? LOL! If I were in your situation, here are the things I would be discussing with the vet immediately:

1) assist feeding
2) feeding tube
3) appetite stimulants (cyproheptadine, mirtazapine)
4) antiemetics (cisapride, metoclopramide)

to answer your questions her tests were run Sunday morning.
You mean, this last Sunday morning, 5/13? How were her liver values then? Had they changed since the last blood test? OK, another brief soapbox moment - You should always request and keep copies of ALL labwork run on your animals for any reason. Vets rarely have time to go over an animal's history during a vet visit, so it's really up to owners to keep a handle on their own animal's health status and any changes over time. Also, I can't tell you how many times a vet has told me that my animal's bloodwork was "fine" or "perfect", only to find that it was neither fine nor perfect as soon as I saw the lab report myself.

I get that shes not 100%, and that our time is limited the longer it goes, trust me I cry about it every couple of hours. The vet doesnt want to seem to do anything except wait for when the tests come back
Channel those tears into advocacy with your vet tomorrow. No matter how good the vet is, he will never have the sort of emotional investment you have in the welfare of your cat. He also will never know your cat the way you do. At the end of the day, YOU are the one who is ultimately responsible for your cat's health care decisions. YOU make the final determinations regarding her course of treatment, and YOU are the one who implements that treatment on a daily basis.

How long do you keep waiting, or testing, or forcefeeding? I know thats usually up to the owner, but I mean whats reasonable?
Well, you're right, it is up to you. It's all up to you. But here are a few cat facts that may help you in your decisions. It's common for cats to stop eating when they don't feel well for whatever reason. Usually, when a cat's body recovers from whatever was making it feel oogy, the cat starts eating again. Occasionally, though, something goes funky, and the cat continues to refuse food even after the body appears otherwise healthy. In those cases, assist feeding (or even a feeding tube) can sometimes kickstart the appetite and get the cat eating on her own again. Sometimes that can happen after a meal or two, and sometimes it can take months of assist feeding before the cat miraculously starts eating again. Strange and befuddling creatures, these felines.

Of course, it's also possible that your girl may have an insidious illness that has eluded diagnosis thus far. If that's the case, she will probably become more symptomatic over time, hopefully making diagnosis and effective treatment possible.

Im afraid if we force feed her shes going to start vomiting again. Isnt that a step backward?
There are antiemetics to control vomiting. My boy, Noddy, vomits everything he eats without his metoclopramide twice a day. Again, this is something you need to advocate for with your vet.

Also... she had surgery on Thurs, could the stress of that and the tense action of the muscles hurt the incision?
Feed small meals frequently. That should prevent her stomach from overfilling. I syringe feed Noddy small meals frequently throughout the day. Anything more than 40 ccs per meal makes him vomit. Your girl may need even smaller meals more frequently while she's recovering from surgery. Your vet should be able to guide you with this.

we cant force him to come up with something, or can we? Idk...
Vets don't respond well to force. Too many of them don't even respond well to partnering or advocacy. Part of your job as a pet parent is to find a vet with whom you CAN partner effectively. If that's your current vet, great! If not, keep looking.

Laurie
 

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Not much time to respond for now, but this morning she drank a little on her own but when we gave her meds we also gave her about 1.5mL food and water each. We will do this again for lunch and dinner. Food being the syrup from wet food. We are getting baby food today.

Still waiting to hear back from the vet this morning. Also took the bandage off and shes still more lively than when we dropped her off. She's even grooming again.

I'll post another update later.
 

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Not much time to respond for now, but this morning she drank a little on her own
That's a good start. It demonstrates that she doesn't have an aversion to putting at least water in her mouth as she seemed to have before.

but when we gave her meds we also gave her about 1.5mL food and water each. We will do this again for lunch and dinner. Food being the syrup from wet food. We are getting baby food today.
This is a good strategy. You can also puree canned cat food with a very small amount of hot water in a kitchen blender. This will produce a syringeable slurry that is more nutritionally balanced for feline feeding than baby food. Of course, onion- and garlic-free meat baby foods can be useful in kickstarting appetite in some cats. Just be aware that you will need to supplement taurine if feeding baby food for any length of time.

shes still more lively than when we dropped her off. She's even grooming again.
Liveliness and grooming are both very good signs. Sounds like Chii is on the upswing!

Laurie
 

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okay here is the big update... I am unsure on a couple things so maybe you can shed some light for me...

The vet called back sometime after my post and said the tests came back indicating she did have a little IBD. I told him my concerns still on eating/drinking and told him what we did today. He had me come by and pick up something called Rebound. Im supposed to give her 5ccs/mls (I dont remember the measurement to the syringe), every couple of hours.

He said the cortisone he gave her last Tues should last 2 weeks or so given how small the IBD is. He said call him back tomorrow to see how shes done on the rebound..

My issue is this... SHES STILL NOT EATING OR DRINKING ON HER OWN!!! Lol. Its like YES we got test results but what now?! Rebound? Thats it?!

He said something about being unsure if her getting better was because of post surgery or the cortisone. And that he did check her liver extensively when he was in there on Thurs and she was perfectly fine as far as the fatty liver issue.

I dont know... maybe I was tired, maybe I didnt get everything... but I feel like I have 0 answers even tho the tests came back.

I mean.. this could be normal and make sense to some of you. I just feel like Im missing a big chunk and I dont get the order of operations. Is this normal? We just keep waiting even with the tests back?

If this all sounds good, then great! Just... can someone explain it to me please in laymans terms?
 

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I just looked up the product online & it's to prevent dehydration. But I don't really don't think that's enough. I think you should also be force-feeding (syringe feeding) some real food. Something high-protein like Evo 95% with a little water or Hills AD recovery.
 

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The vet called back sometime after my post and said the tests came back indicating she did have a little IBD.
OK, here's what I do and what I recommend to other folks who are dealing with a health issue in their pet. Join one or more online groups dedicated to that particular health issue. There are groups available online dedicated to nearly every major health concern in animals, including feline IBD. Although I am not a member of any of the IBD groups (yet), I have found groups for CRF and hyperT to be lifesaving for my cats. Folks on these lists typically and freely share information and answer questions. They become experts on their specific disease. They often consult with veterinary experts in their field, as well. These disease-specific mailing lists are what I consider to be my number one resource of current information and support. Here are links to two feline IBD lists that I recommend you join:

felineibd1 : Feline IBD group
FeIBD : Feline IBD Forum

Members of these lists should be able to answer any IBD questions you may have and provide lots of information about treatments and management strategies for you to discuss with your vet.

He had me come by and pick up something called Rebound.
I am not familiar with Rebound, so I looked it up. The following link will provide you with information and links to additional information about Rebound and its use:

Virbac Animal Health | United States ? REBOUND® Liquid Diet

It sounds like a good first step to getting some nutrition into Chii, though I personally would be inclined to syringe feed canned slurry, as well. The IBD list members will be able to tell you which foods seem to work most successfully for their IBD cats.

He said the cortisone he gave her last Tues should last 2 weeks or so given how small the IBD is.
Steroids are a common treatment for IBD, though I have no idea why your vet would have administered cortisone to your cat in lieu of prednisolone, which is the recommended steroid for cats with IBD. That's something you'd have to ask your vet to explain.

My issue is this... SHES STILL NOT EATING OR DRINKING ON HER OWN!!! Lol. Its like YES we got test results but what now?! Rebound? Thats it?!
OK, broken record time. IBD is not one of my areas of expertise, so I'm going to again urge you to join the IBD lists and let them guide you through this disease's learning curve.

he did check her liver extensively when he was in there on Thurs and she was perfectly fine as far as the fatty liver issue.
As far as I know, fatty liver can occur at any time. The fact that her liver was healthy last Thursday does not necessarily mean that her liver is still healthy today. Keep a close eye on her mucous membranes and sclera of her eyes. Any yellowing should immediately send you running back to the vet for another blood test to recheck liver function.

I feel like I have 0 answers even tho the tests came back.
Such is often the case with medical concerns. Fortunately, though, you DO have a diagnosis - IBD - and that is something you can research and learn how to manage. Your best strategy now is to dive in and start learning everything there is to learn about this disease. It'll be overwhelming at first, but every nugget of information you absorb will get you a step closer to successful management of Chii's condition.

Laurie
 

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My cat Sophie had IBD and she would get anoerexic at times (not eating and throwing up). I would syringe-feed her a couple days with the Hills AD Recovery (prescription food) A couple times she start to eat it on her own then. Sometimes I had to use an appetite stimulent. Not saying that this is what you need to do, but I just can't imagine your vet not wanting to feed her real food...

The cortisone can slow the healing process from surgery, but it should also be making her feel moer comfortable.
 
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