Back in October of last year, our family’s little tabby cat named Tabby became very lethargic and started upchucking most of her food after she ate and sometimes in between. We ended up taking her to the vet and, two hundred and twenty dollars later, we still didn’t know what was wrong with her. As it turned out, Tabby would make a return trip to the kitty doctor in February.
The Second Trip to the Veterinarian
When we took Tabby back the second time, we explained to the vet that she had started throwing up after eating and then spent most of the day and night just laying around and sleeping. He took an x-ray of her abdomen and couldn’t find anything conclusive just like the time before when another one of the vets did an x-ray back in the fall.
Having felt nothing after a hands-on examination of her belly, he suspected gastritis that he told us isn’t too uncommon in cats. He gave us some bland cat food to take home with us and told us to let her fast overnight and then give her very small amounts of the bland food explaining that food could cause the inflammation in her stomach to go into overdrive if she ate too much.
He also told us it was possible she had a hairball they were much more uncommon during the winter months when cats don’t shed as much but, he gave us a tube of Laxatone, a hairball treatment, just in case.
The Third Trip to the Veterinarian
When Tabby didn’t improve, we took her back on Monday on the third day after the last visit and the vet was shocked at how dehydrated she had become. He had told us on our previous visit that, if she didn’t show improvement, he would recommend exploratory surgery to check for lymphoma or anything else that the x-ray might have missed.
We left Tabby at the vet’s overnight and they prepped her for surgery the next day but, we got the good news that she hadn’t thrown up anymore and was starting to eat more and becoming more active.
We picked Tabby up the next day and took her home.
The Almost Fourth Trip to the Veterinarian
The very next day, Tabby started the cycle of trying to eat and then throwing it back up a short time later. By this time, my wife and I were sure she had some incurable disease and the vet would have to cut her open to see what it was. The vet had told us that cats tolerate the surgery quite well but, we still didn’t want to put her through it.
We decided to bite the bullet and take her back the next day but, almost on cue, she upchucked a substantial hairball. My wife and I were thrilled because we thought our cat’s problems were over. The next day, she started throwing up again and we thought we were facing surgery once again.
That afternoon, I was checking her litter box in the basement when I noticed she made a beeline over to some plants we were keeping inside for the winter. We decided to block her access to the plants and that did the trick. Apparently, she had been eating on the plants to get rid of the hairball but didn’t quit once she got it up.
The Moral of This Cat Story
If you have a cat, check to make sure it isn’t eating on a plant that could turn out to be poisonous, and be sure to employ a preventative hairball treatment recommended by your vet.