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RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR

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Message 1 of 11

In Response to RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR by drmartybecker

THanks Dr. Marty- They have started him on Methimazole.  Right now am just in a holding pattern to see if it helps.  THanks for the tip on the radiation, if this turns out to be the problem I will certainly consider that as I understand there can be some rather nasty side effects to the medication.  At this point I kind of felt I was going to lose him anyway if I didn't do something so would worry about side effects later. IF he improves on the medication I will know what we are dealing with and will push of a long term solution (radiation) other than the pills.

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RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR

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In Response to CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR by slee15

While you know I can't diagnose a cat I cannot see, I really would wonder about that thyroid. Hyperthyroidism is not uncommon in older cats, and the symptoms match what you're seeing in your cat. I'd recommend you go back and have another discussion with your veterinarian about this.

While it's possible to treat hyperthyroidism with medication, it's preferred to treat with radiation. Here's an article on the topic from our free online library at PetConnection.com.

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RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR

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In Response to RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR by slee15

Just ¼ teaspoon of ProZyme® All-Natural Food Supplement per cup of food can increase absorption of essential nutrients and may help improve your pet’s overall health.  (It's in a powder form and their latest product is lactose free - check out their website: www.prozymeproducts.com). I add it to the kibble and add water since I also give Nupro Joint.

ProZyme has benefits for animals of all ages, especially older ones and may aid with:

  • Poor Nutrient Absorption
  • Excessive Shedding
  • Dull Haircoat
  • Lack of Energy
  • Skin Problems
  • Weight Issues
  • Stool Eating
  • Flatulence

 

hyperthyroidism will have an increase in appetite that is accompanied with weight loss, sometimes dramatic weight loss. Cats that have hypothyroidism will tend to gain weight even though their food consumption has not increased.

Read more: Signs of Thyroid Problems in Cats | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5077345_signs-thyroid-problems-cats.html#ixzz13IQzaIEf

Make sure the Vet gives you Soloxine, the "gold standard" and not the generic. I wrote about that in my book.  I found out by accident I was getting the generic for 5 years even though they call it Soloxine.  Some meds you can go with the generic, but not for the thyroid. Two Vets said they never had a problem with the generic. I wonder since he had thyroidal carcinoma.  

I would recommend using Michigan State for the lab and ask for an Endocronologist report.(report is free) 

The standard readings aren't considered really reliable - get the Free T4 - it's more definitive.

http://www.animalhealth.msu.edu/

Dr. Jean Dodds is an authority on thyroid problems in dogs:

http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/DODDS-CANINE-AI-THYROID.HTM

I'd like to mention even if the bloodwork looks good, doesn't mean an animal doesn't have cancer.  To be sure, an xray, ultrasound or mri will detect cancer. Perhaps Dr. Becker/Dr. Brunt would like to add  comments.

Hope this info helps get your cat back to good health.

www.whosyourvet.com

 

 

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RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR

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In Response to RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR by runwiththewind

Thanks runwiththewind.  What exactly is ProZyme?  I am not familiar with that one.  I have tried some of this high calorie paste that they are supposed to love and he hates it.  If I give it mixed with feed he wont eat it and if I give it to him straight he is like a dog eating peanut butter trying to spit it out.

I am not going to give him any more vaccinations but so far there are no signs of any kind of injection site tumor and all his lab work and stool tests for worms or blood have been negative.  I suspect that in spite of his "borderline" thyroid tests this may very well be thyroid related so am going to take him back in and insist that we at least try the thyroid medications for a limited time before we do any more expensive testing. I figure if it keeps on at the rate he is going I am going to lose him soon so why not give it a trial. It may help and he probably won't be any worse off than he is now. If it helps we will know that is the problem and if not we will know it is not that and can start looking at other things.

 As a RN I know only too well that contrary to popular belief medicine is not an exact science and you can't just look at someone and tell what is wrong, so I really don't expect my vet to be able to perform some magic ritual and instantly cure him.  Just have to go with what seems most likely and start rulling things out.

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RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR

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In Response to CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR by slee15

ProZyme has benefits for animals of all ages, especially older ones and may aid with:

  • Poor Nutrient Absorption
  • Excessive Shedding
  • Dull Haircoat
  • Lack of Energy
  • Skin Problems
  • Weight Issues
  • Stool Eating
  • Flatulence

http://www.prozymeproducts.com/

I personally would discontinue shots if he's an indoor cat.  Cats can also get cancer.

Hope you find the problem soon.

www.whosyourvet.com

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RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR

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In Response to RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR by drmartybecker

Thank you Dr, Becker and Dr. Brunt>  I will follow up with my vet.

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RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR

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Message 7 of 11

In Response to CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR by slee15

I'm sorry you're going through this. There's definitely something amiss, but getting to the bottom of it isn't always as quick and simple as we'd like. I have lots of thoughts on what it could be, but for the best opinion I got a hold of one of my friends who happens to be one of the top experts on feline care. Dr. Jane Brunt is the former president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, and the current head of Catalyst Council. When it comes to the care of kitties, she's seen just about everything. Here's what Jane had to say:

It sounds like the kitty is not able to process all of the nutrients it’s consuming- how worrisome and you're to be commended on your astute observations and excellent care!  Obviously, whatever is causing the increased appetite and weight loss is progressing, so it warrants following up. This means having the veterinarian perform another thorough physical examination and repeat at least some of the tests. The slightly elevated thyroid value is suspicious, especially with the hair loss now, and there are different kinds of thyroid tests if the screening ones are still inconclusive.  And I always tell owners that just as in people, cats can have more than one problem at the same time. For example, diabetes and hyperthyroidism can occur simultaneously. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (which has many causes) can also have the signs you describe, and IBD can be concurrent with thyroid disease and diabetes as well. Undiagnosed and untreated, IBD can have a nasty habit of becoming intestinal cancer. The good news is that these problems can be managed and even cured, and getting the proper diagnosis early provides the best chance for any cat- particularly with ongoing weight loss with an appetite kitty can’t seem to control. So the answer is see your veterinarian again, or if you’d like a second opinion for a veterinarian with a special interest in cats, you can find a feline veterinarian near you through the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

I hope that helps give you a road map toward a solution.  Please check back with us and let us know how the kitty is doing!

Dr. Marty Becker 

"America's Veterinarian"

 

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RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR

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Message 8 of 11

In Response to RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR by maidenusa4

Thanks for your repy maiden.  I will try the kitten food.

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RE: CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR

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Message 9 of 11

In Response to CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR by slee15

Hi I also have an older cat, she is 18 yo and has been losing weight this year.  As with you the blood tests all were as they should be.  Her ribs and spine can be felt now.  She seems perfectly happy though, seeks affection, and goes where she wants to.  The vet I see recommended that I continue the suppliment of canned cat food which she likes very much and to use the kitten variety as it is more calorie intensive.  I don't know if that will help you any.  I am waiting to see the vets answer to this.

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CAT LOSING WEIGHT AND HAIR

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Dr. Becker,

I have an older cat. We are not sure of his age as he was a mature adult stray when we found him over 10 yrs ago.  He has always been healthy, has been neutered, had all his shots, and been wormed,  but lately has lost a tremendous amount of weight.  He eats like a pig, is still active, and does not appear to be in any pain.  I took him to the vet and they ran a lot of tests and xrays and everything was normal except for a borderline high thyroid.  She felt that it was not high enough to warrent putting him on medication for that and does not think that is the cause of his problems. She just says increase his feedings but he has free access to dry cat food and I am giving him meat, etc. from the table to supplement his dry food. My problem with him has always been trying to keep him from being too fat as he begs continuously and gets to be a butterball if we are not careful.

 I have started giving him some additional canned food which he gobbles down, but he continues to lose weight and now he is beginning to lose hair on his back. He doesn't have fleas or a rash and doesn't scratch.  Do you have any ideas of anything I could do to stop his obvious downhill slide? Or any ideas for increasing his calories to stop his weight loss without causing pancreatitis or some other additional problem.

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