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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My cat who is about 17 years old is loosing weight even

Customer Question

My cat who is about 17 years old is loosing weight even though I feed him fresh food often and always give him clean water, he is vomiting bile and before just like white foam and then would stop ,but now is getting more services think..can you help me..pls dont have too much money for vet but I will borrow if I have to..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am not set up to make a live call. But, I am happy to answer your question on this thread. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long has he been vomiting and losing weight?

2- How long since the last time he vomited?

3- Any pre existing medical conditions?

4- Is he drinking more than usual?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is loosing weight slowly for few months. Last vomit was this morning, he has no preexisting sickness and he drinks same as always, sometimes he sits next to the water ball.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Friend, vomiting can be caused by either primary disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract or secondary to a systemic disease. The fact that he has been losing weight I suspect the vomiting is likely the result of a systemic disease. You see, common causes for weight loss in an older cat are: Kidney or liver disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes and even cancer. Any of these diseases can make him vomit.

In this case unfortunately we are very limited as to what you can do at home. He definitely needs to be seen by a veterinarian for a hands on examination, blood work and urinalysis as initial screening test to determine which of the above is the underlying cause. If cost is a concern look into your local ASPCA or Shelter where they often offer veterinary services at a lower cost. In the meantime this is what you can do for the vomiting:

1- Do not give things like Pepto Bismol or imodium. Start him on Pepcid AC (famotidine) 10mg 1/4 tablet every 12 hours. You can buy Pepcid AC over the counter in any pharmacy.

2- No food or water for 4-6 hours. Need to give his gastrointestinal tract time to rest.

3- After 4-6 hours offer a small amount of water. Wait half hour, if no vomiting, offer small amount of rice (50%) and boiled boneless chicken or ground beef (50%) 4-6 times a day.

4- Follow up with a veterinarian for a hands on examination.

Please do not forget to rate my answer - I hope you found it to be excellent. If there’s more I can do, please use the reply tab and let me know. It’s my goal to provide you with excellent service." Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How come takes so long to get an answer? ??
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Friend, you submitted your question at 10:29 a.m., I responded with information request at 10:31 a.m. I didn't receive your response until 4:46 p.m. at which point I answer at 4:54 p.m. So, I guess the delay was waiting on your response to my initial questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been giving him pepCid and all the other thing. .sorry but I was expecting more help then what you found on the Internet. .thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you trying to help me
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm sorry to hear that your elderly kitty Rascal has been ill.

I would also second what Dr. Peter said about having Rascal examined by a vet. With an older cat who is ill and losing weight, this could be something serious that should be addressed by a veterinarian in person ASAP.

he most important thing to do now would be to schedule a veterinary visit for your kitty so that the vet can do an physical exam and some senior blood work. Vomiting can be a sign of "whole body" diseases like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, or cancer, so it's important to get her checked out. That frequency of vomiting definitely merits investigation.

Chronic (long standing) vomiting in kitties is a very common complaint. If bloodwork and physical exam findings are all normal, the very first thing that I consider with chronic vomiting kitties is dietary sensitivity. I suggest that vomiting kitties avoid all things fish and seafood - these are common food allergy triggers. Some cats also do better on canned than dry food, as dry foods have been shown in research to contribute to inflammation in the gut and vomiting. Food sensitivities can cause vomiting at any time of the day, not just immediately after eating, because they inflame the whole GI tract for long periods of time - not just right after they eat. My favorite over the counter foods for vomiting kitties are Natural Balance's Limited Ingredient Diets (they have multiple flavors) or Nature's Variety's Instinct diets.

I usually perform both blood work and a broad spectrum deworming (like Profender or a course of fenbendazole) at the first visit with my vomiting kitties and recommend a diet change, followed by a recheck exam in about a month as long as they stay stable. If they aren't doing better at that point, I may recommend a prescription cat food like Royal Canin's Hypoallergenic Select Protein diets to further investigate for dietary sensitivity or suggest an X-ray and/or abdominal ultrasound. If the blood work was all normal, then I'm suspicious that we may have inflammatory bowel disease, which can be tricky to diagnose without biopsies. In a young cat or a cat with severe signs, I do recommend getting intestinal and/or stomach biopsies, and possibly run some tests to check pancreatic function. In an older cat I might discuss a trial of prednisone with the owner. Prednisone treats for IBD and it's usually quite effective, but it is usually a long term maintenance medication and can have some undesirable side effects such as predisposing the kitty to becoming diabetic. The choice on whether or not to begin prednisone is one that is individual to each cat, client, and situation. If they respond well to prednisone but relapse and start vomiting after we wean off the pred, I'll sometimes also consider trying a drug called budesonide. Budesonide is a steroid that is not absorbed as much through the intestinal tract into the blood stream but can have local anti-inflammatory effects and help keep the vomiting under control. Unfortunately, vomiting can also be a sign of cancer, such as GI lymphoma. In those cases they are usually unresponsive to most treatments and continue to get sicker even despite normal blood work and X-rays. Sometimes if there's cancer we can feel a mass in the abdomen with careful palpation, but sometimes not.

I hope that you find this info helpful - please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

~Dr. Sara


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