14 year old boy has big decrease in appetite but bloodwork and x ray came back normal

ndahl

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Hi everyone,

I posted here a couple of months ago about my 10 year old girl having a big lack of appetite. We spent the money on all the tests and unfortunately she had pretty advanced cancer. We kept her comfy for a couple of weeks before we had to put her to sleep.

Last Wednesday I noticed my 14 year old boy wasn’t begging for his wet food dinner as normal. I didn’t give him any more but noticed he was eating some wet food that had been sitting out for a bit (this could be a cause of his tummy troubles). He also threw up that night sometime while I was at work but my sister has been staying with us and she saw it. The next morning he still didn’t beg for his wet food. I opened a fresh can anyway and he didn’t come over. Very strange as my boy is usually waiting around for his breakfast and dinner. I put him near the food and he ate a little bit before turning away. I called the vet and they initially made him an appointment for Monday (today). Well, Thursday was the same but he ate even less. Friday morning he woke me up by vomiting in my bedroom so I called the vet and they got me in for a drop off appointment and they could check on him between appointments.

The vet took a urine sample, did some blood work, and did an x ray. She said aside from dehydration his physical exam was great and the x ray came back good as well. She gave him an anti nausea injection and sent me home with more anti nausea pills. She wanted me to give him the pills Saturday and Sunday but then stop on Monday to see how he’s doing.

Saturday the vet called to say that his blood work was fabulous! The only thing she noticed was that his urine was inappropriately dilute and she said this could be the very early onset of kidney disease. She doesn’t think it’s related to the current situation at all but wants to do another urine sample in a few months.

Anyway, he seemed to be doing better over the weekend. He was being more social, hanging out with us in the living room more, and even playing with my sister’s cat a little bit. His appetite still wasn’t normal but that’s to be expected. I know when I get sick it takes me a couple of days to feel normal again.

Today was the day that I didn’t give him an anti nausea pill and by this evening he’s acting withdrawn and lethargic again. He only takes a couple of bites of food. The vet said that if this happens the next move would be ultrasound which of course when we did that for my other cat it was $700.

I guess I’m kind of venting and ranting more than anything but I’m also wondering if anyone has any idea what could be wrong with my boy. He’s 14 and I’ve had him since he was a kitten. We’ve grown up together and I’m a wreck seeing him obviously uncomfortable and trying to figure out how I’m going to pay for all of this. I’ve always said I’d just figure it out when expenses came up because I never wanted that to be a factor in my fur baby’s care but we just spent almost 2k on our other kitty just a couple of months ago and my boy’s initial round of tests was $500.

For our other kitty she had to be syringe fed because she wasn’t eating. She was on gabapentin for pain and anxiety and it’s just heartbreaking when your kitty is not the same anymore. She had lost all her sass. I don’t know that I can handle that again with my boy so soon. I really need him to be okay but I just feel like he may not be.
 

tyleete

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I'm sorry you're both having to go through this. I had a long time Cancer kitty that passed in Dec, though she died from kidney failure at 17, not the Cancer. Shortly after my IBD gal was diagnosed with the exact same type of Cancer, and then another diagnosed with kidney failure crashed & I had to put him down. I tried everything to help the kidney guy & ended up spending just over a grand on him in a single week to no avail. And I get by in the same fashion.... When the thine comes, figure it out. Ended up using a cc.
Typically how it's been for us, when nothing else is showing much, it's the kidneys. I've had 3 pass from this in the last few years. 2 just on the last many months. But where are you at that it costs $700 for the ultrasound? Most I've ever spent was $400 and that was because it was 'exploratory'. They said they didn't know where they were looking and apparently searched all over.:/ I don't use them anymore.
There's both cerenia and Ondasetron for nausea. Some find better results with the latter, as cerenia's more for vomiting & is cheaper by far.
Something that's helped a few of mine are also cbd oil for pets. You get the THC-free stuff, so it doesn't make them 'high'. But it helps in many ways. Anti inflammatory, appetite stimulant, anxiety & depression, arches and pains, and overall help for an aging or one with medical problems. I gave my Cancer gal this her last 1.5yrs and while still on chemo, I was ableto take her off her steroids. Which was great! She actually changed a lot after. Becoming more social, talkative and would jump on the couch to sit with us again. Something she'd stopped years ago.
I hope baby turns out ok. Maybe call around to see if you can get the ultrasound done cheaper? That is a lot of money. Might try some different foods just to get him to eat? I must've regularly had 15-20 different canned cat foods in my house for my kidney cat.:/
They can be fun like that. But if kidney problems are suspected, maybe look at restricted diets just in case. Did that skin test to check for hydration regularly. I wish you both thebest of luck and hope it passes soon and he turns out ok
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Is he losing weight? Did they check his thyroid? I ask because Feeby is what they call apathetic hyperthyroidic, so her symptoms were weight loss AND decreased appetite (vs. the normal increase in appetite).

As noted above, check the kidney values yourself - I am finding that as long as these values are 'in range', most vets tend to ignore them, but every cat is different so what is in range and be appropriate for one cat might not be the same for another. If you've previously had bloodwork done over recent years - comparing the results for changes is helpful too. I am surprised the most vets don't do that either. There are also a few numbers on the blood work that vets tend to 'blow off' - amylase & Precision PSL - when high. A lot of times they are not cause for alarm, but for an inappetent cat these numbers being high can indicate pancreatitis. Unless it is an acute case, most pancreatitis is treated by ensuring your cat eats and stays hydrated - some times it can require pain meds as well.

The vomiting could be from acid build up in his stomach due to him eating too little. I'd also keep him on the anti-nausea meds for now, if the vet will let you since it seemed it was helping a bit. You might also ask the vet about an appetite stimulant to go hand in hand with the anti-nausea meds.

In so far as eating, try some baby food meat (Gerber Stage 2 or Beechnut) so that he has something in his stomach to help avoid acid build up. Most cats like the taste and will eat it even when they are rejecting their own food. Hill's A/D Recovery food - which most vets carry in their offices - is another good source of food that cats often like.
 
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ndahl

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I'm sorry you're both having to go through this. I had a long time Cancer kitty that passed in Dec, though she died from kidney failure at 17, not the Cancer. Shortly after my IBD gal was diagnosed with the exact same type of Cancer, and then another diagnosed with kidney failure crashed & I had to put him down. I tried everything to help the kidney guy & ended up spending just over a grand on him in a single week to no avail. And I get by in the same fashion.... When the thine comes, figure it out. Ended up using a cc.
Typically how it's been for us, when nothing else is showing much, it's the kidneys. I've had 3 pass from this in the last few years. 2 just on the last many months. But where are you at that it costs $700 for the ultrasound? Most I've ever spent was $400 and that was because it was 'exploratory'. They said they didn't know where they were looking and apparently searched all over.:/ I don't use them anymore.
There's both cerenia and Ondasetron for nausea. Some find better results with the latter, as cerenia's more for vomiting & is cheaper by far.
Something that's helped a few of mine are also cbd oil for pets. You get the THC-free stuff, so it doesn't make them 'high'. But it helps in many ways. Anti inflammatory, appetite stimulant, anxiety & depression, arches and pains, and overall help for an aging or one with medical problems. I gave my Cancer gal this her last 1.5yrs and while still on chemo, I was ableto take her off her steroids. Which was great! She actually changed a lot after. Becoming more social, talkative and would jump on the couch to sit with us again. Something she'd stopped years ago.
I hope baby turns out ok. Maybe call around to see if you can get the ultrasound done cheaper? That is a lot of money. Might try some different foods just to get him to eat? I must've regularly had 15-20 different canned cat foods in my house for my kidney cat.:/
They can be fun like that. But if kidney problems are suspected, maybe look at restricted diets just in case. Did that skin test to check for hydration regularly. I wish you both thebest of luck and hope it passes soon and he turns out ok
Oh no, I’m so sorry that you also had to deal with back to back illnesses. I’m going to the store today to pick up a few different types of foods. If this is kidney and also considering his age he probably needs a higher quality wet food than what I’ve been giving him anyway (fancy feast).
We’re located in Eastern Washington. There’s only one clinic in the area that can do ultrasounds and they have contracts with the local vets that say they can’t recommend anyone else so it’s not like a competitor could pop up anyway. With our last kitty the base ultrasound was $500 but then if they see something they do a fine needle aspirate and that’s what drove up the cost. Ideally they won’t find anything to take a sample of but I don’t want to count on that. I’ll look outside of town and maybe see what’s in Idaho to see if somewhere can do it cheaper!
 
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ndahl

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Hi. Is he losing weight? Did they check his thyroid? I ask because Feeby is what they call apathetic hyperthyroidic, so her symptoms were weight loss AND decreased appetite (vs. the normal increase in appetite).

As noted above, check the kidney values yourself - I am finding that as long as these values are 'in range', most vets tend to ignore them, but every cat is different so what is in range and be appropriate for one cat might not be the same for another. If you've previously had bloodwork done over recent years - comparing the results for changes is helpful too. I am surprised the most vets don't do that either. There are also a few numbers on the blood work that vets tend to 'blow off' - amylase & Precision PSL - when high. A lot of times they are not cause for alarm, but for an inappetent cat these numbers being high can indicate pancreatitis. Unless it is an acute case, most pancreatitis is treated by ensuring your cat eats and stays hydrated - some times it can require pain meds as well.

The vomiting could be from acid build up in his stomach due to him eating too little. I'd also keep him on the anti-nausea meds for now, if the vet will let you since it seemed it was helping a bit. You might also ask the vet about an appetite stimulant to go hand in hand with the anti-nausea meds.

In so far as eating, try some baby food meat (Gerber Stage 2 or Beechnut) so that he has something in his stomach to help avoid acid build up. Most cats like the taste and will eat it even when they are rejecting their own food. Hill's A/D Recovery food - which most vets carry in their offices - is another good source of food that cats often like.
Thank you for your response! He had only lost a pound since his last vet appointment in October which is considerable but not a crazy amount. The clinic I took him to is actually cat only and they specialize in hyperthyroidism so they definitely checked that! Unfortunately he hasn’t had bloodwork done in many years so we don’t have anything to compare it to.

I have the baby food leftover from some picky foster kittens and also a can of the a/d food. He seems to like both of those things but again just doesn’t eat a lot at once.
Late last night after writing this post and this morning his demeanor seems better. He’s been cuddling this morning and moving about. Hopefully he will eat a little bit more for me today 🙏
 
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ndahl

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How are things going today? Keep us posted please!
Sorry! So as I said in my last post, Tuesday he seemed to be acting a little more normal. I’m thankful to report that he has been improving since then. Another thing I forgot to mention is that my sister has been staying with me and she brought her two cats. In addition, we have three foster kittens that we quarantined for a couple weeks but now that they’re older we’ve been letting them out during the day (they’re all healthy and have had their first round of vaccinations). They’re playing in all his toys and my sister’s cats are taking over my boy’s favorite sleeping spots. I thought that maybe this was contributing to his appetite, even though he’s used to fosters and other cats in and out. So I’ve started putting my sister’s cats away in the guest room at night so that my boy has his home to himself for at least 12 hours. I can’t definitively say that this is what is helping him feel better but I don’t think it’s hurting either.

I wouldn’t necessarily say his appetite is back to totally normal but he’s almost there and he’s been playing, scratching, grooming, walking around, and socializing so I think he might be alright. I’m torn on whether or not I should call and update the vet to see what she thinks. I guess it wouldn’t hurt, right?
 

louisstools

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Wow, some of what you describe is similar to what I'm going through with my 10 year old girl. She's ALWAYS been a hungry girl and the past bit she's not quite as hungry. I have a whole post on that here so I won't recount it but yeah it's worrysome when you see a change in your furbabies routine like this.

Personally I have zero qualms calling the vet or making appointments if necessary. That's why they're there and I figure even if they think I'm a bit of a bother they'll tolerate it because it shows someone cares for their pet a lot and not to mention they're making a little money at the same time so it's not exactly bad for business.
 
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