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Simba goes undiagnosed - M Cat age 6
AdamintheD posted:
Our cat Simba is 6. We love him dearly. Yesterday we were moments from having him put to sleep but decided we wanted to give him another chance...even though we still had no idea what was wrong with him.
His chronic problem has been having loose stool. He would poop on the couch on a semi regular basis. About once a month. He would have likely pooped on our bed as well if we didn't keep our door closed. On Sunday of last week however he stopped eating and started pooping everywhere in the house. On other couches...on the floor. We got him into a new vet on Wednesday. They did a fecal exam and it came back clean. They also did a blood panel that can be seen here . This really didn't give us much info. Before we left the vet they gave him fluid and an antibiotic just in case. Thursday didn't show much change. Still not eating and when he did poop it was very mucousy and not a lot of content...and he preferred the shower curtain covered bed to the litter box he had. We took him yesterday back to our normal vet. They did a glucose test and his numbers were down from Wednesday ruling out diabetes. Another solid blood test also didn't reveal anything. We decided to do a shot in the dark and give him a steroid and more fluid and another antibotic, as well as an appetite stimulant. Within about 20 min of the steroid, fluid and stimulant he was talking and ready to eat. He has been eating much more like himself for the past 12 hours and chatting up a storm. A vast difference from the previous 5 days of only moving if he had to. His poop continues to be mucousy but with a little more substance. (Obviously because he's been eating) He is a long hair domestic who enjoys being outside. He has had a leukemia vaccination but I believe it expired in the spring of 2011. We are looking to see if anyone might have another opinion on his condition and symptoms. We love him but also don't want him to suffer, which today seems to be only when he's in the litter box trying to poop. We have two other cats in the house who are younger than him and have not had any change in behavior. We feed them Taste of the Wild and he has been on that for a year.

The vet yesterday said they consider that he might have an auto immune anemia because he had low hemadocrit(sp?) in his labs.

He also had a previous diagnosis of reverse hairballs. He has never coughed up a hairball in his life.

Thank you in advance for your opinions.
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
It sounds like your veterinarians have looked at everything that can cause diarrhea (which is almost everything!) except his intestinal tract. Unfortunately, that's not easy as it requires biopsies of his intestinal tract, but that's probably where your answer lies. The good news is that it no longer requires surgery, but can be done by endoscopy using a fiberoptic tube. It still requires anesthesia, but the recovery is 24 hours or less. You will have to wait for the steroid to wear off (it will interfere with interpreting the biopsies) but there are medications he can take to control his diarrhea in the meantime.

A common question is "why not just leave him on steroids?" These drugs do have potential side effects but, more importantly, you still don't know what's causing his symptoms. Since some of these causes are life threatening, you need to know. If your veterinarians don't do endoscopy, ask for referral to a board-certified feline or internal medicine specialist.

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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