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Cat not eating, grinding teeth and meow hoarse (started from ear mites)

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by LukeHall1995, Jun 11, 2019.


  1. LukeHall1995

    LukeHall1995 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello,

    My cat is old but not entirely sure of exact age as it was a stray cat that ended up in our home.

    It started with ear mites around two months ago and since his health has gotten worse. He is now very skinny, doesn't seem to eat and when it does it's not much.

    The vet said the mites had gone, but there could be an infection as he keeps shaking his head. They gave us ear drops which did not work and they said it could be a tumour if it doesn't go away.

    However, they gave us more ear drops and they are still not working. He is now losing his balance due to his ear but now he isn't eating much at all.

    We took him back as his teeth were grinding when he ate and was getting skinny, they looked at his teeth and said it look covered in plaque and his gums were red. They gave it another steroid injection and an anitbiotic injection and said it will pick up it's appetite.

    It did pick up it's appetite for about 5 days, but now it's returned back to hardly eating.

    They said they're not sure what they can do if we take it back, but I would have thought the vet would want to investigate further? However it's been 5 trips to the vet now and they have only said it could be a tumour if the ear infection does not clear from the drops...

    It's strange how all of this was caused by ear mites, he was completely healthy before it and earlier this year the vet said he was in perfect health when we took it to the vet for a bruised paw.

    One observation I have made is that his right side whiskers (right side ear is bad) are always twitching non stop.

    If anyone has any help or advice that would be great! I hope I can get him back to full health but I am losing hope :(
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @LukeHall1995 and welcome :)

    If your cat is a senior cat (e.g older than say 12 years) he might have one of the chronic diseases that often affect cats in their older years. e.g. Hyperthyroidism, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), Diabetes Type 2 or high blood pressure.

    Hyperthyroidism, CKD and Type 2 diabetes can all cause loss of weight, though CKD may be the illness most likely to cause loss of appetite. Has he had blood tests and urinalysis to check for these diseases?

    With teeth covered in plaque and inflamed sore gums he is probably in a lot of pain and it's no doubt the main reason he doesn't want to eat. Grinding his teeth when he eats is often a symptom of a painful mouth in cats. And a cat shaking his head is also a common sign of toothache. So it may not be his ears causing the head shaking, if the mites have gone.

    It sounds as though he needs a dental scale and polish and possibly some extractions, but if he is an elderly cat with chronic health issues the risk is he may not survive a general anaesthetic. Hence why the vet has given him a steroid injection and an antibiotic. It would be better to build up his strength and health first anyway before considering a GA.

    If he is still no better from the medicines you need to speak to the vet a.s.a.p. about a course of oral antibiotics which you give him at home . Stomorgyl is a combination of 2 antibiotics (metronidazole and spiromycin) and may be prescribed for bacterial infections in the teeth and gums of cats (and dogs).. It will be probably be more effective than a broad spectrum antibiotic which may be what the vet injected him with.

    Cats are very skilled at hiding pain, it is their survival instinct to do this. I think it's very likely your cat is in pain from his teeth and is feeling miserable. Toothache is a nasty, relentless pain as you may know (if you have ever had toothache). I would ask your vet for some pain relief for him. If his kidneys are functioning normally the vet may prescribe metacam but you must only give this with food.

    If his mouth feels more comfortable from pain relief he may be more willing to eat and thus build up his strength and gain some weight. I think it is important to do all you can to make him comfortable so he has some quality of life still. If he can't be kept comfortable, out of pain, and able to enjoy his food, then it is no life for him, is it?
     
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  3. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    Hi LukeHall1995, your poor dear cat. Good job he has you to look out for him, well done.

    I totally agree with chillminx’s comments.

    He definitely sounds as he needs a dental if he is up to one? In the meantime I would offer him very soft foods, the pate type. I could list a few soft foods you could try, should you want me to? He needs blood tests done, for a complete health check - all the usual for an elderly cat- kidneys, liver, diabetes, thyroid etc and his blood pressure checked if he is up to it.

    One of my cats shook her head a lot until she was tested, diagnosed & treated for hyperthyroidism, which is common in older cats.

    Presumably they saw ear-mites in your dear cat’s ears? With some cats they never go completely. Some cats lose their balance for reasons other than ear problems, one of my cats did when on a wrong dose of medication (that or a side effect to that medication) and the same cat had a similar mouth problem to your cat, but was sadly unable to have anaesthetic, although nothing would stop him from eating his roast chicken, bless him, & various other foods. The teeth grinding or mouth grinding was horrible to listen to. He also had hyperthyroidism, diagnosed by a blood test. Hopefully your cat has lots of water available to him?

    Please let us know how he gets on.
     
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  4. LukeHall1995

    LukeHall1995 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you both for the detailed replies, I really appreciate your time spent helping me with this!

    They checked his teeth and just noticed the tar build up and red gums, will they go into much more depth if they do a proper dental checkup? I will also get blood tests done so I can find out what's wrong with him.

    Yes please! We've tried pate, he seems to eat a little bit but very slowly. I've seen him try and use his paw to eat a lot at the moment and it seems to eat very slow and some food just drops from it's mouth. We've tried lots of wet foods such as kitten food too. I tried some sardines this morning which he loved! But he only ate a small amount although it was trying to eat for around 10 mins.

    Did your cat find it difficult to eat even when it did have roast chicken etc? I am cooking one tonight and I'm sure he'll try to eat some :)

    Hyperthyroidism looks like it could be likely, his fur doesn't look to great at the moment. He has a lot of water available and seems to be drinking a bit more than usual - perhaps he isn't getting the water from his wet food as much so he's drinking more regularly.

    I will get an appointment booked asap.

    Thank you!
     
  5. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @LukeHall1995 - a cat using their paw to eat is a sure sign of dental pain. Food dropping from his mouth is also a sign. Your cat is in pain poor fellow, it must be agony for him to eat and he needs some immediate pain relief from the vet. Can you get some for him today from the vet? It is rather urgent, as he needs help with the pain a.s.a.p.

    His fur is looking neglected because his mouth is too sore for him to groom himself. You need to groom him yourself for the moment, with a brush such as the Ferplast Gro (from Amazon) which is quite gentle, and also use a fine toothed comb with rounded ends so it doesn't scratch his skin.

    It sounds as though he has gingivitis in his gums. This is caused by a build up of plaque on the teeth and is very painful. If he has a dental scale and polish the plaque will be removed, and if there are any teeth that are loose, damaged or infected then they will be extracted. Dental treatment can only be given to a cat under a general anaesthetic. He should feel much better if he has this dental treatment.

    If his kidneys are functioning normally then he could have a GA. You should get a pre-op blood test done and also ask for him to have IV fluids during and after the GA to help his kidneys excrete the drugs. He is probably drinking a lot at present because he is not eating.

    There may possibly be other underlying illness as he is an older cat but most diseases of senior cats can be managed with drugs. For now it is a priority to deal with his dental problems. If he continues to hardly eat anything then he is not going to survive for long.

    He may be younger than the vet thinks. How long have you had the cat?
     
  6. LukeHall1995

    LukeHall1995 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for the reply @chillminx

    I asked my Dad if we could book the vet (as he has been taking it) and he said it has already had a dental checkup when they discovered the sore gums and tarred teeth for which they gave antibiotics for.

    Will they do another checkup more in depth?

    I have a comb and I will start using it! I have only seen it lick it's paws at the moment but not lick the rest of it's body like usual.

    Anyway we have an appointment for it tomorrow now. Will try and feed it again when it's woken up and I will also try liquidising the food to see if it laps it up.

    I have had the cat for 5 years, it came in stray and very skinny and rough. We fattened it up and got him looking healthy and it was only since ear mites a few months ago he's started to look unhealthy.

    The dentist said it was just missing teeth and bad teeth that makes them think he's old. He's always been playful and I never thought it looked like a very old cat up until now where he's lost weight.
     
  7. LukeHall1995

    LukeHall1995 PetForums Newbie

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    Also I forgot to note he has gone deaf since ear mites too
     
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi, I understand your cat has had a dental check and the vet prescribed antibiotics and steroids. But evidently these are not working because your cat is still in pain in his mouth and unable to eat much.

    With dental problems such as gingivitis in cats they are not always resolved with antibiotics and steroids. It is better to have the plaque removed from the teeth under a general anaesthetic so the gums can recover - this is the long term solution. Even if the antibiotics work the problem is likely to come back later if the plaque has not been removed from the teeth. I would discuss this with the dentist.

    Also your cat does need pain relief for his poorly mouth.

    The state of a cat's teeth are not always an accurate indication of their age. Some quite young cats have bad teeth, particularly if they have lived rough for a while and not been able to eat an adequate diet.

    As you've had him for 5 yrs it is possible he may even be as young as 6 or 7. Or he may be an older cat as the vet has surmised.
     
    #8 chillminx, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  9. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Does the vet have an idea why? Does he have a lot of wax in his ears? Or an inner ear infection? Is he deaf in both ears?

    I hope he is not allowed out now he has lost his hearing, as he would not be safe from traffic, or from attacks by other cats (or by animals such as foxes).
     
  10. LukeHall1995

    LukeHall1995 PetForums Newbie

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    Okay let's see what the vet says tomorrow, hopefully they can do something along the lines of that tomorrow. Hoping it's just a dental issue!

    I will find out tomorrow.

    Yes could be, I do think personally it's younger than the vets think it is.

    They said it could be an ear infection that's why they gave us antibiotic tablets and also another ear drop medication. They said if it doesn't work (which it isn't) it could be a tumour in its ear and is most likely that :(

    Lots of brown pieces come out of his right ear when he shakes his head, the medication doesn't seem to be working to clear his ear up at all. Not a single medication that we've gotten from the vet has worked so far for it's teeth grinding and ears which is not good.

    Thank you
     
  11. LukeHall1995

    LukeHall1995 PetForums Newbie

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    Cat is now booked in tomorrow morning to be sedated and looked into his mouth.

    Let's hope they can sort him :)
     
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  12. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    Could they have a proper look in his ears at the same time? Sounds like something my guide dog had years ago. That didn't respond to drops or medications either, and was only cleared up with a deep irrigation under sedation, followed up by ear drops.
     
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  13. LukeHall1995

    LukeHall1995 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi @carly87 thanks for your reply!

    We have asked the vet to do so and they will be doing that :)

    Will they look much deeper into the ear than how they could without sedation? Also what did they find different when they did a deep irrigation with your dog?

    Thank you
     
  14. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    The problem that you have with an infection is that it creates inflammation which in turn increases wax production. Drops rely on being able to access the source of infection, and are often prevented from doing so by the wax, something which they can't get on top of as by the time wax removal drops are effective, the infection, if deep and fast, has produced loads more. We had Moo sedated and then had her ears flushed completely, until they were clear of wax. I was then able to apply the antibiotic ear drops into her ears and get right to the source of the infection every time, as it didn't have time to produce more wax before it was hit with antibiotics. This worked really well for her, and she didn't need more than a day or 2 off work initially. Her recall improved as she could actually hear me, and it was an all round positive experience. It's painful though, hence the need for sedation. Hope this helps.
     
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  15. LukeHall1995

    LukeHall1995 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks @carly87 sounds like it worked amazingly! Hoping the same applies for my cat. Glad you're dog can hear you again :)

    My cat has been the vets today and has had 3 teeth out. It has just returned and I can still hear it grinding! :( It's eating, but it's still having a hard time eating it all up, it seems to drop out still. I am hoping it's just because the operation was only today... but I'm suprised I can still hear it grinding!

    They didn't comment on the ear but it is back tomorrow for a checkup so hopefully have some answers there.
     
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  16. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi Luke,

    Hopefully your cat has now had the plaque removed from his teeth so the inflammation of his gums should settle down.

    With the extractions it will take a few days for him to feel better. I hope the vet has given you some Metacam for him meanwhile for pain relief. Once his mouth is comfortable he will be able to eat better and enjoy his food again, bless him. The grinding will probably continue until the pain stops.

    I hope they are going to treat his ear problem too.. If he has lots of wax it would be better for the vet to flush it out (as carly87 said)
     
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  17. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    Hi @LukeHall1995
    I’m so pleased your cat was able to have a dental, how wonderful. Once his mouth feels better he will hopefully be back to cleaning his fur again.
    There are various pate foods you could buy him, to help him in the meantime. The ones I recommend are Animonda vom Feinsten you can purchase online from Zooplus: my cats like the turkey and salmon and they like the pure turkey, both for neutered cats.
    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/animonda/trays/14008
    They also like several of these on offer:-
    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/animonda/751679

    If you just want to nip to the supermarket for a few pate foods until he feels better, Gourmet Gold do pate foods and do a boxed pate selection. Sainsbury’s do their own chicken & turkey Smooth Pate.

    Others that my cats haven’t tried are Almo Nature Daily mousse with chicken & is grain free, Applause pate ... there’s a multipack and I see one I’ve not heard of before on Amazon called Yarrah Pate.

    Another thing that works well for cats with sore mouths, is to add a small amount of boiling hot water to the pate food and mixing it together well, then check its temperature is ok and just “warm” before giving it to your dear cat. It helps get vital fluids in too, even though it’s only a small amount.

    I pity him if he does have an ear infection, as they can be extremely painful & it’s important to have the right antibiotics, specific to the infection, I believe.

    Do you know if they did pre op blood tests?
    I hope he soon feels better. Max, my last cat to go in for a dental (this year) took a couple of weeks to recover and whether or not that is the norm, I don’t remember. He had two teeth removed. Tessy, my other cat had a dental late last year, with 4 teeth removed and recovered quicker than Max I think from memory. I think your cat would appreciate some pate foods just now!
     
  18. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

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    Luke, this was some years ago now. She's now a happy retired non-working dog with thankfully no recurrence of the infection.

    Just curious, but why do you refer to your cat as it rather than he or by name?

    Hopefully you hear more about the ears today.
     
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  19. LukeHall1995

    LukeHall1995 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi @chillminx

    Yes hopefully, he hasn't eaten today looks like he wants food but won't eat it. He is also just sitting and keeps resting his chin on the floor like he did the day before his operation, which is strange. I haven't seen him sleep since the operation yet.

    He has an appointment tonight so they will tell us about the ear etc so hoping to get some answers!

    @TriTri Thank you for the food recommendations!! I will get some pate and I will mix it together, thanks for that! I will also try the other foods you recommended :) He did have blood tests, something was low in his blood but not by too much so they rang to mention the risk of bleeding to death during the op, but went ahead and he was fine luckily!

    Hopefully he gets better soon, I just hope it's worked. I find it strange he's sitting a bit differently just like before the op, but that could be due to the pain still. Was eating yesterday when it looked lively after the op but today he's not ate anything and seems anxious.

    @carly87 Ah that's good to hear, glad it's healthy!

    I'm not too sure, I have been mixing my sentences with it or he without thinking about it.

    Thanks!
     
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  20. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @LukeHall1995

    Luke - I am very concerned your boy is not eating, although he is showing signs of wanting to eat. This is not right. Cats are notorious for hiding pain, it is a survival mechanism. This does need addressing a.s.a.p. If he doesn't eat he will become dehydrated and go downhill. He is already underweight you have told us.

    Do you have pain relief medicine to give him? This is important. If you do not, please contact your vet today and ask for some to be prescribed. If his kidney values are in normal range he can have Metacam. But Metacam must be given with food.

    Could you take him to the vet for a pain relief injection so he can start eating and get some Metacam for him to have for the next few days.?

    EDIT: also it is possible he is feeling nauseous and this is putting him off eating too. Once he has pain relief can you try offering him different cat food or some home cooked meat or white fish?
     
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