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Sick after spay.

Species: Cat
Breed: Domestic feline
Age: 3-6 months
She was spayed a week ago and has been fine (no problem with incision, etc.). Yesterday she stopped eating, drinking and playing suddenly. She looks sedated and will let me pet her but is not interactive. I cant detect any change in the incision but she wont really let me check her out she did use the litter box today She is walking slowly and I just saw her jump onto a chair but not with her usual grace. She won't play with her littermate. My vet is sick today (Sunday) and I want to know if I can wait until tomorrow to take her in, as I can't afford emergency care.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

What you have described has me worried. Any time a cat goes off of her food there is a medical problem. Given that she was recently spayed, there is the possibility that this is something serious.

Are you able to look at the color of her gums (i.e. by lifting up her lip)? If they look very pale pink or white then it is possible that she is bleeding internally. This is not common after a spay surgery but it can happen.

It's also possible that she has an infection inside of her abdomen. You may not be able to see any changes in her suture line. An infection will cause a fever which could cause her to be very lethargic and not want to eat.

Another possibility is if she has a problem with her kidneys. It's really uncommon but sometimes an animal's kidneys can be damaged if there is a drop in blood pressure during an anesthetic, or if they react to certain medications that would have been given during the surgery. It can sometimes take several days for a cat to start showing signs of illness after this happens.

There are other possibilities. If she wasn't recently spayed then I would wonder if she had eaten something toxic to her, or even something that has just caused some stomach upset. If she goes outside, then an infection from a cat bite or scratch could be the culprit. However, a sudden decrease in activity and lack of appetite is always something that has me concerned.

If there is any way at all that you can get her seen today then I would try to get this done! For some of these conditions (bleeding, infection, toxin), waiting another 24 hours would not be good at all.

I wish I had a more cheerful answer for you. I really hope she is ok!

By the way, you may find this article on help with veterinary bills useful.

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

I just offered her some treats and she gobbled them down, so I'm going to watch her for awhile and if she keeps them down, will take her to her regular vet tomorrow.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, this is a good sign! As long as she wants to eat then I think you're ok to wait another day.

Did you get a chance to check her gums though? If they are white then I'd take her today...but it sounds like this is unlikely!

Customer reply:

Her gums are pink. I had a cat with hemolytic anemia so I know what that looks like. Scarlette is definitely weak -I just saw her miss a jump she does all the time, but she is using her litter box and seems a little more alert.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

While it does sound like she needs to be seen, I'm so glad to hear that she's making an improvement.

Feel free to update this thread after your visit tomorrow. I hope everything works out ok!

Customer reply:

Thanks so much. I just fed her some kitty crack (commercial wet cat food with sauce for moisture) and she chowed down. I'll take her in tomorrow. Thanks again.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.