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I'm worried! Any opinions?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I've been lurking around here for a few years and always hoped I'd never have to post a question in this section, but I'm worried about one of my two cats. She's 9, always has been in good health (thank god) and gets taken to the vet regularly. She has always been a small cat, but for the past couple of months she has been losing a lot of weight. She is always starving though and eats everything in sight. I'm feeding her the same amount I always have (recommended by her vet) but suddenly it's not enough for her. She still seems hungry after eating and my husband and I can't eat our food without her begging us for it and we can't leave food unattended, she will eat it. She was never like this before. She eats and eats and just keeps losing weight. Also, she is SO thirsty. I fill her (large!) water bowl everyday now, she's obsessed with it.

I've been getting more and more worried about her but today it hit me when I had a bunch of friends over and they were all like "Oh my god, what happened to Cammie?" "Why is Cammie so thin?" and "She feels so frail!". It scared me and then I noticed she doesn't have that light or twinkle in her eye that she usually does. Now I'm freaking out and it's a Saturday night so I need to wait until Mon. a.m. to call her vet (and I will!). I was just looking for something to ease my fear . . does this sound like something any of you have experienced? What does this sound like to you? Any opinions would be welcome, she's my baby! THANKYOU in advance!
post #2 of 27
It sounds like a thyroid problem or diabetes to me.
I am glad you are going to the vet because it can be alot of things.
Cats with kidney problems drink alot of water also but they do not eat like that.
I have a crf cat.
post #3 of 27
Ask the vet to do a senior panel and make sure it includes a thyroid check
post #4 of 27
Hi there,

9 yrs old is getting to be a senior kitty :-) Although I'm surely not diagnosing, what you're describing sounds similar to the symptoms of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) - pretty common in senior kitties: voracious appetite though weight loss, increased thirst.

Diabetes and kidney disease can also cause increased thirst (and therefore peeing) and weight loss, but with these you generally don't see the increased appetite, with those you usually see a fair decrease.

I'd encourage you to get kitty into the Vet early this week. Basic bloodwork can check for these things. Ensure you confirm that the bloodtest confirms a check of kitty's thyroid function (I only say this because I've been to a Vet who doesn't automatically include this in a senior panel of bloodwork, though most do but best not to assume). They should collect a urine sample, too.

Treatment for Hyperthyroidism is either medication (Tapazole - though it can be hard on the liver over time and some cats have side effects (vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite. The pill has to be given daily, it's rather inexpensive)....surgery to remove the thyroid gland......or more commonly Radioactive Iodine Therapy...........it's costly and kitty has to be hospitalized but it almost always provides a total cure!

Here's some great links for you, about this condition:

http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/hyperthyroidism.html

This one is excellent, and goes into great detail about the above (3) treatment options, really awesome site...also good details about what HyperT (that's how it's often referred to) is, the symptoms, the bloodtests done to diagnose (T3, T4):

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/thyroid.html

Here's a page that contains a lot of links related to various types of thyroid disease in cats..........you'll see lots on HYPERthyroidism:

http://www.hoosierkitties.com/medical/thyroid.htm

If this is what your vet determines kitty has, once treated with either meds or the radioactive iodine, you'll notice kitty feeling so much better, putting on weight, back to normal self ;-)
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
You know, I had a friend mention to me today that it sounds like a thyroid problem. So if that's it there is medication that can help her? I just want to make her my happy kitty again! THANKYOU SO MUCH for getting back to me so fast!
post #6 of 27
Does she meow alot?
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandy1178 View Post
You know, I had a friend mention to me today that it sounds like a thyroid problem. So if that's it there is medication that can help her? I just want to make her my happy kitty again! THANKYOU SO MUCH for getting back to me so fast!
Hi, yes - there is a medication........scroll up to read my response to you. Lots of info there regarding treatment options which includes the medication....though in all honesty, it's not the #1 treatment of choice because there are side effects, it can be hard on a cat's liver and it's not a cure.................the Radioactive Iodine treatment, however, is almost always a total cure. Read the links I provided up above.
post #8 of 27
I'd call the vet's office, explain the symptoms, and get the earliest appointment you possibly can (they may need a fasting blood test, so check on that). But, if it's either diabetes or thyroid problems, there are treatments that can be very effective. Good luck, and I hope you can get a specific diagnosis and get treatment soon.
post #9 of 27
My older cat (she died last year at 19) had hugely dilated pupils for the last few years of her life, and at first the vet thought she was blind from cataracts, and swore she couldn't see. I said she certainly could see, and I was right. He then attributed this pupil dilation to thyroid - and, she ate me out of house and home, and continued to lose weight. Are your kittie's pupils at all dilated?
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by threecatowner View Post
My older cat (she died last year at 19) had hugely dilated pupils for the last few years of her life, and at first the vet thought she was blind from cataracts, and swore she couldn't see. I said she certainly could see, and I was right. He then attributed this pupil dilation to thyroid - and, she ate me out of house and home, and continued to lose weight. Are your kittie's pupils at all dilated?
The dilated pupils in a hyperthyroid cat are actually due to high blood pressure.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
OH MY GOD, her pupils ARE dilated! She's been like that for a while! She's always been a scaredy cat and several random things make her jumpy . . and her pupils would dilate . . so I haven't thought much of it! Now I feel stupid. Poor baby.

It really does sound like the thyroid thing. The risks of surgery . . she IS an older cat (how did 9 yrs. go by so fast?!) and the thought of it scares me. The radioactive iodine . . I'll be freaking out the whole time she has to be away from me! But I will do what I need to do to help her. I'm getting ahead of myself a little bit. Vet first. I'm calling in the a.m.
post #12 of 27
If it is thyroid, my Wyatt was diagnosed with this at 9 also. After looking at all the options, for him and me, I went ahead with the radioactive iodine treatment. Many people do very well with the pills so either way is good. Once you get the diagnosis from the vet, please let us know and ask any other questions you have.
post #13 of 27
Make sure you tell us what comes of the vet call/visit!!

I must admit, MY first thought was diabetes. The reason Mews2much asked about the meowing is that is one very good indicator of hyperthyroidism. Most hyperthyroid cats will meow really really loud in the middle of the night.

I know that 9 years seems old, but we adopted Tigger at 14, and that was 5 years ago. Cammie could be only "middle-aged", and I'm hoping she lives a long and happy life.

(PS - my Tigger was really, really skinny and hungry all the time when we got her. I changed her to grain-free food and it helped immensely. But she wasn't drinking a lot, so that IS a concern with your kitty.)
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_food_lady View Post
The dilated pupils in a hyperthyroid cat are actually due to high blood pressure.
Food lady, the vet never mentioned blood pressure, but that wouldn't surprise me. I love your feedback on this site - you seem so knowledgeable - you have to have some background in the veterinary realm. Or have you just picked all this up from having cats over the years? I always look forward to your answers


Actually, she was never treated for thyroid problems - she did have recurring UTI's, and that is a large part of what eventually sent her downhill to the point of my having to euthanize her.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by threecatowner View Post
Food lady, the vet never mentioned blood pressure, but that wouldn't surprise me. I love your feedback on this site - you seem so knowledgeable - you have to have some background in the veterinary realm. Or have you just picked all this up from having cats over the years? I always look forward to your answers


Actually, she was never treated for thyroid problems - she did have recurring UTI's, and that is a large part of what eventually sent her downhill to the point of my having to euthanize her.
Hello threecatowner, from very cold & snowy Canada :-)

Thank you for your kind words. I knew very little about cat health until I got the internet years ago, and then I read everything I could get my hands (err, eyes) on! I've been a human nurse for many years so I guess I have a bit of a background there and it's interesting, a lot of the basics re: health are similar in animals as in humans.

I've also learned a lot just from having to have dealt with a lot of the major things: CRF, diabetes, congestive heart failure, etc.

I'm very sorry about the loss of your dear kitty.

I see you're in W Virginia! I'm a huge "Waltons" fan and would love to visit the areas around where Earl Hamner grew up (Schuyler) some day. I was actually just looking at real estate around there, online, the other day.....what beautiful country!!

Lisa
post #16 of 27
First, Mandy - I hope I didn't scare you to death asking you about the dilated pupils. Annie lived with it for several years - actually, she was reasonably healthy until about the last year, and got recurrent UTI's. (It was impossible to get a good snapshot of her because of the red-eye effect, though.) Don't worry - I'm sure all will work out.

Second, Lisa/Food Lady - Aha! I was right - you do have medical background, albeit human medical background. Incidentally, I believe the Waltons (a wonderful show) was based near Richmond, Virginia - about 8 hours south of my town in northern West Virginia. (we are about 90 miles south of Pittsburgh, PA) You are correct, however, that it is beautiful down here - and we've had enough of that snow ourselves!

Mandy - you and Cammie hang in there and good luck!
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
First, mews2much, I'm sorry I didn't answer that the first time around. She does meow a lot, but her and I have always had "conversations" so I really don't see it as unusual, not with her anyway.

I called the vet and was able to bring Cammie in as soon as I got off work. Her blood sugar was tested first and she definitely has DIABETES. Also, the vet said she has cataracts, most likely caused by her diabetes. He also did a full blood work up and will call me with the results of that tomorrow. He said he could feel her thyroid as well, but that may be because she is so little, only 7lbs right now!

He told me that the cost of her diabetes will be very high so he just wanted to let me know that a lot of cats in Cammie's position get put down and that if I decided that, it wouldn't be wrong. There's no way I can do that. If there's a chance she can live for many years with diabetes, why put her down?? I WILL find a way to deal with the cost. She's my baby.

I need to find out the results of her blood tests tomorrow and then I'll learn what meds I'm going to give her. Does anyone here take have a diabetic cat?

(I have human medical background as well by the way! Actually, I work for an ophthalmologist right now . . so I should have known Cammie has cataracts!)
post #18 of 27
Just offering lots of to you and Cammie. 9 yrs old isn't an old cat. I'm so glad that you took her to the Vet and are now getting a handle on her problem. She'll feel so much better once she starts getting treated.

I don't have any experience with cat diabetes, but am certain that others have and will offer their wisdom.

Take Care!
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
UPDATE . . I had to leave Cammie at the vet all day Wed. while I was at work so they could give her her first insulin and monitor her blood sugar. She was SOOO happy to see me when I came to get her Wed. evening! And everyone was saying "she's a good cat" and "Cammie is such a sweetheart" AWWW. I knew that already, of course but it was so cool to hear it.

The vet said all the rest of her test are FINE and she responed well to insulin. He taught me how to give her shots (twice a day) and gave me her special food. So I've done the shots 4 times now and I'm never sure I'm getting them in! When I did it at the vet, I actually felt the needle go in a little bit but I haven't felt that since. He said she really wouldn't feel it so I can't tell that way. Anyone here have to give their cats shots?
post #20 of 27
I don't know about the shots question, but I am very happy it's manageable and you are to be commended for not just 'putting her down'. I know it's love, but it's also a difficult time in our world right now. All of us.

I sure hope things stay positive! we could use some pictures of her too
post #21 of 27
How's Cammie doing now? I would also love to see pics of your kitties.
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
It's funny that everyone wants pics because we were just talking about how we don't have any really GOOD pics of them, just silly ones! So we got the camera out and I will post some soon!

My personal feeling is that Cammie is feeling better. She's back to sleeping with us in bed at night . . for a while she was isolating herself and being anti-social. I'm more confident with her shots, really SHE makes it easy for me. She only hid once, under the TV stand, she knows I can't reach her when she gets under there. It's weird, it's almost like she hangs around and waits for her shot after she eats now. She just looks at me expectantly. After each shot I spend a couple minutes petting her, telling her I'm just trying to make her feel better and I swear she understands. Monday morning I drop her off at the vet for 8 hours again for a glucose curve . . and I get to find out if this is working for her! I hope so!
post #23 of 27
I sure hope she will be ok.
post #24 of 27
Hoping things go well for you and Cammie on Monday.
post #25 of 27
Glad you got her to the vets, and good luck with the diabetes.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
THANKYOU so much everyone. Cammie was such a good girl at the vet again Monday. She IS making progress but we need to up the insulin a little bit more. The worst thing about that is that means I have to take her to the vet again in another 2 weeks. Poor baby, I feel so bad leaving her there!
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandy1178 View Post
THANKYOU so much everyone. Cammie was such a good girl at the vet again Monday. She IS making progress but we need to up the insulin a little bit more. The worst thing about that is that means I have to take her to the vet again in another 2 weeks. Poor baby, I feel so bad leaving her there!
Well it is sure to be making her feel better, anyway!
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