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Sick 14 year old cat.. seeking advice?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I found this forum because I am doing some research into possible conditions my cat has... and it's been really informative so far!

His name is Sammy and he nearly 15 years old. In the past little while, he has been losing weight, but we put it down to aging. His appetite has increased, but there is nothing else wrong with him. He does not vomit or have obvious digestional problems. He does #1's and #2s normally. His temperment is the exact same.. he is not lethargic and is as loving and friendly as ever. He does have some arthritis problems that he takes painkillers for.

Nevertheless, we took him to the vet in August to have some bloodtesting and an exam done to see if there was anything causing it. The blood tests all came back fine (no hyperthyroidism or renal failure) and the vet could not feel any tumors. She told us to keep any eye on him, and bring him back in a few months for weighing.

He had his annual checkup in October. He'd lost a bit more weight. The vet did a thorough exam again and could find nothing. We took him to the vet last week, and he had lost nearly a pound in a month. The vet did more blood tests in the event that something might have changed since August, and still showing nothing.

She said that blood tests do not show cancer in them, and is going to do xrays and probably ultrasounds on him. There is the possibiliy that it could be a benign tumor. There is also a big possibillity that it is some form of cancer, and as hard as it is, I have come to accept that.

I'm wondering if anyone here has had experience with a cat having similar symptoms.. ie weight loss, but nothing else. It seems that if he did have some cancer, from what I've read, he would have other symptoms than just weight loss.

He is getting wonderful care from his vet, but any advice or sharing of similar experiences is appreciated.

Thank you.
post #2 of 12
How is his appetite now? Is it possible he has a higher than normal metabolism and he just isn't getting enough calories? Have you tried feeding a higher calorie food to see if he will maintain weight?
post #3 of 12
I have to ask what is he eating ??? has it changed???
post #4 of 12
The only thought I'd have is that in my past experience with one of my oldsters, his hyperthyroid test came back high normal, but we kept checking it when he had his labs done (we were managing his chronic renal failure), and it kept going up..it was subtle but consistent. We began treating him for hyperthyroidism, which turned out to be a good decision for Patrick.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
His appetite is much higher than it was in his younger years. He used to just eat dry food with a can of wet food in the morning. Now he eats 2-3 cans of fancy feast thru the day, and has a little snack of dry food at night. We did try him on some high calorie wet food from the vets.. he liked it at first, but then decided he didn't want it anymore. The vet said just to keep feeding him on demand as we are.

His thyroid levels are normal.. the vet said she hoped that it was going to be a thyroid problem... chronic renal failure was the other possibility, but no sign of that in his blood work either. I think she's stumped so far.. which is why the xrays are being done this week.
post #6 of 12
One possibility is that the thyroid levels could be within the normal range, but they could by high for your individual kitty. If the vet is stumped, it might be worth trying a low dose of the medication just to see. Also, before doing that, I would suggest having a Free T4 test done. Sometimes it is more sensitive than the regular T4 test in picking up borderline cases.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_shade View Post
One possibility is that the thyroid levels could be within the normal range, but they could by high for your individual kitty. If the vet is stumped, it might be worth trying a low dose of the medication just to see. Also, before doing that, I would suggest having a Free T4 test done. Sometimes it is more sensitive than the regular T4 test in picking up borderline cases.
Thank you...as I mentioned Patrick was "normal" but it really wasn't for an elder cat, since the normal range is really set for an adult cat (something I learned on my crf list)...when his numbers kept creeping up, though still "normal", we knew it was time to treat him (as I chose to use methimazole).
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for these insights.. I will definitely ask my vet if this is a possibility.
post #9 of 12
My friends cat is that age and she has a thyriod condition. I'll be praying for Sammy, hope I got kittys name right
post #10 of 12
I found a link on my favorite crf info site that goes over hypert and senior cats nicely - http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body...oms_and_d.html
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sammy had his xray yesterday. I just want to clarify - he is actually my Grandma's cat.. just easier to explain the situation if I said he was "my" cat.. I play a big part in getting him to his vet appointments and talking to the vet.. it's just easier for Grandma.

The xray showed no tumors or blockages. There was one small spot on his intestine, but he had eaten a lot that day, so the vet said it was more than likely just food. He has really bad arthritis, and we found out that he had broken his leg at some point. My Grandma was pretty upset at hearing this. He was a stray though, so I told her that it must have happened before he came to her place, as we would have absolutely known if there was something wrong with his leg. The vet said the severe arthritis may be the case of his weight loss in his hind legs - that it causes muscle wasting.

When Sammy first came to my Grandma's, he had some asthma problems. We then found out that he had shotgun pellets in him - some awful person acutally SHOT him. The pellets have never bothered him so the vet said to just leave them. We finally found out that there are actually six pellets in him. Crazy. Vet said she checked into the possibility of lead poisioning, but its nothing.

The vet wants him on some high calorie, high protein food. He was on it a few months ago, but decided that he didn't like it. She tried some different cans and so far he likes it.

So this is where we are at.. it's not the "best" news because we still don't know why he's losing weight.. but it's far better than being told he has cancer.

Thank you all for your advice and concern. Much appreciated.
post #12 of 12
Sounds like Sammy is one lucky kitty to have found this loving home...poor guy - shot?!

Thank you for the update, I hope to hear in the future that he's putting on some weight.
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