March 2013 Issue

When Weight Loss Is Cause for Alarm

It can reflect a serious underlying condition from cancer to liver, kidney and heart disease, especially among seniors.

Most owners know that an older feline who has turned into a fat cat may be ill or, at the very least, may have a shorter lifespan than his thinner counterpart. However, owners whose senior cats appear to have lost weight for no discernible reason need to be concerned, too. “If the weight loss in a senior cat is visually apparent, it is time to contact the veterinarian,” says Andrea N. Johnston, DVM, DACVIM, an Instructor in Clinical Sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Weight loss often reflects an underlying disease process, not aging itself.

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