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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21757
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My three year old cat has gone off her food. She has been sick

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My three year old cat has gone off her food. She has been sick twice. She is still very active and is cleaning herself. She has always been a fussy eater. I have felt her stomach, she is showing no sign of discomfort. This has lasted for three or four days now but she was the same for a couple of days before Christmas. She does go outside so have seen no evidence of diarrhoea.my
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
What does her vomit look like?
Does she seem keen to eat and then turn away? Or does she have no interest at all?
Is she drinking? Can she keep water down?
Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?
Could she have eaten something she should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Her vomit looks like undigested food. Sometimes she does seem keen but then turns away. She is definitely not as interested as usual. She is drinking but not much then again she has never seemed to drink much.Her gums are pink and moist. Wow she didn't like that! As I said she does go out so yes she could have eaten something.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
Now we have to tread with care with Marmite. This is because cats are not designed to be off food. In fact, if they go for more then a few days without eating, we can see them develop secondary liver issues (hepatic lipidosis) which can make getting them back to eating even more difficult.
That said, Marmite's signs suggest that she is refusing food due to nausea. Notoriously cats avoid food when nauseous to avoid vomiting. In regards ***** ***** for this, we'd be most concerned about a brewing bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items). We can also see this with organ or metabolic issues, but she is a wee bit young for those.
With this all in mind, as long as she can keep water down, we can try some home supportive care to see if we can settle her stomach. To start, if she hasn’t just vomited (since otherwise we’d need to rest her stomach for a few hours first), then you can consider treating her with an antacid. Common pet safe OTC ones we can use include Calcium carbonate (60-120mg every 12 hours) or Omeprazole(More Info/Dose Here @ hthttp://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/prescription/omeprazole-prilosec). There are others that we do also use like Famotidine or low dose ranitidine, but these would need to be dispensed by your local vet. Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do check with her vet before use if she has any known health issues or is on any medications you didn’t mention. As well, if you try this and find her nausea too severe to keep it down, then that is usually a red flag that we need her vet to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication.
Once that has had time to absorb and she is steadier on her stomach, you can consider starting her on a light/easily digestible diet. Start with a small volume (a spoonful). Examples you can use are boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. When you offer that spoonful, give her 30 minutes to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As her stomach stabilizes, you can offer more. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset.
Now if we can halt the nausea but find that she still cannot be tempted, then we may need to think about syringe feeding. To do so, we can water down calorie rich diets (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet, even canned kitten food) or use a liquid diet (ie Clinicare, Catsure). As well, there are paste supplements (ie Nutrical) that can also be used. And these will all get more into her per bite even if we cannot get much in.
If she is drinking less, then dehydration is a risk and we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check this and ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure her eyes are not looking sunken and that she doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue for her (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).
Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the GI upset we are seeing with Marmite. Therefore, in her case, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours (since it has been a bit too long already); then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-vomiting medication, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to settle her stomach, and get her back feeling like herself.
All the best,
Dr. B.
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