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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32725
Experience:  16 years of experience in small animal internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My long haired cat (12) has been losing a lot of weight (1

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My long haired cat (12) has been losing a lot of weight (1 kilo out of original 4.2 kilo). The only behavior we noticed was persistent grooming/scratching and vomiting something like a very dry hot dog. We have been to vet numerous times. He proscribed a paste to be given with food - to no avail. He then gave her a cortisone injection - no change. She Iisgetting close to skin and bones (but not there yet) Is there anything else we could consider? (BTW - he did bloods and thyroid was 'ok').
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How often is he vomiting?
2- Did your vet do blood work recently secondary to the weight loss?
3- What is the content of the dry hot dog-like vomit (hair, food, etc)?
4- Has your veterinarian done imaging like xrays or ultrasound (sonogram)?
5- Any diarrhea?
6- Does he continue to eat as usual?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. 1. Nightly vomit although not as regular as before.

2 Yes. They said results were ;OK'. I asked specifically about thyroid result myself as SHE EATS voraciously and non-stop if you feed her.

3. Brown matter - some hair. 4. NO. 5. We don't know as she does it in the garden/fields. 6 She is hungry at all times and demands food at all times .

1- To make sure I got this right, almost every night she will vomit and the vomit is in the shape of a hot dog, correct?
2- Does she ever vomit not in the shape of a hot dog?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. Indeed

2 Occasionally in the past - mostly I think when I gave her too much food. She would vomit almost immediately after eating in these cases not recently - since the problem.

Mark, the hot dog shape vomit is undigested food; the reason why it is shaped like a hot dog is because the food or ingesta will take the shape of the esophagus (tube connecting stomach to mouth) as it is coming back out. In other words, as the food is passing through the esophagus it will take the shape of the esophagus.
When see vomiting of undigested food it is called "regurgitation" as the food has not been digested. Possible causes could be esophagus disorders (megaesophagus, strictures, parasites), gastritis, tumors or even part of a systemic disease.
As far as the weight loss, this is a direct reflection of her not absorbing any of the food; this is why she is always hungry.
If your vet has done blood work and everything was normal the next step is doing imaging of her gastrointestinal tract. I would recommend you discuss with your veterinarian about doing xrays with contrast material (barium) to evaluate the esophagus. Plain xrays without barium will not evaluate completely the esophagus. In the meantime, this is what you can do:

1- Divide her meals to smaller amounts 4-6 times a day. Switch her to wet food.
2- Raise her eating bowl on to a small stool to force her to raise her head while she eats.
3- Follow up with family veterinarian.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Dr Peter. we will follow up on your advice. As for the food she has always been on wet food anyway.

Excellent! OK, keep her on wet food divided into smaller amounts and raise her feeding bowl, this may help in preventing the regurgitation.

Please reply if you additional questions.

You're welcome.
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