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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28461
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Older DSH male cat - 15 plus years - indoor only - has had

Customer Question

Older DSH male cat - 15 plus years - indoor only - has had hairball problems in the past - now vomiting dehydration and weight loss - high BUN just over the top of normal range - high normal white blood cell count - other blood numbers normal - Regular x-ray shows normal and no masses or swelling felt in abdomen. We have done 3 courses of subcu fluid - temporary improvement - overall getting worse - vet thinks terminal kidney failure - looking at euthanasia - Questions what are the odds this is caused by intestinal blockage? Should cat be stressed by barium X-ray ? Can intestinal blockage can make identical systems to kidney failure? Is there a way to tell the difference?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Can you upload a copy of all of Christie's test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy of the results at home but his vet should be able to give you one which you could scan into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see such an icon) or by using an external app such as or I not only review the test results but also note which tests should have been performed but weren't. To answer you directly, the hallmarks of intestinal obstruction are persistent vomiting and anorexia. There's often a history of foreign body ingestion. X-rays and palpation of the abdomen appear to have ruled out such an obstruction; however, ultrasounding of the abdomen is a more sensitive imaging modality and can be performed on Christie for confirmation. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
cat has appointment at 2 today - can't do ultrasound anywhere around here - what test should I ask for? want clear answer - could this 50/50 be gastric obstruction or is it for sure kidney? is barium xray definitive?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Please ask for Christie's BUN, creatinine, serum phosphorus and calcium, hematocrit (HCT or PCV), and complete urinalysis results. I can't rule out an intestinal obstruction from here. I can only tell you that X-rays and palpation of his abdomen appear to have ruled out an obstruction. A set of barium X-rays can substitute for an ultrasound and should reveal such an obstruction. No, those X-rays wouldn't be considered definitive, however, due to differences in technique and evaluation between practitioners.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK - I will get test results to you - thanks
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I appreciate it. I'll watch for your next post.