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Cat not eating/drinking/or using potty after declaw.?
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An_248984 posted:
I had my cat declawed this last Thursday. The reason we had her declawed is because she kept swatting my mother-in-laws dog in the eye causing infection multiple times. We currently are attending college and live in an apartment which does not allow animals so the in order to keep our cat the declaw had to happen.

After the declaw she stayed at the vets office for two days for recovery. I picked her up Sat. and when I brought her home she ate a couple kibbles of food. Over the last few days she has not eaten, drank, or used the potty that I could tell. I've called my vet multiple times first they said check her paws for infection, well there is none that I can tell. Next they said move the food/water closer. I've done that as well. Nothing is changing. I'm very concerned for my cat. Is there anything I can do or should do? Any help would be very much appreciated.

And for anyone who is thinking about declawing their cat PLEASE DON'T! This has been one of the worst decisions I have every made.
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srstephanie responded:
Hi An_248984,

Sorry to hear about your kitty. Unfortunately, I think many people get mislead by the term "declaw" which sounds like it is a simple removal of a nail. But in reality, it is an amputation ... the equivalent of amputating all your toes and/or fingers at the first knuckle. Plus, a cat is being asked to walk on newly amputated toes, putting weight on painful wounds.

Needless to say, it is an extremely painful procedure. I think my first question would be whether your vet has given you pain medication for your cat. If so, it might need to be increased or a different pain medication given ... and if none has been given, she likely needs some.

It is common for recently declawed cats to not want to use the litterbox ... because the grainy litter is painful to their paws. Most vets suggest using newspaper for litter for a while ... either shredding it or getting some paper litter at a pet store.

If she hasn't eaten or had anything to drink in several days ... that can be very dangerous for a cat. Cats don't handle a lack of food well and it can lead to very serious (life threatening) liver disease called hepatic lipidosis ("fatty liver" disease) particularly if she is overweight at all. Also, if she hasn't been drinking for several days, she is likely dehydrated.

I think your vet should see her so that she can evaluate her overall health, and may want to take a blood test to check liver values, etc. If your vet doesn't want to do that, you may want to get a second opinion at another vet.

She will likely recover okay from the declaw, but she has to eat and drink ... soon! She might need a feeding tube if she continues to refuse food and water. If she is on medication (antibiotics or pain medication) it may be that they are causing some tummy upset or nausea, so that she doesn't want to eat. If your vet feels that might be part of the problem, it would be another reason to change medication.

Try not to beat yourself up over this. You obviously had no idea what the surgery would involve. What is important is to learn from it and do what you can for your cat. You obviously love her and she knows that.

I hope all goes well. If she is still not eating or drinking, you need to have a vet check her. Dehydration and effects of not eating may be her greatest immediate problem ... along with some pain medication if she doesn't have some now. Good luck.

Stephanie in Montreal
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
If you're cat isn't eating well by now, please take her back to your veterinarian for an examination. She's not defecating because she's not eating, but your veterinarian needs to find out why. She may have an infection or may be uncomfortable. And by now she may also be dehydrated, so she needs a look-over.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice
 
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An_248984 replied to Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP's response:
She is back to eating normally now. Thank you both!
 
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Missy1416 responded:
We adopted a 2 year old cat and had her declawed to protect our 15 year old dog. I have had kittens declawed in the past and it was never a problem. However, I found that it was a lot harder on adult cats and felt really bad. However it didn't do much to alter her appetite. She is a fat cat and loves her food. Her litter box was downstairs and I brought it upstairs so she wouldn't have to go down the stairs for awhile. The vet had told me it could take her up to 12 weeks before she got back to normal and it did.

I see the post dates back to 2 months. Hopefully your cat is doing better by now, although not completely healed. Would love to find out.
 
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Missy1416 replied to An_248984's response:
I'm happy to hear that. I posted before I saw the other responses.
 
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HOWEYGIRL responded:
Not that this will make anything better but it infuriated me that your vet. hasn't done anything to help your cat! He should have asked for you to bring the cat back and examine it. The cat should be on pain meds. I just don't think it sounds like this was handled the correct way. Sorry if I'm reading into this too much.
 
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An_248984 replied to HOWEYGIRL's response:
I too was beyond infuriated, and I completely agree with you on all points. We certainly will not be going back to this vet.
 
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ryanenjoe replied to Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP's response:
Do you have any advice for getting a cat to potty after eating and drinking? My cat was hit by a car and has his hind legs bandaged (one splinted for possible fracture at the ankle), but will not potty. He hates the litter box for obvious reasons and he was an in/out cat without one for over a year prior to the incident. I have tried him outside to no avail. Our vet has had no suggestions, so any advice is appreciated! Ryane


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