My cat isn't eating after a procedure for an ear infection!

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My cat isn't eating after a procedure for an ear infection!

Post by ErinRose84 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:38 am

I apologize in advance for how long this is, but I'm nearing desperation. I have a 12 year old female shorthair named Buttercup that I’ve had since 2002. Up until now she has never experienced any health problems. Recently, we noticed that in her left eye, her ‘3rd eyelid’ was extending from her inner eye and was starting to cover her pupil. After a week we took her to the vet and after all of the necessary tests and X-ray, we were referred to a dermatologist. She determined Buttercup had a middle ear infection, and needed a myringotomy. At this point, Buttercup hadn’t displayed any altered behavioral issues. It was only her eyelid that alerted us to something abnormal. We had the procedure done about 2 weeks ago, and it’s kind of gone downhill from there. Since the procedure was done, she was put on Baytril (2.5 ml) 2x/day for her left ear for 2 weeks until follow-up, and an antibiotic, injected (10 day course). About a week after, Buttercup started to lose her appetite and has barely been eating since, although still drinking plenty of water. She had also been vomiting, but it was mostly froth (due to stomach acid) or bile (due to barely eating). We called the vet and they said it was possible that the antibiotic was making her nauseous, so they prescribed mirtazapine, hoping to stimulate her appetite. That didn’t really seem to do much, so the vet also gave her Cerenia for the nausea. Both are in pill form, which is not easy to handle with her. She’s completely turned up her nose to all wet food we’ve tried, including tuna, chicken, liver, lamb, venison, etc. We also just gave her a B-12 shot on Monday, which makes our cat with pancreatitis ravenous, but hasn’t seemed to affect Buttercup. So at this point the only way we’ve been able to get her to eat is by putting some wet food on our finger, but she’s only taking a couple of bites! She’s been more withdrawn since the myringotomy; prior to this she’d never had to take medicine and had never been through something like this, and I think she’s very stressed and upset. After her follow-up at the dermatologist on Monday, they said her ear infection had healed; since her eyelid hadn’t changed, that indicates the problem may be deeper within the ear in a place they can’t see, such as inflammation, or possibly a mass of some sort. The only way they can see this is via a MRI. I now have to give her the ear drops in both ears, twice a day for another two weeks. If at that time her eye hasn’t changed, we’ll have to do the MRI. Today I came home and when I picked her up to give her loving, I noticed she was kind of wet. Lo and behold, it seems like she “wet” herself?? She’s never done this before; she let me clean her, and I can’t understand why she’d do this. Almost immediately after I finished cleaning her, she went into the litterbox and used it like normal. I feel like most of what she’s doing is behavioral and related to how scared and stressed she’s been. She’s always been a somewhat timid cat, and now I just think she’s really upset with me for shoving pills down her throat, medicine in her ears, etc. She's definitely turning away from me specifically, in a way she's not doing with others in the house. Has anyone else experienced this? Thank you!

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Re: My cat isn't eating after a procedure for an ear infecti

Post by glendvd » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:44 am

I've had a cat just had an operation on his broken jaw 2 weeks ago and for a week he wasn't eating, and he's only really just started eating properly again the last few days. The vet gave him a 2 week antibiotic injection at the time of the operation and we had to give him metacam afterwards. He just wasn't interested. The one night we thought we'd take him off the metacam and he's been eating ever since, gradually getting better, which also has coincided with the antibiotics wearing off. Does your cat HAVE to continue on any medication or can it be stopped yet? This, as you mentioned, may be making her nauseous as our metacam was.

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Re: My cat isn't eating after a procedure for an ear infecti

Post by Kay » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:06 am

I agree - it doesn't sound, from what you say, that any of the medications are making her better,so I'd be tempted to see how she goes without any of it for a few days - apart from what you are putting down her throat, stuff put in the ears ends up down the throat too, and can often be foul tasting, and can burn

I suspect you'll have to leave off the food on finger for a couple of days too, as she needs a break from being pursued, which she will associate with pilling

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Re: My cat isn't eating after a procedure for an ear infecti

Post by Jacks » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:27 am

Dear ErinRose, I'm so sorry to hear about the trauma that both you and Buttercup are suffering. Thank you for your very detailed account - it will help people to respond I'm sure as knowing as much as possible is better than partial snippets, so don't worry about that.

I have no experience with anything this serious, but I can hopefully make some helpful comments. I have four cats; one who is the dominant female and confident in the cat world but when it comes to medication and vets she is terrified. When we got her from rescue she was scratching her ears and vet found it was an ear infection - we had to swaddle her and hold her down to get the drops in. It terrified her and after two weeks of this she still thinks over a year later that being picked up = being medicated and struggles and purrs in terror. So I can understand that for Buttercup all this medication (and the picking up to do the deed) must be creating an atmosphere of fear for her; plus your own anxieties, which she may well pick up on. She has to be medicated and you can't easily change her concept of that, but you will need to try to be as calm and upbeat as possible and dispense some kind of treat or favourite play after the deed is done. The same COULD apply to food - if everything that goes into her mouth contains medication (which may certainly upset her stomach - even humans can go off their food on antibiotics, and cats have sensitive stomachs in that respect) she may have a double whammy with yukky taste (or the anticipation of it) and nausea and lack of appetite.

So it COULD be a behavioural issue, and not an easy one to solve. But there is a possibility too that it's something more serious and if there is a mass in the inner ear it could start to affect her neurologically as well - so the MRI is really important. I think at this point you need most of all to know what you're dealing with - if the prognosis is bad (I do hope not) to prioritise love and comfort for your little girl; if it's not serious to work on making the process of treatment less traumatic and find other ways to get medication into her (maybe involve someone else in the house to do the holding down, or even the actual deed) so that you can then come in and 'rescue' her, give her gentle strokes, and hand feed her if necessary. It sounds to me like whatever the prognosis Buttercup needs to 'recover' her mummy as a safe place, as she's confused and vulnerable at the moment. At the end of the day, love and comfort are essential for Buttercup, as is getting to the bottom of her problem.

I hope this helps in a small way. Please keep us updated. x

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Re: My cat isn't eating after a procedure for an ear infecti

Post by booktigger » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:27 pm

I'd speak to the vet before stopping any medication, but surprised they would give oral Baytril and an ab injection, as Baytril is an ab. It can have nasty side effects though. Cerenia can be given as an injection. Good luck

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Re: My cat isn't eating after a procedure for an ear infecti

Post by meriad » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:21 pm

ErinRose, welcome to CC and sorry it's because your girl isn't well.

I agree with booktigger and wouldn't stop any meds until you've spoken to the vet. Regarding the wetting herself I wonder if she may have had a seizure? Personally I think I'd be tempted to push for the MRI to be done sooner rather than later

Fusses to your Buttercup and please do let us know how you get on

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Re: My cat isn't eating after a procedure for an ear infection!

Post by Herrybraun » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:42 am

My black catti has same problem. I am not a pet owner longer but just first time acquire a small black cat. So not too much information about care.

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Re: My cat isn't eating after a procedure for an ear infection!

Post by Trish_Kitty » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:27 pm

I think your cat is very stressed out but that stress is not killing her desire for food. This is something that must be taken care of or she will get worser and worser..

Unfortunately, I can't give any other advice but to try other vet but please try the best veterinarian you can find.. You need someone who had experienced the problem like this and healed it too..

Edit: Oh this is a very old thread.. I thought it was new. Hopefully, the cat is healthy and happy now..

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