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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24357
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My 13 year old female cat has lost interest in her food and

Customer Question

My 13 year old female cat has lost interest in her food and walks away from it not matter what I try. She always has had both wet and dry food. She is still active, playful and social
just not eating. She is indoor/outdoor so I cannot advice as to her elimination but the
little box is staying pristine in the house. I am concerned
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
I am too. While any age cat can be temporarily inappetent, a 13 year old doesn't have the reserve of a much younger cat and is far more likely to suffer an age-related degenerative disorder such as chronic renal insufficiency. Please don't hesitate to have Lil Jo thoroughly examined by her vet who is likely to recommend diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests as well. It's best to fast Lil Jo - which appears not to be problem at this time - for at least 4 hours prior to a blood draw for the most accurate test results. Never restrict water, however. I would be pleased to review the test results for you if you wish.For completeness sake, I'm going to post my complete synopsis of anorexia for you. Not all will apply to Lil Jo, of course, but it will give you an idea of what her vet needs to consider... Anorexia is one of the least specific clinical signs and will not in itself direct the clinical evaluation. Anorexia is purely an indication of underlying disease. For the truly anorexic patient, the causes may be legion. It's vital to differentiate between a patient disinterested in eating and one who experiences difficulty or discomfort while eating. Thereafter, routine laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging complement the history and physical exam for elucidating the cause of anorexia. Here is a synopsis of the differential diagnosis for anorexia: Disinterested in food altogether (true anorexia): systemic disease, infection/inflammation, neoplasia, food aversion Reluctance to eat (pseudoanorexia) Associated with pain/discomfort Painful prehension or mastication, odynophagia (repeated attempts at swallowing) as seen with: retrobulbar abscesses from apical/tooth root abscesses, e.g., intraoral masses/foreign bodies, mandibular fractures/temporomandibular joint disease, masticatory myositis (inflammation of the muscles of chewing), periodontal disease, salivary gland disorders, oropharyngeal dysphagia, esophageal disease (masses, foreign bodies), nasal disease affecting sense of smell. Associated with nausea Gastrointestinal inflammatory disease Ileus (paralysis of the GI tract), delayed gastric emptying, vestibular disease, side effect of medications; many drugs have GI tract side effects. The initial database for pseudoanorexia is a neurologic examination, oral, dental, and cranial examination (sedation or general anesthesia); radiographs of the teeth, mandible, or nasal cavity may be required. Thoracic radiographs and/or endoscopy to evaluate the esophagus and gastroesophageal sphincter for any obstruction (e.g., strictures, masses, foreign bodies) or mobility problems. The initial database for true anorexia involves laboratory testing and imaging as suggested by history and physical exam findings. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
Hi Truff,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin