When your pet doesn’t feel well…

It’s awful when your pets aren’t feeling well, even if it is self-inflicted on their part!

Sylvester, our 13-year-old Tuxedo cat, has a penchant for mischief. Even at this stage of his life he likes to surprise us. Several days ago, I’d forgotten to take something out of the freezer for dinner, so at the 11th hour, I grabbed a small pork loin roast and threw it in some cold water in the kitchen sink to defrost. I do it fairly often (brain fogged menopause brain syndrome) and thought nothing of it and ran down to the basement to finish cleaning. When I came upstairs, I found Sylvester hunched over the pork roast, with remnants all over the floor and 2 big holes bitten in the plastic. Pork blood and tiny pieces of meat hung around his whiskers! I didn’t think too much about it because, well, this is not his first rodeo, and he had stolen frozen pork chops once before as a kitten! I cleaned it up and he still ate a nice hearty dinner later.

The next day I knew something was up with him. He only had a few licks of breakfast and was starting to vomit, mostly just liquid and phlegm. He has asthma and we’ve been monitoring his inflammation, which includes how often he throws up phlegm and I have a pretty detailed log that I keep. When he started to vomit bile, I knew it was time to contact the vet.

I emailed back and forth with his doctor who recommended a couple of medications. By this time, he’d also stopped drinking water and was looking a little shaky and miserable. I was told to withhold food from him for 24 hours and if he was still like that, take him to the emergency clinic the next day.

The next day was no better. He threw up on our bed during the night, so I got up and took him downstairs to the basement and we chilled on the couch for the rest of the night so that we could give Greg some peace. He just lay on top of me all that time and was very miserable. I tried to coax him with all his favourite foods and treats and even tried to get some water into him by using a syringe, but he was having none of it. Later, that morning he came upstairs and tried drinking some water but brought that up almost immediately. I called the vet and collected the meds, but they advised that I take him to the emergency clinic and don’t start the meds so that they can get a full picture of what’s going on.

The emergency clinic doctors only arrived at noon (yes, I know!) and we were there a little before. There are renovations going on there and no one is allowed in with their pets, so we consulted over the phone, and they came and took him from me so that he could see a doctor. The doctor examined him, and I’d given them a copy of the log I’d kept, as well as the meds I got from his vet, and she called me back and said she suspects it’s gastritis from eating the pork which was exasperated by his feline asthma symptoms. To be on the safe side she recommended taking an x-ray of his abdomen to ensure that he didn’t eat any of the plastic around the pork and that it wasn’t stuck somewhere in his tummy. Once the x-rays were completed she called me back to say there was no foreign body inside and there’s just an inflamed fold in his tummy that she says it’s fairly typical when a cat has been vomiting so much. She didn’t see any growth or obstruction, but she was going to send the x-ray to a Board-Certified Radiologist to confirm her findings. If I don’t hear from her, all is fine. I haven’t heard from her!!

She didn’t think Sylvester would be able to tolerate the oral meds at this stage, so recommended giving him an injection to stop the nausea and vomiting and an injection to stimulate his appetite and I totally agreed (one less pill to give him!). He could start the oral meds the next day. Within 15 minutes he was back in the car while I tried to be a brave girly and not cry!

I got him home and he was very happy to be back. In fact, he must have been feeling a lot better already because he went straight to the water bowl and sucked down a bunch of water. I followed him around like a hawk, making sure he didn’t throw that up, and he didn’t! Bit by bit, he returned to the feeding area and ate a little and drank more water. At dinner time he inhaled everything. I didn’t want to give him extra food, even though he hadn’t eaten for nearly 48 hours, because I didn’t want to upset his tummy, so I gave him a random treat here and there. He managed to keep it all down and there was no vomiting involved. He was perkier and getting stronger, but still not quite himself.

That night, after a bit of wailing and pacing, he finally jumped into bed with us and fell asleep. We were all exhausted and slept well. No vomiting through the night either. At breakfast time, his food bowls were empty so that was a good sign and he ate well again and was still drinking a nice amount of water. He started his meds and seeing as he loves pill pockets, it wasn’t very difficult to persuade him to take them.

Today, 4 days later, he is still a little sleepy and not quite 100%, but he is eating and drinking and doing all the cat related things. I’m just giving him some space and letting his body recover and giving his vet regular updates.

I’m incredibly grateful and thankful for everyone’s help, from the staff at his regular clinic, to the emergency clinic (who didn’t treat me like a crazy overprotective cat mom) and took everything I said very seriously. Now we will work on getting his asthma totally under control, but first he has to finish the gastritis meds and bounce back a little more.

Feel better Vestie-pestie. Your fan club is banking on it!

Sylvester making himself a comfy nest.