I am writing to ask you about a health problem I have been experiencing ever since I slipped outside and decided to explore my neighborhood. Normally I stay indoors, but just couldn’t resist the temptation. I was investigating my neighbors’ shed when suddenly the door slammed shut and I was locked in. Despite my attempts to tell them that I was in there, nobody heard me. Over the years I have become a bit on the pudgy side (16 lbs.), so I figured that I’d be ok if I missed a meal or two since I had some extra weight to tide me over. As it turns out, I was stuck in the shed for almost a week. A mouse or two ran by me, but I wasn’t quick enough to catch one, despite being extremely hungry at first. Finally my neighbor found me in the shed and returned me to my home. By that time I was feeling pretty weak. I thought I would want to gorge on food when I got home, but for some reason, the mere thought of food has been nauseating to me, and I just don’t want to eat, no matter how many tempting things my family offers me. I don’t even feel like drinking water! This doesn’t make sense to me because the first day or two of my captivity, I couldn’t think of anything else but finding some food and water. I have lost a lot of weight, but I didn’t want to do it this way. Help!
The Cat Formerly Known As…Pleasantly Plump in Bessemer
Dear Thin Man:
You need to get to your vet as soon as possible! I am afraid you may have a condition called hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver syndrome. This occurs to cats that tend to be overweight, but for some reason stop eating for several days or more. Has anyone noticed that your skin or the whites of your eyes are yellow-tinged? This is a tip-off to this condition. Dogs don’t seem to get this; cats tend to mobilize their fat stores differently than dogs do, and the fat that is broken down is deposited in the liver, causing the liver to function less efficiently. The longer this condition persists, the harder it can be to recover your health. You desperately need calories, and sometimes it is necessary to put a feeding tube in your esophagus or stomach to correct your nutritional deficiencies until you feel like eating again. You may also need anti-nausea agents, medications that help your stomach empty better after feeding, B12 injections, and sometimes antibiotics. Once you begin eating well on your own for a few days, the feeding tube can be removed. Please do not wait; you need treatment as soon as possible!
Health and Happiness,