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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20149
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience.
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Good evening, Thank you the time to read about

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Good evening,
Thank you for taking the time to read about the concerns I have for our cat, Bobo.
Bozy was born in Tenerife, a tabby boy, long & lean but always heavy in muscle mass and bone..
We now live in England and Bobo is now 11 years old.
About 10 months ago, I noticed he was drinking lots of water, sleeping more and had lost weight...although kept up with his usual appetite, if not more so than usual.
I took him to the vet, had blood tests and was told he had a bladder infection but that the tests also confirmed his thyroid levels were just under the higher range so not a concern.
Antibiotics and bladder infection gone, he began drinking normal levels of water, but he still didn't seem right and continued to loose weight and his fur began to thin...i noticed he was almost always "puffed up" like when you get goose pimples from being cold. He started licking and scratching a lot as well.
Sleeping all day and night and overly cuddly.
I took him to another vet a few months later for a second opinion for his scratching and weight loss...he was given a steroid jab for his skin but the vet said his thyroids weren't swollen.
The vet agreed that he looked can feel all the bones on his behind and spine.
I also noticed he was starting to squint in his left eye, slightly puffy and a lot of black goo/crusts.
Also, his ear was slightly red.
The vet gave him nothing and the following week his ear was bright red and a pale goo from his eye...i gave it a few days to see if it got better on its own and it did with no antibiotics.
Ive taken him back twice after as he started to get what i can only describe as eczema.
We've brought some natural shampoo and conditioner but the last time we washed him, he not only looked like a drowned rat, but he was really we stopped.
With winter just gone, Bobo literally didn't step outside once.
He likes to be on top of the radiator and absolutely loves to be wrapped up.
As there's been no real diagnosis, we've just kept Bobo fed and watered and lots of love.
..but the last week or so, his weights dropped even more...this time, in the muscle and overall weight of him.
Before, he was a lean but, he literally is like picking up a kitten.
He's been going to the litter more frequent...but by this i mean again after he's just gone.
He's been in the garden though...he absolutely loves the sun...anything warm!
My worry is that he's in pain or suffering with an underlying issue we're not picking up on.
I know he's "old" but he looks unwell...
We do have another cat, Jazzy who's 8.
I have seen him try and play or go after Bobo (never with hissing or claws though)...Jaz leaves him alone if he meows. you have any advise with all the symptoms I've mentioned?
Infections, weight loss, appetite, change in toilet habit, skin...
Bobo literally eats anything...we feed him Sheeba meat and Harrogates dry biscuits.
I've recently been giving him scrabbled egg as I read it gave them protein, good for muscle building...
I'm at a loss...Bobo is such a unique boy, but I've seen the spark go out of his it just old age or is there another underlying issue?
I cant thank you enough for your advise.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 15 years. Thank you for your question about Bobo. I'm going to be honest here and say that the first thing I'd do with him is to recheck his blood work to see where his thyroid levels are at. It was high normal at the first vet and it sounds like they've not been rechecked. I would also screen him for diabetes, chronic kidney issues, Felv and FIV. If all these tests come up negative, then concern for cancer comes up as it can present like all this. One thin to also consider is checking a stool sample to make sure there are no intestinal parasites at the root of this. I would feel hyperthyroidism has a good chance of being at hand.
Dr. Bruce and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you a thousand fold for your advice!

I took Bobo to the vet the following day...although the vet was a little unsure about doing the FIV, as his opinion was diabetes, but I persisted and all of your options were tested.

very sadly, Bobo has the feline HIV.

Id never heard of this and can't thank you enough for your advise. You've been the answer we've been searching for for the last 10months!

I am being told Bobo now needs scans and x Rays.

money isn't the factor, but, I have also been told that vets can start suggesting options which aren't needed.I don't mean to sound rude with that comment, just that I'd lost a little trust about their advice since I'd been taking Bobo to them 3 times since January and what has turned out to be costs that lead to no where.

would these scans be your next step...?

thank you, sincerely ***** *****



I'm glad to help as much as I can Zoe. Did they say that the scans and x-Rays were based on their further suspicions of cancer? I'm sorry he came up FIV positive as this can ultimately lead to immune suppression and infections that get the best of him. Usually though it doesn't cause the increased drinking. Did they do full blood work on him when they found the FIV positive situation? Was his blood glucose normal? Was his thyroid levels normal? I'm curious to hear. They may be suggesting these other tests to give the most complete evaluation possible so they can present all options as far as treatment and possible prognosis. Most veterinarians have the best interest at heart for the pet and the owner. They want to help as much as they can.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dr. Bruce,

I wanted to wait until we'd heard the results after Bobo went back in for further test...we received the results on Wednesday.

Thankfully, the original thought of cancer wasn't the case so no chemo needed!! I can't tell you how relieved we were for him.

the bloody tests came back fine for thyroid, glucose levels etc....and all 3 of his lymphnoids negative for cancer.

His X-rays also showed no arthritis in his bones.

It turns out, his pancreas is 3 times larger than it should it.

our vet mentioned IBD?...but he is running further tests on its full function to understand how serious the issue is.

On Tuesday, we should learn more on how be told how to move forward with his diet and oral steroids....

the thought at the moment, depending on the further results, is Bobo should be able to gain back his muscle and weight loss! :-)

His previous weight was around 7kilos...he is now just under 4.

the only query the vet has it that Bobo isn't being sick as frequent as he would have thought with the pancreas being so inflamed...this will be something he needs to understand more...

we have mentioned his eye and nose running frequently...gooey and black which makes his eye squint...i mentioned his red ear a few months ago and we don't think this has fully disappeared. Our vet mentioned herpes...a or so virus for cats to come across but due to Bobo's FVI, it may have taken hold.

this will be another area the vets will look at.

so, it's Tuesday as the next step...any thought at all, please let me know.

as always, your feedback has been a huge help.



That is good that all those things have been coming back normal. The enlarged pancreas has me concerned. Could this be due to chronic inflammation? Weight loss, decreased appetite / loss of apetite, and / or vomiting could be expected with that as chronic inflammation there is pancreatitis. Could there be some infiltrate there? Could it be some cancer? I hate to bring that word back out, but having a pancreas that large puts it on the rule out list. It would be interesting to see how the pancreas responds to therapy as far as its size and his clinical presentation.

The eye issue may be due to the weight loss. Sometimes weight loss can cause loss of fat behind the eye and the eyes sink in slightly. This causes decreased clearance of tears from the orbit through the lacrimal ducts and it can cause changes with the eyes as far as being mucousy. A herpes virus is also very much suspect as a part of this. It can be latant and then flare up at times of stress.

The IBD is something that usually has weight loss, diarrhea, and / or vomiting with it. I'm hoping that things improve for Bobo soon!