Species: Cat Breed: British Black Shorth Age: 11-15 years
Our cat has been doing poorly lately.
She went for about a month eating once or twice a day. We took her to a vet when she started drooling and had difficulty urinating (urge to urinate but no urine) and she gave her antibiotics for the bleeding gums and kept her on a drip for four days. She lost 1.5 kilos.
After we brought her home it was clear that she didnt have pain while eating, she was urinating normally and her coat improved in its lustre. However she still eats very poorly.
Observing her for the last week, we noticed that whenever she eats, she swallows her food a couple of times and then gags/gapes.
We fed her some milk a few hours ago and she started drooling a lot of blood shortly after.
We suspect it is an ulcer that may have burst and we intend to take her to our vet in the morning but we're not sure what to do in the short term.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Dr. Marie replied:
Oh, I am sorry to hear that Sweety is not doing well.
I'm guessing that this is not an ulcer. If there is a stomach ulcer, the blood in the stomach gets partly digested and actually ends up looking like black coffee grounds. If you are seeing blood then this is likely an issue in the mouth or esophagus.
One possibility is if there is a dental infection present. It can sometimes be hard to diagnose this, but if it has gotten to the point where there is blood then your vet should be able to tell.
However, my bigger concern would be for the possibility of a tumor in the mouth. A bleeding mouth with difficulty swallowing can definitely be a sign of some sort of a tumor. Unfortunately, if this is what it is, mouth tumors are usually very bad news in a cat.
At this point, there is not a whole lot that you can do at home. I would avoid milk as milk can actually cause some intestinal upset for cats. It's not a bad idea to give some canned food and perhaps water it down a little bit to make it easier to swallow. Or, if you don't want to change her food, you can add warm water to her hard food, let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then add more warm water and stir to make a soup.
There really isn't any over the counter medication that I can suggest.
I really do hope that this is a dental infection of some sort. Please update me once you have seen the vet.
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Took her to our vet.
Her upper right molar was caked with blood and seems to have been the source of the blood. Our vet says she has to clean her teeth and is concerned it might ever be a growth in that area, but first, she needs to put her under in order to take a better look at it but since she's dehydrated/malnourished, she needs to put her on a drip for a few days and get her better first.
Dr. Marie replied:
Thank you for the update. I do hope that it is an infection and not anything worse. I hope everything goes ok.
As it turns out she had two tumours on both sides of her mouth at the molars one of which burst and was the source of the bleeding. She died early this morning. Thought I'd let you know.
Dr. Marie replied:
Oh dear. That was what I feared. I'm so sorry for your loss. :(
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Dr. 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.
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