How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question

Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19542
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
60269376
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now

my cat has swollen abdomen and I have taken him to the vet

Resolved Question:

my cat has swollen abdomen and I have taken him to the vet to be told there is fluid. they did blood tests which showed his liver and kidneys were okay. the only thing they found I think she said was low protein. they then drained 550ml of fluid and sent some to a lab and some cells but they could not a positive diagnosis. The liquid they had drained came back in 2-3 days. we then had another scan but while they think it is Lymphoma can not be 100 % sure as it could not penetrate the fluid to get a clear result. the vet has given him Mirtazipine which he has 1/4 tablet every three days. he then seems to be able to eat a little on the day of the tablet. but the other days although he wants food and waits for it, does not eat it he only likes any gravy on the food. he still shows an interest in the birds in the garden though. should I get a second opinion
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Poor Ginger!

Fluid build up in the abdomen of elderly cats is never good news. It can be associated with a range of serious issues from heart disease and organ troubles to viral infections and tumors. Now if your vet couldn't make a diagnosis on their scan nor on the cellular sample, then you are caught in a wee bit of a limbo. Furthermore, if Ginger's blood protein level is low, you are also in a position where you need to take care with draining his abdomen repeatably (since you will remove what protein is in the fluid causing a further decline in the body's protein levels and as this is removed the body's imbalanced osmotic pressures will just lead to progressively quicker refilling of that belly. So, it can be a vicious cycle that worsens with each drainage).

In this case, you have two options. You can consider continuing as you are with your vet (perhaps have another sample checked to see if those illusive cells can be caught or perhaps a second scan post drainage to see if the organs and possible tumor can be seen better). Or you can request referral to a veterinary specialist facility (private or vet school). The advantage of the latter is that they will be staffed with specialists that will have a better chance of pinpointing the cause for his issues. As I am sure you can appreciate specialist veterinary ultrasonographers in private facilities will have extensive training, experience, and since they scan every day will be the best person to try and decipher what is present in Ginger's abdomen. As well, these facilities often have medical and cancer specialists that will be able to help treat him once a diagnosis is achieved.

In this case, since it sounds like you have hit a wall diagnostically and this is limiting how to continue to address Ginger's situation, a second opinion with a specialist would be a real consideration here. So, this would be something to speak to his vet about. But in the meantime, do have a word with them about his appetite. While the Mirtazipine is helping a wee bit, you may want to also have them add an anti-vomiting treatment on the alternative days as nausea often will make cats reluctant to eat. Furthermore, since the fluid will be pressing on his stomach and reducing the volume he can eat, make sure to offer small, frequent meals. And if he needs tempting, do consider a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used here (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity.)

Further to this, if he cannot eat much, then consider Hill's A/D (LINK) or RC Recovery from your local vet. These are both critical care diets that is comes as a soft, palatable pate. They are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise and this could just help get some more calories into him even if we can’t get a huge volume of food in. As well, they can be made into a gruel for syringe feeding if required. Furthermore, if he is struggling with food, you could also use the animal version of Ensure (balanced for animals dietary requirements) called Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet (LINK). It is actually by the same people who make Ensure, but is formulated to meet out pet's dietary needs. Your vet should be able to order it for you but it is available without a prescription They also make one specifically for older cats with kidney troubles, and this could be an alternative for an older cat. This way it would a means of getting food into him and keeping his strength up while you try to identify the cause of his signs so that you can start a targeted treatment for him.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19542
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
Dr. B. and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you for your advice

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome, Jenny.

All the best with wee Ginger,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
< Previous | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Joey

    Dr. Joey

    Board Certified

    Satisfied Customers:

    576
    15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ZF/zforward/2012-6-6_202211_headshot1.64x64.jpg Dr. Joey's Avatar

    Dr. Joey

    Board Certified

    Satisfied Customers:

    576
    15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetdeb/Debbie Headshot 500.64x64.jpg Dr. Deb's Avatar

    Dr. Deb

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    186
    I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NE/nekovet/2013-8-20_23339_nekovet.64x64.jpg Dr. B.'s Avatar

    Dr. B.

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1361
    I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3955
    15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    3073
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2359
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/fshlee/2009-7-15_23110_drlee.jpg Dr. Lee's Avatar

    Dr. Lee

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1219
    8 years of experience in veterinary medicine and surgery