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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 10921
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have a 10 year old ginger tom cat, he is lethargic, and has

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I have a 10 year old ginger tom cat, he is lethargic, and has sat at the top of the stairs all day, he has a limp but has had this before the vet said that it was just a sprain he had landed badly, I am not worried about the limp more his lethargic presentation and he has gone and hid under my sons bed which he has never done before, he is normally out and about a lot, a neighbour carried him home this morning because she was worried about how unresponsive he is and he is normally very friendly
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.I recently came online and see that your question about Kitty hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.I do have a few questions to ask first, if you don't mind: 1. Can you take his temperature?2. Can you tell me the color of his gums?3. Does he act painful when you squeeze his abdomen in between his legs?4. I'm assuming that you don't know when he last urinated, correct? Since it looks as if you are currently offline, there may be a delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you and I may be offline at the time you respond. But I'll get back to you as soon as I can since I'm on the computer some part of every day.Thanks for your patience. Deb
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I can not take his temp, his gums are pink, I have lifted him ok but he never likes that so hard to say if in pain or don't fuss me, he has been in all day he is normally a outdoor cat, he has eaten some tinned tuna fish
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
20 res per min
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
not urinated since brought home this morning 08.30 am or any stools
Thanks for the additional information and answers to my questions.The fact that he ate some is a good thing as well as the fact that he doesn't seem particularly uncomfortable when you feel his abdomen (or no more so than normal). When male cats become lethargic, I always worry about a urinary blockage but this seems less likely if he's not reacting with pain when you feel him in between his legs. You will want to monitor his urine output, though, just to be sure. Some cats don't urinate but once or twice a day and I'm uncertain as to how many hours he hasn't urinated (since we're on different time zones). Gum color is normal which I'm also glad to hear as is his respiratory rate. Unfortuantely, there could be several reasons for his behavior which I'll list below; lethargy and isolating from the family in a cat this cat isn't always suggestive of just one particular condition.1. I completely understand about not being able to take his temperature but it's always a good thing to do in these cases since a fever can cause his symptoms. If you should manage to take it, normal is between 100 and 102.5.Of course, then we'd have to wonder why the temperature is elevated. Explanations for this could include viral or bacterial infections or auto-immune diseases or even an abscess. On the off chance that he may have been bitten or suffered an injury, I'd gently feel all over his body (if he permits it) for areas of tenderness or discomfort. 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.This is typically a diagnosis of excluding other possible causes for a fever. Treatment is primarily supportive which consists of fluids and drugs to reduce the fever. Most cats recover very quickly once the fever drops back to normal.2. Pancreatitis can develop very suddenly and these cats often have a reduced appetite and are lethargic. We don't have a good explanation for why this happens, either.We do have a test for this condition (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 the patients behave as they do). 3. Other systemic diseases such as kidney disease, liver disease, anemia, problems with the heart, etc. are all possible given his age. In most cases, there will be other signs such as change in thirst or appetite or weight loss but not all patients will present with these changes. 4. Some cats just have "off" days and we're none the reasons wiser. Usually, they only behave this way for 2, possibly 3 days at most. Unfortuantely it wouldn't be wise of me to suggest any over the counter medications for him until or unless we have a clearer idea of what's causing his symptoms. Cats are so sensitive to many of them and they could cause more harm which is obviously the last thing I'd want to do. I would encourage fluid intake as much as possible especially if he's running a fever. You could offer him tuna or clam juice or low sodium chicken broth if he's not drinking much water.I'd encourage him to eat as well; the tuna is good or offer chicken with skin on it. It sounds as if he may be reasonably stable and not particularly critical at this point based on the information provided but if he is running a fever (you manage to take it) and/or he remains lethargic and hiding and/or he doesn't want to eat, then a vet visit may be prudent.I hope this helps and that he's back to his normal self soon.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
chicken broth I have chicken tinned soup would that do if I sieve it?
Most likely, yes, although I'm not even sure if you have to drain it. If the primary ingredient is chicken, then he may enjoy the meat...and the protein should be good for him. I prefer the low sodium varieties, if possible, though.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok thanks well he is asleep beside me and although he is a outdoor cat he is grounded this week, the neighbour who has took a liking to him I think has been feeding him wet food which he loves but makes him ill, I only feed him iams dried food
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
he gets loose or sick with too much wet food
You're more than welcome. I definitely would plan on keeping him inside until he starts to act more like his normal self. It's possible that the food which the neighbor fed him may be playing a role but as you noted, most cats are going to develop gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting or diarrhea when fed a food which doesn't agree with them. I'll be hoping that he's feeling better soon and has just picked up a "bug" which is laying him low for a day or so. Deb
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
he won't drink I gave him every type of chicken soup I had and also carried him to the water fountain he has which is filtered cat fountain this is a well loved cat lol, he may eat tuna juice shall I try that?
Yes, I'd try tuna juice since he's rejecting the other fluids.He may not like it very much but you may have to take a small syringe or eye dropped and dribble some of the liquid into his mouth if he won't voluntarily drink on his own. If he were younger, I wouldn't worry as much about him getting dehydrated but these older cats don't have the reserves that the younger ones do. Deb
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
he has just had 6 teaspoons of tuna juice he looks comfy and alert now, so I am also feeling better
That's great:) And, yes, I'd be feeling a little better as well.Please continue to keep me posted about him if you have a chance.Even after you've rated (if you do, of course), we can continue to discuss this issue at no additional charge to you.Best of luck with him:) Regards, Deb
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you very much, kitty says thanks too but should have offered him tuna juice first lol
My pleasure; glad I could help you both and thanks for the rating; it's greatly appreciated. Well, if I'd know he preferred tuna juice to chicken broth, I would have suggested it first:) Deb