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Loss of Muscle Mass???? WHY?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So....if you've seen the thread I posted not too long ago about Ashie staying upstairs a lot.....then you have some background on it. Any time we go upstairs, she is rolling around on her back, purring, and wanting to be petted/loved....just like normal.

I took her to the vet today as suggested by everyone here. They did a blood panel on her and the great thing about it is that they do it in-house, so I had the results in a couple of hours.

Everything came back normal! No kidney issues...no thyroid issues....no liver issues....proteins, phosphorus (spelling?) normal.....everything they ran was in normal range.

The only thing the vet told me while we were at his office was that she seems to have lost muscle mass and she *MAY* have a murmur (but he couldn't really tell.....). If I recall correctly, I think he told us that at a visit, as well, within the last few years. And...he didn't hear/see anything with the URI...so I am guessing that she is over that now.

Anyway...what could be causing this muscle mass loss? I just don't get it! And why is she staying upstairs?? She comes down long enough to eat (and she hasn't touched her dry food in a few days....same stuff she's always eaten). I gave her a can of Fancy Feast (she doesn't get it a lot) last night and she at all but maybe a 1/4 of the can within 24 hours. A small can of that stuff isn't enough in 24 hours, is it???

The vet did suggest, though, to maybe try a higher-quality food (she has fur issues, too....oily/flakey) where the first 3-4 ingrediants are meats/water. He suggested Wellness, but I was at Petco tonight and they didn't carry it. A girl I talked to that was working told me Triumph is another very high-quality food like Wellness.

So.....I am looking for thoughts on this muscle-mass loss (she also lost 1 pound since August) and on Triumph for food.

Thanks for all the input, as always!!!!
post #2 of 9
I've just read your other recent threads, since I hadn't seen them before. From everything you've said, my guess would be that she just hasn't been feeling well because of the URI, and so doesn't want to deal with a toddler. My oldest cat prefers to stay in the quietest room of the house now, without kids or dogs running around. It seems natural enough to me.

Also, it sounds like Ashie is in her teens now, if the shelter was right about her age - loss of muscle mass is common in older cats. It's probably a combination of getting older and, with her recent illness, not eating or exercising as much.

Personally, I would put her food and water in a quiet place where she can feel comfortable and safe. Maybe that will encourage her to eat better. A higher quality food with more meat may help her put some weight/muscle back on, too. Something without wheat gluten is probably a good idea too, right now.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
If the vet didn't see/hear any evidence of the URI, do you think that would still cause her issues? I just STILL cannot get this cat to come down.

I took can of food up to her last night...she jumped down..wanted to be loved,etc...just like always...and she ate. To my knowledge, she hasn't been downstairs since yesterday....that means dry food and her water have been left untouched. She has eaten most of the can I gave her.

I don't really have a problem putting her food/water upstairs, BUT I don't want to encourage her to be up there...I want her to get back to herself and if I do that, I don't know if I will see that change.

Could anything else be causing this that WOULDN'T show up in bloodwork or would that pretty much show anything that really would be wrong with her?

Really, I do appreciate any and all input!
post #4 of 9
I don't know what the problem might be, if nothing showed up in the tests. If she were my cat, I would feed her upstairs for now, just to make sure she's eating enough - and then gradually move the feeding station back to the usual place. Or, you might try carrying her downstairs. Maybe she'll stay there with a little encouragement from you.
post #5 of 9
Can you ask the vet what thyroid tests were done? My cat (who has hyperthyroidism) has 2 tests done. I can't get to my records right now, but I believe one is called a T4, and then there is another one... Anyways, when she was on the liquid meds, one came back okay, and the other (more in depth test) came back a little high, and when we switched her to pills, she got more of the meds on a more regular basis, and has gained back a pound now. Good luck- I hope you can figure it out soon . For the meantime, I would let her eat upstairs until you get it sorted out. It may really just be "toddler stress" . It's taken about a year for our cats (all but Smoochie, but she's another story all together ) to readjust from having a baby to having a toddler, but they are adjusting .
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I will call and talk to him again....

But then I started thinking about her joints. She doesn't limp at all, but I remember a few years ago she had a little bit of one and we put her on Cosequin....that stuff did WONDERS for her...so I am wonder if that could be bothering her, as well.

She still jumps up on the chair and bed upstairs, though...so I don't know. It is 330p and she has only had one small can of Triumph since last night.
post #7 of 9
The other test is free T4. When used with the regular T4 test, it can help determine whether your cat does indeed have hyperthyroidism--sometimes T4 will be suppressed by other conditions, such as renal insufficiency, and free T4 will still be elevated. It can be very useful in determining otherwise borderline cases as well.
post #8 of 9
I have no idea what it could be since all the tests came back normal. But my cat, Jake, had severe weight issues. I put him on Innova Evo and he is healthier then ever and up a couple pounds. It's a no grain food so it's mostly meat. You won't get it at Petsmart though. Mostly the better foods like Wellness, Innova, California Natural etc. are sold in the smaller, local mom and pops shops. Innova has a store locator on their web site. I'm sure some of the other true premiums do as well. I only have the Natura link (Innova) because that is what I use. Others may have links to other companies sites.

Innova Natural Pet Foods
post #9 of 9
Yes, the free T4 was what I was trying to think of - I found it this evening (and it came back great this time- yea! for the pills !). I'd ask them about that, just to make sure the thyroid issue is totally ruled out, as Bird's regular T4 came back fine, but she was still as skinny as a rail, but the free T 4 was still elevated before this last test.
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