"Excessive grooming," the young lady brought in a recumbent white cat, female, 13 years. "Not eating for the past 7 days."
The lower body of the cat was stained yellow with urine. This is not normal for any healthy cat. I felt an enlarged lump the size of a kidney or hairball in the anterior abdomen. She was very thin, severely dehydrated as her skin folds stood up but temperature was normal at 38.1C. I gave the cat an enema but no stools were passed. The cat got angry after that.
What was the problem?
"Kidney failure," Dr Daniel told me based on colourless watery urine passed out.
"The owner has agreed to a blood test," I said that the cat needed a drip. "But the cat is very angry and fierce."
"Give Zoletil 50I M," I said. "Take blood from the jugular vein and the drip."
This cat weighed only 2.5 kg. 0.2 ml Zoletil IM sedated the cat fully.
The blood test showed:
urea 46.8 (7.2-10.8), creatinine 532 (71-160), glucose 10.2 (3.9-6), total white cell count 23.8 (5.5 -19.5) but neutrophils was 78% and absolute was 18.56. Platelets were 149 (300-800).
Blood test is important in aiding the diagnosis of kidney failure and satisfying the owners. Practise evidence-based medicine whenever possible, even in ferocious cats where blood taking will never be tolerated. Use safe sedation.
In conclusion, the "excessive grooming" was due to the cat trying to clean her belly of urine. She could not stand and so stained her lower half. After treatment for one day, the cat was standing now and the two ladies were quite happy when they took her home in the evening on Day 2. However the cat needs to be on a special kidney diet.
The owner phoned me back. The cat would only eat dry food. She had pooped one hard stool. "Any hair inside the stool?" I asked.
"No," she said. So the hard abdominal lump could be this hard stool.
"Did you bathe the cat and wash away the urine stain in the lower body?" I asked.
She had bathed his lower part. The cat was eating and had been drinking a lot. Thirst confirmed kidney disease. I advised slowly changing to the dry feline k/d diet which is meant for bad kidneys. So far, there is no vomiting and we hope for the best.