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Hi. Welcome to Just Answer. My name is***** and I've been a veterinarian for 15 years. I'm sorry to hear about Murphy's situation. How long ago did your vet last evaluate him? Did they do blood work looking for hyperthyroidism, diabetes and kidney issues?
Thank you for that information about Murphy. That is good that they checked out the blood work on him there last December. I'll be honest and say that in cat years, a long time has passed since then. It is nearly a year later and things may have changed. When I talk to an owner aboutweight loss in older cats that can also present with vomiting - I'll talk about the following things.1) Hyperthyroidism http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=5162) Diabetes http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=6313) Chronic renal disease (kidney failure)http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&C=&A=2633&SourceID=4) Cancer5) Intestinal parasites6) Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=598The first three diseases I've listed can best be screened for by having your vet perform blood work and a urinalysis on Murphy. Again, the last blood work was from quite awhile ago in cat years. I would recommend re-screening for these. The fourth disease, cancer, can sometimes be suspected on a physical exam if a mass is palpated. Other tests to help screen for cancer include blood work and imaging studies such as radiographs and ultrasound. However, an aspirate or biopsy of suspect tissue is required for a definitive diagnosis. Intestinal parasites can be screened for by having a fecal sample examined by your veterinarian. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is best diagnosed by intestinal biopsy but is sometimes is suspected when the patient is responding to the treatment for the disease.
As far as getting weight back on him, it may be only done if the underlying issue is identified and directly treated. As a blanket approach, good quality cat food on a free choice basis to get as many calories in as possible is all that can really be done.
I'm sorry to hear about your recent loss of your Shiba Enu. It is hard to lose a good friend. Cats can show different signs with kidney issues. A lot of times the early signs are drinking more, urinating more, weight loss, poor appetite, and just seeming run down. This current economy is a tough one and I'm hoping you can get back on your feet in the work place here soon! At this point, the screening for Murphy would be best to see if something is there that can be addressed sooner and hopefully give him the most time / best time with you.