So – Lumi Wasn’t Well…


He was very lethargic when we came home from work on the 12th. He had also possibly vomited blood, and had the squitters. I felt his belly and it seemed…lumpy. Not the smooth fat kitten tummy I was used to. 

It was a Thursday and well after walk-in hours, but when I rang the vet looking for an emergency after hours number, one of the vets answered (yes, one was still there and answering the phone after 7pm) and when I explained what was going on he said to bring Lumi in. Thank you!

Lumi had just had his nuts off the weekend before, so our worry was that he had accidentally picked up a bug when at the vets, or maybe he ate a plant that disagreed with him (my indoor plants should all be safe for cats, but…), or he ate the rubber band that went missing, or one of the many, many hair ties that iDJ loses, or ate something from the Christmas tree … he is still just seven months old, so who the hell knows what he has been chewing on!

The vet didn’t seem too concerned about the lumpy belly. Which was good. He didn’t want to give antibiotics yet, either – also good in my mind. Lumi did get a shot to settle his tummy and some pills to do the same.

And it worked, for a few days. By Monday evening, he was back to not being part of the household by sleeping upstairs on the bed, not coming to say hello to me or himself, and there was a big, wet, smelly, bloody poop in the litterbox. Dammit.

Tuesday morning I took him to the vet again. The other doc this time, and three young observers. He looked at Lumi’s history, checked and felt him all over, and listened to my concerns. He said that cats don’t normally get intestinal blockages – but when they do? It’s right around Christmas when all the tempting tinsel, etc, is there to nom upon.

He wanted to do a barium run and X-ray my wee man as it progressed through his system, in case there was a blockage or another issue. I was hesitant, having flashbacks of leaving Spot in and never getting him back again. But I agreed in the end.

24 to 36 hours was the estimate for how long this would take! I was sad, hubby was sad. Worst of all, Lokii broke our hearts by walking around looking in all of Lumi’s favourite napping places to no avail. He loves his brother so much.

Next morning at 9am, the office told me that the barium had raced through to his intestines in only 4 hours. Way too fast! But as of yet, no sign of a blockage. I’d have to wait and see, as once it his his guts it slowed right down. At 11:30, they still didn’t want to release him – more X-rays. By 4, they said I could come get him. Of course I left work (I work until 6:30) to go get my wee boy.

He came home with a ‘cocktail’ of medicine. The dreaded Pink Stuff. I can pill a cat with ease, but this gag-worthy pink liquid is nearly impossible to get into a Bengal after they have tasted it once. Twice a day this time! Suffice to say that by now, the meds are gone but I’m still finding pink drool spattered everywhere: I have to wash the couch cover, and probably the curtains.

The cocktail consisted of Betamox (amoxicillin) and Flagyl (metronidazole); both are antibiotics. Also Imodium (loperamide), which is for helping stop diarrhoea and slows down the digestive process. No actual diagnosis, unfortunately. He is also on a dry gastrointestinal specialty food. He was disappointed in it at first, but is back to gobbling it down like a mad thing. We got him gastrointestinal wet pouches last Saturday, and he loves those – as does Lokii!

So far he has been fine, back to his mad tricks. Last night and the night before he projectile vomited food that was very much on its way to being digested (brown liquid basically, not the normal cat puke which is easily identifiable as kibble or treats, etc). Tonight we are on lock down to make sure he gets nothing at all other than the special food. Hope it works. 

He is definitely interested in the flower arrangement I got today! 

38 responses »

  1. Yes he seems to be thinking the flowers would make a nice snack. I am so sorry he got sick. I know your heart must have been in your throat and your mind so full of dread. I would have had to be sedated along with the cat. So they don’t know what the problem is. My older one Milo is about normal low cat weight even though they get all the food they want and hands full of treats all day. We have to keep shoving food on him as he will lose weight in a heartbeat if we don’t. He also has the occasional brown vomit. It is not hair balls because I keep them both combed. He was allergic to the food, we changed to a different flavor of the same brand as he won’t eat any other brand, and it helped. He only vomits occasionally now. Normally on my pillow. Gotta love him. Be well, keep us informed, if you need me I am here. Hugs

    • I wonder if it is chicken – he was raised on it, but i have noticed both days he had chicken. He also had a raw diet as a baby, but damn, that is hard to work with.
      Yeah, it was so hard to leave him. Hubby said outright that we weren’t going to do it.

      • You would have been so uncomfortable sleeping in one of the exam rooms. You know it might be human foods. I always fed cats milk on the farm, but found out later milk can give cats the squirts. Not so good for them. Milo won’t touch human food, but Odis got use to it as a kitten, I stopped it when I found James feeding him off his plate on the table. I draw the line with a cat on the table sharing bites with a person. It is worth trying small amounts of stuff to see what he feels better on. Like you said the vet put him on a special food. Keep us informed, we care. Hugs

        • Will do. He loves his food, but not in a greedy way, if that makes sense? He’s never gone hungry in his life (except when I had to fast him before vet visits). I prefer not to ‘train’ my furry family to respond to food. But yea, he always wants to see what we have on our plates.

  2. Oh, my goodness! What a huge and distressing puzzle. I am thinking like Scottie, could it be the food? Boomer has terrible food allergies and his food costs a wee fortune, but ever so much better than paying the vet. Blood anywhere is NOT a good sign.

    Fingers and toes and eyes crossed he gets well and stays well.


  3. Oh what a worry. But Problem Child looks alert and lively in that last photo, which is somewhat reassuring. It’s when they’re floppy and lethargic you panic, especially when they’re normally, well, like him. Fingers crossed…

    • I know. If he doesn’t greet me at the door when I come home after work, I know something is wrong. He is a very social guy. Had company over last night – someone he’s never met – and he curled up next to her on the couch for at least an hour. I’m just concerned about the vomiting, now.

  4. Oh, this sort of thing scares the wits out of me. I’ve never had a sitch like this, but I had to have my Patty Twinkle opened up when she ate most of the kitchen broom, a wad of dried flowers, and a red valentine ribbon — we had no idea she was such a pica cat. The vet said it was the damndest thing she’d ever taken out of a cat, and I still have it in the freezer – I know that’s weird, but the wad of flowers and broomstraw came out tied in the red ribbon! It was too bizarre to discard.

    Bengals are supposed to be very subject to GI distress, so let’s hope he’s just being true to breed and doesn’t have any artifacts lurking in there. My Nickel used to get bloody colitis. Being married has calmed her down a lot. Hoping the specialty food sorts him. He’s so gorgeous, the stinker.

    • Wow. I pulled tinsel out of a Siamese’s butt, and then had a scare with the same cat when he ate a shit ton of tree needles.
      I would totally have that in the freezer. I still have the kingfisher in ours. Hubby gives out to me now and again as we have limited space. ‘Dammed dead bird!’
      Spot had kidney stones from about the same age. Never recurred with the diet he had from then on. So… who knows. Might be like Neko who can’t eat anything but dog food and vegetables. We will deal.

  5. Oh, we know that pink stuff. (The German who has delicate tummy and not so discriminating mouth would have to have the stuff periodically)
    Those gastro. wet pouches seem to work with Olde Tiger and Spot. We keep some on hand just in case. Gobbling food doesn’t help and sometimes complicates diagnosis. Hope your find the food that fits his need.
    Paws crossed and the Realm sends warmth and healing thoughts!

    • It makes sense that if the food runs through his stomach so fast, he will feel hungry a lot. I’ve never restricted dry kibble for cats, or dogs, and they usually work it out. But damn, he poops HUGE. Just once a day, too. Nice and firm now, but maybe he needs the Prilosec for life.

  6. We are what we eat … so they say.

    We’ve had over 30 cats over the years. We had 21 at one time. We’ve just lost another, Haley. Kidney failure.
    I can tell you straight, that nine out of ten time a cat’ll get sick because of either a viral infection
    Feline Aids etc or because of something they have eaten.

    Dunno how old Lumi is, but the older the cat the more you have to watch protein.

    I have developed this thing about dry food, but those ”in charge” here at our spot tell me I’m nuts.
    (that’s a given, I agree, but I still don’t like dry) Could you live on dry biscuits and beef jerky all frakking day long?

    What do feral cats eat? Dried Sparrows? How about their wild counterparts? Dried Gazelle? Desiccated buffalo?
    No. They eat meat. And they probably prefer it warm too.

    Growing up we never gave our cats dry food, it always came in a tin and we used either Whiskas or Kitekat.

    And then there are the issues surrounding what chickens eat these days ( if you are feeding your cats chicken). Free range from a known source or nada.

    When our cats have gotten sick the vet always takes ’em off dry food and gives ’em soft tin stuff.
    I reckon that should tell you enough.

    Consider a company such as Hills? If the vets were to say ”Dry food is shit!’ a lot of money would walk out the door.

    • Lumi is only seven months old. At the breeder he was on tinned chicken (pet food, but it smells good enough to eat, looks like proper shredded chicken), Royal Canin growth dry food, and a raw meat mix. He never ate a lot of the raw, and I couldn’t keep it fresh for the cost of it. So we dropped that. He was still on the other two, though, every day as much as he wanted. Now he’s on the R.C. gastrointestinal dry and pouches of wet, but the wet lasts only seconds so I can’t fill the bowl!
      I totally understand what you mean about the dry. Cats need moisture in their food, absolutely. They have enough kidney and bladder issues as it is. Lumi is a great one for drinking water, however. He loves it – a fresh glass of water is like a treat for him, he gets all excited and happy.
      I’ve always been a bit bewildered by how he only poops once a day and it is literally the size of his head. He just dropped another bomb a few minutes ago – not squishy and no blood. So that is good. And no vomit last night, yay!

      • Good! Cats generally only crap once a day, so don’t worry about infrequency in this area.

        Sounds like his tummy is settling down.
        (Ours have occasionally taken a lizard and that can cause issues)

        • In Florida, the cats would eat the anoles and glass snakes (legless lizards, not actually snakes). But most of the time they would bring them into the house alive so they could play in air-conditioned comfort.

  7. Hope he feels better soon. The cat I had when I was young went through a phase like this and came out of it better than before. I hope Lumi does the same. 🙂

    • Hello, and welcome! I’ve just been over at yours – making sure you were a real person and all – and my face kinda hurts from smiling at the Dry Ice post.

      Not so wee Lumi did barf again at 5am on Monday night but I woke up in time not to sleep in it. Unlike Sunday night… I hope he gets over it like yours did. I’m still rather shell shocked after losing my previous Bengal in August.

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