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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20619
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Losing weight but eating normally. Also, there's no change

Customer Question

Losing weight but eating normally. Also, there's no change in her behavior. Weight loss is from 8 lbs. a year ago to 6 1/2 lbs. now.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Sophie
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Sophie?
Customer: She's had a worm and parasite test on her feces that was negative for anything. Her blood test shows some elevation of calcium but it always has.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she been showing signs?

How old is Sophie?

Any increase in her thirst or the volume of urine she is passing?

Any diarrhea?

Are her gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Sophie is about 5 years old. She's been losing weight for several months but is otherwise normal with a good appetite and actions as always. We've not noticed any increase in thirst nor urination. No diarrhea. Gums are pink. She recently had a complete blood test including thyroid. There's a slight elevation of calcium (which she also had a year ago) and everything else is in the normal range.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

I am quite concerned about Sophie.

Now your history is thorough and it does let us start to rule out some concerns but it does raise some further concerns as well. To start, when we have a cat losing weight over such a space of time, we do have a range of issues to consider. We can divide into 3 categories: (1) conditions that cause weight loss due to decreased nutrition intake (obviously not the case with her good appetite), (2) those due to increased output (again less likely if she isn't having diarrhoea but we cannot rule out loose stools due to a protein losing enteropathy and kidney/urinary based protein loss with her signs), and (3) those internal issues that cause weight loss by siphoning nutrition away from the body (ie worms, metabolic diseases like diabetes, organ issues like liver or kidney, cancer, etc --some of which have been ruled out). So, in her case, we would have to consider whether weight is being lost due to GI losses from loose stools, urinary protein loses or if there is something internal stealing nutrition from the body. And I have to say that if she has had a clean bill of health on all bloods save for calcium, there would be a concern of cancer stealing weight from her since that is what we call a "paraneoplastic syndrome."

In regards ***** ***** to the bottom if her signs, to start if you haven't already, you should consider worming her. Severe worm burdens can cause GI upset, loose stools, increased appetite, and weight loss. Now there are a range of worming products available over the counter but you want to use a good quality wormer. In this situation, it would be ideal for you to treat her with Drontal, Panacur, or Milbemax as they will cover all the worms in question. Do make sure to have an idea of her weight before purchase wormer to make sure you get the correct dose for her size.

Further to worming, it would be ideal to have her rechecked by her vet and consider an ultrasound. This is a very good non-invasive way to see into the body and check for diffuse tumors that could be triggering her weight loss with little other signs. And until you do so, you can try feeding a calorie rich diet like kitten food, Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise and could counter her weight loss.

Overall, in situations like this we can see weight loss despite a great appetite due to a range of issues. With your history, nutrition input issues and diarrhea would be less likely here. Therefore our top concerns for her weight loss would be those aforementioned internal conditions that siphon nutrition and potential protein loss via the urine or feces. Therefore, in this case, it would be ideal to at least have scan at this point and increase her nutrient intake at this stage. That way you can address this early and help keep her from wasting away before your eyes.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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