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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14570
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My cat is 17 years old, she is no longer active. She eats like

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my cat is 17 years old, she is no longer active. She eats like she is starving, almost ravenous, yet she is wasting away, barely weighs 4lbs. and she will no longer use her litterbox, and goes wherever.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.I am sorry to hear that Peanut is getting very thin even with a ravenous appetite and is no longer using her litter box to eliminate.Cats that don't feel well, especially with weight loss are weak and often have their attention focused elsewhere, so their usual fastidious habits are often pushed to the wayside. My hope is by finding out why she is losing weight and getting her treated and strong again we can get her retrained to her box. When we see weight loss with an apparently great appetite we need to worry about disease processes that either don't allow her to digest and/or absorb the food she is taking (such as diabetes, liver disease, primary intestinal or pancreatic disease including cancers) or those that lead to a higher metabolic rate such as hyperthyroidism or cancer. In an older cat the more common diseases we see include hyperthyroidism (a tumor of the thyroid gland that overproduces thyroid hormones) or if she were drinking more and urinating a tremendous amount, diabetes. Sometimes early on with diabetes we only see weight loss. Both diabetes and hyperthyroidism are treatable or at least manageable. Hyperthyroidism is controlled with daily oral medication (Tapazole, also called methimazole) or a very special diet called y/d, both of which must be done for the rest of her life, or treatment with radioactive iodine to selectively kill tumor cells which is usually a one time therapy. There are pros and cons to each therapy which your veterinarian can discuss with you after getting a firm diagnosis. Diabetes is controlled with diet and insulin therapy. It sounds like some testing needs to be done including a complete blood count and biochemistry profile with T-4 checked as well as a urinalysis.If those look relatively normal then it is time to move on to more specialized testing.I recommend checking vitamin B levels (cobamalin and folate) to look for signs of intestinal disease, a test for pancreatic insufficiency called a TLI, and an abdominal ultrasound to look for signs of changes in the walls of the intestines as well as evaluating her organs. She may need an endoscopy to collect biopsies of her intestines if they look abnormal. In the meantime you might try feeding her a higher calorie prescription food called Hills a/d or Iams Maximum Calorie from your veterinarian and make sure she has access to plenty of fresh, clean water. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Peanut. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 months ago.
Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your kitty. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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