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Quick question about my cat Sylvia. I got her about 1.5

Customer Question
Hello! Quick question about...

Hello! Quick question about my cat Sylvia. I got her about 1.5 years ago from a gentleman that couldn't keep her. She is about 5 years old. She is a normal cat and to my eye is perfectly healthy (normal activity, normal bowel movements, eats well) however she throws up her food (undigested) on a somewhat regular basis. Usually once every few days. Sometimes she fetches without throwing up as well. Since she is normal in every other aspect I haven't been too concerned for now, but I thought I would seek advice before making a vet appointment

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did your cat eat anything unusual?

Nope, she never eats anything besides her dry food, which is an indoor formula. She is uninterested in human food.

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. The Expert will know what to do. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your cat?

She is small for her size (maybe about 7lbs) but other than that acts like a normal healthy cat

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Cat
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
1/7/2018
Cat Vet: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32,206
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Cat Vet: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

I'm sorry to hear of this with Sylvia. You're correct to be concerned. Cats vomiting as Sylvia has been doing are most often diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - an idiopathic (unknown cause) inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which usually responds to a glucocorticoid (steroid) such as prednisolone, the antiinflammatory antibiotic metronidazole, or both. We also need to consider a particularly nasty type of hairball called a trichobezoar, chronic pancreatitis or hepatitis, as well as a food intolerance. Sylvia's vet will want to thoroughly examine her including performing diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. If nothing untoward is found, an abdominal ultrasound is indicated because that imaging modality is particularly sensitive for evaluating the gastrointestinal tract itself. We're mainly interested in seeing if the inflammation associated with IBD or its sequela small cell lymphoma (older cats, usually) is present.

Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Sylvia's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after my patient has been eating the same food for quite some time. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Dr. Salkin,Thanks for the reply! As she has been exhibiting this behavior since I got her (I was told by the gentleman I got her from that she had similar behavior with him) and I have never seen a negative change in behavior, eating habits, or bowel movements in my time with her, my gut is leaning towards a food allergy. Regardless, I will make a vet appointment in the future to confirm. Thank you for your help!Colleen
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Is the prescription good you suggested particularly expensive? I am a student, so my budget options are slightly more limited. Thanks!
Cat Vet: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 month ago

You're quite welcome, Colleen. Both metronidazole and prednisolone are inexpensive drugs. The special food are relatively costly. Because I can't know what you would be charged for these things always ask for a written estimate prior to anything being done! I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32,206
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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