I brought my cat into the vet in December for mild vomiting. He has a history of eating fast and often throws up immediately afterwards. I wanted to get him checked out since I was going out of town for 2 weeks over the Christmas holidays.
Anyway, the vet ran a blood panel and the ALT levels came back as slightly elevated at 105-110. I believe the normal range is up to 100. She wanted me to bring him back in a month to retest.
I took him back last night and the levels were the same. Since it's just barely above average, and the vomiting seems to have stopped, she wants to see him again in 6 months.
She called with the results today. She didn't seem overly concerned but she kept throwing around possibilities like liver damage or heart failure and possibly using ultrasounds and biopsies to do further testing. He's only 5 years old, has a great appetite. Doesn't seem sick in any way. I feed them only Wellness food so they eat really well.
One thing of note is that he often, at least a few times a week in the winter, starts coughing. It sounds like a mild asthma attack to me, but it's been going on since I adopted him in 2005. The attacks last maybe 5-10 seconds and he's totally fine afterward. I treat him with Laxatone just in case it's hairballs. I notice it seems much worse in winter with all of the heat. During the spring/summer I maybe only notice it once every two weeks or so. I live in an apt so I can't really clean out the vents. I've mentioned it to my vet before and she doesn't think it sounds severe enough to treat him with steroids or anything. I figure if he's done it for 5 years without increasing severity, it's nothing to worry about.
The only other thing is that when he heavily exercises, like when he chases the bird on the string and he jumps around like a maniac, he gets out of breath and I can hear him wheezing slightly. He doesn't pant but I can hear a little bit of a wheeze for a few minutes till he calms down. I don't know if that's cause he's out of shape (typical lazy house cat) or if he has some other issues. When I first got him, another vet told me that he thinks his nasal passage is a little deformed so he sounds more wheezy than other animals. I also notice that when he's grooming himself, he makes little tiny grunting noises.
So I guess my question is this - do you know if sometimes cats just have slightly elevated ALT levels without having liver problems? Do you think it's necessary to run all these tests? Ultrasounds and biopsies? I'd like to trust my vet but she tends to run to the very thorough side, which is great but it really hurts my wallet not to mention stressing him out. Does the breathing sound like anything to worry about? Anyone have any experience with this?