IBD Kitty losing tons of weight, dangerously skinny
So my poor kitty Shane was recently diagnosed (not by surgery or biopsy, but with elimination of most other illnesses) with IBD and minor renal issues (nothing serious right now). The vet has suggested that he take Calcitrol to help slow the onset of renal disease, so I am going to be putting him on that soon. He's been losing weight progressively over the past 3-4 years, but it was difficult to tell since it was such a long period of time and the progression was slow. Nothing else was wrong with him except the occasional hairball. I took him to the vet twice and they gave me the typical, "this just happens with elderly cats sometimes." So I thought nothing of it, up until a few months ago when he kept losing tons of weight.
He's still energetic, friendly, chatty, and still plays with toys from time to time. Looking at him, you wouldn't think anything was wrong with him except that you can see his rib cage, feel his spine, and when you pick him up, he is light as a feather. He used to be a healthy 10 lbs his whole life, but he's down to 6.5 lbs now, having lost .5 lb in the past 2 months between vet visits. His appetite increased over the years and he started losing weight, so I supplemented his normal dry food free feed to 2 cans of Fancy Feast/day, thinking that maybe his teeth were sensitive and he didn't eat as much dry food as he should have. Finally, I called a mobile vet to give him the proper care that he deserved, with multiple blood tests and evaluations.
I suspected hyperthyroidism. So I ran blood tests twice (2 months apart) and his thyroid was perfectly normal. After the first vet visit, she put him on aluminum hydroxide to help out his kidneys, and fish oil which I'd put in his wet food feedings 2x a day. Unfortunately, he still lost tons of weight, his full began to clump and fall out more, yet he still acted friendly and was constantly hungry.
Frustrated, I was determined to find out what was wrong with him. Turns out the vet things he has IBD, so she gave me a list of ingredients to avoid, as well as good catfoods to be putting him on. He is only allowed poultry now, and I only feed him the "95% chicken or turkey" foods. He really hates this, so I hide pieces of low sodium deli turkey meat or chicken meat in his food to trick him into eating it. He eats a bit more, but still only consumes about 200 calories/day (not including what free feeding dry food he might eat). I mixed the EVO 95% chicken dry food in with his normal Friskies to try to eliminate the crappy junk food all together, eventually putting him on EVO 100% of the time. I also have occasionally given him the raw poultry diet meat too, but he doesn't seem to eat that unless I sear either side of the food to get the juices flowing.
After my long story... my initial question is... should I feed him the Nutri-Cal high calorie cat supplement gel on TOP of all of the food increase? I've read it works wonders (as well as have had real feedback) on kitties after liver disease, as well as generally picky cats. Is this good to be giving him on top of all the other foods, drugs, and supplements I put him on? Is there absolutely anything else I can do to get him to gain weight? That really is his only symptom at all right now is weight loss, and I'm afraid if he loses anymore weight he could die.
Type of Animal : Cat
Age of Animal : 18 years
Sex of Animal : Male
Breed of Animal : Domestic Short hair
Last date your pet was examined by a vet? : 9/16/2012
City : Seattle
State/Province : WA
Blood Test Results : Elevated BUN, everything else normal
Diagnosis from Vet : Minor kidney problems with IBD
Medications/Supplements Currently Taking: Aluminum Hydroxide
wow....long post, I can tell how concerned you are abt your kitty and trying to find out whats wrong...i first suspected HyperT as well, the Vets did do a free thyroid test (fT4)...I'm sure, and it was all normal?
I'm not sure if the IBD is a correct dx or not? seeing as it was just a process of elimination. does he have problems with diarrhea like most IBD cats do?
I will just say it won't hurt to give him the nutri-cal supplement regardless of his diet....but I will tell you IF he is an IBD cat it would be very beneficial to give him a probiotic..and I will send you a link to the best and most reasonably priced one on the market, its safe for cats and has the most live bacteria. you can also probably purchase it thur a good health food store locally if you have one....just mix a pinch (abt 1/8teas.) in with his food..
I am glad to read you are making the transition to a grain free canned diet. EVO is excellent. And you are using all the tricks to get him to continue to eat as much as he will.
I will send you a site on nutrition and if you click on the Irritable Bowel Disease line under common medical problems, you can do more reading on this as well.
other than that I really don't know what to suggest....except read, read, read and keep asking questions. you can also post this same question to our Medhelp Vet who specializes in kitty's. I'll give you his link too...good luck, and keep us posted ok...
When my IBD kitty lost a lot of weight, I had to give her canned pumpkin (plain and nothing else in it--no spices). The idea was to soothe the gut. I still had to force feed her some of her kibbles, too, though. That was a different cat and before I knew about things like probiotics and the like. Still, after I got something in her she felt a little bit better and started eating on her own. I almost lost her twice before I finally had to put her to sleep at only 9 years old.
I had a crazy neighbor who thought I wasn't feeding my poor cat. I left food down for her all the time, because she was dangerously skinny. Now I have a much healthier cat and I have to be a lot more careful about rationing her food.
Did you discuss prednisolone with your vet? One of my cats has IBD, diagnosed via biopsy. He too stopped eating for 5 days+. His weight got down to 5 pounds. Once he was diagnosed, he started out on 5mg 2x/day for a month then 5mg 1x/day for another month and now he gets 5mg every other day. He will get that dose for life.
The inflammation is what kills your cat's appetite. The prednisolone reduces the inflammation and the appetite returns.
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