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Cat with pot-belly appearance

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My mother has a female DSH tortoiseshell cat, Mocha. She is probably almost two years old.

She was adopted from an animal shelter in late December (2008). I believe her records said she was spayed on December 14th of 2008 so when she was adopted she actually still had her stitches in. My mother took her to the vet soon after adopting her to get her stitches taken out (what else I'm not positive). I had noticed when she was adopted that she had a slightly hard tummy.

Well a few months later (late March/early April I believe) she was taken in to the vet because my mother had a kitten that needed to be spayed. So both Mocha and the kitten were taken to the vet to stay throughout the day (the kitten over night for the spay, Mocha to get a few additional shots) while my mom was at work. I happened to be home during the week because I was on my spring break (I'm currently in college). The vet called me to ask if Mocha was pregnant. I was absolutely positive she wasn't, knowing that she had stitches taken out not too long before.

Upon arriving to pick up Mocha, they informed us that they had put her on Drontal (a pill and a half) because they said she was positive for tapeworm when they did a fecal exam. She was very lethargic when brought home so my mom called and they decided to give her metacam (they said she might have been in pain from the shots?). That didn't necessary help her any, she just sleep even more, I believe she was just exhausted from being at the vet all day. In addition, (which makes me think this vet is not so great with cats...) they asked if Mocha had any allergies because her stomach had hair loss. This hair loss was shaven from when she had her spay, it was clearly a straight line and no scratch marks present.

Fast forward a couple of months. My mother had to move so the cats had to stay with a friend(from middle of April to the end of June) My mom was having financial issues and such, a lot happened from April to the beginning of July. Mocha still had her belly when my mother got her back from her friend's (and covered in fleas so that had to be taken care of). So Mocha was taken to the vet again and given tapeworm medicine, Drontal. Nothing happened.

A few weeks ago I ordered some of those trade wind tapeworm tabs for Mocha. I looked up all kinds of different worming medicines and the ingredients, the same ingredients are in this OTC medicine as Drontal. Then I ordered some Panacur because I have yet to see anything in either of the kittie's poo that resembles tapeworm or on their rears (grains of rice near anus). I was hoping the Panacur would help her if she had any roundworms.

I called my mother earlier this week to see if there were any changes since I gave the panacur to her two weeks ago and then tape worm tabs (1 dose 3 weeks ago and then 2 weeks ago). My mother said she thinks she might have gotten smaller (belly wise) but she is not sure. I don't know if this matters or not but the kitten does not display any pot-belly.

I will be driving from college to my mom's in a few hours so I'll be able to observe Mocha myself. But I was hoping that maybe some of you that have seen something like this before?

To recap (and those of you who may not want to read my novel)
Behavior: alert, playful, eats normally (has an appetite and actually eats less than the kitten), doesn't seem to exhibit any pain (she loves her belly rubbed actually), extremely friendly and loving
Coat: VERY soft coat, she does exhibit more shedding than the kitten (her hair took a VERY long time to grow back on her belly from being shaven from the spay)
Appearance: She has a potbelly, very hard
Meds: Drontal hasn't seemed to work, still waiting to see if Tradewinds and Panacur have done anything.
Diet: I believe they are on IAMS right now with wet daily, twice a day. (Mother gets minimum wage so a higher quality diet is not possible right now, and even accessibility to higher quality foods is not present).
Parasites: Supposedly vet did a fecal exam in early April/late March in which she was positive for tape worm. I have not seen any grain-like material near her anus or on her bedding and nothing that resembles a tapeworm in her stool (I have seen tapeworm on a few occasions in dog stool)

I think I put everything here that might be needed... I won't be able to get on until late Sunday night so I wanted to make sure there was sufficient information.

Here are a few photos that might help.

Thank you for anyone who may be able help.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y147/2364/IMG_0238.jpg

This is when my mom first adopted her, you can see how her belly was shaved and can sort of see the pot-belly.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y147/2364/IMG_0831.jpg

Direct view of her belly.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y147/2364/IMG_1587.jpg

Don't mind Melody, the kitten. This is the only photo I have of Mocha standing up. You can definitely see the pot-belly. (They are strictly indoor kitties, except this one evening they were saying goodbye to me and exploring my car).
post #2 of 6
Are you sure it is not just "spay sway"? My females got it after they were spayed.
As to worms, isn't it better to confirm with a veterinarian? If you are not happy with the present one, look for another.
post #3 of 6
She is big - not the spay sway type big (that's more saggy and lower), but big belly over all. Is it squishy like fat or is her belly actually firm?

It is possible she could still have roundworms. The tapes are probably gone. You'll need to get her in to see a vet, though, because it may take a different wormer and a very specific dosage that you might not have gotten right.
Second, you need a vet to make sure that there isn't anything causing her to look that big - no masses in her abdomen or anything like that.

Or maybe she really is just that fat? Without feeling her belly I can't tell. If that's the case there are foods - proper diet, and exercise regimes to help get a cat to a healthy weight.

Also drontal and those tapeworm tabs are not the same thing. You're probably confusing drontal with droncit.
post #4 of 6
My cat Billy has a really big pot belly and it is firm, I took him to the vets thinking there was something wrong but he is 100% healthy, if you are concerned then you should take her back to the vets but imo like humans all cats are different, I think my cat just puts more weight on around his belly than anywher else.x
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
She is big - not the spay sway type big (that's more saggy and lower), but big belly over all. Is it squishy like fat or is her belly actually firm?

It is possible she could still have roundworms. The tapes are probably gone. You'll need to get her in to see a vet, though, because it may take a different wormer and a very specific dosage that you might not have gotten right.
Second, you need a vet to make sure that there isn't anything causing her to look that big - no masses in her abdomen or anything like that.

Or maybe she really is just that fat? Without feeling her belly I can't tell. If that's the case there are foods - proper diet, and exercise regimes to help get a cat to a healthy weight.

Also drontal and those tapeworm tabs are not the same thing. You're probably confusing drontal with droncit.
Upon palpating her belly this weekend I noticed on Friday that she was still very round. However, usually her belly is pretty firm but I noticed that on Saturday and somewhat yesterday her belly was more squishy like fat. She still had a section near her lower abdomen that was firm though. Almost like it has moved... She was only fed wet food on Saturday and Sunday (we were cleaning the house and the dry food was put up so it would not be contaminated). That is the only thing I can think of that was changed.

She will be taken to the vet. I understand that on the internet one cannot say what exactly is wrong. Because my mother cannot drive she cannot just make an appointment with the vet during the week, but I have to be there. So it will have to be on the weekend. I honestly just wanted to know if anyone has had a similar experience with a cat they have seen before.

I wish we could switch veterinarians. There are only three local clinics. One of which we will not attend (not the greatest experience with a dog many years ago). The second one has a pretty good veterinarian but he is known to under dose for worms. This clinic actually said they used Nemex because Drontal can't be used on cats. The last one is the one that we go to with actually about 4 or 5 vets. The vet that said she had tapeworm also was supposed to be a cat specialist.

If the vet was supposed to have been a cat specialist, I am just curious as to why she was not given a correct diagnoses the first time.

I am pretty sure the dosing was right for I talked to a Vet Technician in regards to Panacur.

The only main difference from the tape worm tabs and Drontal is the amount of Praziquantel (and additional ingredient). Tape worm tabs has 23mg whereas Drontal has 18.2 mg in addition to 72.6mg Pyrantel Pamoate (to rid roundworms and such). I guess Droncit doesn't have the Pyrantel Pomoate and is the same as the tapeworm tabs but that is not what was prescribed to Mocha. I decided that if I were to use two different wormers then perhaps this would actually kill any roundworms/tapeworms present since the Drontal didn't seem to help.

Thanks for everyone's input. Again I understand that to be correctly diagnosed she will need to see a vet. I was honestly just trying to see if anyone has had a similar experience with a firm pot belly even after using worming medications.
post #6 of 6
Wormers can miss stuff. All it takes is one egg in the environment to reinfect a cat, which doesn't help.

I hope the vet can figure it out. Sometimes you have to give them a little push and ask questions to make them do more. One reason for this is some vets assume you want to do as little as possible to save money... Doctors do this, too.
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