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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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Our cat has a large lump in his neck, which the vet suspected

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Our cat has a large lump in his neck, which the vet suspected was related to a thyroid problem. After various blood tests he has concluded the thyroid is at the top limit of normal, but that calcium is high, possibly indicating tumours. The cat is about 11 years old and has lost a little weight, is very fussy about what he eats and has been vomiting bile for four days. Yesterday he had a good appetite, not so today. The vet is awaiting results from further blood tests (I think leucocyte and erythrocyte count) and has asked for a urine sample. Is there anything else I can check in the meantime? Does the diagnosis sound reasonable? Is there a likely outcome? Thank you.

Hi there,


How long does he have this "lump"?


Were his teeth checked for abscess?


What does he eat?


How long is he vomiting?




Customer: replied 7 years ago.
We hadn't noticed the lump before the vet showed us it, so I don't know how long it has been there.

His teeth were checked and, apart from tartar, they were in good condition.

Vomiting. It starts with him trying to swallow a few times, followed by retching from deep in his gut. It produces a liquid pool, yellowish in colour (not as green as I would expect bile to be). Today there were no remnants of the food he ate the previous night but yesterday it included the undigested chicken he'd eaten within the previous hour. He vomits once, it's over within 20 to 30 seconds and he doesn't vomit again.

Normally he eats one of a variety of popular cat foods in the UK, including 'senior' formulae. He has never drunk very much, but will take a small amount of water or milk, if presented to him. This morning he has no appetite but has taken a tiny amount of water. Yesterday he ate chicken and ham. I don't think he ate anything else although it's difficult to tell as we have another cat and I wasn't around for most of the day so it's fair to assume she had eaten at least some of the food.

Thank you.




I am sorry your boy has this trouble.

The lump may be a swollen lymph node or he could have an infected tooth root that is not visible to the naked eye.

He could be hyperthyroid which IS a treatable disorder.


Here is a link for more information for hyperthyroidism in cats.


I would recommend starting your cat on methimazole for the first month. After 14-21 days, have a urinalysis and bloodwork repeated to check thyroid levels and make sure NO signs of renal failure are developing. (hyperthyroidism can MASK developing kidney disease. If this is the case, when you start treating the thyroid, the kidney function may worsen).


High calcium can related to renal issues or some forms of cancer like lymphoma.

Swallowing is a symptom of nausea.




If he eats dry food that may be the culprit. PLEASE READ:




Lack of fluid in the bowel also leads to vomiting, Ingested hair can also be a factor.Anorexia for any extended time leads to liver damage and causes nausea and vomiting as well.

I would add some canned or baby food for him

Serve the two foods separately - do not mix them - add a half pepsid a/c tablet, crushed up into the wet food one time a day.


Offer him milk or the water from a can of tuna or salmon for hydration.


Cats are attracted to smelly foods - the stronger the better. If he wants tuna, give it to him.You can also try fancy feast, clam juice or baby food.


human baby food in meat flavours (check that there are no onions or garlic in the ingredients) and mix that with warm water and offer that, or syringe it in little bits into your cat's mouth. Beech Nut makes a line of baby food that has nothing but meat (beef, chicken, turkey or veal) in it. Here's a link: If you cannot find this, you could find another meat baby food - just read the label carefully to be sure there are no onions, onion powder, garlic, or garlic powder in it.



If his tummy needs a rest, feed baby food with no onion or garlic for a few days.

If he wont eat, and your cat is not diabetic begin by giving him two droppers (cc size) of unflavored pedialyte every ten minutes for an hour. Next water down(plain water) canned cat food or baby food chicken or turkey with no onion or garlic and give only one dropper every ten minutes for another hour. Wait two hours and repeat both. When he feels hydrated he will lick up the gruel on his own.

Give him droppers of unflavored pedialyte a few times a day to make sure he stays hydrated.Called lectade in the UK and sold in the baby dept of stores.


Please let me know how he is doing. I will always be here for you.

I hope he feels better very soon.

Sincerest best wishes,



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks Terri, that's a lot of useful information to digest!

I don't know if you noticed in my earlier dialogue that, according to the surgeon's blood test result, the cat is not hyperthyroid: his thyroid activity is at the top end of what is accepted to be normal.

Thanks again.


Hi Andy,


Cats that test on the high end of normal often ARE hyperthyroid so you will want to retest every three months.


Weight loss is usually related to hyperthyroid. The cats eats great but the excess thyroid hormone burns up all the calories.

The problem is that this disorder can lead to your baby developing diabetes, high blood pressure and other ailments.

We do have excellent meds for this but is is necessary to do a T4 thyroid blood test.Any other thyroid test can be inaccurate.


He should also be checked for:



In the meantime follow the directions for feeding.


Best wishes for him,




Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks very much Terri for your very detailed response. And because we inexplicably personalise our pets his name is Ken! I'll report back.

Thank you once again.




You are very welcome.


It is my pleasure to help someone as wonderful as you and your sweet boy.


I will always be here for both of you.


Thank you for pressing accept.


Best wishes,


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