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Denise Colgrove
Denise Colgrove, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7128
Experience:  Internship and residency at UCD. 47 years experience.
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cat: begun vomiting white foam (no traces..lethargic..weight loss

Resolved Question:

I have a 4yo male cat who has begun vomiting white foam (no traces of food) and very lethargic. Recently discovered weight loss (13lbs to 10lbs in approx 6 mos). Also high calcium but neg. on blood test for cancer.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Denise Colgrove replied 5 years ago.
Hi there,

White foam is likely from the lungs rather than the stomach. Check his gums and see if they are pale or bluish. Does he seem to breathe faster than normal? Let me know and I will get back to you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Gum are pale pink/white in color. Unfortunately, I've never really paid attention to his breathing to know what is normal so not sure about that. He just vomited again and it was quite 'wretchy' (not like hairballs). He is moving very slowly.
Expert:  Denise Colgrove replied 5 years ago.
I am quite worried that he may have a lymphoma some where. In a young cat with hypercalcemia, lymphoma is likely and it may be of his lungs or trachea or pharynx. There are more test that can be run. I do not know what all has been done so far. You would need a chest xray and a CBC and repeat the calcium then do a ionized calcium if it is still elevated, then a PTH test to rule out or in hypercalcemia of malignancy. Now this all gets expensive and time consuming, but he does need the chest xray and a Complete blood count that may tell you if he has lung lesions and if he is anemic. If it is lymphoma, chemotherapy can be done to give him more time with you. Again this entails expense and weekly trips to the vet for an IV and oral meds at home.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

He had potty troubles in December so we visited the vet and found the weight loss and elev calcium. We then did ionized calc test which was still elevated and the PTH which was negative but were told this test only rules in/out about 50% of malignancies. Given what weve already done, we should get chest xray and complete blood work for lesions/anemia, correct? Thanks so much for your help!

Expert:  Denise Colgrove replied 5 years ago.
Yes, that is correct. Hypercalcemia can also cause kidney damage so it definitely needs to be addressed. The cause of the hypercalcemia needs to be found and eliminated if possible and if it is a very high level treatment for it needs to be instituted. This is a very complex condition and you may want referral to a specialist or if there is a vet school in your state to be referred there for diagnosis and treatment if your veterinarian deems that is a good idea.
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