Hiccupping and back rippling

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Mariette, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. Mariette

    Mariette Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2020
    Buddy has hiccups every day. Even several times a day. He also sometimes does a thing where the skin on his lower back contracts. They sometimes happen around the same time, sometimes independently.

    I wonder if this is diabetes related, or just Buddy related. When he was feral before April this year he used to have terrible parasites. Ear mites and who knows what else. He was a mess. I vaguely remember the hiccups before we took him in as well, which was presumably before the diabetes. (Vet said his blood sugar was normal in April)

    The hiccups are frequently after food, but not always.

    Just wondering if anyone has experience with this or seen this behavior before?

    Video of him this morning here:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/qc8k28bg9il0b4v/Video Dec 28, 7 30 15 AM.mov?dl=0
     
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  2. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Hi Mariette,

    Those are serious hiccups! (((Buddy)))

    My civvie, Lúnasa, has exhibited similar behaviours (hiccups, occasional significant skin rippling in the lower back area). She was diagnosed with a UTI earlier this year. It was successfully treated and that seems to have coincided with diminishment of the skin rippling. I have no idea whether or not the UTI was behind the skin rippling - correlation doesn't automatically imply causation - but the phenomenon decreased in intensity and frequency after the infection was cleared. I'm working on the hypothesis that perhaps a source of discomfort was removed and that settled things down, but this is pure conjecture on my part.

    Re the hiccups, Lúnasa has a sensitive GI tract. She is also IRIS CKD stage III and sometimes won't eat for extended periods. Sometimes she then bolts her food and gets hiccups.

    Does Buddy eat his food quite quickly? Also, what is his feeding schedule like?


    Mogs
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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
    Reason for edit: Grammar.
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  3. Scdal

    Scdal Member

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    Mar 10, 2020
    I don't know about the hiccups, but my previous cat had skin rippling on his back. It was stress related. Since he was feral and has been through a lot this year, he may be anxious. A lot of people develop twitches in their eyelids and other parts of their body when nervous. Animals react the same way. You might give it some time and see if it settles down and avoid situations that make him anxious.
     
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  4. Mariette

    Mariette Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2020
    Thank you so much for your thoughts.

    Buddy was diagnosed on 13 November and the vet did tests for ketoacidosis and pacreatitis at the time. Both were negative. But she did say that the kidneys were enlarged. He's been peeing excessively for a long time and being a new cat person I had no idea. I wonder if she would have caught ckd or uti at the time.

    We are supposed to go for a follow up appointment at the vet for fructose measure on Saturday. I'm not super keen because Buddy gets incredibly stressed and I've been measuring his glucose regularly. But it might be worth it to keep the appointment and ask to test for these conditions as well. Do you remember if there were specific tests done to diagnose these conditions?

    Buddy eats incredibly quickly. He's still really hungry. I'm hoping as his blood sugar comes down this will improve. I did buy a fish shaped slow feeding mat for some pates. He hissed at it at first lol. He eats several times during the day. He still eats way too much and is not losing any weight. But I hear the cries of despair and give a little. He gets a little bit almost every two hours from 8am to 10pm. With most of the food at shot times (8am/8pm)

    He sometimes hiccups when he hasn't had any food though. Mostly wihtin an hour after eating but not always.
     
  5. Mariette

    Mariette Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2020
    Thank you for the suggestion. Yeah he's had a very stressful year. He was neutered and we tried to get an old wound under the eye stitched which put him in a cone for 6 weeks! It was awful. And then just when we thought we could relax the diabetes diagnosis. The rippling and hiccups has increased of late so you might be right. I'm poking the poor boy way too much and he's also very hungry. Both things I can't do too much about at the moment unfortunately. I wish I could let him free feed but he's actually gaining weight and he needs to lose 4 pounds! :facepalm:
     
  6. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Did the vet run a full CBC and chemistry panel at the time? If yes, then it should have shown signs of any infection and if creatinine levels were elevated that would have flagged a kidney issue. (BUN level isn't quite as reliable a kidney marker in cats whose food is high in protein since the diet can lead to it being slightly elevated.) With regard to potential presence of an infection, Buddy has spent a fair amount of time in the earlier part of his treatment over the renal threshold and glucose in the urine can increase the risk of a UTI developing.

    I'd suggest it would be no harm to ask the vet about potential urinary tract issues again. Also, I'd suggest asking your vet about a new round of blood work (CBC plus tests for organ function in general). WRT things renal, a helpful test is the SDMA assay (usually needs to be ordered in addition to the standard panel of tests). The SDMA can pick up on any kidney insufficiency before elevation in creatinine levels occurs.

    You've already got the bases covered for what I was thinking of suggesting food-wise, namely using a food receptacle designed to slow down eating (had to smile at poor Buddy hissing at the slow feeding mat!) and feeding little and often. (I know I get hiccups when I go too long without eating.) The only other thing I can think to suggest is to look at the ingredients in the foods Buddy eats and seeing whether there's anything that makes the hiccups worse/better since that might point to ingredients that disagree with his digestive system. On the weight side of things, some foods are more calorie dense than others. The amount of kilocalories in the food should be on the labels (usually listed as 'metabolisable energy'). You can also check for the food varieties on chewy.com. (Scroll down the page and click on the Nutritional Info tab to find the calorie content for each product.) If you could find a selection of lower calorie foods that Buddy enjoys you might be able to keep his little tum fuller with less risk of exacerbating the weight issues.

    Hopefully your vet will be able to make some helpful suggestions when Buddy goes for his next visit (and I hope it's not too stressful for him).


    Mogs
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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
    Reason for edit: Punctuation.
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  7. Mariette

    Mariette Member

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    Nov 15, 2020
    Thank you so much for all of this information! It's very helpful.
    I'm going to ask the vet about these tests.

    Good suggestion about finding less calorie dense foods. I'll go on the hunt :bookworm:
     
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  8. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Forgot to ask: what is the quality of Buddy's stool like? (Form, colour, firmness, odour?) How frequently does he poop?


    Mogs
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  9. Mariette

    Mariette Member

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    Nov 15, 2020
    He poops about 3 times a day. It's been pretty well formed for the most part. Occasionally softer - combination of pudding and some formed at the end. It's dark brown.

    What sent us to the vet in the first place in November was a terrible bout of diarrhea. But since we nixed that 'sensitive stomach' dry food from Hills his poop's been way better. It used to be beige and he'd swing between having constipation or diarrhea. Kicking myself that I kept that trashy food available for him to graze on. He got addicted to it.
     
  10. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Ah, so our boy does have a history of digestive system issues! Has your vet run any gastrointestinal tests such as B12, folate, Spec fPL/SNAP fPL (for pancreatitis), fTLI (for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency)?


    Mogs
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  11. Mariette

    Mariette Member

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    Nov 15, 2020
    I know she tested for pancreatitis when he was diagnosed with diabetes. But I don't know which tests was done exactly. It was something we had to wait a couple of days to get the results for.
    I'll check with her.
    Thank you so much for the information!
     
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  12. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    That was probably the Spec fPL test. It needs to go to an external lab. Vets can run a SNAP fPL test on the spot, bit like a pregnancy test, but it only gives a yes/no/unclear result. The Spec fPL returns a numerical result indicative of whether inflammation is present and also the severity thereof.

    Be sure to keep us updated with how Buddy gets on. (((Buddy)))


    Mogs
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  13. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    PS: Might be an idea to ask the vet before the next visit whether it would be helpful to bring a stool sample with you.


    Mogs
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  14. Mariette

    Mariette Member

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    Nov 15, 2020
    Great idea. I'll ask.
    I know that they were trying to get a stool sample with the last visit. They kept him for the day. But because of the diarrhea there was nothing left.
     
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