Q: Wanda Jean, our 4-year-old cat, has always thrown up. At first, the vet said the cat ate too fast and probably had hairballs, since Wanda Jean has long hair. A few weeks ago, the cat began throwing up every day, and just didn't look good. An x-ray showed her colon was filled with feces, and the bladder was enlarged. The vet kept her two nights and cleaned her out.
The cat's diet was changed to Hills W/D (a prescription diet), and she took to it well. The vet said, "If we can't control the problem with diet, we're looking at surgery." I wonder about the affects of major surgery like this. Although Wanda Jean is doing better than before, she's started vomiting again. Is surgery the only answer? -- T.N., Cyberspace
A: Feline veterinarian Dr. Vicki Thayer, of Lebanon, OR, says, "I wouldn't jump into this surgery, either." Here are some of Thayer's suggestions:
First, increase your cat's water intake. Some cats are intrigued by drinking fountains made for cats. Also, add some water or even chicken bouillon to the cat's dry food, and feed her at least some moist food, too. Thayer notes, "I've enjoyed more success with (prescription diets) Hill's ID or Intestinal HE from Royal Canin."
Thayer, president of the Winn Feline Foundation, a non-profit funder of cat health studies, adds, "Be sure you're brushing (the cat's coat) daily. And ask your veterinarian about a stool softener."
©Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services