Julia’s Column for the Middy!
Nausea in pets can be the result of several different causes, but fortunately we have the equipment available to investigate any problems
Chino is a magnificent Ragdoll pedigree cat, just 12 years old, and exceptionally gorgeous. But he just couldn’t stop being sick.
It had been going on for months. At first his owner blamed it on fur balls that needed to come up, but then it became so frequent that he thought it was just a routine part of Chino’s behaviour.
One day Chino was on my table, and I asked how often he was being sick. The answer was at least three times a week – clearly too much – and this had been going on for many months.
I advised that we really should find out what was upsetting him. It really is not normal or nice to feel nauseous enough to actually throw up that often.
When a cat is only 4-5kg it is a challenge to perform all the diagnostic tests that humans normally have for this type of problem, but we can do it. Even taking a blood sample from a cat is incredibly skilled compared with taking one from a 70kg human.
But we did start with a blood test and a urine sample to confirm that Chino’s inner organs such as the liver and kidneys were not affected. Then we checked the other abdominal organs with x-rays and an ultrasound scan. Luckily no nasty lumps or bumps were found, which was great news, except that it meant that we still did not have a diagnosis.
The definitive diagnosis came when we arranged for his stomach and small intestines to be investigated with the ‘camera’ or – in other words – endoscope. Our incredibly clever specialist brings her own super-expensive ultra-tiny flexible endoscopes with her to the Clinic so that pets do not have to travel for any of their tests. Our Clinic staff who knew and loved him were there for support every time he needed a sedative or anaesthetic.
The specialist was able to take safe samples from the inner lining of his guts, which proved that he was suffering from inflammatory bowel disease and had developed ulcers which had become infected. This meant that fortunately we were able to rule out more serious conditions – particularly bowel cancer.
She recommended a combination of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and when he had his endoscopy repeated we could see that the infection had disappeared.
Chino is now on lower grade medications and is expecting a vomit-free Christmas turkey, with any luck!