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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33753
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have an 11yr old black SHD cat, she has always been what I

Customer Question

I have an 11yr old black SHD cat, she has always been what I call a sicky cat. She has a good apatite but is often sick. We also have another SHD of 16ys old that does not have this problem. They eat the same food which is a wet pouches at meal times, they always have a bowl of dried down in case we are late from work so they are not without. This sicky problem is most days. Can you suggest anything.
Many thanks
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Carol, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Can you clarify "sicky" for me, please? I suspect that that means that she often vomits but I need you to confirm that before I post more extensively.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
she vomits regualy
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I cannot call as I am at work. Please can you post some advice.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Thank you. Cats vomiting as she has been doing are most often diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - an idiopathic (unknown cause) inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which usually responds to a glucocorticoid (steroid) such as prednisolone, the antiinflammatory antibiotic metronidazole, or both. We also need to consider a particularly nasty type of hairball called a trichobezoar, foreign body ingestion, chronic pancreatitis or hepatitis, as well as a food intolerance. Your vet will want to thoroughly examine her including performing diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. If nothing untoward is found, an abdominal ultrasound is indicated because that imaging modality is particularly sensitive for evaluating the gastrointestinal tract itself. We're mainly interested in seeing if the inflammation associated with IBD or its sequela small cell lymphoma (older cats, usually) is present.

Food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that your cat's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from her vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Many thanks I will take her to our vets based on your advice.x
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.