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This is Dr. Christie. I am a licensed veterinarian and would like to try to assist you!
I am sorry to hear Fuzzlebutt has been having a problem!
I can definitely understand how frustrating this is!
It sounds as if your vet has done a winderful job trying to rule out the most common things that could cause the symptoms Fuzzlebutt has been experiencing!
I know your vet did some extensive testing. By chance, did your vet run a TLI test to test the function of Fuzzlebutt's pancreas? If you are unsure, could you check your receipts or call your vet to ask?
A disease that is gaining more light and knowledge on it in cats, is called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). This can cause weight loss (primary presenting complaint) but we can also see diarrhea and or vomiting all while maintaining a good appetite usually.
Treatment involves just supplementing pancreas enzymes (usually powder form) and vitamin B injections over time.
I would discuss this with your vet as I feel this may be what is going on with Fuzzlebutt!
Please let me know if you have any further questions concerning Fuzzlebutt!
I just read up on the disease and think you may be on to something. I don't know if my vet ran the TLI test, but will ask as soon as they open on Monday. One related question (because while you seem to think otherwise, and while it may be nothing, I'm not 100% confident in my vet), I searched Petmeds.com to try and get a handle on the cost of treatment, if he has this disease. Two products came up, Epizyme and PancreVed. The price difference of these products was significant, $145 and $40 (on sale), respectively. Would either one be an acceptable treatment? Thank you.
I just read up on the disease and think you may be on to something. I don't know if my vet ran the TLI test, but will ask as soon as they open on Monday. Hope you will answer quick follow-up question (because I lack total confidence in my vet). I searched Petmeds.com to try and get a handle on the cost of treatment, if he has this disease. Two products came up, Epizyme and PancreVed. The price difference of these products was significant, $145 vs. $40 (on sale), respectively. Are they equivalent, and if not, why? Thank you.
**Sorry for accidental double post.
The Epizyme or Pancrezyme (also on petmeds) would be the product you want, as the PancreVed is more of a vitamin. The good thing is that a 12 oz bottle will last you some time!! This is definitely a disease I would consider. We know alot about this disease in dogs, but are learning more and more in cats as it presents a bit differently than what it does in dogs. In Fuzzlebutt's case, I would definitely consider doing the testing!!
Please let me know if you have any further questions!
If not, and I have been helpful, please remember to rate my answer! :)
Turns out he did NOT have the TLI test. I am bringing him in for testing later this week. Many thanks! I will let you know if it turns out he has EPI.
He goes to vet Saturday (first opportunity work schedule and vet hours permit) for blood draw, thanks for asking. I will probably have results early or middle of next week, will keep you posted.
Just an update...I am still waiting for TLI results, had blood draw last Saturday, today lab told vet results won't be in until 7/8 (I don't like this lab, waited 3 weeks for biopsy results last year [different cat]).
Vet talked me into retesting for thyroid issues and also for food allergies (expensive) and both came back negative. Fuzzy was coincidentally sick when I took him to vet, had fever, and sneezed constantly for next couple of days.
Two days ago he started seeking heat -- sitting in sun (unusual for him), sitting on me, or crawling under blankets -- and also scratching more than usual. Then yesterday I noticed he's actually got a bald spot developing on top of his head (clearly not stress-licking)...vet was so sure it was food allergies I gave him some prednisone, but it didn't make much dif, then those tests came back negative late this afternoon (caveat: he may have pollen allergies).
Given the TLI delay and his fast-deteriorating condition, I asked vet if it would hurt to try him on the Epizyme in the meantime, and he said it would be okay, so I've ordered some and am hoping this works, because otherwise I think I'll have to put the poor guy down before he effectively starves to death...he's under 9 lbs. now. I should have the Epizyme by Tuesday, will keep you posted on effectiveness and TLI tests once received. If this does turn out to be the answer, I will make sure you get a nice bonus.
Dr. Christie -- YOU WERE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ABOUT EPI!!!!!
The tests finally came back, his TLI number was 0.1, ouch. He has been taking food with Epizyme for the past five days, and while he is still very thin, his digestion seems markedly improved (normal!). The first day after using it, he was on the bed next to me the next morning when I woke up, something he hasn't done for months. His hunger is now normal, at least for an animal who's been starved. He's been fighting a respiratory infection, but otherwise showing improvement every day. I am hopeful we caught this in time, and he will live a few more years without discomfort.
I would like to send you a bonus and have no idea how. Please advise.
Many, many thanks,