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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22616
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My 12 year old male cat tigger has a distended quite taught

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My 12 year old male cat tigger has a distended quite taught belly.... My vet commented &said he thought he'd recently eaten a rabbit ...that was a while ago,but his belly hasn't gone down....he often vomits during the night...for which I've taken him to the vets on numerous occasions,but they always think he's eaten something he shouldn't have... I there something else they should be testing for?

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

I have to say that I am quite concerned about this distended belly Tigger has. Just as you have appreciated, we'd not expect a rabbit dinner to cause persistent distension.

Instead, we'd have to think about some serious issues at his age. In that cause, we have to consider that distension can be due to abdominal fluid build up (secondary to heart troubles, liver disease, vasculitis, some viral infections, secondary to smaller tumors, etc), enlarged organs (ie liver being the most common), and even sinister issues like cancer. And I would note that if something is taking up space in the abdomen such that it is pressing on his stomach, we could see vomiting as a result.

In this case, it would be highly advisable to look into what is causing the distension in his abdomen. In these cases, we will often scan these kitties with ultrasound +/- xray them. If the tautness feels like he is a water balloon (where fluid is present in the abdomen), then ultrasound is usually best since it can penetrate fluid to let the vet see the organs (where it would hide them on xray). Furthermore, ultrasound can be ideal for cats since it is something we can often do without any sedation (since it is quite non-invasive). As well, if fluid is found, then the vet can safely and sterily collect a sample with ultrasound guidance. This can be sent for analysis and can help pinpoint which of the above is causing his signs. Finally, if heart issues are suspect, ultrasound can also be used to scan the heart and see the root of its dysfunction.

Overall, Tigger's distension is quite concerning and unlikely to be due to constant rabbit dinners. Instead, in this case, we have some serious concerns to consider. Therefore, it would be worth looking forward into this and considering having his belly scanned to tell you what exactly is causing his distesion. Because once we know, we can take the appropriate steps to keep him comfortable.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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