Not Eating..? Here’s my thought process! [Part 1]
Prelude: If you’re reading this, your long term memory retention is probably better than mine. It’s likely due to my sparrow like attention span but whatever the reason, it means I simplify things into neat bite-size chunks I like to share with you.
So here’s what is going through my head when you tell me Fidget the dog or cat isn’t eating too well.
- Not eating is pretty vague so I need to find something more specific!
- We can narrow things down with a good history of the problem from you combined with a thorough physical check over. When do this we aren’t just poking around aimlessly, vets really can feel individual intestinal loops, kidneys, liver, bladder!
As I’m writing this I suddenly I have suddenly realised how long I could talk about the 101 things we are looking for, I will call this part 1 and work my way through over a series of posts instead.
One of the most important questions I would ask is how long this is going on for. Cats (overweight ones in particular) are predisposed to something called hepatic lipidosis so if he hasn’t eaten in 3 days I would certainly intervene and bring him into the hospital to get some nutrition in. Dogs are a little more hardy on this front and I would consider the same within 5 days or so.
In the physical check over I would inspect teeth pretty early on, I’m sure any of you can appreciate how difficult it is to eat with any degree of tooth pain permeating through your head. The age of Fidget is a major indicator to possible problems here. We are looking for anything from retained baby (deciduous) teeth, gingivitis to tooth root abscesses.
Staying in the mouth next up would be gum colour - typically a salmon pink colour on the gums and lips. One of the biggest indicators of the liver not functioning perfectly is a yellowing of the gums (or generally mucous membranes). The colour occurs when a chemical normally removed by the liver (bilirubin - a chemical created when your red blood cells breakdown) builds up in the blood stream.
I will be working my way through my thought process over the next week. I hope next time you goto the vet you will feel a little better informed. Any questions please send a message :-)