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I am so sorry Dolly is so ill and you are faced with the hardest decision a peet owner has to make.
She may look pathetic but as long as she is eating there is hope.
In a cat her age, my first suspicion in abscessed teeth in the gum giving her pain. The next is acid reflux. Then there is hyperthyroid, dehydration, renal and liver disorders.
There are a few possibilities for these symptoms. I will try to cover everything.
Weight and hair loss is usually related to hyperthyroid. The cats eats great but the excess thyroid hormone burns up all the calories.
The problem is that this disorder can lead to your baby developing diabetes, high blood pressure and other ailments.
We do have excellent meds for this but is is necessary to do a T4 thyroid blood test.Any other thyroid test can be inaccurate.
It can also be related to renal issues especially if there is excess shedding because the hair becomes very dry.
Stress weakens the immune system and can lead to illness.Dental disease also depresses immunity and sends bacteria into the organs.
You are absolutely correct to be concerned, dehydration is very dangerous.Sometimes it is caused by renal issues that begin with UTI's
Not only can infections damage your baby's urinary tract but her immune system as well.
The type of food is VERY important. Hi protein and MEAT puts weight on without unnecessary fillers.But protein is contrainicated if the cat has renal disease.
In addition, UTI's must be treated with an effective broad spectrum antibiotic like Clavamox or clidimycin and for a long enough duration so all bacteria is eradicated. If not, they will refluorish, stronger and more resistant and reinfect her . In addition, the bacteria can become tolerant of the same antibiotic so the medication should be varied for best results.
It is better if she does not eat dry food. Canned will ensure she gets adequate fluid. Cats her age can become dehydrated more easily. A dehydrated cat is not motivated to eat.
She should also be checked for:
http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/uroliths.html http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/fusfaqs.html http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/urethral.html http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/hyperthyroidism.html http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/diabetes.html http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/renal.html
All of these are treatable so try to have her seen tomorow.Then you will be able to make an educated choice re her future,
I hope all will be well so please let me know how she is doing.
Sincerest best wishes,