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. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 31134
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
55012488
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

My 11 year old cat has had persistant diarrohea and vomiting

Customer Question

My 11 year old cat has had persistant diarrohea and vomiting for several months getting so bad she was hospitalised 2 days ago and is still there. She has lost a huge amount of weight and is just fur covered bones. Up to 2 days ago she has had steroid injections, vitamin B12 injections, probiotic feed, hypoallergenic feed, metronidazole, IV antibiotics, electrolytes through a drip due to severe dehydration and low potassium in blood tests and today had an abdominal scan which showed no lumps but thickened walls of her lower intestine. Tonight I have to make a decision wether to ask for a biopsy given that due to her weakened state she may not recover from the anaesthetic or to have her euthenised as the vet has run out of treatment options other than just persisting with treating her for IBS which up to now is not working. I would be grateful for some advice
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Tara and I'm afraid that I have to be very discouraging. Any 11 year old who has become cachexic (wasted) and suffers from persistent vomiting and diarrhea, has demonstrable thickening in her intestines but hasn't responded to IBS therapy, must be suspected of harboring small cell lymphoma - an all too common sequela of IBS.

While scoping and biopsy is likely to be definitive,we need to ask ourselves if we would institute chemotherapy in such a debilitated cat should small cell lymphoma be confirmed. The prognosis for such a patient varies with the findings in the biopsy but life expectancy for such a treated cat with advanced small cell lymphoma is no more than 5-9 months. I'm sorry to sound so discouraging. I would not proceed to biopsy under these circumstances.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.