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Hyperaldosteronism?

Species: Cat
Breed: domestic shorthair
Age: 11-15 years
My niece's 12 yr old cat vomits about every 6 days, gets dehydrated, listless and low body temp. The vet has done xrays, mri, blood & urine testing and maybe more, repeatedly. Everything comes back normal. No blockage, either. In between she acts her normal self. When this happens she gets a potassium IV, wears her little sweatshirt and sleeps on a heating pad or under a blanket. They have tried changing her food but it happens no matter what she eats. This has been going on for 2 months and her vet is at a loss. Any ideas???


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is a tough question for me to answer consider that your vet has done so many tests and still doesn't have an answer. I feel for you. I have had cases like this where I have done every test in the book and still couldn't find an answer.

Any time I see an older cat that is quite ill and I can't find an answer on bloodwork or xrays I get concerned about cancer. There are some cancers that can be hard to detect. Some possibilities would be a bone marrow cancer, or even more likely, something like intestinal lymphoma.

Another possibility is a condition that is quite rare called hyperaldosteronism. It is a tumor on an adrenal gland of a cat, but it can often be hard to detect even with very good tests. Cats with this condition can become very weak, have low potassium levels and usually have high blood pressure. This condition can sometimes be cured by surgery, or if surgery is not an option then medications to help fight the low potassium and high blood pressure can be very helpful. There are some specific types of blood tests that can be done to determine if Tyger has hyperaldosteronism. It's worthwhile to ask your vet if this is a possibility.

I wish I had more answers for you, but this is all I can think of at this time.

I hope things improve soon!

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.