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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8941
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My older cat,12 1/2 (indoor only) has always been healthy.

Customer Question

My older cat,12 1/2 (indoor only) has always been healthy. On "Holistic Select" dry food diet for several years along with holistic/organic canned foods twice a day. Few weeks ago there were a few bowel movements done in the living room,first time! Found in am. Litter in laundry room nearby. Then last week had diarrhea, very bad in litter box and also vomitted in living room. Took her to Vet the next day. Exam,complete blood work, hydration treatment(she does drink water,distilled), stool checked. All came back normal, kidneys,bladder, liver, thyroid,glucose level, no parasites! Gave me 2 medications, 1 for diarrhea(a liquid) and a small pill e/o day for nausea also to increase appetite. Has not had loss of appetite, but has lost 3 lbs. in about 2 years. Also pancreatic test was fine. Would a grain free or raw diet be better?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 6 months ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb. I recently came online and see that your question hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can. When presented with an older cat with this particular problem and blood work is normal, then a good number of possible underlying issues have been ruled out but not all of them. Those other possible explanations which I'll list below. Her weight loss could be secondary to aging changes but it might also be connected to her gastrointestinal issues, too.1. Late Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)Unfortunately, it would take a biopsy to diagnose this problem (which many owners are understandably reluctant to have done for an older cat) but diet is often associated with triggering inflammation in the intestines. Changing the diet can often help these patients so I'm glad that you've asked about a possible change for her..Suggested options to consider would be:Feeding grain free may help in some cases but often you have to feed more hypoallergenic diets such as Z/D (from your vet), or Natural Ba***** *****mited Ingredient Diets, Nature's Variety Instincts line, Evo duck or venison, Nature's Variety Frozen Raw Medallions (I recommend that they be zapped in the microwave for 10-15 seconds on each side).Often this is a trial and error process to determine which food works and which the patient will eat.These cats will often need to be treated with drugs such as Metronidazole or Tylosin or even steroids which would have to be prescribed by your vet but some will improve with dietary changes alone along with a probiotic (see below).2. Unfortunately intestinal cancer can cause diarrhea in a cat this age, I am sorry to say. This will be a difficult diagnosis to make without additional testing but the long term prognosis isn't good, unfortunately, as you might expect.But, regardless of what the underlying problem might be, I would start her on a good quality feline probiotic such as Forti Flora if she's not currently on one. This product is often available at local pet/grain stores or can be purchased online. I hope this helps although, again, m profuse apologies for the delayed reply. Deb

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