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9 yo cat vomitting/not swallowing food?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

My 9 year old cat, Kitty, had a spell of vomiting about 6 weeks ago. She vomited about 6 times within three days, and I took her to the vet. After a thorough physical exam (external and xray under sedation) she was diagnosed as having "gastritis." Senior panel bloodwork showed normal kindey and thyroid enzyme/hormone levels, but slightly elevated liver and pancreas enzyme levels. I was told she either had a virus, or that she had gotten into something she shouldn't have. She had a 10 day course of amox. and the vomitting stopped. While it hasn't acutely "returned," she has vomitted twice in the last 2.5 weeks - each time it is fairly liquid (i.e., not hairballs). She has a great appetite and runs for the bowl when I pour the food, but I'm noticing that she gets the dry food in her mouth, chews a little, then flicks out small pieces with her tongue - it's almost like she doesn't want to swallow it. So I can't actually tell how much she is eating. But when we give her treats (which are soft) she gobbles them up. She also has a little eye discharge - mostly clear, though it's hard to tell. She's had no diarrhea, and drinks her water like normal.

In the last year she's lost about two pounds, (she weighs about 9 pounds now, maybe a little less) but we have also added a younger cat to our family and her activity level has increased. We decided to start her on hypoallergenic food (Hills Presciption z/d) to see if that helps the vomiting... but otherwise I am at a loss.

Her behavior is fine, she doesn't seem overly lethargic (i.e. she seems to sleep her normal amount) but I am worried about her weight. It seems like she wants to eat, but just can't. Could it be her teeth? I figured the vet would have checked that in my $350 appointment, but perhaps not?

I'm kind of at a loss and we can't really afford exploratory surgery....could it be IBD? Liver disease? Allergies? Just a persistent virus? Tooth problems?

Thanks so, so much. I really appreciate any info!

post #2 of 5
When they checked the thyroid levels, did the do a full thyroid panel? If not, you may want to have them run just a Free T4 test--it is often more sensitive than the normal test.

Since she seems to be having trouble with the dry food, can you feed her canned food? It is very important that she eats enough every day.

Pancreatitis is another possibility. It's harder to diagnose, though there is a blood test (PLT?) for it. The elevated liver enzymes may just be a symptom of her not eating enough.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I believe that they did do a full thyroid panel - the vet told me that they thyroid conditions are common in older cats and that this could cause the weight loss and vomitting. When I got the results back (by phone) I was told the thyroid levels are fine. So while I can't be sure they measured T4, it seems a logical assumption. She's definitely eating wet food and dry food, though like I said, she takes it in her mouth, crunches it, then kind of flicks it out. I assume she is getting some whole pieces in there too. I'm actually trying to remember if perhaps she's always done this.

She is eating, though I will try to be more vigilant about how much she eats. It's hard though with a chubby, hungry, second cat too

Thanks for the tips.
post #4 of 5
You may want to ask for the results of her blood work. With Spot, I kept copies of everything. I was able to notice trends in his blood work and keep track of it better at times than the vet did. There are multiple thyroid tests. The most common is the T4 test. While the Free T4 test is often included in a thyroid panel, it is not always included in a basic senior panel. Also, normal T4 values for younger cats have more range than for older cats. For example, a normal range (depending on the units) might be 0.8 to 4.0. In older cats, however, anything over 2.5 would be a gray area where the cat may be considered hyperthyroid (especially if they have symptoms, such as weight loss, increased thirst and urination, and increased or decreased appetite).

You may also want to ask your vet about Pepcid tablets, which can help if she has an upset stomach.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Kitty has to back for her distemper vaccine in a few weeks, so I will be sure to get copies of her blood work results then, as well as ask about any lingering problems...

Thanks again for the tips!
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