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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4695
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My 13 year old cat went to the local vet due to vomiting in

Customer Question

Customer: my 13 year old cat went to the local vet due to vomiting in the past and now not eating. The vet took radiographs and said there is a gallstone present. He told me it could cost 3-5,000 dollars or more for surgery. I saw nonsurgical treatments listed on the web which were for vitamin K1 IV and vitamin E, but it did not state dosage or length of treatment. My vet did not know about this treatment. Do you know of the protocols for this therapy?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the cat eat anything unusual?
Customer: No just throwing up and not eating and losing weight, lethargic, dying.
JA: OK. The Veterinarian will know what to do. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the cat?
Customer: No, just a 13 year old cat.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 8 months ago.

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 16 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Intermittent vomiting can be consistent with a gall stone in a cat. Surgery is expensive and a tough call, but it is the gold standard for treatment. If you elect not to go that route, then if she was my patient I would recommend do some lab work, if not already done (Hopeful this was- including a complete blood count,chemistry profile, thyroid check and urine check). If her white blood cell count was elevated then I would start antibiotics in case there is bacterial infection in the gall bladder associated with the stone. Ideally, your vet can get a sample of the bile in the gall bladder for a culture and sensitivity to know definitively if there is an infection (done via ultrasound); this is ideally done before starting an antibiotic. Medically, the supplements you mention probably will not help. However, Ursodiol may help to solubilize some biliary stones and will liquefy bile to try help with passage of stones. So, I highly recommend start this medication. It will need to be professionally compounded and given once daily (usually we get this made into a liquid suspension).

As well, if she has any weight loss, then I would also consider running cobalamin and folate blood levels. Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) is easily supplemented as an injection and will help with weight gain. Also, consider beginning treatment with Cerenia for its anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties.

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please let me know if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Why would vitamin k1 not work, and would ursodiol have a chance of rupturing the gall bladder if the stone is too large? What would the proper dosage be for ursodiol per pound of cat? Sites also stated using vitamin e and Sam e.
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 8 months ago.

Vitamin K will not do anything to dissolve the stone or even help with the gall bladder. We use Vitamin K as a treatment in cats with liver failure primarily because the liver is important for producing our blood clotting factors of which Vitamin K is a primary ingredient. So, administering this during that time (live failure) ensures a cat has all the Vitamin K it needs to be able to make appropriate clotting factors, and therefore not have excessive bleeding problems. This is also a vitamin whose dose must be carefully calculated because it is a fat soluble vitamin and therefore can be overdosed which is not good.

I have used ursodiol for years. It is very low on causing any side effects and improve the fluid produced by the gall bladder (the bile) to be more viscous (liquid) and therefore will move out of the gall bladder easier. This is a good thing to help prevent sludging and mucoceles; in your cats case it may help promote movement of the stone out of the gall bladder, if it is a small stone. I would defer to your veterinarian on calculating the dose of ursodiol as there is a range and your vet needs to take into account your pets status and the goal in using the product.

SamE is a wonderful liver supplement but it helps with the liver parenchyma itself, not the gall bladder. It helps prevent scar formation within the liver (not gall bladder). If she has true liver problems then I would advocate this and like the product called Denamarin. Vitamin E cannot hurt but is not a cure for anything in the gall bladder. This is another fat soluble vitamin with the potential to be overdosed and its dose must be carefully calculated by your veterinarian, and if you have a specific product you want to use for this supplementation then you need to show it to your veterinarian so that (s)he can see the concentration and assess its quality.