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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16179
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My beautiful puss - Sammy - is 14 years old. He has lost a

Customer Question

Hello,
My beautiful puss - Sammy - is 14 years old. He has lost a shocking amount of weight, is wobbly on his feet & a 'little' delayed in his reactions. I took him to the Vet a month ago for a check-up and all blood work & examination results came back as him being in the best health possible for a cat of his age. He knows me, is eating & drinking & going to the toilet & enjoys me petting him & having company, as well as alone time. I am very sad to see his body like this.
What do you advise? I'd welcome your insight so I can act according to what he needs.
Thank you
Megan
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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

How long has this been ongoing for Sammy?

Is he eating as well as he used to? Eating more?

Does he appear to drink more or pass more urine? Is his urine watery/dilute?

Any diarrhea?

Did his vet check a general blood profile or did they also check his thyroid levels?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
This is the 3rd time Sammy has lost a lot of weight in the last 9 months - this time is worse. He's eating and drinking water WHEN I TAKE him food & put water ear him but I think he forgets otherwise. The Vet did a general blood profile, including for diabetes. I'm unsure if his thyroid levels were checked. I did tell the vet he was drinking a lot compared to normal. I'm unsure about the urine as he does it outside on the grass.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No diarrhea but he can do HUGE poos!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hello - are you still there?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

Hi again,

I am and am typing out my full reply.

I will post shortly.

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
ok. Thank you :)
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

No worries and thank you for your patience, Megan (as you can see I had quite a bit to type :))

First, if you aren't sure that they checked his thyroid, I would suggest ringing and looking into that. Hyperthyroidism is a very common disease in the elderly cat that can increase thirst/urination and cause significant weight loss and eventually weakness (due to muscle mass loss) in cats. It can be medically managed (with tablets, special diet, etc) or treatments like surgery to remove the thyroid or radioactive iodine treatment, so it is worth making sure this isn't lurking here and addressing it for him sooner rather then later if it is.

Otherwise, if we find they did rule that out, then we'd have to consider more subtle issues. The main ones for a cat with a normal blood profile would be early stage kidney disease (since blood changes aren't seen until there is 75% organ failure), ongoing chronic inflammation/infection, or diffuse cancer (where it is spread through the affected tissue and not necessarily palpable on exam.

With these other potential issues in mind, we would want to consider trying to rule them out. To rule out early stage kidney disease, it can help to test a urine sample. Specific gravity can be checked on any sample you can collect (usually we can get one if we keep them overnight in a carpet less room with an empty litter box. Otherwise, we can have his vet take a sample from his bladder directly for a urine:creatnine ratio. And if the weight loss is related to protein being lost into the urine via the kidneys, there are medications and diets (low protein/sodium/phosphorus) that can slow that for him.

Finally, if the vet's exam and blood findings are all clear, then again a diffuse cancer would be a concern and we could consider ultrasound to help pinpoint that.

Overall, we do have some major concerns for weight loss in elderly kitties even with clear general profile bloods. So, we do need to consider these other issues. As well, in the meantime, we need to work on getting as much nutrition into him as possible. If he isn't seeking the food himself, then we'd want to keep taking it to him. As well, consider offering a calorie rich diet. Examples of this would be Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery or even canned kitten food. As well, there are also liquid diets like Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet or Catsure which could help since he is drinking more. And there are nutrient pastes (ie Nutrical) that could also sneak more into him. All of these are nutrient dense, so a little goes a long way and these could just help get some more calories/fat/protein into him even if we can’t get a huge volume of food in. And that will at least help us slow that weight loss as we work to uncover which more subtle issue is present.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you Dr B. I will follow up with the previous tests taken, tomorrow with our vet & get further done if they're needed. I'll give him kitten food & Nutrical in the meantime and just love him until we find out what's happening.
Thanks again Dr B. He's been such a great puss - he even saved me from a brown snake once! I am so sad to see him this way but I do understand that it may be better to let him rest, rather than keeping him going artificially, for my own selfish needs. Let's hope all will come good :)
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

You are very welcome,

I do think that is the best plan of action to see if we have something we can fight for him or if we are facing something more serious. And that way we can make sure we are doing everything right for him and keeping him from any suffering.

Please take care & best wishes for Sammy,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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