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Cat with tumor has appetite, but is losing weight

FrancineR

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Jan 18, 2021
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4
Sophie is 17 years old. She has been diagnosed with a liver tumor (unknown if benign or malignant). Surgery is out of the question. Our problem is she has a good appetite - asks for food 3-4 times a day, although her appetite has switched from raw chicken, turkey & grass-fed beef to poached chicken thigh, poached salmon and scrambled egg. All organic. I am adding a daily vitamin/prebiotic/probiotic powder to each meal (Daily Multi Plus from the Pet Health & Nutrition Center) as well as a small amount of olive oil and seaweed calcium She eats her meals with gusto - ranging from 2-Tbs to 1/3 cup. But she is losing weight (from 6 lbs. to 5-1/4 lbs.)

I have purchased Dr. Basko's book on feeding cats, and am looking for additional help from the HA! community for suggestions for other foods/additives to help her gain weight. Her BEAM is pretty fair-to-good - tail in the air all the time, greets me at the door, very loving and cuddly, spring in her step when going up/down stairs. I hydrate her daily - 100cc. We are patients of Dr. Jeff, but there is no issue with asking for your help with her weight issue. I look forward to and would
appreciate any responses. Thank you....

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Dr. Jeff

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Francine, since she is eating well (what she likes) have you tried increasing the amounts or adding fat calories (chia, flax, hemp, olive, or really any oil she likes)?

Does she like sardines? Have you tried playing the hunt-catch-kill-eat game to see if that would help her eat more and help activate her innate healing ability?

Also, I bet that @Dr. Jean has other ideas...
 

FrancineR

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Jan 18, 2021
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4
Thank you for replying, Dr Jeff. I give her a lot of food and let her eat as much/little as she wants. I am adding about 1/4 tsp. olive oil - and now coconut oil - to her food. She does not like flax oil, but I will start to add chia oil.

She does like sardines in water - I hesitate to give her the sardines in olive oil, as there is salt in the oil. Should I give her some anyway? As for hunt-catch-kill, she is mildly interested in the feather/fishing pole, but does not jump on it like she used to.

I am a little baffled that her BEAM is not reflective of her weight loss - and perhaps I am too anxious to see the weight gain after only a couple of weeks of adding oil to her food. I will sauté some grass-fed ground beef and see if she wants any of it. Will try some of Dr. Basko's recipes as well.

Some would think she has hyperthyroidism, but her recent CBS/T4 test showed a T4 total of 2.0, which is in the middle of the normal range.

I would appreciate any feedback from members of the HA! community, especially Drs. Chambreau and Hofve, as well as Ginny Wilken if they read this post.
 

GinnyW

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Mar 3, 2021
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219
It sounds to me as if you're doing exactly what she needs, as far as food. I would like to know what the "cat experts" might see in her total thyroid numbers. I would imagine that perhaps with cats as with dogs and ourselves, that T4 is not always an accurate indication of actual thyroid function. Since the bottom line is her condition and happiness, I would let that rule over achieving a certain lab value - but it's good to know.

On the sardines: the olive oil in which they are packed is often low-quality and overheated in the canning, so I wouldn't rely on its nutritional value. Maybe use water-packed, and add a better oil for taste and texture. And I would certainly try to feed all her food items as close to raw as possible. It's pretty easy to develop a taste for the concentrated flavors of cooked, but of course this is not optimal nutrition. It doesn't take much fat or oil or heat to make the food attractive - just a hint.

I applaud what you are doing for her; you're a great cat mom.
 

Dr. Jean

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Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
127
Hi, sorry I'm so late to the party!

Rather than olive oil (or other plant-based oil containing only ALA, alpha-linolenic acid), I would definitely go with one that contains EPA and DHA, such as fish oil or green-lipped mussel oil. By far, EPA has the best anti-inflammatory properties. DHA is structurally important, it is used in every cell membrane in the body. Cats (and dogs and humans) cannot convert ALA to EPA and DHA in any significant amount so it is important to supplement them directly. I do not recommend coconut oil at all; it doesn't contain anything she needs, and the lauric acid it contains can cause inflammation in the gut. It is also bad-tasting to a lot of cats.

Standard Process Livaplex is my go-to supplement for any type of liver disease. It can work miracles.

It also sounds like there is very little calcium in her diet (except the small amount in sardines). It might be helpful to add calcium to get a better dietary balance.
 

FrancineR

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Jan 18, 2021
Messages
4
Dr. Jean - thank you so much for your reply to my post about Sophie.

Will the fish or green-lipped mussel oils help increase her weight, as she may convert them easier? Do you prefer one over the other? The NZ mussel oil seemed a good choice online, but am not sure if I can order or if it has to come from a veterinarian. Also, if it comes from NZ, are there shipping delays?

And are you suggesting that I also add Standard Process Livaplex to aid with her liver tumor? I have starting to use CAS powder in her meals...do you advise using both the Livaplex and CAS? And what brand of Livaplex would you recommend (there are so many on the market)?

I do add some seaweed calcium (from The Pet Health and Nutrition Center) to each meal. The suggested dose is 1 tsp/1 lb. of food, and she eats about 2-3 Tbs per meal.

I so appreciate your input and am grateful for your concern, as well as for the concern of Dr. Jeff (her doctor) and Ginny Wilken. Sophie is now on a Sulphur Q1 remedy - don't know if it's related, but she has started to eat raw again...
 

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