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New Member - Mystery Illness

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,
I have a young, unneutered male cat named Shido, just a little over a year old. Since he was probably about three to four months old, he's had a problem with persistent vomiting. We've played with his diet, taken him to the vet on more than one occasion, and put him on meds, but nothing really seems to help longterm. As a kitten he actually played the part of the aggressor and the explorer, but since he started getting sick all the time, he's become largely inactive and retiring. He's also considerably smaller than his larger, healthier littermate. The vet has told me several things. He said that due to his symptoms, he could have any number of conditions from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, to food allergies, to lymphoma. He also noted that my cat *and* his brother both have one undescended testicle each. He said that the only real way to tell what's wrong would be to have a biopsy done on him (we did rule out hyperthyroidism, though), but I'm afraid that I just don't have the excess cash to pay for that. To top things off, I recently had to send him home to live with my parents since he started urinating (on top of the vomiting) all over my apartment. His vomiting seemed to get a little better when he was on canned food and his budesonide meds, but even then it would still happen every now and then. I would just really like to find out what's wrong with my cat and see if maybe anyone else has experienced anything like this. I'd really like him to be healthy and happy instead of being sick all the time. If anyone has any suggestions for me they'd be hugely appreciated.
post #2 of 5
Hello there - welcome to TCS. Sorry I can't help you but good luck. And I agree you cat is urinating because he hasn't been desexed.
post #3 of 5
I agree that your cats should both be neutered. For two reasons:
1. Cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) is genetic and affected males should not be part of any breding program.
2. Undescended testicles can become cancerous later on.
Not to mention you will have all of the other problems associated with intact make cats like wandering, fighting, spraying, and unbelievably stong urine .

As far as the vomiting goes your vet has a list of differential diagnoses. Irritable Bowel can be diagnosed with intestinal biopsies. I would ask your vet if this can be done at the time of neuter. Your cat will need to have an abdominal incision anyway to look for his other testicle so is would only add a little more time to the procedure. In the meantime food allergies can be ruled out by feeding a hypoallergenic diet and nothing else. I would be curious to know what foods you have tried. I would try Hills i/d, or Medical Hypo-Gastro, for starters. Feed wet he handles that better. If neither of those works, then you may want to try hills z/d for a 6 week elimination diet.
Edited to add: Lymphoma can also be diagnosed with biopsies!
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Sorry, forgot to add: when he urinated in the apartment he never actually sprayed, and it actually took me a little while to notice because - oddly enough - his urine never had that distinctive hit-your-nostrils-with-a-train tom cat smell, so it was often a day or two before I'd find a pee spot. My mother suggested that it might actually have something to do with his medications. Also - his brother has actually been neutered. My cat hasn't yet, but my parents and I are both saving for that. I'd still like to get him biopsied (although he's so tiny that the idea of cutting him open really scares me) but it will be a while before I've got the money.
post #5 of 5
Has he had a urinalysis? It would be nice to rule out any infection or crystals in his urine- then you can work on behavioural problems. When cats spray on vertical surfaces it is usually behavioural. When they go on horizontal surfaces it is quite often a medical or litterbox problem. Does he get pounced on while going in or out of the litterbox? Is the box near anything "scary" like a furnace? Do you have more than one litterbox- if not I would recommend getting at least one per cat. This simple and inexpensive solution has helped me (and my carpets) more than once.

Biopsies aren't really too invasive- he will already be opened up for the "testicle hunt" so it is just a few little core samples taken from his gut walls. Biopsies would rule out 2 of 3 of the differentials so it would be a good investment. Good for you for taking such good care of your kitty! Keep us posted!
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