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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 18403
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have a 15 year old males cat. In the last day or so when

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I have a 15 year old males cat. In the last day or so when he starts to eat he suddenly rears up on two legs pawing wildly at his mouth with his front paws and mewing. What is goiung on? he is certainly in distress.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.

I am very sorry to hear that Pippin reacts to eating by rearing up, pawing at his mouth and mewing.

All of these actions tell me that it hurts to lap up or chew his food.

That can be related to a gum or tooth root infection, a cracked tooth, a mass under his tongue, on his jaw or gums, or on his palate, or a piece of foreign material stuck in his mouth. Sometimes it is related to pharyngeal polyp or tonsil mass that has gotten very big and is interfering with swallowing making him feel like he is choking when he tries to swallow.

Pippin likely needs to be sedated for a thorough oral exam and radiographs of his tooth roots and jaw.

I would look closely into his mouth if you can to see if you can see redness, ulcers or anything caught. Look up on his hard palate, under his tongue, towards the back of his mouth near his tonsils and soft palate, and check his gums and teeth.

In the meantime you may be able to help him feel better eating by adding warm water to his food to make it softer and easier to chew and swallow.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Sorry about the offer of a phone call. That is an automatic, site generated offer that many licensed veterinarians are unable to fulfill. Many states/province licensing boards do not allow veterinarians to communicate via phone calls, unless they have previously physically examined a pet. The states and Province I am licensed in have that restriction. I could lose my license for doing so. If you would like you can reply and ask any follow-up questions regarding my response and I will be happy to respond to them here.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok Thank you. I will try only giving me warm wet food until I can get him to a local vet. Thanks and goodbye

You are very welcome, please let me know what they find.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Attention Dr kara I took my cat to the Vet hospital this morning and saw two vets. whilst there the cat went into a spasm and reared up on his hind legs. They considered he was have some form of seizure but without extensive tests, and a possible operation, which he might not survive, they could not determine the cause or causes of his problem. I took the decsion to have the animal put down which was effected. Afterwards the senior Vet stated if it have been his cat he would have done they same. He was probably also trying to make myself feel better in taking that decision. Regards. Norman Hyams

Mr Hyams I am so very sorry to hear that these episodes may have been atypical seizure episodes. That certainly changes the diagnostic testing he needed and the way that we would have tried to manage him. When older animals suddenly start to have seizures we get very concerned because they almost always are due to very serious, likely life threatening, conditions like organ failure or brain masses, bleeds or a blood clot blocking blood flow to his brain (stroke).

While I am sure that the senior vet was trying to be empathetic, I think he was also most likely being honest. As veterinarians we see cases that owners ask us to work up and treat despite the poor animal having a horrific quality of life. I think you gave your fellow a gift of a peaceful end rather than dragging things out and putting him through testing that may have only uncovered a disease that wasn't treatable or would have led to suffering. My deepest condolences, thank you for letting me know how things turned out, Dr. Kara.

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