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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 18169
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 17yr old male cat is being sick every day with food & hair

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My 17yr old male cat is being sick every day with food & hair balls, loosing weight & has started eating a lot more & wants food as soon as he's been sick. Do you know what could be wrong with him please?
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Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear about Stumpy's troubles with vomiting, and weight loss even though he is eating well.

In an older cat my primary ruleouts would be hyperthyroidism (a tumor of the thyroid gland that overproduces thyroid hormones) or if he were drinking and urinating a tremendous amount, diabetes. Another possibility would be inflammatory bowel disease or infiltrative cancers that interfere with his ability to digest and absorb his food.

Hyperthyroidism and diabetes are treatable or at least manageable.
Inflammatory bowel disease is a bit more difficult to manage but possible, and some infiltrative cancers can be sent into remission with chemotherapy.

Hyperthyroidism is controlled with daily medication or a very special diet called y/d both of which must be done for the rest of his life, or treatment with radioactive iodine to selectively kill tumor cells which is usually a one time therapy. There are pros and cons to each therapy which your veterinarian can discuss with you after getting a firm diagnosis.

Diabetes is controlled with diet and insulin therapy.

Your fellow needs a veterinary examination and some blood tests, and possibly an abdominal ultrasound to find out why he is showing these symptoms and then discuss appropriate therapy. In the meantime you might try adding kitten food to his adult food to try and increase the calories he is taking in and help him maintain his weight.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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