How long has he been doing this? How long after eating does he vomit and is it after every meal?
He throws up after every meal for a couple of days, then nothing for several days, then again for a couple of days. We used to think it was because of him eating too much too fast, then we worried it was because of moving too much, but we have been at the same place for a while now and he just started doing this about a month ago.
Dr. Steve :
Thanks for the information. There can be several possible reasons for this problem. One could be hairballs. Even though he may not bring hairballs up in the vomit, he could have hairballs in the intestines that slow the transit of food out of the stomach and can cause vomiting after eating. Feeding him laxatone or petromalt 2-3 times a day for 2-3 days should help remove any hairballs and if that stops the vomiting, then it was probably the problem.
Another possibility is that as he has aged, his intestinal tract and stomach may have become more sensitive and more easily irritated. In this case, feeding a food designed for sensitive stomachs may help him tolerate the food and more easily digest it, which usually reduces the problem of vomiting. I have had good results with Hills sensitive stomach or Hills i/d. It may take a few weeks of feeding these foods to see results.
Vomiting is not usually a classical symptom seen with dental problems so I agree that this is not likely to be the problem. Another thing I see in older cats is development of liver or kidney disease which can cause intermittent vomiting. This can be diagnosed by a blood test from your vet.
When I see a case like this, I typically try the laxatone first, the food next and if these don't help then the blood tests. If he becomes lethargic, stops eating or develops other symptoms, then the blood tests may need to be done soon to see if there is internal organ (liver/kidney) disease present. Another thing you could try is feeding the sensitive stomach food in very small amounts every 2-3 hours to see if that makes a difference. Try feeding 1/8 of a cup or less every 2-3 hours.
He is still very active, and is certainly not losing any weight, so hopefully that will make it stop. He never does cough up any hairballs.
Dr. Steve :
As some cats age they can develop a slower motility through the intestinal tract and the combination of very small meals and easily digested food can help . Since he is active and alert , this may be all that he needs and would certainly be worth trying. Again it may take a week or 2 to see results from these suggestions.
Your advice has been great. I do have one more question. We have been giving him a hairball control food. Which, like I said, hasn't made him cough up hairballs but can these foods keep portions of the hairballs in his system? We have been feeding him Iams.
Dr. Steve :
I have had some cats with hairballs that need something a little stronger than hairball food. It seems that the ingredients in hairball removal foods is enough to possibly prevent hairballs, but not enough to remove hairballs that are already present. The laxatone or petromalt usually does a better job at removing hairballs. The only reason I mention these is that it is easy to address hairballs and shouldn't hurt anything even if there are no hairballs.
Thank you oh so much. We will definitely start with changing to a sensitive food diet and giving him the petromalt. Is there a way to contact you back to let you know his progress?
Dr. Steve :
Yes this question should be open and available for several weeks for updates.