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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26827
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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I have a rather large tabby cat who is also polydactyl. He

Customer Question

I have a rather large tabby cat who is also polydactyl. He is only 4 years old....in the past few months he has lost quite a bit of weight but his stomach is quite swollen so it was hard to tell at first. He is also losing muscle mass because I notice his spine is quite bony. The vet has said 'maybe' he has a pancreatic disorder. At first he gave him lasix then prednazone. Seemed to help some for a week or so but what little the stomach did go down, it began to go back up. Then the vet gave him pancrezyme pills. My cat will not eat anything with these in it. Also, they are so large that we have to break them into 4 pieces to use the pill popper and since he said 2 pills, that's eight pieces to be forced down his throat & he's not feeling well to start with. This medication seemed to have made him lose his appetite and he didn't have much before. Does this sound like a pancreatic problem? In other words, what do you think it could be & should I change vets? THANKS SO MUCH....This cat is my 'child!'
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, for almost the same length of time....his right eye has been full of fluid, just as his stomach. He was given eyedrops, eyes do look better.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. To answer you directly, yes, you need to find a vet who knows how to "work up" such a patient; in other words, perform the correct diagnostics in order to clarify what's going on with your large tabby cat. Such a swollen abdomen is likely to be effusive - full of fluid - and that occurs for a number of reasons - infection such as from the FIP virus, inflammation such as from cancers, right-sided heart failure, and hypoproteinemia (lack of protein in the blood) caused by a poorly functioning liver or kidneys. (A pancreatic cancer is possible but that wouldn't respond to Pancreazyme pills. Lasix isn't indicated unless heart disease is confirmed. Prednisone isn't indicated unless needed for palliative reduction in inflammation. The "right eye ...full of fluid" isn't clear to me.)

A diagnostic panel of blood and urine tests and analyzing a small amount of fluid needle aspirated from the abdomen are the initial tests of choice. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. I regret that I'm not allowed to communicate with customers by phone.