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Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2736
Experience:  12 years experience as small animal vet, 21 years experience in the animal care field
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cat: My 12 year old male..poop an enormous amount..feces

Resolved Question:

My 12 year old male, neutered cat will not eat much. At first he would eat/drink like he was starving and he would poop an enormous amount of sour smelling feces. Now he barely eats and has lost a severe amount of weight. What is the problem? I have not noticed any worms. He is an outdoor cat.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Vet help replied 8 years ago.
Unfortunately, it sounds like this guy needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away.

The most common causes of increased appetite in cats, especially those that are losing weight, are diabetes mellitus and hyperthyroidism.
In cats, diabetes mellitus occurs as a result of a decreased production of insulin by the pancreas, or a decrease in response to insulin by the cells in the body. This causes an increase in blood sugar levels. Diabetic cats, though they have excess sugar, are receiving signals from the brain that they need to eat more because the cells of the body are not able to utilize the sugar present in the blood stream. These cats tend to have ravenous appetites but don't put on any weight. They will usually also drink and urinate excessively and often suffer from urinary tract infections.

Hyperthyroid cats have a nodule on one of their thyroid glands which causes over-production of thyroid hormone. Since this hormone controls metabolism of the body, all body functions are ramped up. They tend to be ravenous eaters but lose weight. They often will also drink and urinate excessively and may vocalize more and seem more restless, don't settle down. Thyroid disease makes all organs of the body work harder.
Other possible causes of increased appetite include: intestinal parasites (usually you won't see the adult worms and the eggs that are passed in the stool are microscopic), disorders affecting digestion or absorption of nutrients (including intestinal parasites and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency), and certain types of cancer.

If any of these conditions are allowed to go on for an extended period of time, we see the other end of the spectrum- little to no appetite and an animal that is failing.

Your cat definitely needs to be seen by a veterinarian for a thorough physical examination and bloodwork if it's deemed necessary. Both diabetes mellitus and hyperthyroidism are treatable conditions and cats can be managed, quite happily for years, with these diseases. Failure to treat will ultimately prove fatal.

Good luck to you and I hope everything works out ok.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to RGK's Post: Unfortunately, I can not afford to take him to the vet. He does NOT have an appetite as opposed to having an appetite and losing weight. Are you sure it doesn't sound like worms instead of diabetes? Are there any holistic remedies???
Expert:  Vet help replied 8 years ago.
In your post you mentioned that "At first he would eat/drink like he was starving", then his appetite dropped off. As I mentioned above, animals may start out like this and then "If any of these conditions are allowed to go on for an extended period of time, we see the other end of the spectrum- little to no appetite and an animal that is failing."
As stated above, worms are still a possibility but given the signs that he is showing, they are a bit less likely then the other things mentioned.

Since we do not know what is wrong with him, there are no holistic remedies that can be applied. These must be tailored to a specific condition in order to have any chance at being effective. His lack of appetite is being caused by some underlying problem and that needs to be known before any type of herbals or other supplements could be selected.

Short of taking him to a veterinarian, the only thing that you could try at home is to purchase an over- the- counter de-wormer to see if intestinal parasites are the cause of the problem. These de-wormers are readily available at pet stores and even some chain stores, like Wal-Mart. Make sure to select a broad spectrum de-wormer. You want it to include the following medications:
pyrantel pamoate (to treat roundworm and hookworm)
praziquantel (to treat tapeworm)

There are other intestinal parasites that can be an issue, but these require a prescription from a veterinarian.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I would like to give you some more information. He doesn't seem to be in pain, he still wags his tail and is alert, but lethargic. He acts like he wants to eat, i.e. he sniffs it, even licks it, but he doesn't eat it. He is starting to jaundice. His ears, mouth and eyes are slightly yellow. He is not throwing up or acting sick. Does this change your thoughts on what's wrong? Can his liver regenerate itself? Can he come back to being a healthy cat? I have a vet's appointment Monday. As sad as it seems, I am trying not to spend the money I don't have on a vet's bill.
Expert:  Vet help replied 8 years ago.
Unfortunately it seems that your guy has developed a new problem called hepatic lipidosis.
Cats that go for more than a few days without eating are at risk of developing a condition called hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease. Overweight cats are especially vulnerable.
When a cat stops eating, their body begins to mobilize fat stores for energy. Some of this fat is deposited in the liver. If a cat is not taking in any protein, then it does not have the building blocks needed to make the substances that are responsible for getting the triglycerides (fat) out of the liver. The accumulation of fat within the liver leads to swelling of the hepatocytes (liver cells) which in turn causes a back up of bile flow through this organ. The end result is liver failure.

Whatever the initiating cause of his illness, he is now suffering from liver failure. Hepatic lipidosis alone can be difficult to treat. It is vital that he get some nutrition in, whether by force feeding or via esophagostomy tube (surgically placed into the esophagus, bypassing the mouth), or jejunostomy tube (placed in the small intestine).
Intestinal parasites do not cause such severe disease. It is something much more serious like those options mentioned in my initial post (diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cancer, or other underlying disease).

In these economic times, unfortunately many people are in your situation and have difficulty affording more than the essential things. His illness will be costly- they will want to start with a physical exam, blood work, perhaps x-rays or ultrasound in order to determine the underlying problem. Actually treating his issues will obviously run into a good deal more money. If you can borrow from someone, work out a payment plan with your veterinarian, or look into Care Credit (www.carecredit.com), you may be able to get the money that way. If you aren't able to, then I think euthanasia may very well be the kindest option for your boy.     

I'm sorry that you and your boy are going through such a difficult time.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I thank you for all your information. You have been very helpful. I wanted to send you this thanks before I accept.
Expert:  Vet help replied 8 years ago.
I wish the prognosis was better. My best to you both.
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