Adult cat losing weight… IBD?

sunny091

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I am fostering a four year old cat and she keeps losing weight. She was 4 pounds 9 ounces two weeks ago, and now down to 4 pounds 4 ounces. She was 5 pounds 12 ounces when she was surrendered to the rescue. She has been going to the vet every two weeks and they have been saying it is IBD, but I thought i would see if someone could throw out some other ideas or ways to manage it that I can discuss with the vet.

She has been eating z/d food, and taking 1.5 ml of prednisolone twice a day. She is on transdermal Mirataz once a day. She doesn’t eat a ton, but she eats enough to poop once per day. Her poop looks normal and she has been dewormed multiple times. Her bloodwork came back normal and consistent with IBD. An ultrasound of her abdomen came back with nothing concerning.
 

daftcat75

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I don't understand how they can diagnose her with IBD based on bloodwork with nothing concerning in the ultrasound. That's backwards! IBD does not typically present itself in bloodwork. It isn't even a definite diagnosis from the ultrasound. But that is the first place it would be visualized. There would be thickening of the intestinal membranes consistent with IBD OR lymphoma. Often they recommend a biopsy to determine whether it is IBD or GI lymphoma. The general rule of thumb is if the cat can maintain or gain weight, it's probably not lymphoma. Weight loss is typically the hallmark of GI lymphoma. Does she have any barfing or pooping symptoms or is it just the weight loss? Sometimes the weight loss is all there is. Is she getting B12 shots? If they suspect IBD, then her ability to absorb B12 from her gut (from food or orally supplemented) would be compromised. Often B12 shots can be difference makers in IBD treatment.

Do you have another vet (preferably in a different practice to avoid colleague bias) that you can consult with? Her records with the current vet are yours to request and transfer to the new vet. That should save you the repeat cost of bloodwork and ultrasound. Though you will still pay the new vet's exam fee (e.g. cover charge just to walk in the door.) From what you have described, I don't know that they have this diagnosed correctly.
 
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sunny091

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Thank you for your feedback! She does throw up maybe once or twice a week- all food. Her poop looks great and she poops every day. The vet ordered B12 shots and we are waiting for them. Unfortunately this cat has been passed around to different fosters a bit, so I still need to get a copy of her bloodwork and ultrasound results. I was told by the last foster that the results were consistent with IBD and there wasn’t anything else that was glaring on the results that would make the vet think there is something else going on. Thankfully vet visits are free for the rescue, but I agree that something else needs to be done to confirm IBD. Rescues have limited resources for tests/biopsy’s, so we will see the next step.
 

StanAndAlf

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How long have you been fostering her? Has she settled in well? Other than IBD, stress comes to mind as a cause for her behaviour.

You mentioned she has been passed around. Perhaps the stress from so many new homes as gotten to her a little. Stress in cats can cause vomiting, weight loss and decreased appetite. Maybe try a calming diffuser to see if it helps, and plenty of isolated places she can hide.

Also, have you tried any toppers on her food? I'm not sure how that would affect her if she does have IBD, but it might help increase her appetite.

Best of luck, please keep us updated!
 

Kareywood

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My 6.5 pound cat had IBD that turned into small bowel lymphoma. She was well controlled on 5 mg prednisolone per day for almost 4 years. I’m not sure how your cat‘s prednisolone dose compares to mine, but my vet always told me that steroids can help both IBD and small bowel lymphoma. Maybe your cat needs a dose increase?
 

Kareywood

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Also, oral Mirtazapine always worked much better for my cat than the transdermal form. Switching that up may help your foster too. i am not a vet or in the vet field but fought GI disease in my cat For years. Good luck-I hope your foster kitty gets better!
 
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sunny091

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Thank you for all of your advice. We ended up euthanizing her today because she was declining rapidly. I’m guessing lymphoma.
 
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