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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28996
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 13 yr old cat has the runs and is eating a lot and is

Customer Question

My 13 yr old cat has the runs and is eating a lot and is very lethargic
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

When a geriatric cat is "eating a lot" (polyphagic) diabetes mellitus and hyperthyroidism are my two main considerations. Both of these disorders will also cause polydipsia (increased thirst) although this occurs all of the time with diabetes but only 35% of the time with hyperthyroidism. Lethargy isn't common with hyperthyroidism (10% of hyperthyroid cats will become lethargic rather than more active) but is so with advanced diabetes. Diarrhea is nonspecific and can be seen with either disorder or an unrelated disorder. Most important, Junior needs to have his vet perform a thorough physical exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. You'll know within 24 hours why Junior is behaving in this manner and treatment can be initiated promptly. Diabetic cats are insulin-dependent. Hyperthyroid cats are usually treated with oral or transdermal methimazole.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. I have to leave my computer for a few hours but I promise to reply as soon as I return if need be.