Weight and muscle loss, can’t figure it out.

Calicos4ever

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I have a 14 year old torti girl. She has been having peeing issues, refusing to use the box and is now starting to pee in random spots around the house. She has lost a lot of weight and even muscle mass. The vet did blood work and urinalysis and came back with no diabetes, thyroid or kidney issues. So then we did an X-ray.
X-ray showed her right kidney was abnormally shaped but nothing else. So now they want to do an ultrasound of her abdomen cause they are stil at a loss.
Im already at $700 and the ultrasound will be another $500. I’m not working due to being out of work cause covid and my workplace shuttingdown.
I feel like I’m spending so much and not getting any answers.
Has anyone else had similar issues? Peeing randomly, with weight loss and muscle loss. Am I going to spend $1200 just to be told she has cancer or something.
I feel like because the kidneys didn’t show up on blood or urine work that the weight and muscle loss has to be due to something else that.
 

daftcat75

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Could be GI lymphoma. Could be cancer of another organ. There isn’t a silver bullet test that tells you everything or they would do that one first. Xrays and ultrasounds visualize different structures to different degrees of detail. Some cancers have better prognosis than others. Small cell GI lymphoma, for example, can respond really well to chemotherapy which doesn’t negatively affect cats like people. I’ve heard of cats going into remission for a year or two. Other cancers have poorer outcomes. Personally I would want to rule in or rule out cancer instead of pulling up short now. A surgical biopsy is where I’d draw the line. In many cases, older cats who have lost weight and muscle mass are poor candidates for a surgical biopsy. In this case, it’s less risk to assume cancer and begin chemotherapy. Or try steroids first and then chemo.
 
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FeebysOwner

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Hi. How is your cat eating/drinking? Is her stool normal? Does she throw up a lot? Does she have any issues with mobility? Does she seem lethargic? Did the vet check out her teeth/gums?

When the vets did the x-rays, did they also look at her bladder for any signs of stones/crystals? Did you actually look at the blood work results? While her levels may be 'in range', some might be borderline high or low, which could help with focusing on various health issues. Some vets tend to look at the ranges and if a cat's numbers fall within those ranges, they don't focus on patterns with higher or lower counts that might help to shed some light on possible problems.

Some level of weight and muscle mass loss is, unfortunately, common/to be expected in older cats. And, inappropriate peeing doesn't always have to be caused by a urinary tract issue. It's sometimes a cry for help for some other unrelated issue. One member had their cat peeing inappropriately due to a dental issue. Several others have had this happen due to arthritis. Why many of these cases occur more often with peeing issues as opposed to pooping issues is above and beyond me, but it would seem to somewhat typical.

I'd take a look at your cat's test results just so you know what her numbers are, and if anything in those results attracts your attention, ask the vet about them. The ultrasound seems like the next step - it would even show if there is inflammation in her bladder - which can occur without a UTI or even crystals/stones, but can cause inappropriate peeing. The other thing to consider is if the x-rays that were taken were inclusive enough to have identified any arthritis. And, as said above, if the vet would suspect cancer, steroids and/or chemo are options to try, depending on what your vet might find.
 
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abyeb

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Did the vet run a fecal float by any chance? It wouldn’t explain the inappropriate urination, but intestinal parasites can cause weight loss. Although that usually comes along with diarrhea and vomiting, it may be worth checking, if your vet thinks it makes sense.
 
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Calicos4ever

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Hi. How is your cat eating/drinking? Is her stool normal? Does she throw up a lot? Does she have any issues with mobility? Does she seem lethargic? Did the vet check out her teeth/gums?

When the vets did the x-rays, did they also look at her bladder for any signs of stones/crystals? Did you actually look at the blood work results? While her levels may be 'in range', some might be borderline high or low, which could help with focusing on various health issues. Some vets tend to look at the ranges and if a cat's numbers fall within those ranges, they don't focus on patterns with higher or lower counts that might help to shed some light on possible problems.

Some level of weight and muscle mass loss is, unfortunately, common/to be expected in older cats. And, inappropriate peeing doesn't always have to be caused by a urinary tract issue. It's sometimes a cry for help for some other unrelated issue. One member had their cat peeing inappropriately due to a dental issue. Several others have had this happen due to arthritis. Why many of these cases occur more often with peeing issues as opposed to pooping issues is above and beyond me, but it would seem to somewhat typical.

I'd take a look at your cat's test results just so you know what her numbers are, and if anything in those results attracts your attention, ask the vet about them. The ultrasound seems like the next step - it would even show if there is inflammation in her bladder - which can occur without a UTI or even crystals/stones, but can cause inappropriate peeing. The other thing to consider is if the x-rays that were taken were inclusive enough to have identified any arthritis. And, as said above, if the vet would suspect cancer, steroids and/or chemo are options to try, depending on what your vet might find.
we are currently in lockdown due to covid where I am and we can’t even go into the vets. They take our pets at the door and we wait outside. I didn’t get to see anything.
He said we was running a whole senior blood work and urine tests.
It’s hard to tell about her eating and drinking because she shares her food dishes with our other cat, and she shares water with our large dog and other cat.
Everything else about her is fine as far as I’m concerned. They looked for arthritis, her teeth are fine.
If it’s cancer we really aren’t going to be doing chemo or anything. Ive lost two dogs to cancer and watching them deteriorate on pain meds and steroids was awful.
My ex boyfriends cat when I was younger had kidney issues and he just looked awful and never had any life to him, even after being put on meds so I’m not even sure if we would decide to keep her going if we found out it was kidneys too.
She already sleeps a lot, and keeps to herself. She pretty much is non existent unless she is sleeping on the couch instead of my bedroom.
 

FeebysOwner

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we are currently in lockdown due to covid where I am and we can’t even go into the vets. They take our pets at the door and we wait outside. I didn’t get to see anything. He said we was running a whole senior blood work and urine tests.
I always have my vet's office email me a copy of Feeby's test results. You might call them and ask them to do that for you. It is good to know the details of all tests, just you have an understanding of them and can ask questions if anything arises that you are curious about. My vet will call me to discuss anything I want to have a conversation about.
She already sleeps a lot, and keeps to herself. She pretty much is non existent unless she is sleeping on the couch instead of my bedroom.
Feeby is 16+ yo and has hyperthyroidism along with arthritis, weight loss/muscle mass, and sleeps most of the time - although she tends to sleep her days/nights away where ever I am at. She eats, but sometimes not as much as other days. Her litter box habits are good, but she once was very prone to UTIs. An all canned food diet, extra water, and D-Mannose seem to have gotten this under control - for now anyway. She may also have some kidney issues, and I will treat them, as there are so many threads/members on this site that have extended their own cats' lives with treatment and related care. So, forgive me for being a bit over-active in my searches for things to help older cats.

I can't speak to the cancer/chemo aspect - so far, not there yet. It really all depends on where/what type of cancer as to the success of chemo. Some aren't as treatable as others, but there are some cancers that chemo have treated to the point of putting a cat into remission. Why they do so much better at handling chemo than most humans is probably a bit of mystery to all, including vets.

Most elderly cats will end up with illnesses, just like humans do. How to treat them is all dependent upon the ailment and possible treatments. I hope your little tortie (Feeby is a dilute tortie!) doesn't have cancer - at least not one that could possibly be treated in a manner to help extend her life in a meaningful way - likewise with any kidney issues.

If and when you feel like it, please share a pic of your girl, along with her name. And, by all means, please keep us posted.
 

Laurie H

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I have a 14 year old torti girl. She has been having peeing issues, refusing to use the box and is now starting to pee in random spots around the house. She has lost a lot of weight and even muscle mass. The vet did blood work and urinalysis and came back with no diabetes, thyroid or kidney issues. So then we did an X-ray.
X-ray showed her right kidney was abnormally shaped but nothing else. So now they want to do an ultrasound of her abdomen cause they are stil at a loss.
Im already at $700 and the ultrasound will be another $500. I’m not working due to being out of work cause covid and my workplace shuttingdown.
I feel like I’m spending so much and not getting any answers.
Has anyone else had similar issues? Peeing randomly, with weight loss and muscle loss. Am I going to spend $1200 just to be told she has cancer or something.
I feel like because the kidneys didn’t show up on blood or urine work that the weight and muscle loss has to be due to something else that.
Have you seen her actually do the peeing in the inappropriate spots? If not, she may becoming incontinent at that age, which would cause her to lose urine anywhere she sits or lays, at times.
 
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Calicos4ever

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No I have seen her. She’s walked over and peed on our carpet at the front door, and she pees in random spots but Kees going back to the same spots, even though I’ve cleaned like crazy. I’ve actually watched her be in the room with the litter box, paused for like 10 seconds and stare at the box, then go walk like 5ft away and pee. But yet, she goes poo in the box.
 

daftcat75

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When was the last time she had a dental with mouth xrays? When my senior tortie girl started peeing outside the box, I mentioned this to a vet on an unrelated visit. He popped her mouth and said, “she’s been trying to get your attention. Her teeth are going bad.” Several extractions later and her inappropriate urination was eliminated. Something to consider if she hasn’t had a dental in awhile. Senior cats are prone to dental issues. 😿
 
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