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Pretty positive she has hyperthyroidism, she also has acne…

Pretty positive she has...

Pretty positive she has hyperthyroidism, she also has acne even though she uses glass dishes, she also has a red spot on her gum above her canine tooth. She still eating, it isn't bleeding

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the cat's name and age?

Lorelei. We were told she was born in Sept of 2015 but with her recent health issues she might be older. We got her from some people that took her in as a stray.

Veterinarian's Assistant: How old is Lorelei?

Well we thought 3 but she seems older with all these illnesses

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Lorelei?

She lost 2 pounds last week. In June she was 10 pounds. Now she's 4.5 pounds. Constantly hungry, very little sleep

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/18/2018
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,146
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

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.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago

HHer fur is also very unkempt, dull, yet greasy. All of this started when we had a flea infestation. They got her really bad and she started losing fur, and her other symptoms like essesive hunger, lack of sleep, etc started

I am sorry to hear that Lorelei is getting very thin even with a good appetite, has an inflamed area on her gum above her upper canine tooth, and has acne.

Cats of all ages can have inflammatory gum disease, we see some cats as young 6 months to a year with that. It is also possible that she had some sort of trauma to that tooth before she came to you which affected the root and she is developing an abscessed root now.

Likewise acne can occur at any age and isn't always due to a plastic contact allergy. Although this is more of a cosmetic thing in most cats they can get deep secondary infections so I do recommend treatment. Amazingly enough it doesn't appear to be painful to most cats.

I generally recommend you start with topical treatment for acne.

Cleaning the affected area with Phisohex or Hibiclens once or twice daily and keeping the chin clean and dry is helpful. Phisohex is an over the counter facial cleanser used as an acne wash for people. Hibiclens is an antibacterial cleaner used to ready skin and clear bacteria before or after surgery.
Phisohex flushes out the pores/hair follicles so is very helpful with feline acne too. Just don't get it in the mouth as it can cause drooling and stomach upset.
I usually put a dab of either one on a wet cotton ball or gauze square and clean the affected areas.

Pay attention to the flavors of foods she's eating as some cats with food allergies/sensitivities will get acne with a particular protein, for example fish. If that's the case avoid that protein. Her weight loss may be related to food allergies too, and I will address that later in my write up.

If this condition becomes very inflamed I will use cortisone to try and get things back to normal and sometimes oral antibiotics, but most of the time topical therapy is enough.
If it is getting severe I recommend looking for food allergies or other allergies as a reason for the flare.
I'd have to say food allergies are probably the most common trigger. It can also be a sign of a flare up of demodex mites (which tend to worsen with a suppressed immune system) so it can be a sign that internal health isn't perfect.

Fungal infections very rarely cause this condition so it wouldn't be something that I would look for immediately.

If her acne doesn't clear with topical therapy, using metal or glass bowls and careful dietary control then antibiotics and a skin scraping may be necessary.

When we see weight loss with an apparently normal or increased appetite we need to worry about disease processes that either don't allow her to digest and/or absorb the food she is taking (such as diabetes, liver disease, primary intestinal or pancreatic disease including cancers) or those that lead to a higher metabolic rate such as hyperthyroidism or cancer.

In an older cat the more common diseases we see include hyperthyroidism (a tumor of the thyroid gland that overproduces thyroid hormones) or if she were drinking more and urinating a tremendous amount, diabetes. Sometimes early on with diabetes we only see weight loss.

Both diabetes and hyperthyroidism are treatable or at least manageable.

Hyperthyroidism is controlled with daily oral medication (Tapazole, also called methimazole) or a very special diet called y/d both of which must be done for the rest of his life or treatment with radioactive iodine to selectively kill tumor cells which is usually a one time therapy. There are pros and cons to each therapy which your veterinarian can discuss with you after getting a firm diagnosis.

Diabetes is controlled with diet and insulin therapy.

It sounds like some testing should be done including a complete blood count and biochemistry profile with T-4 checked as well as a urinalysis. If that is not diagnostic then it is time to move on to more specialized testing. I recommend checking vitamin B levels to look for signs of intestinal disease, a test for pancreatic insufficiency called a TLI, and an abdominal ultrasound to look for signs of changes in the walls of the intestines as well as evaluating her organs. She may need an endoscopy to collect biopsies of her intestines if they look abnormal

Since she has evidence of dental disease then she may need some radiographs of her mouth and tooth roots.

In the meantime you might try feeding her a higher calorie prescription food called Hills a/d or Iams Maximum Calorie from your veterinarian and make sure she has access to plenty of fresh, clean water.

It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope that I have earned my 5 star rating. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). You are welcome to ask follow up questions about my response here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,146
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified
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Cats that are sick enough to lose weight often have poor skin and coat condition. There are no extra energy/proteins resources available for non essential parts of the body. Any nutrition that does get digested and absorbed is used to keep the brain and heart as healthy as possible.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago

Can I submit a picture of some what I hope is wax from her ear?

Yes, you are welcome to do so. But really excess ear wax is produced due to inflammation/irritation and can look the same when caused by many different things. It can be helpful to put the wax on a slide, stain it and look at under the microscope to check for bacteria, mites or fungal spores. But just looking at the wax itself is not very beneficial.

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Hi Liz,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
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