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  1. #1
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    A question for cat owners

    How do you know when your cat needs to see a vet?

    One of our cats has obviously not been feeling well for a few days now. He's eating, but not as much as usual. There is some crust around his eyes and nostrils. He's thrown up a few times this week, but never more than once a day and not every day (throwing up is not out of the ordinary for this cat). And he's just not his usual self. This morning he was more lethargic than the last couple of days and didn't want me to pet him, which is very unusual since this cat usually craves attention.

    How do I know if this is just a cold or virus that will pass, or something more? At what point is a visit to the vet warranted?

    He's had little belly aches before where we knew he wasn't feeling well. But this is the first time that he's avoided me and has had the crusty eyes and nose. It's not a lot of crust, just a little in the corners, but it's been going on for about four days now.

    I want to take him to the vet, Hubby thinks we should wait another day or two to see if it passes. Can anyone with more cat experience provide any insight here? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I have a cat but I have never had problems with her like that!

    In my opinion is better to get the cat to the vet as soon as possible.

    Could be cold but could be something serious inside the cat!

    Here in chicago they charge 30 to 50 to check it.

  3. #3
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    I would call the vet and tell them what the situation is.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  4. #4
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Just follown your gut - most cat owners can't diagnose properly, but I bet more often than not when they sense something is wrong, something is. I wouldn't wait more than a week.

    If you did take it in to the vet and it turned out things were fine, at least you'd get some piece of mind.

  5. #5
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I know nothing about feline/veterinary medicine. However....

    The presence of crusting around your cat's eyes and nose may be indicative of an Upper Respiratory Infection. See this link:

    http://cats.about.com/cs/healthissue...is_in_cats.htm

    Lethargy and behaviors that are unfamiliar are further probable indicators of something wrong happening. Occasional short-term lapses into the doldrums is one thing, but a cat that goes into a rather protracted funk and isolates (him)self is signaling a problem. Additionally, more increased vomiting is another flag-waver: Your cat may be dehydrated. Check for sunken eyes, lethargy (present), dry mouth, constipation.

    You can perform two additional tests for dehydration. Check for skin turgor (elasticity) by pulling the cat's fur up at the base of its neck like mama did. It should spring back; if it does so slowly, that is not good. Another test checks the capillary refill of the tissues. Check this by pressing a finger against the pink gum-tissue. When you withdraw the finger, you should see the tissue resume its pink appearance quickly. If the refill is slow, that is not good at all....See this link:

    http://www.cat-world.com.au/dehydration-in-cats

    Hope this helps, FA!

  6. #6
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I think I just needed that little push. I've booked an appointment for tomorrow.

    Going to the vet is traumatic for him and I just didn't want to put him through all of that if you all came back and told me that you've seen the symptoms before and it's nothing.

  7. #7
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    IMO, there's no trusting your instinct or diagnosing your pet. If your pet is clearly ill, it's your resposibility to get it to the vet. Although it may end up being a waste of money, this is the price to be paid for pet ownership.

  8. #8
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Thanks guys. I think I just needed that little push. I've booked an appointment for tomorrow.

    Going to the vet is traumatic for him and I just didn't want to put him through all of that if you all came back and told me that you've seen the symptoms before and it's nothing.
    I have had many cats over the years seem to be a bit "off". In most cases they got through it. One time it turned out to be feline leukemia. By time we got him to the vet, it was too late. You're better off being safe.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  9. #9
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    IMO, there's no trusting your instinct or diagnosing your pet. If your pet is clearly ill, it's your resposibility to get it to the vet. Although it may end up being a waste of money, this is the price to be paid for pet ownership.
    It wasn't the money holding me back. I once paid to have tumors removed from a rat. That was most freaking expensive rat on the planet.

    Such a cutie though.

  10. #10
    nightflier
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    Auric's suggestions are spot on so don't be surprised if the vet does exactly what he suggested, lol. Also, what was the situation with the stomach pains he had before? And, how old is the cat?

    On a positive note, the sinus symptoms do not indicate a more serious internal problem, although the stomach pains do. Let us know what the vet finds out.

  11. #11
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Auric's suggestions are spot on so don't be surprised if the vet does exactly what he suggested, lol. Also, what was the situation with the stomach pains he had before? And, how old is the cat?

    On a positive note, the sinus symptoms do not indicate a more serious internal problem, although the stomach pains do. Let us know what the vet finds out.
    I'll try Auri's suggestions when I get home.

    We were told at the time that we adopted him that he had a sensitive stomach. Coming home to cat puke was a weekly occurance. We discussed it with our vet and she didn't seem too concerned, so we've learned to live with it. We did find a food that he seemed to tolerate fairly well, but he gained weight on it. So our vet has switched him to a special low-cal food. I'm wondering if that might be the source of his renewed barf sessions. But it doesn't explain the eye and nose issues.

    We're not sure how old he is. There were some vet records provide to us when we adopted him that seemed to indicate that he was 7. But our vet thinks that his eyes indicate he may be closer to 10. Either way, he's not a young boy.

    And although he's not been himself the past few days, he wasn't too sick this morning to take a swipe at our other cat (who was totally asking for it). I took this photo this morning.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A question for cat owners-cat-fight.jpg  

  12. #12
    nightflier
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    Those are nice cats, and the fact that he's up & around is a very good sign. I know there's a lot of online chatter about feline allergies, but I'm not so sure they are as common as people say. I think that animals, especially cats, adapt to their environment much faster than humans. The sensitive stomach is something to keep track of. If you have the time, I'd keep a health diary on the cats.

    Some big cats (we have one of those) just need more fatty food and may be OK being a little overweight by comparison. Ours just never cared for the low-fat indoor diet and refused to eat more than absolutely necessary to subsist, but when we gave her regular food, she improved considerably. My guess is that she would ordinarily be a very active cat if she was permitted to go outdoors and thus would loose the weight through exercise, but being indoor does agree with her body chemistry the same way. Our neighborhood unfortunately isn't very safe, so that's not really an option, although I do believe that outdoor cats are generally much happier and develop further, intellectually. In any case, our dogs keep the cats reasonably in shape, lol.

    Well is sounds like the illness with your cat may have passed. I sure hope so.

  13. #13
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    I'll try Auri's suggestions when I get home.

    We were told at the time that we adopted him that he had a sensitive stomach. Coming home to cat puke was a weekly occurance. We discussed it with our vet and she didn't seem too concerned, so we've learned to live with it. We did find a food that he seemed to tolerate fairly well, but he gained weight on it. So our vet has switched him to a special low-cal food. I'm wondering if that might be the source of his renewed barf sessions. But it doesn't explain the eye and nose issues.

    We're not sure how old he is. There were some vet records provide to us when we adopted him that seemed to indicate that he was 7. But our vet thinks that his eyes indicate he may be closer to 10. Either way, he's not a young boy.

    And although he's not been himself the past few days, he wasn't too sick this morning to take a swipe at our other cat (who was totally asking for it). I took this photo this morning.
    I see that they get along pretty well now.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  14. #14
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    I see that they get along pretty well now.
    nyah, I'm not sure I'd go that far. We're at the "tolerate" stage.

    Quick funny story. Stanley tends to shy away from Brandy, although he's getting better. The other night I was holding Stanley in place on the floor to try and get Stanley and Brandy together without Stanley running away. Brandy walked up to Stanley very nicely. Stan was trying to wriggle way from me but I held him firm. Brandy sniffed at him. Nice. Gave him a little lick. I'm thinking, this is good. Then, BOOF, Brandy lifts his paw and whacks poor Stanley in the head. All while I'm holding him. I felt so bad...like holding the little kid down while the bully punches him in the face.

    Cats are funny.

  15. #15
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    nyah, I'm not sure I'd go that far. We're at the "tolerate" stage.

    Quick funny story. Stanley tends to shy away from Brandy, although he's getting better. The other night I was holding Stanley in place on the floor to try and get Stanley and Brandy together without Stanley running away. Brandy walked up to Stanley very nicely. Stan was trying to wriggle way from me but I held him firm. Brandy sniffed at him. Nice. Gave him a little lick. I'm thinking, this is good. Then, BOOF, Brandy lifts his paw and whacks poor Stanley in the head. All while I'm holding him. I felt so bad...like holding the little kid down while the bully punches him in the face.

    Cats are funny.
    Stanley may never forgive you.

    (joke... just a joke)
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  16. #16
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Stanley may never forgive you.

    (joke... just a joke)
    Yeah, I'll never do that again!

    So I think the problem with Brandy is his gums. I was watching him eat this morning and he was having a hard time with his dry food. He's had dental issues in the past so it wouldn't surprise me if this is all just a bad case of gingivitis.

    He was a lot more active last night and this morning, so that's a good sign.

  17. #17
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Yeah, I'll never do that again!

    So I think the problem with Brandy is his gums. I was watching him eat this morning and he was having a hard time with his dry food. He's had dental issues in the past so it wouldn't surprise me if this is all just a bad case of gingivitis.

    He was a lot more active last night and this morning, so that's a good sign.
    FA, I started typing my best guess (teeth) in my earlier post, then deleted it since I'm not a vet.

    My youngest cat had the same symptoms - grumpy, and crusty eyes, plus drool...we took her in and she just has a problem with her back teeth. 2 were rotted and and were removed. The vet told us it's fairly common and that she might even lose 2 teeth every year or so until she became gummy.
    We put her on the recommended vet dental food, and crusty eyes were gone..she still drools a bit when she's happy, sleeping, or purring, but not as much. 5 years later, not one additional tooth loss.

    Could be something similar with yours?

    Our vet advised us to cut back on soft foods and treats - basically if it bends, don't feed it to her. So far so good.

  18. #18
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    FA, I started typing my best guess (teeth) in my earlier post, then deleted it since I'm not a vet.

    My youngest cat had the same symptoms - grumpy, and crusty eyes, plus drool...we took her in and she just has a problem with her back teeth. 2 were rotted and and were removed. The vet told us it's fairly common and that she might even lose 2 teeth every year or so until she became gummy.
    We put her on the recommended vet dental food, and crusty eyes were gone..she still drools a bit when she's happy, sleeping, or purring, but not as much. 5 years later, not one additional tooth loss.

    Could be something similar with yours?

    Our vet advised us to cut back on soft foods and treats - basically if it bends, don't feed it to her. So far so good.
    Very interesting. Brandy had his teeth cleaned and had three teeth removed in December of 2008...just before we adopted him. When he went to the vet in December 2009 for his rabies shot, his gums were a bit inflamed then and the vet suggested that we have his teeth cleaned again. But she wants him to lose weight first so he's on a diet with surgery possibly planned for April.

    We were feeding him a special dental food that seemed to be helping him (at least his breath improved a whole lot!), but we had to stop giving him that in favour of the low-cal food that the vet recommended. I wonder if taking him off the dental food was good for his weight but bad for his teeth?

    Unfortunately, we can't get him in to see his regular vet. So we're seeing one of her colleagues tonight. But neither Hubby or I particularly like this vet. Hopefully, he'll just give us some antibiotics (if gums are the issue) and then we can see his regular vet for the follow-up in a couple of weeks.

  19. #19
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Well based on this new info I'd say you might be on to something. Maple's eyes get the crusty goo when her gums are bothering her - it happens maybe once every 18 months or so, but luckily no extra teeth pulled yet. We don't get slack with the treats or food we buy her now...The dental food is critical, the few times we tried giving her the other cat's food she got a flare-up again. The normal food sticks or gets caught in her teeth or something, the dental food doesn't.

    Maybe you could mix half and half or something? Our vet told us the dental food is better than normal food for weight purposes too - not as good as real diet food, but ok.

  20. #20
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Well based on this new info I'd say you might be on to something. Maple's eyes get the crusty goo when her gums are bothering her - it happens maybe once every 18 months or so, but luckily no extra teeth pulled yet. We don't get slack with the treats or food we buy her now...The dental food is critical, the few times we tried giving her the other cat's food she got a flare-up again. The normal food sticks or gets caught in her teeth or something, the dental food doesn't.

    Maybe you could mix half and half or something? Our vet told us the dental food is better than normal food for weight purposes too - not as good as real diet food, but ok.
    Thanks for that info. Brandy LOVES the dental food and it helps his bad breath, so even though we aren't giving it to him full time anymore I still give him a few pieces every morning and then use pieces of dental food instead of treats too. That's actually how I noticed that he was having trouble eating. The dental food is big pieces that force him to chew and he couldn't chew them. It wasn't food that we got from the vet though, it's just the Royal Canin brand.

    If it is his gums, then I'll talk to the vet about mixing the food.

    Thanks for your input. I feel better now that I think I know what the problem is. I'll let you know what the vet says.

  21. #21
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Thanks for that info. Brandy LOVES the dental food and it helps his bad breath, so even though we aren't giving it to him full time anymore I still give him a few pieces every morning and then use pieces of dental food instead of treats too. That's actually how I noticed that he was having trouble eating. The dental food is big pieces that force him to chew and he couldn't chew them. It wasn't food that we got from the vet though, it's just the Royal Canin brand.

    If it is his gums, then I'll talk to the vet about mixing the food.

    Thanks for your input. I feel better now that I think I know what the problem is. I'll let you know what the vet says.
    Might be the same brand food actually - does it come in a pink and white bag?

    My other cat likes the dental food too - though he might just be trying to steal Maple's food all the time just because that's how he rolls.

    Hope things improve.

  22. #22
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Might be the same brand food actually - does it come in a pink and white bag?

    My other cat likes the dental food too - though he might just be trying to steal Maple's food all the time just because that's how he rolls.

    Hope things improve.
    Yep. Pink and white. That's it.

    Stanley likes it too. They both get it every morning. Apparently, it's delicious.

  23. #23
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Glad all worked well, FA! Now you know why I don't do cats....(Getting them on the couch is not a problem, actually. But getting them to talk is another matter altogether!)

  24. #24
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auricauricle
    Glad all worked well, FA! Now you know why I don't do cats....(Getting them on the couch is not a problem, actually. But getting them to talk is another matter altogether!)
    My boys talk plenty. It's understanding what they're trying to tell me that's the problem.

  25. #25
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    !!!!
    "The great tragedy of science--the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."--T. Huxley

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