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Dr. Amanda
Dr. Amanda, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 799
Experience:  Associate Veterinarian
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Earl is my Devon Rex, he's old, but still eats..a lot,

Customer Question

Earl is my Devon Rex, he's old, but still eats..a lot, jumps up on the fridge , hits the dog in the face when she irritates him and is quite a fusser and snuggler. He's been throwing up for years and getting the anti nausea shots almost monthly. I changed
vets about two years ago, he immediately changed his food from the unitary tract to sensitive stomach, said he shouldn't have even been on that for some time and giving those shots were bad, especially so often. He was good for awhile, then barfing again,
changed his food to another sensitive stomach grain free and worked for about six months, then back to barfing, changed it again to another sensitive stomach grain free did well for almost two weeks, barfing again, this time for the first time it's dark and
seems more frequent (I have also elevated his food bowl and made sure to not let him go long between feedings so bile doesn't build up). Not sure what to do now, he seems like he could be around a lot longer, but I don't want him suffering and barf on white
furniture is frustrating!! Also, ran over$700 worth of tests and everything looked normal except for something they'd have to do a surgery to test for and even then they wouldn't be sure if it would result in something that could be treated. That was three
years ago and nothing has changed with him (that was an interim vet I suspect was in it for$$) I'd do anything for the little man ,but I just am not sure what step to take next.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.


My name is***** and I am sorry to hear that Earl has chronic vomiting.

When I see a kitty with chronic vomiting, the first thing that comes to mind is inflammatory bowel disease. This can be related to a food allergy, so I like to start with a hydrolyzed protein diet (vs a limited ingredient diet). There are several on the market you can ask your regular vet about. IBD can also be an immune problem where the immune system is clogging up the intestines with white blood cells leading to maldigestion, diarrhea and weight loss. Another possible cause of weight loss and low appetite would be pancreas problems (either inflammation- pancreatitis or lack of production of digestive enzymes- exocrine pancreas insuffiency). The best way to diagnose this is with a "GI Profile" blood work (both Antech and Idexx have this profile as well as the GI Lab at Texas A&M University). The last cause that comes to mind would be intestinal lymphoma. This can appear very similar to inflammatory bowel disease and biopsies can be needed to differentiate the two diseases.

Abdominal ultrasound is a great next step for your kitty. Your veterinarian can measure the thickness of the intestines as well as look for inflammation around the pancreas. I would ask about the "GI Profile" as this can also aid in the diagnosis of intestinal disease. The last step to consider would be an abdominal exploratory. This is where your veterinarian would anesthetize your cat, open up their abdomen, visually examine all of the organs and collect biopsy samples for analysis. This is the gold-standard for diagnosing IBD vs intestinal lymphoma.

If all of the above tests have already been run, the next question is have you done a "prednisone trial?" This is where we give prednisone to chronic vomiting and diarrhea kitties just to see if there is any response to treatment. This is an older technique that we used to use before the GI profile was available, but I still sometimes try it when there aren't other good answers.

Best regards, ***** ***** this answer helps you.

Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.

Dr. Amanda

Kansas State University,

College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2001

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.


How is Earl this evening? Were you able to talk to your regular vet about my ideas on his chronic vomiting?

Do you have any more questions for me?

If you are satisfied with my assistance, please take a moment to use the stars at the top of the page to rate my answer so that I will be compensated for helping you today. For future questions, you can find me here:

Best regards,

Dr. Amanda