Force Feed, Appetite Stimulant or Other?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Casey Warner, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Casey Warner

    Casey Warner Member

    Jun 4, 2018
    Brownie has been having issues with not wanting to eat for about one month. The only things blood work shows is high phophorus, creatinine and BUN. She's receiving fluids several times a week. I'm supposed to add a phosphorus binder with her food, but that's often a problem. Sometimes she seems hungry, but won't eat any of the wet food I put out. Other times she just licks at the food. If she eats, it's usually a little. She is however interested in dry food, which is supposed to be off limits. There were a few times I've let her eat it because I wanted her to eat something overnight so her glucose doesn't get too low. Other times I've let her eat it because I was exhausted and just had to give up, temporarily.

    The vet said my choices are to force/syringe feed her or give an appetite stimulant. Any opinions on what I should try? Last time she didn't do well with Cyproheptadine, but the dosage the vet recommended may have been too high.

    Other choices would be trying Pepcid AC or Cerenia, the vet said I could try Slippery Elm Bark but she doesn't know anything about it so she takes no responsibility if I use it. I think Cerenia might be overkill as I see no obvious signs of nausea.

    I'm just not sure what route(s) to go here. I'm concerned I'm not looking at things with a clear and level head anymore. I'm super stressed because I feel like I'm tied to the cat and the house and can't go anywhere or do anything. If I puree one 5.5 oz can of pate wet food and add 3 tbsp. of water so it's smooth, she can only handle 30 ml per feeding. I have trouble getting that whole can in her during a 16 hr period (allowing 8 hrs for sleep) and she's supposed to get 1 1/2 cans per day! That's part of why I'm letting her eat the dry food sometimes.

    Advice? Suggestions? Anything? Please. :(
  2. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    Slippery Elm Bark Powder is very safe to use for cats. The best way to use it is in a slurry then mix it with food. The only thing you need to be aware of is that it can stop the absorption of medication so don't give medications 2 hours either side of the SEB.
    Here is the recipe for the slurry.
    Put half a cup of cold water in a saucepan and add a teaspoon of the SEB powder. Wisk with a fork to dissolve the powder. Bring to the boil slowly stirring with a fork and let simmer gently for two minutes.. cool and put in a container and refrigerate for up to 7 days. Give 5 mls twice a day.
    Make sure the powder you buy is pure with nothing else added.

    I think she could be feeling nauseated. Cats with CRD can feel sick with high phosphorus. I would definitely give cerenia a go and you could also try ondansetron (for nausea) which the vet will have to write a script for and you get from the pharmacy.. it usually comes in a 4 mg wafer and I used to give Sheba 2 mg up to three times a day. It can be given at the same time as cerenia.

    I can't help you with force feeding or appetite stimulants I'm sorry, but there are people here who have done it and used them and should be able to help you.

    Is the dry food a low carb one or a high carb one?
  3. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2017
    You may want to consider something like this: I give it to Willow for several reasons, but I have found that it seems to boost her appetite some. She also gets Zyrtec daily. It was started for allergies but my favorite thing about it has been the increased appetite. Willow does not have the issues you describe, but she is older (past 16 1/2) and making sure she eats enough to keep her weight stable is always of concern to me. Before these things, I was talking to the vet about possibly trying an appetite stimulant, but once I started the Zyrtec then later the Canna-Pet, it was no longer an issue. She eats just fine now. :)

    Cerenia is also wonderful, so if there is any chance she has nausea, it may be worth a try. (It also helps with inflammation.)
  4. Bama Kitty Mom (AL)

    Bama Kitty Mom (AL) Member

    Jul 16, 2018
    Dr. Elsey's CleanProtein Chicken formula dry kibble is low carb if you need to continue adding some dry to her diet to keep her eating. The FAQ's show phosphorous in a dry matter % as 1.08% for the chicken. I don't know if that is still too high as I don't know the recommendations for phosphorous. The salmon dry kibble is a little higher in both carbs and phosphorous so maybe stick with the chicken.
  5. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I would syringe feed if Brownie tolerates it. That way you control how much Brownie eats. I have syringe fed some of my cats in the past for months
  6. Ana & Frosty (GA)

    Ana & Frosty (GA) Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2018
    From my experience with Frosty, it was trial and error. I would probably start with an appetite stimulant (a different one) and try it for a week. We used Entyce, and it did work for Frosty. If that doesn’t work, you could try an anti nausea medicine for 2-3 days.

    I personally would leave syringe feeding as a last resort because a. He’s eating dry food so he’s willing to eat something and 2. I personally felt it would add incredible stress to both me and my cat and would adversely affect our qualify of life that was already very poor due to his illness. He hated taking his medicine and would spit it out and be afraid of me, so I knew syringe feeding wasn’t an option for us. I would rather let Frosty eat dry food (and I did if he wanted it), knowing that it may shorten his life but at least it would preserve some life quality and he wouldn’t go hungry s

    Every cat is different though when it comes to syringe feeding. This is my personal outlook on the matter.

    Hope it helps
  7. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    I would try an anti nausea med, such as Cerenia or ondansetron first before an appy stimulant. You don’t want to give an appy stimulant to a nauseous cat. Plus it could develop food adversions.

    Phosphorus control is key. Any chance he would eat something lower phosphorus than the Friskies or Fancy Feast? I found that just feeding a little food by assist feeding would prime the pump so to speak, and get Neko eating. It wasn’t stressful at all,
  8. JoyBee&Ravan

    JoyBee&Ravan Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018

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