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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16316
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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12 year old. some months ago increased appetite swelled

Customer Question

12 year old. some months ago increased appetite swelled abdomen at first put on weight then started loosing it. last 4 weeks dramatic muscle wasting. I did two sets of blood work, urinalisis and even abdominal ultrasound and x rays and nothing out of the ordinary, the cat is wasting away, brakes my heart to see. now stumbles, and cannot coordinate a jump.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Did the cat have a fall?
Customer: no
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. It might be a fracture. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Jasper
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Jasper?
Customer: Jasper is a completely white cat and has some of the behavioral and other quirks associated with that
JA: OK. Got it. 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 then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

If Jasper has abdominal swelling, what did his vet see distending this on ultrasound? Fluid, a mass, enlarged organs?

Has he had diarrhea?

Does he pass more urine? Is it watery/dilute?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
just food. He did have increased appetite. X rays and ultrasound both. the urine was "reasonably concentrated. Muscle wasting has accelerated in the last three weeks now he is not so steady walking, all skin and bone, still large appetite. One other thing his belly was shaven for the ultrasound this was in April, the fur never grew back on that belly. Curious
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Looks like I lost you.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hi again,

You didn't but I do need a moment to type my thoughts out for you to post in full.

So, I will post shortly,

Dr. B

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Thank you for being patient,

First, I would note that if food in the gut was all that was seen on ultrasound, I am surprised his vet didn’t have you starve him before the scan or do so and then scan again. The reason is because if his guts were distended with all the food he ate, it will block their being able to see any subtle changes with the other organs.

So, it is worth discussing a scan on an empty stomach to make sure nothing has been missed. And I do feel that is quite important since weight loss in elderly cats with great appetite is a major red flag of underlying disease. And given the testing that has been done so far, this situation rings alarm bells of a diffuse tumors or gut thickening one; especially if fluid has been ruled out as a cause of distension and he hasn’t any output losses (ie diarrhea, increased urine protein loss)

Otherwise, its good that bloods have been checked to make sure we can rule out organs issues. And if the urine was concentrated, we’d hope early stage kidney disease can also be ruled out. That said, do make sure that thyroid testing was done, as that isn’t always part of a general blood screen but could certainly cause the signs we are seeing here. As well, do make sure he is up to date on his worming since worms can contribute to the signs we are seeing (even if not the main cause in an adult cat).

As well, just to note, the lack of hair growth isn’t unexpected since it sounds like his body hasn’t even resources to spare to maintain muscle mass. Therefore, this will be a low priority for the body. As well, if he is losing muscle bulk, this will be causing him to be weaker as he walks on top of the lack of nutrition for day to day functions will lead to low energy generally. So, these are side effects of a bigger issue at hand.

Finally, since he is eating well but has weight loss despite this, we need to make sure we are getting in as much nutrition per bite as possible. Therefore, you can consider using a calorie rich diets (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet), kitten food, or use a liquid diet (ie Clinicare, Catsure). As well, there are paste supplements (ie Nutrical) that can also be used. That way we are trying to counter the nutrition and weight loss for him as we work to get to the root of this for Jasper.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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