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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22597
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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My cat is 13 years old and has started having runs and being

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My cat is 13 years old and has started having runs and being sick also not cleani9ng herself after toiletting.

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

How long has she been showing signs?

What is she bringing up in her vomit?

What does the diarrhoea look like? Any blood or mucus?

Is she eating? Can she keep water down?

Had she been drinking more?

Are her gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, does she have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could she have eaten anything she should not have (ie bones, plants, chemicals, string, human meds, etc)?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

For a couple of months.

She brings up a white froth.

No blood or mucus but very light in colour and almost liquid.

She is only eating chicken does not seem interested in anything she used to eat. She is drinking water and some cat milk. She does seem to be drinking more.

Her gums look ok.

I've pressed her tum and all over and she doesnot pull away or make a noise, she haas lost fur on the underside of her tail and though her motions have burnt her.

I cant think that she has had anything different to eat - she just lies under the hedge dozing and comes in and out for food or milk. She has also taken to staying our until the early hours and then comes to the step to be let in at all times of the night.

Thank you Hilary,

First, since Rosie's signs have been present for so long, we do have to be wary of a chronic issue. This means not only do we have to consider bacterial or viral GI infections; but also have to be concerned about organ disease (ie kidney, liver), pancreatitis, metabolic diseases (ie diabetes, thyroid issues), and at her age cancer would also be a concern. And I would just note that while worms can cause diarrhoea and weight loss in kittens, it is rarely a sole issue for elderly cats.

Now with this all in mind, we do need to tread with care if she is wasting away. Your mention of her refusal to eat much more then chicken suggests that she has nausea even when she isn't vomiting. Therefore, to start, I would note that we'd want to address that for her. Since she has diarrhoea as well, I would suggest that you could try her on OTC Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose). This will slow her diarrhoea and coat her gut to reduce upset. Of course, if she is too nauseous for this, then we'd be best to have her local vet treat her with injectable anti-nausea medication. Afterwards, they can also send her home on an oral version to keep her settled.

Once that is on board, you can try to see if you can get her eating properly. If her appetite is poor, consider offering wet kitten food or a critical care diet (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recover, Clinicare liquid diet) from her vet. Each has more nutrition per bite and will be better balanced then chicken alone. If we couldn't get her to eat anything properly balanced, then we may need to think about using a cat specific vitamin supplement for her.

On top off all of this, you do need to keep an eye on her water intake. I am glad that she is drinking but it is still a good idea to consider checking her hydration at this point. To do so and make sure she is not becoming dehydrated (from GI fluid losses) there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether she has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. ( They use a big dog but it makes it easier to see and the principles are exactly the same) If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have your kitty seen by her vet before this gets out of control (especially since it is not advisable to syringe feed fluids to actively vomiting animals).

Finally, her fur loss under her tail and lack of grooming post diarrhoea is not surprising. Often cats get fecal scalding in situations like this and it can be very sore. Therefore, if she cannot keep up on cleaning herself, she will need help. So, do use damp cotton wool to clean this area for her. You can use warm water or even salt water to do so. And if she is very raw, you can try applying a thin layer of Sudocrem (as long as you do not let her lick it off).

Overall, with the length of time she has had these signs, we do have to be very concerned about serious internal issues underlying. Still I would note that her weight loss is likely related to her diarrhoea and the lack of a proper appetite. So, do consider the above to slow her diarrhoea and increase her nutrition intake. But if she is wasting away and not settling, we'd want to consider having a check with her vet. They can rule out underlying agents and start her on further treatment for her nausea +/- antibiotics. And being proactive and addressing this now will give us the best chance to settle her signs, get her eating properly, and get some weight back on her before she just fades away on us.

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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