Q: Increased vomiting of hairballs?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Riulake, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Riulake

    Riulake Member

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    Nov 19, 2017
    Hi sugar friends, hope everyone and their kittehs are having a good night.
    Prior to his diagnosis, Murrie (bio here) would only ever vomit a hairball like maybe once a year. We thought he was just a weird cat that never had hairballs! We were never concerned because when we adopted him, we were told white shorthairs shed less, so thought perhaps that was the reason?
    But now post-diagnosis, and since we've switched him to LC wet food, he's vomiting hairballs like twice a week. And the vomits are huge, lots of water, food, and then a hairball. It seems very extreme? If we're home at the time, we make sure to test and he's never been in a bad BG spot.

    My questions are:
    1. Could this be a symptom of something else that I should be concerned about?
    2. Is there a way to prevent it? He gets so upset and uncomfortable when it happens and of course it stresses us out that his BG is out of whack.

    Thanks in advance,
    Amy + Murrman
     
  2. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Cute picture! :cat: That does sound like excessive hairball vomiting, especially for a short-haired cat. A little petroleum jelly is supposed to help with hairballs. Fiber helps them pass hairballs the other direction. Maybe his old food had more fiber? You could try adding a little bit of plan pumpkin to his food to see if that helps. Mia started being a much more thorough and frequent groomer once she started feeling better. Could that be a factor here? Maybe he is consuming more hair because he cleans himself better. Regular brushing definitely helps reduce the hair they have to 'eat'.

    Does the vomiting occur after eating or do you see any other signs that it could be something more than just needing to get out hairballs?
     
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  3. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Twice a week is abnormal for hair ball vomiting. I've experienced this with a few cats and it does usually indicate a problem somewhere. Excessive grooming, not enough fiber, motility gut problems, etc. I found with my cat I have to comb him every day- but he is a long haired cat with IBD so it's a different situation. You could try some pureed pumpkin in his food, but if that doesn't work I would have a vet check.
     
  4. Riulake

    Riulake Member

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    Nov 19, 2017
    Thanks for responding! OK some really good ideas in there :)
    1. Petroleum jelly - interesting. I will do some reading on that, as well as the pumpkin.
    2. I have definitely noticed increased grooming, particularly after going to the bathroom. I think perhaps his stool is softer since the switch to wet food. We have been trying to brush more to help him but apparently it's not enough!
    3. He's vomiting at all hours, we've woken up to it, have come home at lunch to it. Yesterday it was 17:30, just water and a small hairball. But then also at 23:30 - it was projectile vomit the remainder of his dinner, lots of water, and a good size hairball. It was honestly a tsunami.
     
  5. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Projectile vomiting can be dangerous as they lose a lot of water this way. He may need fluids if it continues. My cat spent two days in the hospital with IV fluids due to projectile vomiting. Not to scare you but just to highlight the criticalness of losing too much water from vomiting. Wondering if he is having an allergic reaction to the new wet food??
     
  6. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    This sounds like more than a hairball issue to me. Does the food you switched to have the same protein as the previous food? If not, could he have a sensitivity to the new protein? Or, maybe there are other ingredients in it that are causing issues?
     
  7. Riulake

    Riulake Member

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    Nov 19, 2017
    Hmm. Each time he vomits, there is a hairball... There hasn't been one vomit without a hairball.
    And yes I'm definitely monitoring his water intake - he drank a lot before bed, and then quite a bit again this morning. Based on that I'm not too concerned with dehydration, I'd just like to ease his hairball burden! I am worried it's something gastro but they are average size hairballs... maybe because he is quite a small cat, they have to pass through his esophagus more frequently?
     
  8. Riulake

    Riulake Member

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    Nov 19, 2017
    It's been over a month now since we've switched, would it take that long for him to react to it?
    He's gone from fish based dry food to poultry based wet food, so yeah definitely a change. It's all high protein LC because of the diabetes. Well maybe I'll be heading to the vet this weekend... : (
     
  9. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Murrie is sooooooooo cute! :cat:

    Couple of thoughts:

    * Constipation and GI obstructions can cause vomiting. Especially with the projectile vomiting and significant amount of food contained in the vomitus going on I'd very much recommend a trip to the vet ASAP for a check-up. (ETA: I would not start adding any fibre or such to the diet until the vet says that it's OK to do so.)

    * Some cats shed a lot after they start insulin treatment and regulation shows improvements. If they've been running in high numbers for a while before diagnosis they won't have been able to use the nutrients in their food properly. At such times the body tends to 'cut back' on some of the less essential maintenance processes and instead favours use of available energy and nutrients for more critical, life-sustaining metabolic processes. When the cat starts being able to fully utilise nutrients again then the hair coat may start to be replaced. All you had to do was look sideways at Saoirse and she'd shed handfuls of hair when she was going through this - and she had always been a very non-sheddy cat (short-haired cat).

    If Murrie is regrowing his coat at the moment, that might account for the hairball volume you've been seeing lately, and again it points to a vet exam being a good way forward to make sure that there isn't a wodge of hair causing an obstruction somewhere in the GI tract.


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  10. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    Aug 5, 2016
    I think twice a week is a lot even for a long haired let alone a short hair, so I think you should check for other issues.

    To deal with hairballs in changing fur season ( or shedding season I go through this twice a year ) I've given mine ( all long haired ) a little bit of slippery elm barck ( this one has the extra benefit that it helps their upset stomach too ) for a couple of weeks when they begin having a lot of fur balls
     
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  11. Riulake

    Riulake Member

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    Nov 19, 2017
    Hey all, just thought I'd close the loop on the hairball situation and also leave this as advice for anyone searching.

    So Saturday we went out for brunch and came home to his third vomit that week: food and water, but this time, zero hairball. Totally sent me into a tailspin, so confused and upset. I spent the next 12 hours searching and started to see a trend in people feeding 3-4 times/day. We were still doing the 2 feedings/day with his insulin injection, as per the original vet instruction.
    Before he was diagnosed Murrie ate dry food with wet every so often - he would go crazy for it like it was a treat. That made me wonder if the 2 feedings/day was just too much food volume - he inhales the entire plate when we put it down... maybe he was overeating to the point of vomiting.

    So since Sunday we have been doing 4 smaller meals per day, and there has been zero vomit. He's not begging for food after finishing the smaller portion, but I can tell he's a bit hangry leading up to his next meal (and waking us up super early for breakfast). Anyway TBD.

    So that's great! I'm definitely still on the look-out for nausea / vomit, and I do still have the vet appointment if necessary but I think that was it, for now... until the inevitable next.
    Thanks again for your help, Amy + Murrie
     
  12. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Thanks for the update. I hope it keeps going well! (He is so cute!)
     
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  13. Riulake

    Riulake Member

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    Nov 19, 2017
    Thank you!
    I am obsessed with Mia's colour - strawberry blond? What do you call her?
    Her colour reminds me of a "one that got away" rescue I fell in love with years ago...
     
  14. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    What do I call her color? Well, I have seen vet's offices classify her as 'orange and white', but she is not orange. I do not know the 'correct' way to classify her. Blonde is the most appropriate word I can think of. She is not yellow or orange. Whatever you want to call it, she is precious. :cat:
    MiaOnTowel.jpg
     
  15. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    My Leo's color is similar only it is only his V shape on his head and tail. The rest of him is white. I've had vets describe it as a tan color. I never knew what color to call it either.
     
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  16. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Tan works. It's better than yellow or orange. When do we get to see a photo of Leo? :)
     
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  17. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    When I get a new computer ($$$$$). My IMac has been limping along for a while now and a new computer is on my 'to buy' list, just not at the top. Leo has eaten up a lot of my reserve due to his many ER visits last year.
     
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  18. Riulake

    Riulake Member

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    Nov 19, 2017
    Omg that photo of Mia is so beautiful... she is gorgeous. She looks very tiny!
    And yes please, a pic of Leo when possible!!

    The rescue that I fell in love with, I always called her colour "sand"... like a warm rose sand.
     
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  19. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Sand works, too! Mia is not so tiny. She was 11.32 lbs when I last weighed her. :)
     
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  20. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Sand would work too. It's an odd color to describe but either tan or sand sounds pretty close. Leo is 15 lbs, down from 20lbs before being diagnosed with diabetes. He lost weight when diagnosed and quit all dry food. Even though he's in remission he is staying at 15lbs and I keep thinking he looks skinny but the vet says he's good and that I was just used to seeing him as a porker- Ha
     
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  21. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Mia may have been as high as 13 or 14 lbs before she got sick. She went down to 9.42. She is 11.32 now, and I think this weight is probably good. She could probably go as far as 12 and be okay, but I really think she was too heavy before. Sounds like the same with Leo.
     
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  22. Lillie

    Lillie Member

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    Mar 10, 2017
    Yes, the awful dry food he was eating before diagnosing put so much weight on him. It's so much healthier for him now to have lost the weight. Better for them too in regards to their glucose levels.
    It looks like Mia may have some Turkish Van breed in her. Leo is a Turkish Van and they usually have the distinct V shape of color on their heads. Also the tufted large ears (don't tell her I said she has big ears-she is beautiful).
     
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  23. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    @FurBabiesMama -

    Stunning picture of Mia!!! She's a breathtakingly beautiful girl. :cat:

    And strawberry blonde gets my vote colouring-wise.


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
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  24. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Yes, she's a gorgeous girl! :)
     

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