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10 year old tabby, decreased eating, shaking head, possible lymphoma, any experiences?

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by justplainheidi, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. justplainheidi

    justplainheidi Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    152
    6
    Aug 29, 2003
    Elgin, TX
    It has been a long time since I've been on these forums because things have been relatively drama free in my cat filled household but I'm back and need help.

    Unfortunately my 10 year old DSH has been losing weight over the last few weeks.  I noticed she was getting skinny, that I could feel her hip bones and spine, that she wasn't cleaning herself well anymore, so off we went to the vet.  $400 worth of testing determined she needed some dental work, but that she was disease free with a healthy thyroid and liver. 

    Last Tuesday we took her in and she had 4 teeth extracted.  They sent her home with some pain meds and we assumed it was all uphill from there.

    In the days after surgery she showed an interest in food, but wasn't eating much.  We gave her Friskies canned food, Feline Rescue canned food, Tuna fish, anything we could find that she might eat.  She was still drinking water without a problem, and she would lick the juice from the tuna or the canned food, but she started shying away from eating the actual meat pieces.  At most she was eating maybe 3/4 of a can of soft food over the course of a day, and now we're lucky to get her to eat 1/4 of a can.  She has started shaking her head, and sticking her tongue out when she tries to eat.  She still has a will to eat, and is happy and friendly, but it seems to be too uncomfortable for her to eat.

    Prior to surgery she weighed just under 10 lbs, yesterday she was down to 8lbs 6 oz. 

    We took her back to the vet today and they looked at her extraction sites.  3 are well healed while 1 looks a bit pinker.  I'd like to think that this is causing the discomfort, inability to eat, and that some more pain meds, b12, and an anti inflammatory will have her right as rain in no time.

    The vet mentioned taking her to a specialist to look for lymphoma though and that has me quite concerned. 

    I know it's hard to diagnose a cat long distance, but do her symptoms seem consistent with lymphoma? Is there something else we should be looking for or trying?

    ~Heidi
     

  2. blueyedgirl5946

    blueyedgirl5946 TCS Member Veteran

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    Sep 10, 2005
    I can't say about the lymphoma. I would ask this. There is a probiotic called Forti Flora that the vet prescribed for my cat last year when he had liver cancer. It is sprinkled over the top of the food and helps get the cat to eat. Also there are some prescription meds that are appetite stimulants. You might ask your vet about those two things until you can find the problem. Your cat needs to eat to keep from developing liver problems.
     

  3. finnlacey

    finnlacey TCS Member Super Cat

    821
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    Feb 16, 2012
    I don't know how the vet gets lymphoma from that but it sounds like she has an infection in her mouth from the surgery. There's no way to tell anything about lymphoma without the proper testing which would entail a biopsy. Shaking her head and having her tongue stick out sounds neurological. But that weight loss concerns me a lot!
     

  4. justplainheidi

    justplainheidi Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    152
    6
    Aug 29, 2003
    Elgin, TX
    I was planning on asking for an appetite stimulant although I'm not sure how much it will help since she's interested in food, she just can't seem to eat it.  At this point I think I'm more worried about her developing hepatic lipidosis than my vet is hehe  It has only been a little over 2 years since my cat Winnie stopped eating and ended up with fatty liver and an E tube.  It was a long month of feeding her through that tube and worrying about her, and I really don't want to go through that again with Cali.  My vet has been monitoring her liver levels, and they haven't detected any jaundice or the like.  For now they consider her an "ok" weight, but if she gets down to 7.5 lbs they said we'll need to do something drastic. 

    I'll see about getting something to help improve her appetite though.  Maybe if she gets hungry enough, she'll be willing to eat despite the discomfort?
     

  5. justplainheidi

    justplainheidi Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    152
    6
    Aug 29, 2003
    Elgin, TX
    I am really hoping that slightly pinker extraction site is the main culprit but the vet would prefer that we take Cali to a specialist for a scan sooner rather than later so we might not get a chance to wait and see.  They examined her mouth, throat, and nose a bit when she was sedated and didn't see any masses, but they don't have the equipment necessary to really diagnose something like cancer. 

    Cali also didn't like having them examine her mouth today and she hissed at the vet.  I can count on 1 finger the number of times Cali has hissed at a human, so I know she isn't feeling well.  Even after the vet upset her, she still showed interest in the food they put in front of her, but again she ended up shaking her head and smacking her tongue when she tried eating.  I hope that's nothing neurological :(
     

  6. finnlacey

    finnlacey TCS Member Super Cat

    821
    44
    Feb 16, 2012
    Your vet should be trying to not let it get to that point. If you've already been through this then you know the risks and you sound like you're already concerned! Your vet should be as well. yes, i think an appetite stimulant should be used, hopefully the pain med will help so she can eat. You probably know this but if it gets to be too long that she's not eating you should syringe feed her. Have you tried blending down her food for now so she can eat it easier? She's on wet food right?
     

  7. finnlacey

    finnlacey TCS Member Super Cat

    821
    44
    Feb 16, 2012
    Smacking her mouth and tongue like that is indicative of nausea. So she's definitely not feeling well, did he not think the area could be infected? What about antibiotics?
     

  8. ldg

    ldg TCS Member Veteran

    Well it sure sounds to me like she should be on antibiotics, and maybe an anti-nausea medication rather than an appetite stimulant. When Lazlo was under chemotherapy, the anti-nausea med did a lot more for his appetite than the appetite stimulant. You say she's still showing interest in food, but doesn't want to eat much once she starts. Well, that was Lazlo. He was VERY sensitive to smell, and yes, the Fortiflora helped him dig in - but it REALLY improved the amount he ate when we started the cerenia (the anti-nausea med).

    Before seeing a specialist, I'd want to treat the infection, and deal with her nausea. In the meantime, I'd add digestive enzymes to her food so she gets more nutrition from what she's eating (Prozyme original or Mercola pet digestive enzymes), and I'd use a syringe to feed her to ensure she's getting the amount of nutrition she needs each day, and not depend on her eating enough.

    FYI, there's no way to test for lymphoma unless there's something TO biopsy. That requires imaging - an ultrasound. So that would be the next diagnostic step - to see if there are enlarged lymph nodes or masses.

    Many vibes this is all related to her teeth! :vibes: :vibes: :vibes: :vibes: :vibes:
     

  9. Rachelleke

    Rachelleke TCS Member Kitten

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    Oct 5, 2018
     

  10. Rachelleke

    Rachelleke TCS Member Kitten

    2
    1
    Oct 5, 2018
    Justplainheidi,

    I know it's been almost 6 years, but did you ever find out what was wrong with your cat? Mine is having very similar symptoms.

    Thanks!
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

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