Mac has stopped eating....please help

Macadamia12

New member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Location
Kona, HI
Our Cat (Mac) had been vomiting off and on for a couple of weeks. Two weeks ago he stopped eating. We took him to the vet, did a full blood test(he had to be put under anesthesia as he was very upset). Vet said everything looked normal except one liver enzyme being a little high. They gave us Sciencediet digestive care i/d food which Mac ate for a couple of days and then he stopped eating again. We called our Vet again and he prescribed Entyce to stimulate his appetite. Entyce only worked one time and then stopped working. We took him back to the vet yesterday, they did the following: exam recheck, Xray of abdomen, dexdomitor, butorphal, subcutaneous fluid administration, cerenia and famotidine. He was put under anesthesia again and brought back using antisedan. Vet said everything looked normal again and gave Mirataz Transdermal ointment to put inside his ear once a day. Mirataz worked great yesterday evening and he ate quite a bit but failed to work today. He hasn’t eaten more than a few sips of tuna water. We called the Vet to give an update and were told tube feeding would be our next option.


We are really worried about losing our cat if he continues to not eat and keep losing weight. Even on days when he did eat in the last two weeks, the quantity was a lot less than usual. One thing we noticed when he eats is, he seems to be straining to chew and push food down the throat. We have been diluting his food to make it easier for him. He is been mainly withdrawn from the house and is staying outside on the lanai. He seems to be seeking cold air and wanting to be alone.


Here's Mac from 4 days ago, looking sick

imgonline-com-ua-resize-XzPNbbty6So9gMX (1).jpg


Here Mac being happy and playful before getting sickmac-happy.jpg


Thanks in advance.
 

linda2147

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
New Hampshire
has his teeth been checked? A bad could make it hard for him to chew and swallow. My only other suggestion would be to take him to a vet teaching school or hospital. They would find the problem. Is he an old cat? Sometimes the older cats have problems that are hard to detect but a vet school wouldn't stop looking until they find what is the matter with him. Have you tried offering him baby food?
 

Last edited:

Alpha1

Pack Leader and Lover
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Location
USA
Welcome, I see you're from Hawaii and Mac is a cool name for your cat. I'm sorry to hear he's doing so poorly, with all the testing you've done I'm surprised they can't give you a reason for his not eating. All that anesthesia can't be helping him either, I'm sure the aftereffects contribute to his feeling sick. Linda has a good suggestion that it may have to do with his teeth, but I'd think the vet would have already considered all that.

Have you tried to give him fresh cooked fish, shrimp, crab, liver? There's also freeze dried cat treats made by brands like Orijen that are very appealing to cats and dogs, they can be crumbled to a powder between your fingers and sprinkled on his food. I don't really like Science Diet food, poor quality in my opinion, but vets sell it at their offices and constantly push it, I'd get another easy to digest brand if there's something available in your area. Is he drinking water? You have to be sure he's not getting dehydrated.

Mac is a beautiful cat, I really hope he starts to eat again and you can find out what was wrong. It's expensive, but maybe you can get his files and test results and get a second opinion from another vet. But I wouldn't put the poor cat through too many other tests, etc. Could he have gotten into any type of poison from the neighbors? Sorry I don't have any real solutions to your problem.
 

Macadamia12

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Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Location
Kona, HI
Original Poster
Thanks Linda2147, Catmom1994 and Aplha1 for responding.



Our Vet supposedly checked his teeth and throat but couldn't find anything. We live on Big island and from what i found we only have a pre-veterinary school on Hilo side which is about 1.5 hrs away from our place. We feel a bit helpless in our options being on an island.

Mac is 12 years old and has been overweight most of his life. We got him last November after my husbands mom couldn't live alone anymore due to her Alzheimer. He lost 7 pounds in the last 5.5 months. He was 30lbs in Nov and was 25lbs 2 weeks ago. Now he is at 23lbs. He was on a combination of a dry high protein diet(youngagain brand) and (Tikki cat) wet food. We completely stopped youngagain dry food since last two weeks and have been mostly trying baby food, science diet digestive care wet food, tikki wet food, ham, sardines, salmon and some other stuff with very little luck.

Last time he had food was Friday evening and now I am very worried. He has been unable to poop and urinate.

As for drinking water, it seems like he wants to drink it but walks away after sniffing. Same with food.

We will try fresh cooked seafood and chicken today as Aplha1 suggested and hopefully he will eat some in addition to getting Orijen treats. My husband really dislikes Sciencediet too but since we were desperate this time and don't have many Vet options we decided to give it a try.


We had first gotten his blood test done in Dec 2018 from Vet1 and they said everything looked good. When he started vomiting and stopped eating(which started 2 weeks ago), we took him to Vet1, but they seemed to not care much, so we made took him to Vet 2 who did all the tests. Now we only have 1 more option Vet3 unless we drive atleast an hour one way for other Vets. Also Mac doesn't like travelling and generally requires Sedation for tests and we are afraid to start all over again and him going under sedation for just test.


We moved to Big Island from Denver to take care of my husbands aging mom. She had adopted Mac from a dying couple when he was 4. We are so attached to him and my husband can't even sleep at night worrying he might not see him next day. If he doesn't eat today, he will have to go on a feeding tube tomorrow. This has been very hard on us and we feel like losing our son. Here's a pic of Mac being cuddly with my husband and purring. He still does this despite not being well.

Sincerely thankful for helping me.

20190414_130130.jpg
 

Macadamia12

New member
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Apr 14, 2019
Location
Kona, HI
Original Poster
Alhpa1,

Mac loves going out in our garden and chewing grass and is one of his favorite thing to do. But we stopped this approximately 20 days ago after we felt that the grass could be making him throw up. He was quite angry initially and but adapted few days late.

Attach0.jpg
 

linda2147

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
New Hampshire
If it were my cat, I'd drive the distance to take him where I know they can help him. The feeding tube doesn't solve the problem, yes it gets food into him but but you need to get to the root of the problem. If anyone can help this cat its the vet school. They see all kinds of unusual problems and have all the latest equipment to work with and they are no more and sometimes less expensive than your regular vet. They may be his only hope. He can't live for long on a feeding tube. At least call them and see what they say
 

Dog Force One

New member
Joined
Dec 8, 2015
Mac loves going out in our garden and chewing grass and is one of his favorite thing to do. But we stopped this approximately 20 days ago after we felt that the grass could be making him throw up. He was quite angry initially and but adapted few days late.
Let Mac go back into the garden right away. As often as he wants, every day. After 12 years, he knows whether or not grass is good for him. He is used to doing that, and a routine that is important to him has been interrupted. He tried to tell you. At this point, chewing and swallowing anything is good, even if he throws it up again for now. Many, many cats eat grass and throw it up. Dogs do the same. Maybe there is something in his stomach that he needs to throw up regularly with the grass, or some necessary physiological process that eating and vomiting the grass triggers, and now he cannot do it. At the very least, eating grass in the garden could make him enjoy his old routine and get some psychological series of events rolling.

Listen to your cat, and let him spend all day in the garden eating grass if he wants.

In the end, cats and other animals know a hell of a lot that vets do not.

To the garden!
 

Macadamia12

New member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Location
Kona, HI
Original Poster
Thanks Linda

I will call University of Hawaii, Hilo and see if they can help us.

https://hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/cafnrm/specializations/ansci_prevet.php

Fingers crossed. Hope they can help us and we can avoid the feeding tube.

I remember one of my friends taking his cat to University of California, Davis when I lived in SF. I wish I was in California or Colorado now. We would have a lot more options
 

Alpha1

Pack Leader and Lover
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Location
USA
Let Mac go back into the garden right away. As often as he wants, every day. After 12 years, he knows whether or not grass is good for him. He is used to doing that, and a routine that is important to him has been interrupted. He tried to tell you. At this point, chewing and swallowing anything is good, even if he throws it up again for now. Many, many cats eat grass and throw it up. Dogs do the same. Maybe there is something in his stomach that he needs to throw up regularly with the grass, or some necessary physiological process that eating and vomiting the grass triggers, and now he cannot do it. At the very least, eating grass in the garden could make him enjoy his old routine and get some psychological series of events rolling.

Listen to your cat, and let him spend all day in the garden eating grass if he wants.

In the end, cats and other animals know a hell of a lot that vets do not.

To the garden!
Well said, important point and I agree completely.
 

CatMom1994

Loving cats forever
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Location
Florida
Mac probably does not eat and drink after going to the bowls because of nausea. Many cats do that when they get sick. Ask Vet 2 about giving him Pepcid AC Original (you will need a piill cutter for this) to make him feel better.

When shopping for baby food, make sure it has no onions before buying anything. I read a lot of baby foods have onion powder. Stop giving him seafood. At this point you have to feed him what he will eat as long as it is wet and safe for cats.

I disagree with Dog Force on letting Mac eat as much grass as he wants. If Mac eats a lot of grass he will never be hungry for real cat food. You can buy cat grass to grow in a pot to let him eat small amounts after he starts eating two meals a day again.
 

Dog Force One

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Dec 8, 2015
Macademia12, the most common reason a pet stops eating is pain or fever, and the most common cause of those is a random internal infection. Did Mac receive a course of general wide-spectrum antibiotics to rule out this very common (but nevertheless dangerous) cause of appetite loss and overall malaise? Even if he didn't show a fever at the vet, fevers can come and go, and who knows what effect the sedating medicine had on his temperature and other test results. The most frequent course of action when my local vets are not able to pinpoint an exact problem is to issue a general wide-spectrum antibiotic. Very often this solves the issue and returns the pet to normal. It does not make sense to move heaven and earth and spend gobs of money before first using a simple course of general wide-spectrum antibiotic to eliminate the most likely cause of trouble.

I disagree with Dog Force
Yes, but we all know that for your own -er- peculiar psychological needs you always make a point of disagreeing with me, and that you would staunchly, indignantly disagree if I said the sky is blue.
 

Macadamia12

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Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Location
Kona, HI
Original Poster
Thanks Dog Force One for your input.

You made a good point but we feel like Mac is not as sensible and intuitive as our other 2 (female)cats in determining whats safe for him outside. Mac being a extremely food driven cat doesn't have the discretion and goes for anything and everything unlike our other 2 cats who don't throw up like him.

But we will still give it a try once his conditions improves a bit. Right now, he doesn't even go near the door or have any desire to go outside.
 

Macadamia12

New member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Location
Kona, HI
Original Poster
Mac probably does not eat and drink after going to the bowls because of nausea. Many cats do that when they get sick. Ask Vet 2 about giving him Pepcid AC Original (you will need a piill cutter for this) to make him feel better.

When shopping for baby food, make sure it has no onions before buying anything. I read a lot of baby foods have onion powder. Stop giving him seafood. At this point you have to feed him what he will eat as long as it is wet and safe for cats.

I disagree with Dog Force on letting Mac eat as much grass as he wants. If Mac eats a lot of grass he will never be hungry for real cat food. You can buy cat grass to grow in a pot to let him eat small amounts after he starts eating two meals a day again.
Catmom1994,

We will get pepsid AXC first thing tomorrow morning. They did give Mac Cerenia on Friday.

We are avoiding babyfood with onion, garlic. We were thinking of cooking some chicken to see if the smell makes him want to eat.
 

Macadamia12

New member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Location
Kona, HI
Original Poster
Macademia12, the most common reason a pet stops eating is pain or fever, and the most common cause of those is a random internal infection. Did Mac receive a course of general wide-spectrum antibiotics to rule out this very common (but nevertheless dangerous) cause of appetite loss and overall malaise? Even if he didn't show a fever at the vet, fevers can come and go, and who knows what effect the sedating medicine had on his temperature and other test results. The most frequent course of action when my local vets are not able to pinpoint an exact problem is to issue a general wide-spectrum antibiotic. Very often this solves the issue and returns the pet to normal. It does not make sense to move heaven and earth and spend gobs of money before first using a simple course of general wide-spectrum antibiotic to eliminate the most likely cause of trouble.

Thanks Dog Force One,

I have thought about giving him antibiotics but my husband doesn't agree with me. He thinks Macs problem has to do with some GI related issue and antibiotics might make it worse. Also, Mac always had popping issues and antibiotics will wipe out all the good bacterias from his system.
 

Macadamia12

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Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Location
Kona, HI
Original Poster
I do wonder, why did Vet 2 only did Xrays on Friday when they could have done ultrasound as well to see if there is any inflammation or internal organ changes.
 

Dog Force One

New member
Joined
Dec 8, 2015
He thinks Macs problem has to do with some GI related issue and antibiotics might make it worse.
And, um, where does hubby think that most infections start? In the GI system.

antibiotics will wipe out good bacterias
Look, how about some perspective? Better to temporarily lose some good bacteria than to LOSE MACADEMIA.

No one is a bigger proselytizer for good bacteria than me, but bacteria are easily replaced if temporarily lost.

You don't deny your cat a simple, inexpensive, safe, straightforward course of the greatest life-saving class of drugs ever invented in history because he'll lose a few easily replaceable bacteria. Tell that to all the people and pets whose lives have been saved by antibiotics since their discovery.

Listen, remember that the objective is not to find a picture-perfect solution without any drawbacks that is absolutely sure to work and is completely without risk so that you can put the solution in a beautiful gold frame and hang it on the wall. The objective is to save your dying cat's life. And that's not the way you do it. You start with the most likely causes and administer the most likely cures before you put your cat through 100 test procedures (that the vet is happy to sell you).

Life is messy. Solutions are messy. Saving your pet is messy.

Give your dying cat some antibiotics for heaven's sake before it is too late. It is the most likely solution for the most likely problem.

Or spend eternity stupidly rationalizing why you didn't before he died.

"We were about to fly Mac sedated in a special chartered helicopter to Honolulu to try out a new Zuzu ray machine, when our baby did not wake up."

"What kind of antibiotics had he received?"

"Oh, none. We never gave him any antibiotics."

"You what?"
 

Alpha1

Pack Leader and Lover
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Location
USA
I agree with DogForce, if the vet suggests antibiotics by all means try them as soon as possible according to the directions on the medication. I am completely against the excessive use of antibiotics in people or pets, but there are times that they are absolutely necessary and important, especially in a case like yours where the cat's life is being threatened. Please reconsider quickly to help him.

I have thought about giving him antibiotics but my husband doesn't agree with me. He thinks Macs problem has to do with some GI related issue and antibiotics might make it worse. Also, Mac always had popping issues and antibiotics will wipe out all the good bacterias from his system.
You can give the cat probiotics after the antibiotic treatment, if I'm not mistaken you can also give them during the antibiotic use. I wouldn't start giving the cat any over the counter things like Pepcid, sometimes less is more, gentler to his system, right now the cat needs very simple specific treatment and care, not a hodgepodge of different 'cures'. Good luck, let your husband know that it may save the cat's life to use antibiotics, the pros outweigh the cons.
 

CatMom1994

Loving cats forever
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Location
Florida
I do wonder, why did Vet 2 only do X-rays on Friday when they could have done ultrasound as well to see if there is any inflammation or internal organ changes?
You have to ask him, but that is a common practice. If Vet 2 does not work at a big hospital with an ultrasound machine, it makes sense to do what he can. What does not make sense is being unable to diagnose your kitty after doing all these tests and exams.
 


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