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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22584
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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i have a 7 year old ginger tom cat and has last few

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i have a 7 year old ginger tom cat and has last few days been sick daily, mainly in the mornings.
He's been eating and drinking, but not as much.
I found the remnants of a bird on the back lawn which I suspect he had eaten. my suspicions grew when about 3 days ago I momentarily saw something he regurgitated which he promptly chewed up a swallowed.
whilst writing this he wretched again and brought up some mucus with a trace of blood.
what is your opinion

& welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)?

If you press on his belly, does he have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Has Fudge shown any struggling or straining to pass feces?

Did you notice any major portions of the bird missing (that could be a risk of blockage)?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

gums are pink, maybe pale.

I've found no discomfort in his abdomen, I had a good feel the other day.

I don't know about his passing of faeces, he always goes outside.

all that was left of the bird (a sparrow I think) was it's wings

Thank you Ian,

Based on your history, all of Fudge's signs are suggestive of GI upset and nausea. The trace volume of blood in his recent vomit will be alarming but likely just due to the erosive and sore effects that his vomiting is having on his throat (we'd have been more worried about trauma from bones at the start of his vomiting but its a lesser issue at this stage). In regards ***** ***** we do have to consider pieces of the bird causing trauma, blockage, and discomfort; but more commonly we will see these signs linked to bacterial gastroenteritis from their having eaten a less then ideal foodstuff.

Now just to note, though I am glad that you are not seeing any of the worrying signs I asked about (though we do want to keep an eye on his gums), I do want to outline the red flags we monitor there is the possibility of GI blockage. Specifically, we'd want to monitor that he has no belly tenderness/pain, paling of the gums, more blood or coffee ground type material (stomach acid digested blood) in any vomit, darkening of the feces (where black can mean a bleed in the upper GI), anorexia, or restlessness/discomfort. If any of these signs appeared, we'd want to have him to his vet check +/- xray to just make sure there is no risk of obstruction.

So, we just need to keep that in the back of our minds and monitor at this point. Otherwise, we can try some supportive care to see if we can settle his GI signs. To start, since he has shown vomiting and signs of nausea (reduced appetite, regurgitation, etc.), you may wish to consider trying to settle his stomach with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the ones I tend to recommend Pepcid (More Info/Dose Here ), Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here), or Zantac (More Info/Dose Here). If you can obtain the liquid versions (vets do have this but some chemists), those would be ideal since it will soothe that throat as well. These are usually given 20 minutes before food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if your kitty has a pre-existing condition or is on any medications you haven’t mentioned.

Once that is on board, consider putting him onto a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). Offer this as small meals (if he is vomiting food often, we will start with a spoonful per meal) frequently. If he can keep the small amount down for, then you can offer a bit more after 30 minutes. And as he keeps it down, he can have a bit more, and so on. By offering a light diet, we are providing an easily digestible protein source compromised gut. And offering small volumes will again less the strain on the gut and give us a better chance of getting food down that stays down.

Now since vomiting and nausea can quickly lead to a dehydrated cat (and dehydration will make them feel worse and complicate their situation), do keep an eye on his water intake and hydration status. To check his hydration status to make sure he is not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether he has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters , you can find a wee video on this HERE. (They use a big dog but it makes it easier to see and the principle is just the same). If you check these and are already seeing signs of dehydration, then that would be a red flag that you'd want to have him seen by his vet before this becomes an additional issue (to avoid it getting to a stage where he has to be hospitalized fluids). And since he is vomiting, we won't be able to syringe fluids (since we'd just make him vomit more).

Overall, if he has eaten this bird and is now showing these signs, we do have a few concerns here. Since he isn't uncomfortable and doesn't sound to have any of those red flag signs, we'd just want to use the above supportive careto settle his stomach while monitoring him. Of course, if you do see any development of those warning signs I mentioned, appears dehydrated, or he doesn't respond to support over then next 12-24 hours (since this has been lingering wee bit already, then it'd be prudent with his vet so they can make sure there is nothing sinister afoot. The vet will be able to have a feel of him and make sure there are no GI obstructions or blockages and will be able to cover him with antibiotics against bacterial concerns. Furthermore, they can administer anti-vomiting medications by injection to help settle Fudge's stomach and get him back on track as quick as possible.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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