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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 10863
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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my sons 3 yr old Burmese male and his sister has come to live

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my sons 3 yr old Burmese male and his sister has come to live with me and my 4 cats for a year. he has been here for two weeks. he is eating ok and at first seemed happy. now he is withdrawn and keeps lipsmacking. he is however still eating.

Hello Miranda, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern about Zeus. I do have a few questions to ask about him first if you don't mind:

1. Can you tell me the color of his gums?
2. When was the last time he urinated?
3. Does he appear painful when you press on his abdomen?
4. Can you take his temperature?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hello dr deb

his gums are normal in colour and no pain in abdomen. he last urinated about 4 hrs ago in his litter tray. i have noticed urine on the outside of the tray for the last three days. i am meticulous with his feeding bowls and sterilise them as you would a babys feeding bottle. i give him paste for hairballs and his injections are up to date. my own cats injections are all up to date. my sphynx cat has clamydia but otherwise they are all fit and healthy. his sister is totally opposite, very happy and lively and enjoying the fun she is having with my sphynx. i also have two orientals who hiss a lot at him and a domestic shorthair who takes them or leaves them.

Thanks so much for the additional information.

Since he urinated so soon ago, we can take a blockage off the list of possible causes for his behavior which is a very good thing! The urinating outside of the box, however, could indicate something going on with his bladder although it might reflect the stress of having to interact with your cats, too.

Normal pale pink gum color is good as is the fact that he doesn't have any abdominal pain.

It doesn't sound to me like stress would necessarily cause his behavior since he's already been with you for two weeks now. If he were going to be significantly stressed to the point of being withdrawn, I'd have expected that you'd have seen this behavior before now...unless you've been keeping him isolated.

His lip smacking could be secondary to nausea (even though he might not be actively vomiting) or possibly pain or something going on in his mouth. It's not specific to one particular condition, in other words.

1. It would be helpful if you could take his temperature just to confirm that it's not elevated (although this isn't always the easiest thing to do in a cat); normal is between 100 and 102.5 F. If it is high, then this would explain why he's more withdrawn but it might not necessarily explain his lip smacking.

Of course, then we'd have to wonder why the temperature is elevated. Explanations for this could be: a bacterial infection, a virus , or toxoplasmosis.

There is a condition in cats that is called Fever of Unknown Origin--this is exactly what it sounds like which is that we can't find an explanation for the elevated temperature. Treatment is primarily supportive which consists of fluids and drugs to reduce the fever. Most cats recover very quickly.

2. Pancreatitis can happen very suddenly and might explain his behavior. We don't have a good explanation for why this condition develops either but he's about the right age for it. About 30% of these cats will also feel a little nauseous.
We do have a test for this (spec fPL) although I've come to doubt its reliability in some cases; treatment consists of fluids and pain medication (we believe the pain is why they stop eating).

3. One other possibility that I'll mention just to be complete might be some sort of systemic disease. I've seen more than a few cats where stress (such as a new living situation) has triggered an underlying condition which they've managed to mask or control. If he were much older, I'd be more concerned about this possibility.

4. I've also seen a few cats who just have "off" days but will return to normal, usually within 24-48 hours.

One over the counter drug which you might consider giving him for nausea would be Famotidine although it may be difficult to find in the UK. The dose would be 1/4th of a 10 mg tablet twice a day. Another option would be Omeprazole at a dose of 1/2 of a 10 mg tablet once a day.

Maintaining hydration with water or Pedialyte is important, especially if there’s a fever. Since he's still eating, you can mix canned food with a lot of water or tuna juice and see if you can get him to "drink" his meals.

I would dearly love to be able to tell you what specifically might be the cause of his behavior but I hope this helps give you some possible explanations.

Hopefully, he'll improve if you give him something for his nausea and he will start interacting with the family again within a short period of time. Deb

Dr. Deb and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I'd like to check back in with you tomorrow to see how Zeus is doing.

Even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you.

Best of luck with him.

Regards, Deb

Kindly ignore the request for additional information.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thankyou so much for yr help. i will monitor him overnight and see how he is in the morning. my son has said he has "moods" but i havent seen him this bad before. i give him the best of food ie royal canin digestive dried food and whiskas wet food. he has fresh water every day and lots and lots of love. its odd that his sister is completely ok. thankyou once again.

You're more than welcome.
I hope that he's just being moody, too, but a vet visit might be prudent if he's still not himself tomorrow.

It sounds like he and his sister are lucky to be living with you since it they clearly are receiving the best of care:).

I'll look forward to chatting with you tomorrow. Deb
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hello again

thankyou for your follow up. i reluctantly decided to contact my ex husband who is a vet, the father of my son who owns zeus. i have just got back from seeing him. it seems he may have a kidney infection and has had an anti b injection and has to take metacam for a while. i am so grateful to you for pointing out all the possibles. i had to leave him and go to work, which broke my heart. he just looked so sad. he did urinate in his cat carrier on the way home so thats a good sign that he can go. i also saw him drinking, which i havent observed since he arrived here.

in my hour of need last night you were very reassuring. i cant thank you enough.


I'm glad that I could help:)
Thanks for the update about Zeus. I understand your hesitation about contacting your ex-husband but glad you did, under the circumstances. Hopefully, Zeus will respond quickly to his medication and return to normal soon.

Kind regards, Deb