Thursday, December 27, 2012

Acupuncture for Cats

Sundae, my 12 year old female cat, quit eating on Wednesday. John noticed she sniffed the food and walked away and Johns's concern meant something wasn't right with Sundae.  Thursday morning, the same thing transpired and she was sleeping more than her normal 20 hours a day and not active.  I tried treats, opened up canned food and she still no interest.  Although I thought she just wasn't feeling well and it would pass, kind of like a cold, I called the vet and asked how many days can pass before a cat eats should I be concerned?  The vet's answer surprised me.  Unlike dogs who can stop eating for a number of days, when a cat stops eating they should be brought in right away.

Alta Vista Vet in Phoenix normal operating hours are 7am to 10pm, which is unusual for a vet.  My normal vet didn't work Thursday nights so I saw Dr. Peterson, a wonderful lady who recommended blood work and fluids due to dehydration. Dr. Peterson commented Sundae's kidneys were small and it's common in older cats to have kidney issues. Luckily all the blood work came back normal and healthy.  I left with appetite stimulate pills and Sundae looking like a line backer from the fluid pumped in under her skin.

Saturday Sundae ate some treats and I tricked her into eating some cat food but she still wasn't eating well and I opened up two more cans of cat food hoping something would strike her fancy.  Sunday morning I called the vet again and scheduled an appointment with Dr. Jacquie.

I found Dr. Jacquie a couple years ago when Nugget had hyperthyroidism and I wanted a more holistic approach than radiation through RadioCat. Dr. Jacquie went through all the blood work, felt Sundae and couldn't find anything. Sundae didn't have teeth problems, running nose, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea  pain points.

Nothing.  Sundae just wasn't eating.

Dr. Jacquie darkened the room, turned up soothing music (at least I hope it was soothing to Sundae) and opened up a package of sterile needles and proceeded to put a number of pins into Sundae's back and 4 pins in the head.  She left the room so Sundae could "cook" for 15 minutes.  Within 2 minutes Sundae shook her head and 3 of the 4 needles in her head went flying.  Keeping Sundae still wasn't hard until the last couple minutes.  Needles finally removed we headed home where I would syringe feed her numerous times a day with canned cat food watered down.

The next day Sundae decided she'd had enough of the syringe feeding and starting eating on her own.  She's amazingly hungry now and wants to eat continually. With two cats the challenge is not overfeeding my other cat (who loves eating Sundae's leftovers and has a fat tummy to prove it).

Lessons learned:

  • Don't wait to go to the vet if your cat stops eating
  • Syringe feed the cat to insure fluids and calories are getting into the kitty
  • Acupuncture isn't only for humans and can work wonders on kitties for pain management


Giorgio said...

What a wonderful photo of your cat :) Glad she feels better!

Anonymous said...

Poor Sundae! Glad she's doing better. I think it's awesome that you found cat acupuncture! Who knew? :)