Cat losing weight, not eating or drinking much - what is wrong?
My 11 year old cat isn't eating much and isn't drinking much water. I changed her food around a couple months ago in order to try and save some money, but now all she seems to eat is fancy feast that is fish flavors. She doesn't eat a lot of it, but does eat a little at least twice a day. I have not seen her drink a lot of water (she drinks a little and stands over the bowl for a while). When I did see her drinking the other day, she threw up bial right after.
We took her to the vet to see what was wrong, because we were noticing some weight loss and our other cat was just diagnosed with Diabettes a couple weeks ago. We thought maybe this cat had the same issues. Her exam was fine, no issues. She had full blood work done and everything was normal except one enzyme test for her kidneys but the vet wasn't worried about it. She was a 21 pound cat 2 years ago but now is down to 15 pounds. She has always laid around, but it seems a little extreme lately...almost like she is lethargic. She also seems to walk funny with her back legs, but that may just be to not being stretched out and laying around in one spot all day.
What could be the issue? Our vet said the next step is x-ray/ultrasound at a cost of $350 - 400. We are willing to pay this but I am wonder if there is anything else we can do first.
Any help or or experiences similar would be very helpful. I don't want it to be cancer (obviously) but I need to get this figured out since it tears me up inside everyday.
Could it be Hepatic Lipidosis? If so, is there something at home I can do to start correcting that...or at least start trying to correct it if it is the problem?
If she had hepatic lipidosis it would have shown up in the blood work as elevated liver enzymes and icterus.
The kidney enzyme that was elevated was probably BUN. Elevated BUN is not important unless there is a corresponding elevation of Creatinine, however once kidney enzyme elevation shows up in the blood it means that the kidneys have already lost 75% of their function, and kidney disease is advanced. To check for early kidney disease a urinalysis should be performed and microalbumin in the urine should be checked.
I assume that the bloodwork included a thyroid check? The Apathetic form of hyperthyroid disease can cause the symptoms that you have described. If the thyroid was not checked, please have the vet check for it.
I think that X- Rays and ultrasound of the chest and abdomen may be warranted. The wobbliness you describe could be from degenerative joint disease, which would show up on X-Ray, or it could be from heart disease (thromboembolism), or from a mass in the caudal abdomen, which would show up on ultrasound and/or X-Ray.
Things that you could do at home:
1. Ask the vet for an appetite stimulant such as Cyproheptidine or Mirtazipine.
2. Use an all canned cat food. Use anything you can get her to eat at this point. You can also try feeding human baby food meats.
3. Add a probiotic to her diet, available in powdered form form health food stores.
4. If your cat is not lactose intolerant and does not have inflammatory bowel disease give her milk, if she has problems with milk, leave bowls of dilute clam or tuna juice, or low fat and low salt dilute chicken broth around to replace her water intake.
If these home procedures fail please have the X-Rays and ultrasound performed.
Correction: Her blood work came back normal except for 1 high enzyme level which was either her liver or kidneys. Can't remember which one it was in relation to but the vet was not worried about it.
The Vet prescribed some anti-depression meds that she said had a great side effect for this situation which was it improved the appetite of the cat. I have not filled the prescription (3 pills and I am suppose to give her a half a pill a day), but I plan on starting them tomorrow.
Just an update. I took her to get an ultrasound and the results were not good. It appears there is pancreatic cancer and it has spread to her liver and the cells around those two organs.
We had to put her down 2 days ago. It was a very bad sad day for my entire family. That kind of cancer is very painful in humans and because the quality of life was gone for her (not eating, throwing up a lot, laying in kitty box in order to have enough strength to go to the bathroom), it was a horrible decision to make but it had to be done.
Thanks for the time and effort you put in to try and help me figure this one out. Sometimes, its just time to let go I guess. The thing is, we had so many wonderful memories and now only 1 bad memory and that was her having to leave us. My entire family looks forward to seeing her again in heaven when it is our time.
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