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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16537
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Our cat is 20 years old or so. He receives medication for

Customer Question

Our cat is 20 years old or so. He receives medication for hyperthyroidism and has a significant heart murmur. He has been on a downward trend for the last couple of years, getting thinner and thinner, despite having his medication dosage increased by the vet. His last thyroid test was a couple of months ago and that's when his dose was increased.
This week he has gotten progessively weaker, is not eating much, continues to drink, and urinate. He's urinating quite a but and it's strong in odor and dark. His last urination looks somewhat pink tinged.
We know that he is near the end of his life span and we don't want to subject him to any painful procedures. However, we don't want him to die because of neglect either.
Can you give us any input into what he might have going on?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 11 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear that your fellow is getting progressively thinner and weaker, not eating well, and that his urine is dark and odiferous.

Hyperthyroidism will lead to weight loss, but those cats generally continue to have a great appetite. Because his appetite is off too I think he likely has some secondary organ failure.

It's possible his kidneys are failing, and/or that his liver too is failing.

Cats with hyperthyroidism often suffer from secondary effects on the liver. As his metabolism ramped up he may not have been able to eat enough leading to fats being broken down to support his excess calorie needs. The liver is responsible for that and over time can be overwhelmed with fat metabolism and begin to fail. This is a secondary disease condition called hepatic lipidosis. It can be fatal. Increased bile pigments from liver disease can be behind the dark color and foul odor of his urine. Cats with severe liver disease have abnormal clotting ability, so that can explain bleeding in his urinary tract.

Secondary kidney failure and/or a urinary tract infection can also explain a foul odor to his urine and possible pink tinge.

At this point an examination, some simple blood tests and a urinalysis with culture can give you a wealth of information not only on the possible causes of his condition, but whether his disease process is something that can be handled with minimal stress to him or whether he is suffering needlessly. You don't have to do extensive testing, a mini feline geriatric blood panel will hit the needed high lights with a relatively small amount of blood needing to be collected and a urinalysis should be enough.

Right now your fellow is on a starvation path.

I know that your fellow is a well loved friend and I think these results will be extremely helpful in guiding your decisions for him.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 11 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your kitty. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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