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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 33307
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my 10 year old tom cat is eating and drinking non stop but

Customer Question

my 10 year old tom cat is eating and drinking non stop but his coat seems tatty and he is losing weight although looks quite well and frisky
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Rufus. Polyphagic (increased hunger) and polydipsic (increased thirst) cats who are losing weight are most often found to be either hyperthyroid, diabetic, or both. Polydipsia in seen in just 35% of hyperthryoid cats but essentially all diabetics.

To clarify which disorder if present, Rufus's vet will need to check Rufus's T4 (total thyroid) and blood glucose. This is usually done by performing a cost-effective senior/geriatric diagnostic panel of fasted blood/urine tests. Hyperthyroidism is addressed with a special diet called Hill's y/d and/or methimazole dosed orally or in a percutaneous gel. Radioactive iodine is usually curative but costly. Diabetes, too, can be addressed with a special diet but the great majority of our cats are insulin dependent and will require twice daily insulin injections - at least at first. Some diabetic cats will spontaneously normalize.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

is "Hill's" a special cat food?

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
Yes, Hill's Prescription Diets such as y/d (to address hyperthryoidism) and m/d (to address diabetes) are only available through a veterinarian. Other manufacturers produce similar "diabetic" diets but as far as I know only Hill's produces the very iodine deficient y/d.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your advise.... I'm sorry to have been so dumb asking about " Hill's " but I'm a cat owner not a Vet! That's why I asked you.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 years ago.
No worries. Dumb people don't ask questions when they should!

You're quite welcome. Do you have further questions or concerns for me?