Dry Heaves?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Anonymous, May 24, 2011.

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  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Tom has been dry heaving in the morning...before breffis (obviously) and whilst trying to wake me up. It is NOT as asthma attack as he has those too and I can see the difference...plus some saliva like substance...very little comes out. No hairballs, hardly ever as he is brushed by me as a hobby. :D
    Sooooooo, anyone seen a cat have dry heaves? what would cause such a thing?
  2. underdawg

    underdawg Member

    Sep 25, 2010
    My himalayan had a strange dry type of cough. Nothing came up. It was different than a hairball cough or regular throwing up. I think I heard at one point that cough could have been some heart problem. She died when she was 19 years old so it apparently was not too bad. My OTJ tuxedo has done that cough too.
  3. Jean and Charcoal

    Jean and Charcoal Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Dear Lori,

    In March on the 22nd, this year, I had to let my poor Schooner go. He was starting to get the dry heaves almost every day, and he was like 'choking' and turning his head sideways, and it was so distressing. I took him to the vet's and he checked him out well. He felt nodules on his kidneys, and Schooner did have serious cardiomyopathy. He was losing weight, and didn't seem to be able to eat much. Vet felt at his age, that he most likely had cancer in the intestines or stomach, and I was not putting him through a bunch of testing, since he was such a sad and frightened cat when we would take him to the vet's.

    He said his teeth looked great, and he also had signs of CRF. Schooner was almost 16. Born in my house, so I treasured all the time I had with him.

    Is your boy using the litter box okay? I was afraid of Schooner having a blockage, but the vet did not feel anything irregular in his colon.

    Sometimes I would put a little bit of Cat Laxatone on his paw to try to get him to get something to soothe his throat.

    Just one of those things that might be nothing, but could be anything.

    Hope he gets better fast!
    Jean and Charcoal (GA)
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Thank you Jean for your response.
    I had lymphoma and it presented in my stomach...this was 3 years ago.
    At the time my symptoms were a constant stomach ache when my tummy was empty...thus I always had to eat.
    If I ate the wrong food I would throw it up.

    Naturally I thought of something like this.
    Tom has been hungrier lately. Always wanting food...and strangely, for him, not always hoovering it down. Like tonight at dinner he begged for dinner, at a few bites and just went out. He will no doubt finish his meal...he always does.
    And of course his sugars are lower lately...also a cancer sign. :YMSIGH:

    He has been a bit more hyper and active recently. Have you read my thread on Comm.? About him sewing his oats again.
  5. Karen & Smokey(GA)

    Karen & Smokey(GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Oh Lori....I hate to have to suggest this.

    Smokey did some of these things. He would beg for food then only eat a few

    He started to lose weight. I force fed him for a while and then he started to tremble
    and fight me when I fed him. That's when he got a feeding tube. (At the time,
    we thought it was pancreatitis).

    To cut to the chase...he had cancer in the throat area/esophagus, and it was painful for him
    to swallow.

    Later, he also started the coughing and vomiting.

    I hope it is not throat cancer....but you are looking for possible answers.
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Dear Karen,,,,
    Not eagerly looking for answers ... no. Afraid to do that now.
    He is eatting breffis with gusto right now.
    He is actually much more active in recent days. Is that a sign of anything?
    His sugars are pretty good.
    Occasional wierd yellow out of nowhere.

    Uh Oh....he just walked away from an unfinished plate of food.
    Oh God....he is looking soooo healthy and I did recently notice he looks trimmer which I thought was a good thing.
    Silently praying...not ready for Tom to be sick dear god. Not ready to lose him.

    Thank you Karen, I know we are never ready for anything to happen to our babies.
    Thank you for the heads up.
  7. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I don't want to scare you, but Gabby did this because of factors that caused her stomach to be acidic (early stage renal insufficiency, and later cancer). When it was just the renal insufficiency, she would puke up what looked like spit if she went too long between meals. The vet told me that it was likely stomach acid, and she took pepcid for a few days, switched to low-phos food and we adjusted her feedings so she never went longer than 6 hours without food.

    She was fine for about 1 1/2 years, and then started doing it again. This time it was a fatal stomach tumor. Once again, I adjusted her feedings so they were every 4 hours apart instead of 6, and it took care of the dry heaves until she passed.

    I would recommend taking him to the vet. You'll want to find the cause of the increased stomach acid, which is probably something not as serious but you need to make sure.
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    well, by morning tom has gone 10-11 hours without food.....
    i can remedy that...i think? he eats what ever is down there rather immediatly tho.
  9. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    How old is Tom? If he's a senior you might want to switch to a low phos food to head off renal insufficiency because it's so common in older cats. If it's very early stage, it's not going to show up in a blood test, but there are other indicators like urine dilution. Reduced kidney function can make the stomach more acidic.

    I would try that and not going so long between meals with him. If it were me though I would probably take him in for tests because I am a very nervous person when it comes to any little different thing the cat's doing.
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    No one know's Tom's age for sure..but I'm thinking 15ish.
    which foods are the low phos.
  11. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Yup, I would definitely switch him to something low phos. What are you feeding now? I know of a few low carb/low phos ones because of Gabby and I could probably recommend a few in the same vein of what you're feeding now.
  12. ohbell

    ohbell Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Dearest Lori & Greatness Tomtom...
    I have not run into this problem... Just slappy or Gumpy gettin the 'coughs' for a moment or two and it never last long... I am sooooo wishing that tomtom just has a cold! MANY MANY HAPPY THOUGHTS TO A WONDERFUL YOU!!!!!
  13. wubby379

    wubby379 Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Not to cause alarm and it probably isn't this but before Ali was diagnosed with fip, that was her first symptom was coughing up small bits of saliva then having close mouth coughing similar to an asthma attack but differing slightly. Would monitor your kitty closely. Hope the cough goes awAy so
  14. Lesley & Cheekyface

    Lesley & Cheekyface Member

    May 19, 2011
    I have nothing to offer, Lori, except crossed fingers and best wishes :sad:

    ...but I'm stunned about the possiblity suggested that asking older, early CRF cats to go for long periods without food can make them turn acid and get sick.

    In trying to regulate Cheeky, and having them on diametrically opposed diets now, I've stopped leaving food out for grazing (used to leave a small dish of kibble which was usually untouched actually) and on top of that, they're not getting fed until later.

    If I'm hurting my beloved old man (17.5 and yes, early CRF) by doing this, I'll never forgive myself--would it be wise of me to sneakily feed him earlier than her, down in the bedroom???

  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    First let me clarify...there is no cough. I don't know how that came up...but I never said he coughed. He has had a couple of a.m. dry heaves where he really spazems (heaves) and vomits just white foamy saliva.

    Next, yes he is leaving left overs..I just came home for his pmps. 111 which is nice. Now won't touch his 'midnight snack' I shot him anyway. He always eats. I'm going to stay up with him in case he doesn't eat it and I'll finger feed him that or something else.

    Yet thru all of this he is more 'busy' than usual. I call it busy more than active cuz Tom is a cat who always seems to have a purpose. He is ... busy.
    We are watching Sienfeld now and if he does'nt eat by 11 I break out some finger foods.

    You guys are really scaring me confused_cat
  16. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    The increased stomach acidity isn't something I researched myself, but was told to me by both of my vets (I was double timing it for second opinions for a little while) who saw Gabby when she was diagnosed with renal insufficiency. Increased drinking is also a sign of increased acidity in the stomach, so it's something that is missed in a diabetic cat since that is a symptom of diabetes as well (Gabby wasn't diabetic). It's not something to panic about, as many senior cats have some loss of renal function (and Gabby was fed a dry diet for most of her life which can contribute), but feeding a lower phosphorus food can help stop the loss of function even before diagnosis, so I personally think it's just a good precautionary measure in older cats. Gabby was tested for many things when we found the stomach tumor, and the vet told me that there was no additional loss of function to her kidneys in the 2 years we fed the low phos diet.

    Feeding more frequently definitely solved the problem, and if you have to be sneaky go for it! I just adjusted Bandit's feeding times and portions so he got fed 4, and then 6 times a day whenever Gabby ate. It was impossible for me to feed Gabby and not Bandit because Bandit could not stand thinking he was missing a meal.

    I had no idea about the stomach acid thing until the vet told me, and especially since Cheeky is diabetic and you wouldn't catch the drinking as a symptom, I sure wouldn't beat myself up. If you need any advice on low phos, low carb foods, I still have the list I made of the succesful ones I fed before Gabby's cancer. Of course, after the cancer diagnosis we didn't worry about phosphorus anymore, and focused on high calorie foods.
  17. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Oh, Lori, I don't mean to scare you! Gabby never had a cough, either. I think he probably has a little excess stomach acid and he's fine.
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Julia ya can't help but worry when they do something different that is not healthy.
    So far there are 2 diff. types of cancer. renal failure or fib (what's that?)
  19. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Lori, not renal failure...most likely early stage renal insufficiency which is really, really common in older cats. Like, more than half have some loss of renal function. The problem is, by the time it can be diagnosed at the vet, the cat has already lost at least 50% or more of their kidney function, which is why I think you should switch to a low phos food regardless of what vet tests say. Take a look at this article:http://www.petfoodindustry.com/4111.html As long as the phosphorus levels in food are managed,the cat is fine and can live for many more years with no problem. Gabby likely would have lived to a ripe old age with it considering there was no progression once the phosphorus levels were managed, if not for the cancer. And with the stomach cancer there were other symptoms other than just the dry heaves--she picked at her food at feeding time instead of gobbling it, she would turn her nose up at foods she loved. She looked thinner in her shoulder area, even though her waist remained the same and she didn't drop any weight. She also suddenly had a wet nose all the time.

    Let me know what you're feeding and I can recommend some low phos foods in the same price range.
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    eeeks. tom has in the last few days (not kidding) been picking at his food, normally a gobbler. last night i had to finger feed him an hour after his shot since he showed no interest. this am he woke me a couple hour early and i went to feed him, ate a bite, but apparently that is not what he wanted. i tried to decern what he wanted and then took him back to bed where we both slept another 2 hours.
    now he just grazed over his fresh breffis...still got his shot. amps a very nice 120 on LEVEMIR folks...not a good shot nmber for all insulins ok?

    his foods are as follows:
    fancy feast
    chicken classic
    beef and chicken classic'
    fish and shrimp
    chunky turkey
    nature's variety frozen raw rabbit.

    so how does it stack up Julia?
    and please keep in mind if his symptoms were not coinciding with his lately robust healthy activity level I would be a bit more concerned. kwim? I'm playing the denial and oh it's nothing card. but will adjust diet asap if need be.
    and Hugs, thank you for doing this.
  21. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    None of the low carb Fancy Feasts are low in phosphorus, unfortunately.

    EVO 95% Venison and 95% Beef are both low in phos, and I just discovered if you get the 13.5 oz cans it works out to be cheaper than Fancy Feast. I would recommend these two, because they have no byproducts. The quality of protein is really important as well, because the kidneys work less if the protein source is better. Wellness Turkey is also lower and in this price range with no byproducts.

    These have byproducts so they are not ideal, but if for some reason you can find those three, Friskies Special Diet Turkey & Giblets, Beef & Chicken, and Salmon are all low in Phosphorus and carbs.

    Seafood is very high in Phosphorus, so that gets eliminated (The Friskies Salmon special diet is actually mostly meat and poultry by-products, with very little salmon).

    But Lori, if his eating is off take him in to the vet. Not eating can be a sign of all sorts of things. If he was just having a little dry heaving and his diet was unaffected I would say feed more frequently, switch to a low phos diet and you're all good. But a declining appetite is a vet-worthy symptom.
  22. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Oh Julia...we Hate the vet. Both of us.
    And he is eatting...just takes grazing now instead of gobbling.
    What about how good he seems to feel?
    I will get those foods asap.
    I thought Venison was fatty?
    He's not normally picky...but I get the feeling now he will be.
    And those 13 ounce cans...I don't think I have a prayer with those as he does not like anything out of the fridge once a can has been opened.
    I learned that with wellness in 5.5 ounce cans.
    Loved the first meal, sniffed at the 2nd. :roll:
    Fresh food only mom!
  23. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Also tom seems allergic to plain beef. his eyes water up and cry. that's why he gets beef and chicken mix.
  24. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Venison is fatty...you'll see the Wellness and EVO will be a lot higher in calories so you'll need to reduce the amount of food you feed by a little bit. Does Tom have any history of pancreatitis? If not then the fat shouldn't negatively affect him.

    I don't think they make EVO 95% in 3oz cans (just 5.5 and 13.5), so you might have to do with just wellness. The Chicken and Kitten formulas are lower in phos and in an acceptable range for a kidney kitty, just not quite as low as the EVO. All are higher in calories, too. There's also Merrick's Cowboy Cookout, but that's mostly Beef.

    Raw food tends to be low in Phos, as long as there's no fish. So you always have the option of going fully raw if you can manage it.
  25. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Oh, I completely forgot Nature's Variety Instinct! Those come in 3oz cans, too. All of them are lower in phos.
  26. Sherry & Zoe (GA)

    Sherry & Zoe (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2009
    Hi Lori,

    I just wanted to say - we went thru this with Zoe last week - she had a UTI - that took a week to get identified and the sensitivities test done. Once we started on Clavamox, the nausea, and dry heaves have gone away and her appetite came back. We were at the vets twice in one week and on the phone with her multiple times. I used Cerenia to help with the nausea, which also helped with the dry heaves.

    Good luck to Tom!
  27. Julia & Bandit

    Julia & Bandit Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sherry brings up a very good point...I'm suggesting low phos foods because I think it's a good idea at his age whether KD is a factor or not, but you really need to go to the vet because it could be a number of things. A change in eating habits is a warning sign, whether he's still eating or not.
  28. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I really don't want to go to the vet just yet.
    He did not finish his lunch by the time I got home this afternoon.
    I opened a fresh can and finger fed him..ate most of it.
    Wonder why he eats when I finger feed.
    He is purring, playing, preening and pooping and peeing.
    Please don't make us go to the vetty bean....please.

    you know the 'goin to da vet in da stupit car' rap song?
    I can find it for you if you don't know it.
  29. pamela and tigger

    pamela and tigger Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    That would be my suggestion since Tom seems to know he is a carnivore anyway by catching rodents. ;)

    Also does he have access to grass in his patio area?

    Tigger has the dry heaves occasionally. Always has. He just goes up to the garden and east some grass or catnip and then is fine (he won't eat those little store bought varieties of grass). Sometimes it is just the juice of the grass he wants and he doesn't actually swallow any grass. If he eats the grass he may or may not bring it back up but he always feels better afterwards regardless.

    I am not saying that this can't be a possible medical problem with Tom, but just an added suggestion that might help besides the raw food. See if there is a distributor for Rad Cat or for Feline's Pride in your area.

    putting your cat out to pasture

    Why do cats eat grass?

    Make your own cat grass


    "We have all seen cats eat grass...but why do they do it? Listed below are some suggestions that have been put forward over the years:

    *Cats use grass as a laxative to enable them to pass hairballs lodged in their intestines.
    *Cats eat grass to make them vomit up hairballs.
    *Cats eat grass because they are feeling sick and this makes them vomit, getting rid of poisons.
    *Cats eat grass to relieve inflammation of their throats.
    *Cats eat grass to relieve stomach ache.
    *Cats eat grass to add roughage to their diets.

    In his book, "Cat World" Desmond Morris points out that it is the juices of the grass that cats are interested in. It is known that these juices contain folic acid, a vitamin that is vital to cats as it helps in the production of haemoglobin. For a cat to be deficient in folic acid would stunt its growth and may cause anaemia.

    If you have an indoor cat this could become a problem, if it has no access to a garden you will probably find your cat nibbling at houseplants. You can purchase small trays containing grass seeds, just add some water and within a few days your cat has a lush supply to chew on. Alternatively, I have seen a folic acid supplement that you can add to your cat's food."
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