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Cat 13 years old weight loss

SarahMD

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Apr 20, 2021
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Cat Batman 13 years old Male Neutered DSH ~10 lbs

Behavior: He seems hungry a lot, he seems to be eating a lot but not gaining weight. He is always asking for attention and/or food. He does sleep well during the day and at night when he is well fed. His coat seems very scruffy at times and other time it seems much better. Some days he seems happier and is purring/snuggling other days he will just sort of sit next to me and seems kind of off. He scavenges for any people food he can find. He tries to eat plant matter, leaves, sticks, grass, or anything he can find. I find occasional spit up usually with hair or something he ate in it. He’s been know to eat things like fake plants as well. We spends time on our deck and he was trying to eat the bristles on the grill brush. I tried cat grass and he was ripping it up by the roots. #1 & #2 in litter box appear normal, occasionally he will have an accident. He has some burping or indigestion type noises, I can feel when he sits on me, this has been better lately. He scratches his ears/neck/head area I notice it daily sometimes more or less.

Energy: His energy seems pretty good. He knocks things off the counter when he wants to eat which he as always done. Some days he seems to jump great and is occasionally playful, other times he seems much slower moving & I have noticed him very slowly going up the stairs. I believe he may have some arthritis.

Appetite: He is hungry and eats quite a bit each day. He is on raw food North West Naturals, and also sometimes eats freeze dried or canned food. I recently switch him to raw from mostly canned food and he does seem much improved with his appetite. On canned food he was always hungry but very picky and it was a constant struggle to get him to eat. I see him drink water usually once per day, he has filtered tap water. Today I saw him drink from fountain for the 1st time, I purchased a few months ago.

Mood: Seems pretty good and friendly, seems to worsen the more canned and less raw food they eat. My daughter and my other cat pester him a lot which is not ideal. He just wants to snuggle with me morning and night. Sleeps & waits for food, knocks things off my counters, sometimes plays. My daughter is 18 months old so that definitely added some stress to his life.

Diet: Northwest naturals raw turkey and chicken, primal raw food topper turkey and chicken. Some freeze dried and canned food. Previously eating Merrick Canned, then before that weruva/tiki cat canned, then prior to that they were on a raw ground meat organ bone supplemented for his entire life. His vet wanted him on canned food due to his health issues & I tried it for about 1 year and I do not think he did well at all on canned food. Always hungry, picky, scruffy, greasy yellow coat on canned food. (He is an all white cat)

Vaccination: Initial distemper and leukemia vax as kitten then rabies every three years only. Ab’s three times over last several years, had a dental about 3 years ago.

Primary Problem: Weight Loss, he fluctuates around 9.5-10.5 lbs but he seems pretty thin to me. He used to be around a 12 lb cat. Unexplained past issue of occasional low blood sugar and falling episodes, could not confirm these are connected. The 1st falling episode was at least 5 years ago and he was eating raw and completely healthy at that time. It’s happened two times since then and all 3 times completely resolved with AB’s.

Secondary Issues: He had a bald spot on his back & thinning hair around his ears recently, has improved since increasing raw food. His coat seems greasy at times but gets better on raw food. He scratches his head/ears. He is eating well on new raw food for the last few weeks. He has a bean sized growth on his inner left leg. It seems smaller or larger at times and at times it seems closer to his groin and others closer to his knee. Not sure if it could be aspirated because of his temperament at the vet. Depending on the Veterinarian, some say he definitely has a heart murmur and other say he does not have a heart murmur.

2020 Diagnostics:

Spring 2020 he stopped eating and vomitted something green & rotten. Bloodwork normal, X-rays, sent to idexx revealed air in lungs and stomach from swallowing too much air. This is when we stopped feeding raw and switched to mostly canned food. Switched his food dishes and holder and fed him separately from other cat he was gobbling his food so my other cat would not eat it. He started eating again but never fully recovered.

Fall 2020

He seemed not well, scratching his ears a lot. He has a history of what I believe could be vestibular disease. A few times prior he started falling over and NOTHING was found wrong with him, other than a possible low blood sugar but that was not consistent. This resolved twice with AB’s.

So in Fall of 2020 he seemed off and I thought maybe he was off balance again, brought him in for BW normal except for low blood sugar. Brought him home and cleaned ears as advised by vet & falling started shortly after that, went to ER they determined he was stable & sent me home with nothing both vets refused to give the AB’s. Next day 2nd ER visit, abdominal US showed inflammation of the gallbladder and early renal disease. Was given Clavamox & Flagyl and recovered well but never gained weight back.

They also did a test for his Pancreas I believe to rule out a tumor that could cause his low blood sugar. His BG has tested LOW and low normal at different times over the years but sometimes he would be fine and it would test low, or he’d be falling over and it would test normal. The first time we identified the low BG was routine bloodwork for his dental 3 years ago.

*I tested his BG at home about a week ago, 95 after eating breakfast, 95 after 2 hours, 93 3 hours after that.

Treatments: I’ve tried cosequin, fish oil, multivitamin treat, probiotic powder. He will not eat these things consistently and they tend to make him more picky/suspect of his food. His vet wants to medicate him so he can be calmer for vet visit and retest his thyroid. His thyroid increased last year but was not out of the normal range. I clean his outer ear carefully with TrizKetoUltra every few weeks and that seems to help cut down the ear scratching.

I would like to pursue holistic treatments and preferably have a vet come to our home to examine him and draw blood. The vet visits stress him out a lot and I don’t think they can examine him thoroughly due to his temperament at the vet. At home he is a complete love & I can do anything with him.
 

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Last edited:

Dr. Jeff

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Hey Sarah. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful first post! It has lots of great info.

The best news is that Batman is engaged, connected, happy and has good (tho not great) BEAM!

And it sounds like you've done everything right throughout his life to build and preserve his vitality.

His blood tests (including the insulin:glucose), ultrasound, referral report, etc. all look good!!

That means his dis-ease is probably still on the functional/energetic level and has not progressed to structural/physical issues.

That makes your approach super easy and likely to help. Just implement a few simple actions and keep a close eye on symptoms like BEAM and appetite, his weight, blood sugar, etc.

These are the same actions that I spoke about on Monday during the Lyme and other tick-borne dis-eases webinar.

Balance and resilience-building will help his immune function, and optimizes all physiologic functions.

Symptoms are always a manifestation of some physiologic dysfunction. Often related to inadequate cellular energy. That's why it's so important to build vitality (energy).

Feeding fresh food, the Happiness Protocol, homeopathy, optimizing his engagement and connection with you and the environment will help his body normalize function to prevent further wobbly episodes and low BG.

This TOP graphic below also discusses simple ways to optimize his physiology to help natural healing: mechanisms:
top.png

This is a super important question and topic. Let's keep discussing them after you watch or listen to the 4/22 webinar.
 

Dr. Jeff

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You're welcome Sarah.
 

Dr. Jean

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Hi Sarah, one thing to add... it looks like the last full blood panel was last year. In my experience, weight loss despite robust appetite in an older cat is hyperthyroidism until proven otherwise. Your instinct to check that at this point (especially at home with a mobile vet) is right on!
 

SarahMD

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Apr 20, 2021
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I was able to listen to the webinar and start some enrichment with them today. I have gated in deck so we spent some time outdoors and I put their dried raw food all over the deck for them to find, along with some cat nip, & cat grass cuttings. I've inquired with Gold Coast Mobile Vet so hopefully they service our area. I have a lot of ideas for more enrichment for them and I will try to track our progress. I am not sure where to start with supplements, I was thinking about getting the D3 mentioned in the webinar. Fixing my own vitamin D levels has been miraculous for my life. When I do find a mobile vet, should we test anything else beyond the thyroid and standard bloodwork? Also, Im still looking through all the resources but if anything details more about fresh food for cats let me know. I used to do more meat chunks, organ meat, & some meaty bones, which I might try again when I have time. Is their anything else I should try in addition to the raw food they eat?
 

Dr. Jeff

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Fantastic Sarah (about your enrichment ideas)!

Yes! It's a great idea to recheck Batman's general profile, thyroid as well as his blood vitamin D level.

VDI lab is a very reliable source of vit D testing as well as often being most affordable:




Regarding food, yes meaty bones are especially awe-some (if Batman enjoys them) as well as meat, glands, organs (especially heart or supplements like Rena GO) and raw eggs.
 

SarahMD

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Update For Batman:

-I'm still hoping for a mobile vet and I am considering a few I reached out to today. One could fit me in June 3rd, another I am waiting to hear back from.
-I found some vomit and #2 out of the litter box both had a lot of his hair in them. Could the hair be a problem? They used to eat food with bigger ground bone and NEVER had issues with hair balls or vomiting. I'm nervous to attempt any food changes at this point.
_He went #1 out of Litter box, 1st time he was confined in his litterbox room because we were eating with company, 2nd time I confined him to a much larger area and it happened again. I'm thinking this was behavioral and not a bladder issue. I had also changed the litter, he uses the litter I changed to in a different litterbox so I had thought it would be ok, I changed it back right away when he didn't use it.
-He is eating well today & last night but was picky yesterday & the day before. I think he ate something on the deck or maybe had too many treats. He weighed in at 9.2 yesterday which is low for him.
-He seems extremely sensitive to changes of any kind, so I am going to keep everything quiet and routine as possible for the next week and see how he does. If his weight is still low today/tomorrow. I may bring him to his regular vet.
- I tried the scrambled raw egg and he does like it a little bit and will eat a small amount of it.
-I started 1 drop of vitamin d per day.
-He seems to really like the raw northwest naturals chicken or turkey with primal bone broth so I am going to try to stay consistent with that. I offered him a slightly different combo and he would not eat or just picked out his preferred food.
 

SarahMD

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Apr 20, 2021
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Is their a flower remedy I can try? A lot of his issues seem stress related. I listened to some of the webinar, I am just so busy and stressed myself. Is their a link to a product I can try? I'm not sure where to comment or ask questions about the webinar.
 

AliceR

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Jun 7, 2019
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100
Hi Sarah,
I really like the Jackson Galaxy flower remedies for my animals- there is a Stress Stopper- go to his website and read about them and see if any of them seem to fit your cat's situation.
Alice
 

SarahMD

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Apr 20, 2021
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Update for Batman
His bloodwork is normal and his vet is baffled. We are running a malabsorption panel. His stool sample was negative for parasites. Urinalysis is pending. Vet confirmed he is very skinny, he is 9.6 lbs. He is eating every day a good amount and I have been continuing with as much happiness boosting as I can. We've been taking yard leash walks and spending time on the deck. He stopped eating his raw food so temporarily on canned until I can try to switch him back again. I'm reluctant to withhold any food with his weight being so low and I don't think he will eat raw if he has access to anything else. He is extremely picky about any supplements in his food but he does get vitamin d drops and the bach pet rescue remedy drops somewhat regularly.

bloodwork.jpg
 

SarahMD

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Apr 20, 2021
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Bloodwork, fecal, & urinalysis all came back normal. Started him on Answers straight chicken on sunday with total zymes and he is loving it and eating 3 big meals per day. He vomited hair and I had noticed quite a bit of hair in his fecal sample, so we started a little bit of laxatone yesterday and he vomited more hair last night. I have a nutrition consult set up with North Point next week.
 

EdwinA

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Nov 24, 2020
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Try slippery elm for ingested hair! It helps them bring up stuck furballs amazingly well and also helps move the fur through the digestive track. Also supposed to be good for leaky gut etc.
 

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