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.
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All the best,
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