March 8th, 2008, 10:50 PM
My 15-yr old Male Neutered DSH, Tyler, is losing weight FAST. He has gone from 12.5 lbs in Dec/Jan to 9.9lbs as of two days ago. 2 weeks ago he was 10.3lbs. He is having a variety of other symptoms, too, but I don't know if they all tie in together. He was diagnosed with a Thyroid problem over 5 years ago and it has been consistently controlled with Methamazole and monitered with blood tests, the last 2 weeks ago, which came back in normal range. He has also had allergies forever, itchy-ness and scratching, especially around his eyes, which is usually somewhat controllable with Pred. shots and Prescription Diet z/d. Lately, nothing is helping except an e-collar to stop him scratching his eyes out. Also about 5 years ago we noticed he had a detached retina in one eye, but it didn't slow him down!
In November, his bladder became blocked and he went into emergency for catherization and he had a stone removed. We switched him to Purina UR. Long story short, follow up uranalysis showed a strain of a Strep bug antibiotic resistant. Retested and samples sent to Cornell, which came back with UTI treatable with Clavamox. 3 weeks of that, another follow-up, still has UTI. Meanwhile, starts drinking ridiculous amounts of water, I suggest another T4 test, and the numbers are off. We increase his dose, water goes back to normal. Vet notices heart murmur, but I think I had been told that before.
Now since he has been losing weight, too, vet suggested x-rays and ultrasound of his bladder/kidneys. Results show grossly enlarged spleen, thickening of left ventrical (which is probably from Thyroid, no way to know how long any of this has been like this), but healthy lungs, kidneys, etc.
The vet also did a "Buffy Coat" test, which came back negative, but I don't know what that means. He was thinking Mast cell before the test...
Because Tyler is losing weight at an alarming rate, something is definitly going on. The vet suggested I could try an internal medicine specialist or an oncologist. He is eating normal, drinking normal, seems normal other than seeming a little less cuddley (started sleeping on floor next to my bed after snuggling for a little while, but used to sleep up against me all night), and he's been a little less active, but it's winter so he's not outside as much.
This is my best friend, my baby, my first pet of my own and he's been with me almost half my life. If he continues to lose weight like this, I don't know how long I'll have with him. I haven't been able to stop sobbing since 2 days ago. Please, if anyone can help...
March 9th, 2008, 12:09 AM
I'm so sorry. I don't have any solutions for you I can only suggest you keep in close contact with your vet and give Tyler every ounce of loving that you can.
My heart and prayers go out to you and Tyler :goodvibes::goodvibes::grouphug::fingerscr:pray:
March 9th, 2008, 01:19 AM
What was the T4 number in the second test where you said it was "way off"?
Heart conditions and kidney issues are common in cats with HyperT, usually displayed after treatment for the thyroid is started because those numbers are being controlled & the HyperT can no longer mask the symptoms of other issues.
I would strongly suggest you ask your vet about Radioactive Iodine 131 Therapy. This targets and destroys only the abnormal thyroid cells. This is the clinic in Vancouver BC that I took my cat Duffy to 2.5 years ago, after treatment she has had normal numbers for the last 2 years without medication or symptoms http://www.iodinecafe.com/loader.swf I know you are not in BC but they have a ton of information about the procedure & about HyperT as this is the only thing they deal with.
You didn't mention if your cat is eating the same amount as before the rapid weight loss? It is possible he doesn't like the food anymore - I know that had happened several times with Duffy before switching to raw food.
Have you & your vet determined the cause of the allergies?
Are they seasonal, environmental, chemical, food related?
I would suggest finding the source of the allergen you can start by switching to a grain free single *NEW* protein source canned food to try and rule out food allergies. If your cat has a grain allergy feeding the grain free foods will clear up the symptoms, & if it is a protein allergy you need to try something your cat hasn't had before such as rabbit/venison/duck/lamb. Here is a couple of good ones to try Nature's Variety Instinct Rabbit (http://www.naturesvariety.com/content.lasso?r=0055556&page=1500&-session=naturesvariety:4B9AF7DD078bc0154CqxX30DAC0 C) or Nature's Variety Instinct Venison (http://www.naturesvariety.com/content.lasso?r=0055101&page=1502&-session=naturesvariety:4B9AF7DD078bc0154CqxX30DAC0 C) NV I Duck (http://www.naturesvariety.com/content.lasso?r=0115178&page=1501&-session=naturesvariety:4B9AF7DD078bc0154CqxX30DAC0 C) NV I Lamb (http://www.naturesvariety.com/content.lasso?r=0115353&page=1499&-session=naturesvariety:4B9AF7DD078bc0154CqxX30DAC0 C)
Both of the foods your cat is or has been on for the allergy have chicken as the protein source and are loaded with grains - there is always the possiblity your cat may be allergic to chicken, corn etc
You can also stop using all chemical cleaners in your house right down to the fabric softener in your laundry or switching to a different brand something all natural (example use vinegar to wash your floors etc) to see if that is the culprit
March 9th, 2008, 03:36 AM
Excellent advice, growler, I totally agree with everything you said. :D
TylerD, it sounds like you have a few issues going on in your kitty and my fingers are crossed that you can get to the bottom of them.
March 9th, 2008, 07:20 PM
I am sorry to hear your kitty is not doing well. I don't have any advice to offer but would like to say that Growler and Sugarcatmom are extremely knowledgeable and their advice is as good as a vets in my eyes.
March 9th, 2008, 08:46 PM
totally agree with growler, maybe now is a good time to switch to whole raw duck or whole raw rabbit? i would think, showing a whole slew of health problems coupled with 'allergies', diet would perhaps be the culprit??
March 10th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Thank you guys for all of your warm thoughts and advice! I really appreciate it. The problem with switching to another diet is he's on special food to control crystals in the urine and blockage of the urethra. When he was blocked in November, the E.R. vet said if I didn't switch his food, he'd be blocked again within 6 months.
My vet had told me his increased itchiness could be due to the body producing Histamines to fight off whatever is going on. He also told me tonight that there's a food called Max Cal (for calories) we could switch him to and that we may need to pick our battles, meaning deal with the weight loss and spleen now, and tackle the reblockage when and if it comes to that.
My next step is to schedule an appointment at Cornell with an internal specialist and then he can send me to their Oncologist if he finds something. I'm calling tomorrow, but I have no idea how long it will take to get in...it's also like 2 1/2 hours away but I'd drive anywhere if it helps! The vet also said he could do a needle biopsy of the spleen to check for cancer while I'm waiting to get into Cornell.
I was just thinking maybe one of the vets on here (or you guys, wonderful wise pet lovers) might see all the symptoms and recognize something we hadn't thought of, but the main priority right now is figuring out the weight loss and why his spleen extends from his rib cage all the way down to his hind legs it's so enlarged.
Thank you again guys! It's nice to know this forum is here!:cat:
ps - his thyroid levels in Dec. weren't way off, his water consumption was.
March 10th, 2008, 09:58 PM
The problem with switching to another diet is he's on special food to control crystals in the urine and blockage of the urethra. When he was blocked in November, the E.R. vet said if I didn't switch his food, he'd be blocked again within 6 months.
Without a doubt, the biggest factor in dealing with crystals and preventing further blockages is water consumption. Is he eating dry or wet Purina UR? Both have lousy ingredients, but the dry is particularly horrible. Here are the main ones:
Corn gluten meal, beef, brewers rice, wheat flour, ground yellow corn, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), egg product, soybean flour, ....
This food has a whopping amount of carbohydrates at 42% of calories. In nature, cats would be eating less than 5%, probably more like 1%, consisting of the pre-digested stomach contents of their prey. Cats were not designed to process grains and starchy carbs, they're all about protein. Every aspect of their physiology is specific to eating and digesting meat. Feeding them stuff like this day after day can result in a whole host of problems, from diabetes to kidney disease to inflammatory bowel disease to bladder & ,yes, urinary tract problems etc.
The problem is that most vets are not a good source of info on feline nutrition. Their education on the subject is extremely minimal, and they also have a vested interest in selling the products they stock in their clinics. I suggest you check out this link right away: http://www.catinfo.org/
and then this one on the conflict of interest in the nutritional advice from vets: http://catnutrition.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/dry-food-and-vets/
My suggestion, along with what the others in this thread have said, is to get rid of Purina UR and start feeding something more appropriate for a carnivore. If you're not ready for a raw diet, find a good quality canned food without any grains and add a bit of extra water to it. Wellness, Nature's Variety Instinct, Innova Evo 95% meat, By Nature Organics are all good choices. The N.V. and Innova have novel proteins like duck or rabbit or venison that would be good if allergies to common meat sources are part of the issue.
My vet had told me his increased itchiness could be due to the body producing Histamines to fight off whatever is going on. He also told me tonight that there's a food called Max Cal (for calories)
Eukanuba Maximum Calorie is fine for intermittent feeding in an emergency, but it's not a complete diet for the long term. You'd still be better off feeding something like Wellness, which is higher in calories than many other foods and is complete and balanced.
ps - his thyroid levels in Dec. weren't way off, his water consumption was.
Has he been checked for diabetes lately? With weight loss, increased water consumption, and the fact that steroids can cause diabetes, I'd want to rule that out first.
March 10th, 2008, 10:43 PM
what sugar cat said :) on a very short added note my mothers cat had a history of crystals... and was given the recommended dry prescription food so it wouldnt come back.. since his last bout of antibiotics and at my urging and showing her studies she has had him on a high quality wet only grain free diet/canned and he is doing wonderfully.. no crystals that was a year and a half ago.
definitely get him checked for diabetes.. simple blood test can do that.. best of luck with your kitty and please keep us posted on how he is doing :goodvibes: