The mystery of my 12 year old female with chronic vomiting and hairballs who now has pancreatitis

rldunehew

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I have a 12.5 year old female who has been vomiting hairballs, bile and food in random order for over 5 years now. She has been to 5 different vets since its started and 3 of them have been in the last 2 years. No one knows what's going on... One did xrays and said she had gallstones.. She wanted to take out her gallbladder As well as remove all of her teeth due to a suspected immune system reaction... I declined and treated with Cerenia occasionally and would treat hairballs. This was 5 years ago.. She is still here so it wasn't gallstones.

3 other vets just did really expensive bloodwork and said she might be pre diabetic or have a problem with her thyroid... That was last year..
The next vet who is her current one said her bloodwork does not point to diabetes or thyroid.
She now does have pancreatitis and it is kicking her butt... Watching my little girl suffer sucks so bad.
her new vet thinks it might be a chronic issue and that may just be what has been going on. SO I am looking at changing her diet to a sensitive stomach one but They are soooo dang expensive and she is very picky. And I also have 5 other cats and if I change ones food I have to change them all. So expensive!
Looking in to homemade food possibly even raw or cooked with an added supplement like Ezcomplete fur Cats. But im so confused.

The vet is reluctant to give her something I can use for her longterm nausea. She wants me too keep bringing her in! im at a loss as I cant afford all of this. I called them today and asked for zofran and no one ever called me back. I mean really! Cats cant go very long without sustenance. I hate to go to yet another vet but man...

Meanwhile I have a sweet old lady kitty that I love dearly and am not ready to have her be a memory. She is currently curled in a ball and not eating. Cerenia seems to make her loose her appetite. So I started using some zofran I had left from another pet that passed and its working better than the Cerenia. Im thinking about trying them both together as they do two different things and may help her get her appetite back. I cant drop her off at the vet and have them drug her up, fill her with subq fluids freak her out just to repeat this every couple of weeks.

Anyone have any advice??? On what could be going on or a diet change that won't break the bank or any suggestion that might help her. I have mostly senior cats so something in that area that is easily digestible and also easy to have shipped to me or that is easy to make. I would be most appreciative. Sorry if my post is long and all over the place as I am upset and sad.
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dragonlady2

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I had a similar issue with my cat. She is one of 7 cats. Hair balls, bile, not eating. A few hundred dollars to the vet resulted in nothing.
I can give you what I did and maybe there is something that will help you. I removed all kibble. I started feeding her 4 smaller meals per day instead of 2. I felt she had reflux so I looked for canned food that did not have carrageenan or agar agar( not sure of this spelling) . It took me 3 different kinds but I did find one that had guar gum that she tolerated and did not throw up. I give her a little pumpkin in the first meal of the day to help with hair balls. She has rebounded and at this time has only thrown up an occasional hairball. She is the only one that gets this food. Maybe start looking into the ingredients of the food she is eating.
 

fionasmom

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https://www.idexx.com/files/spec-fpl-treatment-for-feline-pancreatitis.pdf
Feeding Cats with Pancreatitis | PetMD

Welcome to The Cat Site! The IDEXX article gives a great overview of pancreatitis in cats and the blog makes general suggestions. There are sites that recommend specific food, but most of them are the more expensive foods like Ziwi Peak which you are trying to avoid. 6 Best Cat Foods For Pancreatitis In 2021: Diet & Info There is one so called budget pick in the list though.

If your cat is in an acute stage of pancreatitis, she may need more than a diet change to get her over the hump. The other girl needs to eat before that becomes the next issue and I am sorry that you are faced with all this at one time.

Cerenia can't be used continually...it has to be a stop/start kind of thing and I don't now how often that combo is possible. Zofran can be used more long term, but I don't know if it means forever. Your vet may not want to give you those on a continual basis as it only helps with a tiny piece of the problem. Can you have a discussion with the vet about the limitations of having two sick cats and ask for some guidelines that you could work within?

My dog has repetitive pancreatitis and is always treated with antibiotics and anti inflammatories along with anti emetics.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Has she had a recent xray or ultrasound? You said she had one a few years ago and they found gallstones. Those wouldn't necessarily kill her, just cause some issues. Here is a quote from www.merckvetmanual.com

"Gallstones


Gallstones rarely cause disease. In cats, gallstones are generally associated with bile duct inflammation. Most cats with gallstones show no signs or display discomfort only after eating. When seen, signs include vomiting, jaundice, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and fever. Bacterial infections are often present. Treatment consists of appropriate antibiotics and liver medications. Surgery to remove the stones is necessary if gallbladder inflammation is present or if the stones are blocking the bile duct."


It might be worth having that checked again and acting on whatever advice your current Vet gives you about them. Of course, the pancreatitis needs to be taken care of first :frown: I do think you might need to feed her separately. A lot of people do that, as health requires. You might have to separate them at mealtimes, but so be it.

Have you asked your Vet for an appetite stimulant? That might help. Is she on any pain meds for the pancreatitis?
 
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rldunehew

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Thank you all for the great information. When im not a basket case I will come back and do some homework.
I feel comforted knowing that you all are here! Thank you!
She is at the veterinarians right now having an ultrasound. I am anxiously waiting for them to call me.
Hopefully they will find out what is going on and we can treat it! This was so expensive and im praying that I will be able to afford the treatment they may offer. But one day at a time and first things first and all of that... :nervous:
I will update you all when I find out!
*I am upset that they didn't offer her any pain meds or even zofran for nausea after they treated her for the pancreatitis. She completely stopped eating this morning and threw up after water.. 😞
 

neely

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Our present cat had two bouts of Pancreatitis over the course of two years. He was treated with Prednisolone and an appetite stimulant which helped him. immensely. The vet also gave him Urgent Care A/D cat food and he gobbled it up:
Hill's Prescription Diet a/d Wet Dog/Cat Food

Best of luck, please keep us posted with the results of her ultrasound. :alright:
 
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rldunehew

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No word yet on the ultrasound results. I'm hopping tomorrow... Slev has been doing a little better although I am noticing a change in her. she is just tired and uncomfortable. She had a Cerenia injection Friday as well as oral sat and today. She will go back to the vet tomorrow for fluids. Switched her food to Royal Canin gastro for now. And trying to wrap my mind around changing all of my indoor cats to the same. Man oh man is it expensive and my other cats are not big fans. This will probably only work short term. Still looking into making my own food and adding a nutritional supplement.
I was wondering... Is it safe to alternate different kinds of sensitive stomach foods? These guys are not going to be happy about the one and only flavor of the RC gastro canned food. They need variety for sure.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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If you are talking about alternating DRY food for sensitive stomachs, it's not really advised to switch between foods without going slowly. So to simply switch from one meal to the next isn't really the way to go. Canned food, however, is a different story. Many people feed a different variety/brand often, even every meal with wet food.

As I stated above, you might just need to feed this particular girl separately and let the other enjoy what they are currently eating if the final determination is that she needs a diet change.
 
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rldunehew

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If you are talking about alternating DRY food for sensitive stomachs, it's not really advised to switch between foods without going slowly. So to simply switch from one meal to the next isn't really the way to go. Canned food, however, is a different story. Many people feed a different variety/brand often, even every meal with wet food.

As I stated above, you might just need to feed this particular girl separately and let the other enjoy what they are currently eating if the final determination is that she needs a diet change.
I am going to attempt to wean them all off of dry. But for now I did purchase a bag of Gastro RC so I can slowly remove the other dry and exclusively feed RC dry. That is until I can completely remove it from their diets. But yeah, I was asking about wet. I do not believe she will eat RC gastro wet food exclusively. I wanted to get some canned sensitive stomach food in different brands and textures and alternate them.
I can not keep her from getting to the others foods. It is impossible and it is breaking my heart when she sees them getting fed. She perks up and gets denied. That is why I was asking about alternating Wet foods. All of my cats are 10+ and one has a marker for future kidney problems. Its time to get them off of the fancy feast. I want to keep them with me as long as I can. So. im gonna look into making my own food in the near future I guess.. As long as I can find a way to supplement so they get proper nutrition.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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EZ Complete is a good supplement, even for kidney cats. All you need to use is meat, nothing else. As a matter of fact, it won't be good if you add in your own organ meat and calcium. And you can use it with either raw meat or lightly cooked meat. Your choice. They have directions for either. Here is their website where you can learn all about it: Food Fur Life - EZ Homemade raw food for pets!

There are other supplements out there too, but I mention this one mainly because theirs is good for kidney cats as well.
 

linzy383

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Our 12 year old kitty gets pancreatitis at least once a year for the last four years. Thankfully now we recognize the signs so he isn’t critical by the time we take him to the vet. We feed him Royal Canin Ultamino, and it’s been the best for him. It has hydrolized protein. This latest pancreatitis flare came after I accidentally bought Hills z/d at the vet and he was eating it for a few weeks. I felt so bad! The only place that carries it where I live is the emergency vet, so we buy it from Chewy. I hate pancreatitis!
 
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