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Small Russian Blue Cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: Russian Blue
Age: 2-5 years
I have a Russian Blue who has recently turned 4 years old (we have had him since 6 months). He has always been very small (currently just 6 lbs.) and has always eaten very little. I've tried many different kinds of food to no avail. He practically runs away from "people food" that cats normally enjoy and only eats about 5 kernels of dry food a day. His behavior is otherwise normal -- very active, does not drink excessive amounts of water, has normal grooming habits; he seems to be very happy.

We suspect that there may be some kind of liver dysfunction and are now considering taking him in for a complete blood/urinary analysis. Other symptoms include: bad breath and a slight odor to the skin/fur. There is no sign of jaundice

We'd appreciate your expert opinion as Gabriel's symptomatic profile does not fit squarely into what would be expected for feline liver disease.

Thank you in advance.

Best,
Linda


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Gabriel may be unwell.

I won't be able to fully answer your question without examining your boy, but I can answer your concerns about a liver problem.

You have mentioned some symptoms of a portosystemic shunt (liver shunt). This is a condition where a cat is born with blood vessels that don't go through the liver properly. Cats with a liver shunt will be smaller than average.

It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose a liver shunt though as it doesn't always turn up with blood tests.

There are a number of other things that can cause these symptoms though. It is really not normal for a cat to only eat 5 kernels of food a day. I would be wondering if he has a mass or an object in his stomach.

I would highly advise you to have a vet examine him and run some blood tests.

I hope we can find an answer!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.