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Also need cat help

My cat had been eating raw for a couple of months now… Actually all of them have, and were all doing very well so far. But my one cat, a female, all of the sudden started acting very strange. She was a little lethargic before going raw, since she was spayed, and got VERY energetic after we stopped feeding her prepared food, she would run around with the other one like a kitten. But the last couple of days she’s been acting very depressed. She won’t eat, she drinks a lot of water, walking and moving extremely slowly, and her pupils are very dilated. She feels very light and not resisting at all when we lift her. How scared should I be? I mean this is obviously a concern, but does anyone have any idea how serious this could be?

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  • When I had my dog spayed she refused to rest and we had to take her back to get the fluid drained off of her abdomen. She may have pulled a muscle but it sounds more serious than that. It would be good to check her temp with an anal thermometer to see if she has an infection. Either way that sounds pretty serious and she may need (rimadle sp?) a pain reliever or an antibiotic.

    If she isn’t resisting it sounds more like a fever. I’d say start out by crushing half a clove of garlic and put a little butter on it and pop in down her throat. You can stick a pencil in her mouth just a little so she doesn’t bite you- eraser end! Best case scenario she has a bad hairball and the butter will help that too. If you can press on her stomach a little and see which side she may be tender on that might help if there is a stomach issue. If it is kidney related there won’t usually be a tender spot.

    Be very gentle because I am wondering if she got a bone stuck in there. Cats are such survivors so she has a very good chance of getting through this. Look for swollen lymph glands or a strange swelling.

    Logan my cat had a huge chunk bitten out of his neck from a raccoon or another cat. He got through it. Abbey our “nurse dog” licked it for a week or two so that may have helped.

    Come to think of it Logan had an issue like that when he fell out of a tree. His whole head was swolen and one pupil was larger than the other. Could you cat have a head injury? Logan got through that on his own too but it took him at least a week.

  • Thank you so much for replying! She doesn’t seem to have a fever, I haven’t measured but her nose doesn’t seem warm. She gets very bad hairballs as she is a longhair and sheds constantly. She refused to eat grass though, which they usually go for. We tried giving her hairball medication but she won’t touch it, probably because it smells like food. How do you check their lymph glands? I don’t know how they would be for cats, only humans… Also, I don’t have any butter at hand (raw foodist and all) would anything else be a good substitute? I don’t think it’d be very easy to feed her at the moment, she doesn’t want anything but water and sleep. I’m a bit concerned by you saying she may have a bone stuck somewhere, she isn’t very good at chewing. She was gagging earlier but didn’t puke anything other than foam. Also, I just stopped typing in the middle because I panicked hearing her opening the kitchen cupboard to go sit inside. One thing you really don’t want to see a sick cat do is hide. Argh I don’t mean to be such a downer. I’m calling the vet tomorrow morning.

  • I don’t think you’re a downer! It’s horrible when you’re pet isn’t feeling well particularily because they can’t tell you where it hurts! If you have any coconut butter that would work- maybe you could put it on her paws and she could lick it off. That’s probably what it is- a hairball. After she gets a little oil in there maybe you could help massage her neck a little to loosen it up. You can feel the sides of her neck for swollen glands but I don’t think that the issue based on what you have said. Let me know how it goes. Can you keep her in a confined area so if she passes a hairball in the night you will be able to know?

  • Oi, probably not. She’s hiding in my kitchen cabinet right now. I don’t like it, cats hide when they give up. But she won’t eat anything so coconut oil wouldn’t help :c\ Thank you for your help, it’s very encouraging. I hope she will be ok.

  • Hi Morning. Is she dehydrated? You can tjeck this by (gently) pulling the skin in her neck. If it stays or is very slow at resuming shape, then its dehydrated. If shes very dehydrated then it may indicate that theres something wrong with the kidneys.

    My best guess is that shes feeling under the weather because of the surgery. Throw in a nasty hairball as Writeeternity suggest = unhappy cat.

    Please let us know how shes doing, its so frustrating when your kittys get sick.

  • Hi Mt! I was just wondering if your cat is feeling better. I looked up white foam coming out of the mouth on the internet and it said rabies, diabetes, and epilepsy. Diabetes seems the most likely because of all the water she’s drinking. Someone with diabetes can have a stroke which would have similar symptoms of epilepsy, or a head injury. I wonder how they test for epilepsy in a cat?

    My boyfriend said he had a couple cats when he was growing up who had leukemia. WHat gets me is that your cat was actually feeling better and then had a drastic down turn. Is there anything your cat could have gotten into like licking a frog, or soap?

    I hope you find something out soon. =)

  • My cats spit up just white foam everyonce and a while and they are all fine. I usually notice I find some white foam spit up on the floor after one of them tries to eat something unedible on the floor. My one cat loves grass and we give her fresh and when she throws up the grass there will be lots of foam. Throwing up foam is different than foaming at the mouth.

    For the hair balls, one of my cats is long haired and always had bad hair balls. It is natural for long haired cats to throw up hair balls. You really have to keep up with the brushing and combing to get rid of the extra hair on your cats body to keep the hair balls down. This means at least once a day or more – esp. in the summer which is when long haired cats will start shedding their undercoat. My long hair, Fluff, got lots of mats and I just got her a “lion cut” to get rid of the mats. Needless to say, no more hair balls since the haircut (less fur on the floor too). Of course, I would rather have her be nice and fluffy at least, she is getting a break from sallowing hair.

    There was a dry powder that I used to sprinkle on her food that she loved to eat and helped with the hair balls but i can’t remember what it was. Since she is getting older, she doesn’t groom as much so we end up with more fur on the floor or in mats than in her belly.

    I would be more concerned about the dilated pupils and the fact that the cats energy has really dropped. How long has it been since the spaying? If the cat is sleeping all day and being reclusive, a vet visit is in order.

    Although, I have heard that cats can go through detox after switching from a cooked to a raw diet. So keep that in mind too but I would definatley go to the vet to have her checked out. .

  • It’s been a long time since the spaying, her energy was down back then but went back up after we switched her to raw. Well, Matt took her to the vet and it’s not looking great. She’s jaundiced from not eating for so long and we have to force feed her gross canned food just to get something into her, otherwise her liver will be damaged. The vet wasn’t too concerned with the raw food diet, he said that it does make more sense than kibble for sure, he just mentioned salmonella and e.coli might be a concern. He gave us some more information about it and said we should do more research, and also said that most of the arguments against the diet came from companies that have a very different agenda than ours, and should be taken as such. He mentioned she did in fact have a fever and gave her antibiotics (ugh) and also took some blood. It cost a tonne of money. Seriously, I just got a little money from my mom for my birthday and it’s not even close. C’est la vive! Some things are more important.

  • I’m so sorry to hear that MT! Of course ask your Dr. to be sure but I would recommend getting an eye dropper type thing and putting the water from soaked fenugreek seeds in it and giving some to your cat. It has a restorative effect on the liver. I hope she gets well soon!

  • Aw, so sorry! Well, at least, you can get her on the path to getting well again. I think better for her to eat something now than nothing. There are a few of the raw pet food companies that also sell some canned foods. Maybe go with those? Canned fish is always a hit in my kitty household – esp the juicy water that comes in it. maybe try some of that? I try to get the raw food in but I would rather have them eat something than nothing. Since they are all senior aged and they stay on the thinner side already.

    I know how you feel about the money. I spend nearly 2 thousand on Fluff recently just to have her teeth cleaned and nose checked out because they vet heard a heart murmur and wanted to get it check out before the teeth were cleaned. Turns out it was a stress related heart murmur that only is there when she goes to the vet! Cost me major bucks for a kitty cardio gram. At least, Fluff is OK though. Nose still has discharge though but not as bad as before. She had one of her vampire teeth removed on top.

    I was going to suggested to have her teeth checked too. But I am sure the vet did that today. Lots of time when cats stop eating or not eating as much – it is because they need their teeth cleaned and have some level of kitty gum disease and it hurts for them to eat. My cats have gained weight back several times after teeth cleaning.

  • See, transitioning her to raw was sooo easy. When she was hungry enough, she ate! She’s just so miserable right now, she won’t eat anything but those damn whiskas cat treats, and even those, just one or two at a time. I don’t know if you can buy anything raw canned… Where did you hear about that? Canned fish is usually cooked from what I know… Doesn’t sound “safe”. And yeah, we’ll feed her whatever she’ll eat for now. I tried to force feed her and she threw up everything. Poor D’arcy. Her lab results will come in tomorrow and the vet will be able to tell us what’s going on. Thank you for your support, it really does help :c)

  • The canned stuff I was thinking of is made by the companies that make the frozen raw pet food – it isn’t raw but I figure it might at least be better qualitity than something like Whiskas or Iams. I have the Nature’s Variety frozen organic chicken raw cat food but Nature’s Variety also makes a canned cat food.

    Yes, the canned fish is cooked but most cats tend to love it. I guess in my book canned fish is better than canned mystery cat food that might have rendered byproducts in it. Have you tried some raw fresh fish and maybe get some salmon oil in it? I noticed my cats just love the oily part more than the meat.

    Another thing to try might be the freeze dried raw but serve it to her wet? My cat didn’t like that stuff – she threw up it all over but she doesn’t throw up the frozen stuff for some reason – but if she won’t eat the really raw stuff right now might be worth trying it?

    Just trying to think of some other stuff to for you try in addition to the whiskas. :)

    The increased drinking, weight loss etc sounds like hyperthyrodism … but one of my cats has some of the symptoms associated with hyperthyrodism and she tested fine. Raw diet is supposed to cure the hyperthyroidism though. I hope the test results are OK!

  • Test results haven’t come in yet, but… I came to a decision (a bit late after all that money was spent on those damn useless vets) to not follow their advice. I will give back all the antibiotics they gave us and most of the food. I’ll try to force feed her beef and raw eggs, no canned stuff. I’m also going to try and obtain some noni juice for her. What do you think, is this crazy?

  • Hi MT! I don’t think it’s crazy but I would give the cat garlic as a natural antibiotic at least. It seems to me that something like sardines or salmon would be better because of the omegas in them which are a natural anti inflammatory. If there is something stuck down there eating would be the worst though. Maybe kitten formula would be better.The cholostrum in kitten supplement would also help the immune system.

    I wish they could have put a camera down the cat to see what’s in there. Did you notice your cat not peeing or pooping? If there was blood in the poop that would tell you a lot.

    We had a puppy have a twisted intestine and the Dr. figured it out and actually glued the intestine with super glue- but we know the vet and that’s not a standard procedure. That puppy was straining when it went to the bathroom.

    The other thing is if it is the kidney you’d want to stay away from too many proteins. So they can heal.

    It could be so many things it’s frustrating. I would have asked for a pain killer though because I hate to see them suffer.

    I hope they get the test results soon!

  • Oh my word, ok, test results came in (that thief refused to refund the antibiotics and charged us even more just for his time, also made a false accusation to my husband that I had called to demand my money back, which is a lie, he did, and that wasn’t how the conversation went… egads, they do not like it when people disagree with them!) All the results showed is that she’s having some form of liver problem, either fatty liver (best case) or full on failure (worst case) So basically all this means is that she wasn’t eating and needs to be fed. It could very well be our fault, we may have unintentionally been underfeeding her. She’s still very jaundiced even though we’re cramming food down her throat. I can’t believe how much this cost, I thought the raw food diet was supposed to make it so we don’t have crazy vet bills anymore… I’ll try not to dwell on this and just work on making her better. I ordered a lot of noni juice (more cha-ching) and hopefully it will arrive as soon as possible. I just don’t know what made her stop eating in the first place, it’s driving me crazy. Could it be an emotional thing, she felt neglected because of the other cats, anything like that? Oi.

  • Hi MT! I have been through a lot of medical issues with pets as my parents are professional breeders. In that world many times hard decisions have to be made to put an animal to sleep because of the cost, especially if the outcome is probably going to be fatal anyway. (and it’s never easy)

    I have also met with some vets who just didn’t care, had a chip on their shoulder, or just weren’t smart enough to solve the problem. Human Dr.s are specialists in certain fields but vets are expected to know everything- so you have some people who just give up on a hard diagnosis.

    Not eating is more of a symptom than a cause. The underlying reason may be diabetes, or an infection from coming in contact with bird poop, infected shell fish, tick bites, chemicals, etc. What I read was that they shouldn’t eat really rich organ meat if they have a liver condition.

    If she had been a show animal she would have been put on an IV immediately and possibly a feeding tube. But since you have already invested a lot of money on her I would try really hard to supply fluids with amino acids added- like braggs. Fenugreek seed has been used since egyptian times to remedy diabetes and liver conditions. Just the water can be used from soaking. sublingual b vitamin drops are also recommended. Here are a couple of links with more info. I would seriously consider complaining to the vets boss about getting your money back. More specifically because I don’t think he explained the medical situation fully. A lot veterinarians are owned by investors and management teams and if they know that vet has an attitude problem they will try to solve the problem by returning some money or giving you a subsequent appointment with another Dr. for free. P.s. that Dr.’s attitude really pisses me off!

    http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/liver.html

    http://www.lbah.com/liver.htm

    Cleansing Enemas Enema’s will decrease the bacterial count of the intestines, leading to less ammonia absorption.

    Lactulose Lactulose works in the large intestine to minimize the production of ammonia by bacteria. It does this by changing the pH and converting ammonia to a form that is not readily absorbed into the bloodstream. It also stimulates normal colon bacteria to absorb ammonia, which is then passed in the feces. Finally, it stimulates the intestines so that ammonia passes through faster, which means there is less time for absorption.

    Antibiotics These drugs are also administered, especially if mental depression is present. They minimize the bacteria count in the colon, thus reducing the amount of ammonia that is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. They work well with lactulose to decrease the ammonia level.

    Dietary Modification A diet that is restricted in protein may be beneficial because less ammonia is produced as a by-product of metabolism. This protein needs to be of high biological value, such as eggs and dairy products. Meat based proteins should be avoided since they can increase the chance of HE. Most of the caloric needs of a pet with PSS should be supplied with carbohydrates like rice and pasta. Higher fiber diets might also be helpful, as long as the dog or cat is not undernourished. They can act to minimize ammonia production and absorption in a manner that is similar to lactulose.

    Hill Prescription Diet L/D

  • If this is hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver syndrome) Then the cause is usually unknown. I have seen cats need to have feeding tubes placed for long term supportive care . These cats were not able to have their caloric requirements met from force feeding by their owners. Some are so sick from the swollen livers that vomiting is also a significant issue. Nutramaxx makes 2 liver support formulas denosyl (maybe denasyl) and marin that I have seen successfully used in dogs with liver disease. I am not sure about cats but you can check out their website. You could probably order online from a pet store that sells supplements.Cats also get some various chronic fibrosing heatitis diseases. Unfortunately they can only be diagnosed with a biopsy ( or possibly a needle aspirate of the liver ) All of this of course could run into a lot of money. Even the supplements (at least the dog ones) aren’t cheap. When you are feeding, aim for 2 grams per pound body weight of protein per day.

  • The vet actually did give us quite a lot of literature on her possible conditions. I didn’t read it (I’m at work, my husband called me to tell me about this) but I got the gist of what fatty liver is- basically, the cat’s liver isn’t built to process a lot of fat. Now unlike humans, cats are carnivores, so food passes through their system much much faster. If they are fasting for any reason, their body will begin breaking down their fats immediately. For a slim cat that wouldn’t be too much of an issue because there wouldn’t be so much fat that would overwhelm their liver, but a lot of housecats nowdays are overweight (D’arcy isn’t really but she had a little flab on her) and this would cause their liver much distress and eventually failure. This is a very common condition in housecats apparently. We have been feeding them mostly salmon lately, and D’arcy, unlike the other two, doesn’t like it much. I think she may have not been eating much of it and started getting sick, and then quit eating altogether from being sick. This is just a speculation of course. Matt had been charting up their dietary needs and we’re been taking this VERY seriously. We’re going to try to design something a little more mindful for them. I made her a sick looking mixture of ground beef and raw eggs and was force feeding that to her earlier, and he calculated that it’s about twice her caloric needs, so if we can cram half of that down her throat, we’re not doing too bad. Also, he made some vitamin\mineral intake calculation and apparently, this little concuction is dead on for most of what she needs, aside from calcium of course, which we just can’t focus on right now. Vitamin K, for example, is urgent. I have not been giving her any organ meat at all, so that’s fine right now. I really should have though, it is important to them in the long run, but this second I think we should focus on just getting her calories. Also, her tests showed that she had very high iron levels- could that be just from liver disease or would that have any significance? I’m just curious. Man, I’ve been calling home every hour or so. I’m so worried. She’s my girl… The other two are smelly, loud boys :c)

  • ZoeZoe

    I believe that cats need taurine which you can easily get from giving liver, (I use chicken liver) as 10% of their meal . And bone marrow is important, i.e. crushed chicken bones. Personally I use chicken because a cat would not kill and eat a cow…a chicken, maybe! And I get the meat, skin, cartigedge and bone all in one handy drumstick package. Anyway, I do hope she gets well soon.

    I keep hearing tht there is an association or something of holistic vets in the USA. Maybe they’ be able to really help out? Maybe someone knows who they are and if they have a website, I think people have discusse this on a different raw cat thread…

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