Rock N' Roll
February 5th, 2007, 09:37 AM
Hey folks, I'm new here. I'm hoping someone can help! :)
Maybe someone here has some suggestions before Shelley and I drop $360 on this … my little buddy Ace has been sick lately, seemingly at random. Every three or four days he throws up partially-digested food. Other than that, he seems perfectly fine. He eats well, gets a ton of exercise (he certainly doesn’t lack energy), has his water changed daily and he doesn’t go outside. He recently had his annual shots. Oh, and he eats Medi-Cal cat food, the expensive stuff you buy from the vet. Only the best for Ace.
My girlfriend and I thought it was a hairball problem, so we bought this stuff for him that seemed to work at first. But now he’s still sick on occasion. I took him to the vet who said he seemed fine on the outside – his heart, lungs and temperature were all good, and he hadn’t lost any weight. He said it must be something on the inside – so he suggested blood work and an X-ray. It’s going to cost $360 or so. I have absolutely no problems with paying it if something is actually wrong that is beyond our control. And we have pet insurance, so we’ll likely get some of it back. But if it’s something stupid that we’re doing or if it’s something we can fix on our own, we’d rather try that first before dropping the money on it.
Anyone know what this might be?
February 5th, 2007, 09:51 AM
I think it's best to do the tests to rule out any serious problems...
Also, you should check out our food forum....Medi-cal is overpriced for what you get. You could get a much higher quality kibble for the same price (or even a little less....) http://www.pets.ca/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=53
Keep us posted :thumbs up
February 5th, 2007, 10:00 AM
sorry i cant really answer your question. i guess if the vet says the tests should be done, then they should be done. maybe get a second opinion if you are not sure.
Also if medi stuff is so expensive but not so great, i am feeding my kitten Orijen, available from petland, great ingredients and really affordable!
February 5th, 2007, 10:05 AM
Oh, and he eats Medi-Cal cat food, the expensive stuff you buy from the vet. Only the best for Ace.
Medi-Cal is indeed expensive, but it is not the best. In fact, it is one of the worst foods I have ever seen and could be the reason your cat throws up partially digested food every few days. If you truly want the best food for Ace, I suggest checking out the cat and dog food forum on here for some ideas. You won't get anything of quality at the vet's office, try going to a pet food store. Some brands to look for are :Felidae, Wellness, Innova, Natural Balance. Even Eagle Pack is better than what you're feeding now. The problem with many commercial pet foods is that they have lots of fillers (like corn) and by-products in them, basically stuff that your pet can't digest very well (hence the throwing up). The brands I listed above contain human-grade ingredients and no corn or fillers. Most vets aren't very educated about pet food. Brands to stay away from are: Anything you'd buy in a grocery store or vet office like Medi-Cal, Eukaneuba, Hill's, Iams, Purina, Ol Roy etc..
I have 2 cats who were chronic pukers for a long time. I fed them everything from Eukaneuba to Iams before I did some research and discovered that these were not good foods. I switched them to a holistic food (they are on Felidae) and they are never sick anymore. If you do decide to switch your cat to a better food make sure to do it slowly to avoid digestive upset. Good luck!
Rock N' Roll
February 5th, 2007, 10:14 AM
vfrohloff, are you kidding me?
Man, I thought where the vets sold the food, it would be well above regular cat food in terms of quality.
Thanks for the tip!
However, Ace has been on Medi-Cal for over a year now and he's only been sick recently.
February 5th, 2007, 10:35 AM
vfrohloff, are you kidding me?
Nope, no kidding! ;)
Another thing that just crossed my mind, does Ace go outside? If he does (or even if he doesn't) it might be a good idea to have a poop sample analysed for worms. I had one of my cats throw up a few times recently so I took a sample in and they found roundworms. It's a lot cheaper than doing x-rays, that's for sure!
Also, cats can develop food intolerances, particularly with low quality foods so that could also be what's happening with Ace. However, getting the blood work done might be a good idea just in case. My vet usually does blood work first, then if nothing turns up she proceeds with x-rays. That way if there is something wrong in the blood work you haven't wasted money on unnecessary x-rays, know what I mean? Good luck to you and Ace! :fingerscr
February 5th, 2007, 10:51 AM
Mt vet won't even touch the food you're feeding your cat. It might be a touch above some of the jink at the grocery store but that's it. My Seal Point Siamese came eating Hills Science -which is one of the best but thru research (talking to vets and reading), it seems Wellness was the best for her (Others use Eagle Pack, Felidae.etc). So I gradually switched her to Wellness. I have 4 cats and they all eat Wellness.
Your kitty's diet might be the problem but I would still have the tests just to rule anything out. It is always better to be safe - and never assume anything.
Good luck - I hope Ace does better soon!!
February 5th, 2007, 11:23 AM
You could always try a food switch first; even cats that have eaten the same food for a long time can develop intolerances to certain ingredients. Get a small bag of a good holistic brand and switch him over very slowly. A few pieces of the new kibble at first, then on from there. If he continues to vomit regularly, then further tests would probably be a good idea.
Rock N' Roll
February 5th, 2007, 11:42 AM
Anyone know what a complete blood work "package" should cost? I checked with our vet, it's going to cost $280. I called another vet and the cost was $87. That's insane. I don't know what the differences are in what each one does, I assume they're both fairly complete.
February 5th, 2007, 12:09 PM
Your best bet is to ask each vet what a blood panel includes. The higher amount might include tests for various viruses, thyroid problems and diabetes. I know my vet charges 50$ for an FIV test alone.
That being said, $87 is incredibly low, but still may be adequate.
February 6th, 2007, 06:47 AM
Yeah, I would phone each vet and find out what they test for. It costs around $100 at the vet I go to, and that includes FIV and FeLV. I think it also depends if they have to send the blood sample out to be analysed or if they do it there. My vet does it herself which is probably why it's cheaper.
February 6th, 2007, 07:26 AM
My Rocky just had complete bloodwork done+urinetest,to eliminate certain things,cost me $340,but we found out he has hyperthyroidism and is beeing treated.
I was just glad we found out what was wrong with him,expensive,but well worth the money,what is frustrating is all the $$$ and no answers,but since animals cannot speak,tests is the only way..
I agree with the others on the Vet-food,most people believe if the vet sells it,it's good food,unfortunately that is not so.
I fed my Vinnie MediCal for a VERY short period,for medical reasons once..
Rock N' Roll
February 9th, 2007, 10:03 AM
OK, so we took Ace to a different vet. Based on the one visit, I'd recommend it to anyone. The other place was very good to us, but the costs were just unreal in comparison.
Ace went in yesterday morning and the vet looked him over, checked his weight and stuff, and we even had a sample of the vomit (kind of gross, I know) so she could see it. She said based on that, it looked like he was just eating way too fast and his little belly couldn't hold all the food at once, so he'd throw it up. She said we can do the blood work if we want, but she really didn't think it was necessary. She said his skin felt great (proper elasticity or whatever), his fur coat was great and his weight was good. She said, "A sick cat with a digestive problem just wouldn't look this good."
Anyways, she recommended that we feed him small amounts at a time, try him on wet food because he can't eat it as quick, or spread his food out on a baking sheet instead of in a bowl so he can't just grab a mouthful all at once. She told us to keep watch and if that didn't help to let her know.
They even called this morning to see how he was and they said they'd call on Monday too.
So, it looks like he's fine. I was hoping that was it, because he really seemed perfectly fine anyway.
If anything changes, we'll do the bloodwork, but we'll try this first.
February 10th, 2007, 04:03 AM
When my Lexie was younger, she used to vomit after eating mice or birds. You could check to see if Ace is "substituting" his diet in that way.
In all honesty, I would get the tests done - its the only way to be sure.
February 10th, 2007, 06:47 AM
Rock'N Roll,my cats vomit ever now and then,not often,but when any one of them do,it's dry food...
February 10th, 2007, 09:29 AM
My cat Annie is sensitive to certain foods. Right now she is on Felidae kibble and is fine, but other kibbles and some of the wet foods i've tried just come right back up. She does eat very fast, also, like your Ace. It helped some to put her food in a tray instead of a bowl to slow her down and also I think the shape of the kibble matters. If it is just small round kibbles, she doesn't even chew it but swallows it whole. If she has to chew it, she doesn't throw up. I also give her snacks of people food, such as fruit. Nothing bad. However, sometimes when she has managed to get at certain things when my back is turned, she has gotten sick. I think her issue is fat, if there is more than a certain amount, she will throw up. And when she does she can't stop, like hiccups, and it's all over the house, and even dry heaves, gross! My vet suggested Science Diet Rx food (which i didn't do) and the feeding in a tray, which seemed to help some. Another trick people have told me about is to put something in the food bowl like an overturned smaller bowl, which they have to work around to get at the food. This slows them down a bit. Really, what I think helped the most was switching the the right food for Annie. If you do this, go very slow. You may not find the 'right' food the first time either. Felidae is good, but probably some cats don't do as well on it as others, just an individual thing. Good luck!
Rock N' Roll
February 11th, 2007, 07:13 PM
We put his food on a small plate, so he can't scarf it all down at once and he has to work harder. We also quit giving him treats (other than the occasional bit of wet food, which is a treat for him). He hasn't thrown up in a few days. We'll give him treats again later in the week and see what happens. But I think it was just that he was eating too fast.
Thank you all for your help!