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Vomiting diabetic cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH
Age: More than 15 ye
Hello Dr. We have a 17yr old male diabetic cat who throws up a nasty brown liquid almost daily. He gets two shots of insulin a day, one pill of eltroxin and we feed him wet food(Wellness Brand) when ever he is hungry. He was on Metacam for some rear legs/hip issues but we recently took him off that and that has seems to help a little with the vomiting. He eats quite a bit and has no problems going to the bathroom. He is slow and old but is there anything we can try before I have to take him to our vet.To me it seems like its a problem digesting. Anyways...any help would be appreciated!!

Thanks,

Dean


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Dean and thanks for your question.

Vomiting cats can be very frustrating! There are a great many possible reasons for a cat to vomit every day. While I won't be able to say for sure why Indy is vomiting and what you can do about it, I can give you a few ideas.

Sometimes vomiting can be because of hairballs, even if what is coming up doesn't look like a hairball. It's possible that there is a hairball in the stomach that is occasionally blocking over the outflow of the stomach. It won't hurt to try a hair ball medication such as Laxatone to see if this helps. I usually recommend giving it daily for 5 days and then twice weekly. However, some of these hairball medications can possibly cause changes in a diabetic cat's insulin levels so you should check with your vet first to make sure this is ok to do for Indy.

Is it definitely eltroxin that Indy is on? This is a thyroid medication that is meant to increase the thyroid level. The only time I ever put cats on this medication is if they have had radioactive iodine therapy on their thyroid gland and their thyroid level becomes too low. Cats really don't become hypothryoid on their own. If a cat is on eltroxin then they need to have their T4 level checked regularly. It's possible that the thyroid level is either too high or too low and either of these could cause vomiting. Don't change the medication dose though without having blood tests done first.

You can also ask your vet about using a medication called famotidine (pepcid). It is a good antacid that helps many cats with vomiting issues.

Many cats who vomit regularly have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), even if they have normal bowel movements. However, treating this is difficult in a diabetic cat because we treat this with steroids which are not easy for diabetic cats to handle. But, if there is IBD, sometimes we can see changes in B12 or folate levels on bloodwork and these can be supplemented to help.

Here is another thought. It's likely not this, but did you know that there was a recall on some wellness brand foods in the last few months? You may want to check and see if your food is on the list. Here is a list of the recalled Wellness foods.

And finally, has Indy had his glucose levels checked recently? Vomiting can be a sign of getting too much or not enough insulin. You can ask your vet whether doing a glucose curve may help.

I'm sorry I don't have a direct answer for you. (If I could solve the problem of chronic vomiting in cats I'd be rich!) But hopefully this information helps!

Dr. Marie.


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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.