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Question for Scott (Ginny's Scott)

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Question for Scott (Ginny's Scott)
By Conni on Saturday, November 15, 2008 - 07:34 pm:

Hi Scott!

I am about to look this up on the internet, but thought I would ask here, as well. We have a 3 month old siamese mix kitten that we adopted today. We are noticing that when she eats her food she regurgitates it, then tries to eat it again, then repeats that process...I am not sure what is wrong with her. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for your help!!!!

By Scott on Saturday, November 15, 2008 - 08:37 pm:

Some questions:

What are you feeding her?

Is she chewing it well?

How long has she been doing this?

Has the previous owner / keeper observed this? If so, is there any documentation?

Has the cat lost weight recently?

What is the general health of the cat?

When was this cat last seen by a vet?

What else is the cat throwing up? Hair? Bile? Mucus? Blood? Does the cat do this after drinking?

Has the cat been exposed to any potential toxins? (Think about house plants, pesticides, cleaning chemicals and so on.)

Is the cat peeing and pooping regularly? If not, what's irregular about it?

If I was working this up, I'd have to examine the cat. And any reputable "internet" guide would tell you as much: no diagnosis without exam, period. Even if I didn't have a history on the cat, as in it just walked into my clinic and puked up lunch, I'd still have to work it up from tip to tail. Maybe you can give me some input here:

Hydration: If you pinch up the skin at the scruff of the neck, does it snap back immediately, does it slowly ooze back to where it was, or does it stand up stiff?

Look under the tongue, if you can. See anything, like maybe string or thread?
Are there any abnormal growths or foreign bodies in the mouth?
Is the oral mucosa red, blotchy, pale, or anything but a healthy pink?

Neck: Are there any palpable masses or foreign bodies in the esophagus? Note that the esophagus is behind the trachea and normally not palpable, so if you feel ANYTHING behind the trachea that aren't vertebrae, it's a problem.

Any swelling? Bloating? Asymmetry? Is the cat obviously painful upon palpation of the abdomen?

Beyond that, endoscopy or radiography may be indicated. I need to know a LOT MORE about this cat before I can even tell you which way to work it up. Not seeing the cat right now in front of me, I'm unable to be of much use.

If you're looking for differential diagnoses, I can give you about a dozen.

By Conni on Saturday, November 15, 2008 - 09:59 pm:

What are you feeding her? Ok, at this point, we *think* it was the food!!! I feel pretty silly. The animal shelter sent us home with some hard food?? They told me to mix it with whatever I wanted to feed her. We stopped feeding her that hard food altogether and so far she seems to be doing better. She was only throwing up after that food. She is able to keep water down and seems hydrated. She seems healthy, very active, etc... not lethargic or sickly at all. I don't know much about her, since we just picked her up from the animal shelter today. Monday I will call and ask if this happened when they had her.

I will keep an eye on her and let you know if anything changes tonight or tomorrow. I didn't notice anything in her mouth, and her tummy and neck seem fine.

I think you may be more thorough than my vet!!!!! Thank you so much. :)

By Scott on Saturday, November 15, 2008 - 10:10 pm:

If I'm more thorough than your vet, then you need a new vet.

That said, it needs to be explained that clients don't pick up on everything that the vets and techs do in clinic. You may not notice what it is that the clinicians are looking at, or you may think a vet or VT is merely petting an animal when indeed the animal is being examined (in a non-invasive, kinda warm & fuzzy way).

Anyhow, back to your cat. Keep an eye on what goes in and what comes out. Let me know if there's something wrong coming out of either end, or if nothing is coming out of the tail end. And I'd strongly recommend squishy canned cat food if it seems that swallowing is an issue for your cat.

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