Anorexia Average Cost

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Average Cost

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What is Anorexia?

Anorexia can be categorized into two types: true anorexia and pseudo-anorexia. True anorexia describes a cat that does not want to eat and won’t, whereas pseudo-anorexia describes a cat that wants to eat but cannot due to complications. Disease, tumors, inflammation, and pain are common causes of anorexia in cats. A cat that has stopped eating for any reason is considered to be in an emergency situation, as starvation quickly causes life-threatening hepatic lipidosis in felines.

Anorexia in cats is the term used to describe a sustained partial or complete loss of appetite. Your feline may appear uninterested in her food or she could try to eat, but leaves the food bowl soon after. Anorexia is not a disease in itself, but rather a clinical sign of an underlying disease or health complication. Anorexia can be the result of pain, cancer, systemic disease, and abnormalities with the structures that occupy the mouth. Detection of anorexia at home might include the unwillingness to eat, dramatic weight loss and hiding around the home. 

Symptoms of Anorexia in Cats

Anorexia can cause a wide variety of symptoms in cats that may be primarily linked to anorexia or an underlying disease. The symptoms could worsen over time or suddenly in conjunction to a high-stress situation. Clinical signs that a cat owner may be able to detect at home include: 

  • Weakness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Weight loss
  • Icterus (yellowing of the skin)
  • Hiding 
  • Spending more time with the owner than usual
  • Depression 
  • Unwillingness to become active 
  • Lethargy
  • Excesses salivation 
  • Partial loss of appetite 
  • Complete loss of appetite 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 

Types 

True Anorexia

True anorexia describes a cat that does not want to eat and refuses to eat.

Pseudo-anorexia 

Pseudo-anorexia describes a cat that wants to eat, but is not able to eat.

Causes of Anorexia in Cats

Causes of true anorexia include:

 

  • Side effect of medications
  • High environmental temperatures
  • Nausea 
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Intestinal ulcer
  • Gastrointestinal blockage
  • Cancer
  • Pain
  • Loss of the ability to smell 
  • Immune disease or imbalance
  • Poison exposure
  • Stress
  • Change of environment 
  • Change in food 
  • Systemic disease 

 

Causes of pseudo-anorexia include:

  • Pain
  • Tumors of the throat, tongue or mouth
  • Cancer
  • Damaged nerves that control swallowing or chewing 
  • Disease of the salivary glands
  • Temporomandibular joint pain (lower jaw pain)
  • Mastication muscle pain (chewing muscles) 
  • Eye abscess 
  • Periodontal disease 
  • Esophagitis 
  • Gingivitis
  • Stomatitis 

Diagnosis of Anorexia in Cats

The diagnosis of anorexia in cats will begin with a differential diagnosis between true and pseudo-anorexia. It is at this time the veterinarian will ask you about your feline behavior, focusing on her interest in food. The doctor will then review the cat’s medical history and conduct a thorough physical exam to reveal the presence of any irregularities that would prevent the cat from eating as usual. If the presence of an abnormality is unavailable, the veterinarian will choose to perform a variety of diagnostic tests including: 

  • Blood work, including a complete blood count, coagulation profile, and serum chemistry profile
  • Blood pressure analysis 
  • Thyroid testing  
  • Urinalysis, focusing on evaluating the kidneys through the evidence of increased bilirubin
  • Abdomen and chest ultrasound
  • X-rays 
  • An endoscopy 
  • FeLV testing 
  • FIV testing 

Treatment of Anorexia in Cats

Treatment of anorexia in cats focuses on treating the underlying condition that was found during diagnostic procedures. However, the veterinarian may provide supportive therapy to the feline to reverse dehydration, decrease nausea, and provide nutrition. Initial therapy is usually completed intravenously, but if the feline has not received adequate nutrition for greater than three days’ time, a feeding tube may be placed. The treatment plan your veterinarian chooses to address feline anorexia greatly depends on the underlying cause and how your feline reacts. Some cats’ underlying disease prevents them from tolerating food in the stomach, therefore an IV line may need to be placed to provide adequate nutrition. Nutritional therapy treatment requires hospitalization of the feline, as this therapy cannot be given at home and poses a risk for infection. The veterinarian may also choose to prescribe medications during the treatment period which could include: 

  • Steroids (inflammation reducers) 
  • IV fluids
  • Antacids 
  • Pain medications 
  • Appetite stimulants 
  • Anti-nausea medications 

Recovery of Anorexia in Cats

The prognosis for anorexia in cats depends on the underlying cause, the severity of the feline’s condition, and what the veterinarian has found present in the cat’s blood work. In general, a feline that refuses to eat has an overall poor prognosis. Your veterinarian will ask to reevaluate your feline periodically after the cat has been released home. 

Anorexia Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

S
domestic short hair
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Less active
Loss Of Mass
Loss of Appetite

Medication Used

none

My cat has been slowly losing weight over the last three months. Lowest weight 4lbs 2Oz. Last July we bought a kitten in to the home and although she tolerates her they aren't friends

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
A loss of weight and appetite may be due to stress or depression, but without examining S I cannot rule out medical causes related to these symptoms; have you tried keeping the cats separate? Is there any improvement in behaviour or appetite? You should visit your Veterinarian to make sure that there isn’t a medical cause for these symptoms, otherwise it is a behavioural issue. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Smokey
DOMESTIC
15 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting, poor appetite, fatigue
Vomiting

15 (within 2 months) year old neutered male cat (always indoors). Beginnings of kidney failure - no problems with elimination but increase in urine. Episodes of vomiting. Over last two-three weeks, vomited about six times. KIdney, liver levels OK; no anemia. NOt sure what level should be 3.5 but is 50?? Has low B12 levels. Vet proposes sonogram and meds. My specific question - what will a sonogram show that can be realistically treated considering my cat's age and other health issues? I understand your response will be general in nature. Thank you.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1606 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without knowing more about Smokey, I'm not sure that I can answer that question - if his kidney and liver levels are fine, I'm not sure that he is in the beginning of kidney failure, although if that is what your veterinarian has diagnosed, there are probably details that I'm not aware of. Depending on what your veterinarian thinks is wrong with him, an ultrasound may help to know the prognosis of treatment, if there is a worry for cancer, or other conditions. If your veterinarian is recommending it, it is probably a good idea, but it is always fair to ask what you are going to do with the results of any testing, and that is a great question to ask I hope that Smokey does well.

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Lydia
domestic short hair
10 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

My cat has hyperthyroidism. Now has been on felimazole for about 6 weeks. Gain a little weight at first and now is losing weight again.

She eats and drinks water but I fear that she is not eating enough because she is so skinny.

Clinically her thyroid is in the normal range but her weight loss is pretty scary.

Side note. Her anal glands swell after she poops. She was treated for about a week and things looked pretty good but the swelling has returned.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
A loss or decrease in appetite is a side effect of felimazole, it may be worth speaking with your Veterinarian about a high calorie diet for Lydia which may help her put on weight with a lower quantity of food. You should also have your Veterinarian check the anal glands if the problem is recurring. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jenny
tabby
15 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

appetite

My cat has hypothyroidism and has started taking felimazole for it but it has made her loose her appetite completely. I have given her the most tiniest bit of mirtazapine and she started eating. But effects only lasted a day. I decided to halve her dose of felimazole to just 2.5mg a day to help her eat. Can i give her both these medications together? She's too thin and weak. She needs weight on her now.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1606 Recommendations
You can give those two medications together, but it is concerning that the Felimazole has caused a decrease in appetite. It is important to monitor blood levels of thyroid hormone while figuring out the right dosage for Jenny to be taking.

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Charlie
Domestic shorthair
Ten Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Inappetant
inappetant . lethargic

Dear Dr.,

My cat has had a reduced appetite for a week or so, and has gone completely without food for the past three days. His blood work came back normal, and an ultrasound showed nothing unusual (though possibly an enlarged spleen, from which some cells were taken for analysis). I am worried about his developing hepatic lipidosis while we are still trying to get answers, though I was told he shows no signs of this yet. Is there some pro-active measure we should be taking, to prevent this from happening, such as tube feeding? Would a prescription appetite enhancer be helpful?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1606 Recommendations
While you do need to figure out the cause of his inappetance to solve it, in the meantime while you are waiting, yes, there are things that you can try to keep him eating, as you are right - lipidosis is a very real concern. Mirtazapine is an appetite stimulant that you can get from your veterinarian, and you can syringe feed him a prescription cat food if needed. Some cats also really like turkey-flavored baby food, for some reason, and in the short term, that will at least keep him eating. None of these things are long term solutions, but may help until you figure out what is happening with him. I hope that he is okay.

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Tj
Domestic Long Haired
13 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Anerexia

Hi, my 13 year old cat has had a relapse of cancer. We know it's terminal, it has spread through the chest. At this point we are doing palliative care to keep her content. She currently is getting SQ fluids every other day and a daily does of an NSAID pain. I believe it's pirexicam or something like that.

Two weeks ago she was less interested in her set food/would eat only some of it, but being a picky eater it wasn't completely unlike her. A week ago she came, sniffed, and walked already. Weird. The next day she refused to even come inspect the way food and we noticed she wasn't eating at all (they are free feed kibble)

She still drinks but doesn't eat. She still drinks frequently but has lost a lot of weight and only moves to find a new place or grab a drink. We understand she's in the end stages of her disease but sometimes she looks like she wants to try to eat. She will eat the odd treat but stops after one or two. We've tried baby food, kitten food, wet food, ppl food that she normally begs for. She was given an appetite stimulant and she did eat a little after that but it was short lived.

We currently syringe feed her at night to give her her pain meds. We are at a loss as to how to encourage her to eat a bit more

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1606 Recommendations
If TJ doesn't feel well enough to eat despite all of the things that you have tried to coax her to eat, that may be a sign that her life is not of great quality, as hard as that is to accept, and as sad as that is. All you can do at this point is offer her anything that you think she might like.

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Tiger
Short hair domestic
8 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

No meow, wont eat or drink or come

My cat stopped eating and drinking 2 weeks ago. I took him to the vet who gave him pills for appetite and stomach discomfort. He appeared better and began to eat and drink. Now all of a sudden he's back where he started

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
There are many different causes for the loss of appetite and it is important to determine the underlying cause, without examining Tiger I can only recommend basic supportive and symptomatic treatment which isn’t going to resolve the underlying issue; you should return to your Veterinarian for a thorough examination to see what the underlying cause is. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Bella
dsh
12 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy, anorexia, weight loss

Medication Used

SQ fluids

My kitten is not eating. She is less active, sleeps more, but is playful when awake. My vet did give her SQ fluids and said she is just taking longer to recover from a distemper vaccine she just had. She ate a little A/D but is now not eating again. She has lost almost a pound. I am very concerned about this.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
A lack of appetite and a loss of weight by be due to various different conditions including side effects of some vaccinations, it is important to ensure that Bella is hydrated (fluids are great) and try to encourage eating by hand feeding her or mixing a little smooth wet food with water and syringing it slowly into the mouth drop by drop. Keep monitoring her and return to your Veterinarian if there is no improvement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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