Hairballs in cats

AliceR

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Jun 7, 2019
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Hello,
I have a question about my 11 yr. old cat, Gritzi. She is a former feral kitten, the only one in her litter who survived a coyote attack, probably because she was the most fearful, she eluded being eaten.CB54E20C-9834-44C4-8D52-9CDBC229DFDE.jpeg

She has always been a picky eater- ate Honest Kitchen, then Small Batch raw, also Rad cat, now will only eat various canned foods. She may like the flavor one day and the other, it's a no.

In the last couple years, she has been coughing- what sounds like hairballs. I know hairballs mean her body is out of balance. My vet last year said to give laxatone 3 days in a row and yes, she coughed up hairballs, but cough came back and I had to repeat.

She is still coughing. She is going in for her wellness exam this month. Just wondering if there is anything that can be done homeopathically to help her body expel the hairballs. I give her pumpkin, water and psyllium daily in her food.

I know Holistic Actions view is that hairballs mean the animal is out of balance...her BEAM is good, except for the appetite and she has always been fearful, considering he past, but not with me.

Is it ok to continue giving the laxatone?
Thanks,
Alice
 

Dr. Jeff

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Hi Alice.

Sure, Tomlyn Laxatone is "OK" (tho it uses vaseline and sugar and is not a particularly healthy product).

There are many other products out there such as Petco Well and Good.

You can also try sardine, olive oil or a great oily blend like:


As you said, the key to curative reduction of this common early warning sign (hairball vomiting) is internal treatment.


What's most important is that you know that you're palliating whenever you're using the Laxatone (or similar).

How about using it (along with daily brushing) while you treat internally with homeopathy.

As her balance improves, you'll need less of the hairball stuff.
 

AliceR

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Thank you Dr. Jeff.

I just want to add that she gets fish oil daily and a sardine once a week.

I gave her butter for awhile and she liked that.

I recently bought Pet Naturals bite sized chews for hairballs. Need to give 8 a day for hairballs- I was able to get her to eat 8 yesterday, today, she will not eat.

Is there a particular remedy to try for hairballs? Wouldn't they be considered (hopefully) an acute condition?

I will try the daily brushing. She is the cat I mentioned before who sometimes pulls her hair out as I'm preparing her meal. She may be ingesting then, though I find some on the floor.

Alice
 

Dr. Jean

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Hi Alice, I like just plain Vaseline, rather than a flavored product. It's usually pretty easy to "smush" a finger-full into the corner of the mouth. My cats have made it clear that Vaseline brand is far tastier (well, perhaps "less objectionable" would be more accurate!) than generic, but it may be an individual preference.

The reason I like Vaseline is because it is such a large molecule it can't be broken down, and therefore "escorts" the hair all the way to the back door. It remains completely inert in the body. Edible oils are broken down in the small intestine, so while they will help the hair move out of the stomach, if there are any hang-ups further down they will not work for that. Nevertheless, healthy edible oils have other benefits, like skin and coat health.

I see that the Pet Naturals product is to be given at the high dose only for a few days, then only 2 per day. The operative ingredient is psyllium fiber. There are some carbs and calories in the product, as well as inflammatory Omega-6 fats, so let's definitely not overdo it; otherwise you risk her gaining weight, which is never a good thing.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

AliceR

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Hi Alice, I like just plain Vaseline, rather than a flavored product. It's usually pretty easy to "smush" a finger-full into the corner of the mouth. My cats have made it clear that Vaseline brand is far tastier (well, perhaps "less objectionable" would be more accurate!) than generic, but it may be an individual preference.

The reason I like Vaseline is because it is such a large molecule it can't be broken down, and therefore "escorts" the hair all the way to the back door. It remains completely inert in the body. Edible oils are broken down in the small intestine, so while they will help the hair move out of the stomach, if there are any hang-ups further down they will not work for that. Nevertheless, healthy edible oils have other benefits, like skin and coat health.

I see that the Pet Naturals product is to be given at the high dose only for a few days, then only 2 per day. The operative ingredient is psyllium fiber. There are some carbs and calories in the product, as well as inflammatory Omega-6 fats, so let's definitely not overdo it; otherwise you risk her gaining weight, which is never a good thing.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

AliceR

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Thanks, Dr. Jean. I have given plain vaseline as well, but only the generic kind.
As far as the Pet Naturals, after the first day, she refused to eat anymore, so gave to my other cats. I did notice it was mostly psyllium, which I sprinkle daily on her food with water and sometimes pumpkin.

Alice
 

AliceR

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I took Gritzi in to the vet for a wellness exam/bloodwork. She seems to think the coughing may be due to asthma. Any thoughts on this? She said I can try giving her herbs such as astragalus...I told her I had Immune Balance with Larch, Moringa, colostrum, but not sure it would work for asthma. She suggested possibly getting a chest X-ray, and mentioned corticosteroids or an inhaler- any thoughts?
Thank you,
Alice
 

AliceR

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Hello Dr. Jeff and Dr. Christina,

I haven't heard any responses about my question about asthma in cats vs hairballs, if you can give me any information, I would appreciate it.
Alice
 

AliceR

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@Dr. Jeff and @Dr. Christina,
I also got Gritzi's lab results back and ALT was elevated 189 and AST was 114. Vet said it could be inflammation elsewhere...was going to try liver support herbs, but appetite is a little down, so is the coughing.
Thanks,
Alice
 

Dr. Jeff

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Asthma coughing vs. "hairball" coughing is difficult to differentiate. :confused:

The latter is often associated with increased shedding or increased grooming whereas the former is more frequently associated with a decreased BEAM.

Regardless, both are great symptoms to use to better understand her internal imbalance as well as to monitor responses to homeopathic medicines.

The elevated liver tests are more indicative of an internal inflammatory condition and are related to the cough (test abnormalities are internal symptoms whereas coughing is an external one).

Are you working with a vet homeopath in addition to your local vet?
 

AliceR

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Thanks, Dr. Jeff. Gritzi's BEAM seems good, except appetite has always been off and on. She tends to cough a couple hours before dawn. I am going to get an air purifier for the room.

She won't eat the food with a liver support supplement in it.

Have not started to work with a vet homeopath yet, still working with my other cat, Sunshine ( blood in urine)- this last remedy for her may be working. I have also scheduled an ultrasound for March as well as a consult with an internist. I have a hard time when more than one animal is sick at the same time.

Alice
 

Dr. Jeff

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I'm so glad to hear that Sunshine is better!:)

Yes, it's very difficult when more than one of our loved ones have health challenges at the same time.?

Further non-invasive diagnostics for Gritzi can definitely give you valuable info about other internal symptoms and help reach a diagnosis (which is just a collection of symptoms).

Big yes to an air purifier and you may also want to consider pillow and mattress dust mite covers for the bed she sleeps on.

Your immune stimulant sounds fine to try as long as there are no other potentially harmful ingredients.

One in liquid form that works well for cats is Liquid Immuno from Rx Vitamins:

 

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