Cat projectile vomiting with no diagnosis after many tests
My cat started violently projectile vomiting about 6 months ago. In the 1st month, she vomited about every 2 weeks. I thought it might be a bug but in the 2nd month the frequency grew to once a week, she had lost weight despite a normal appetite and she became increasingly lethargic, so on 10/2/2009 I took her into her regular vet. They performed xrays and did blood-work and everything was normal. Her weight has always averaged between 9.5 and 10.5 pounds. When I took her in on 10/2/2009 she weighed 8.31 pounds. They performed an enema, gave her fluids subcutaneously and sent her home w/pain meds and said to watch her. Over the course of the next 2 weeks, her vomiting continued and grew in frequency to every 5-7 days. I took her to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Clinic on 10/13/2009. Her weight that day was down to 8 pounds. They performed more xrays and blood work, took samples of her liver and lymph node and did an abdominal ultrasound. Everything was inconclusive. We tried treating her for IBD with prednisolone for 3 weeks and there was no improvement. Her vomiting is now a bit sporadic where she may vomit 2 days in a row or she may make it a week without vomiting. She vomits at least once a week though. She has always been a VERY vocal and active cat. Around November she got her spark back and has been the same vocal and active cat that she always has been, has a normal appetite, normal everything; the only thing abnormal is the projectile vomiting. The U of MN said the only thing left to do was either an endoscopy (which they don't feel would get far enough down her intestine to get anything conclusive) or a full thickness surgical biopsy - which I won't put her through. There have to be SOME other possibilities in diagnosing / treating this. I'm at a loss and seeking as many professional opinions as I can.
Endoscopy is fairly non-invasive, and can certainly give good information about the stomach and esophagus, such as presence of ulcers or tumors. However prior to endoscopy, it would be worth trial treating your cat for stomach worms such as Ollanulus tricuspis and Physaloptera (dewormers), trial treating for stomach Helicobacter bacterial infection/ulceration (antibiotics/antacids), +/- trying a hypoallergenic diet trial for possible food allergy. You can talk frankly to your veterinarians at the University of Minnesota about your concerns, and ask to try these medications.
Kimberly Coyner, DVM DACVD
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