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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16293
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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3 days ago I came home in the evening after being gone all

Customer Question

3 days ago I came home in the evening after being gone all day and found my (almost 3/ y/o) cat acting lethargic. I was in a hurry that morning, so not sure if she was acting oddly before I left, but I do know she had eaten some of her food.
By 3am I was very concerned, as she hadn't eaten, hadn't come to sit with me, and was not interested in playing with the puppy. I could tell she was not right, so I took her to the emergency vet.
The emergency vet said my cat was "consciously blind" in her left eye, and had a temperature of 105.2. My cat's eyes worked but she could not actually see out of the left eye (determined by menace test).
Vet gave her sub Q fluids, gave me clyndomyacin to administer 2x day, and did a Leukemia and Fel Aids test- both came back negative.
Brought her home at 5:30am. Was told to call her regular vet on Monday (this was Sunday a.m.) if no improvement.
The next day she would not eat or drink at all. She appeared worse. I took her to a new vet, who said cat's temp down to 101.2 and that she was NOT blind in one eye, found she had tape worms and, despite her compromised health, wanted me to treat her for tape worms and fleas. I got the tapeworm meds and gave them to her later that day. Vet also gave me some "critical nutrition" cat food, as my cat showed some interest in it while at vet.
Get home, cat eats about 1/4 can of the food, then goes to sleep. A few hours later, she has diarrhea. That was Sunday night. Her temp that night was back up to 104.8. Spent alot of time hiding in closet.
She did not eat or drink anything else that night other than some liquid I gave in a syringe.
First thing Monday morning I take her to her regular vet. Temp is around 104.4. He says she does seem blind in left eye, though eye functions (pupil dilates, etc.). He suspects virus, though doesn't explain eye issue. Does CBC test, finds all normal except low white blood count, which he says is indicative of virus. Sends us home and tells me to watch temp.
She would not eat or drink anything yesterday (monday). I tried about 7 kinds of cat food, plus baby food. she would not touch it. I syringe fed her the high calorie cat food mixed with water, and gave her a paste called "Cat cal" that's supposed to be high calorie. I rubbed it on her face so she'd lick it off. She did not pee or poop at all. (I'd cleaned box night before, so I know she did not go).
This morning she seemed a bit better. Got up, walked around, sat in window. I was hopeful. She even sniffed some food. But then she vomited bile and later went and hid in corner of closet. She then slept all day, and looked even worse than the day before. Even when i woke her up, her eyes barely opened. I fed her about 1/4 can of the high cal food mixed with water, more of the calorie paste, and then tonight some baby food mixed with water. She looks awful.
I realized, too, that she now appears not to see much of anything. I did the menace test and she only blinked when my fingers were close enough that she could feel them. I dropped a cotton ball a foot away from her and she didn't even notice. Nor did she track my fingers at all.
I am going to take her to vet again tomorrow, but I have no idea what's going on. The vet told me yesterday that she probably jsut needs to ride out a virus and to find some food she'll eat. i've called twice to ask what I'm supposed to do about her not eating, but he has not gotten back to me.
One last thing- about a month ago my puppy bodyslammed my cat into the oven door. She jumped straight in the air and freaked out. Then ran into other room, did another bizarre jump and then slinked away. I realized a while later she was blind (my old cat had seizures that caused temporary blindness, so I recognize what it looks like).
Took her to emergency vet, they said she could see. I brought her home, she was weird for a couple days, then appeared to fully recover.
Vets all know this, but don't know if the present eye condition is related to head trauma or not.
Sorry for such a long winded post, but I've taken my cat to 3 different vets in a 36 hour period. I've barely slept and I've been syringe feeding her and watching her decline. I've already spent a substantial amount of money but the vets have not been very helpful.
Any ideas??
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Has she had any gagging, retching, lip licking or hard swallowing? Has she only vomiting the once?

Has she only on Clindamycin, Convenia, the wormer, and the high calorie food just now?

Any toxin, plant, or drug exposure?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She vomited the bile this morning, and spit up a small amount about an hour ago, a short while after I had fed her with syringe.She is not on the Clindamycin since Sunday night. Her regular vet injected the Convenia yesterday and d/c the Clindamycin.
The high calorie food was finished this afternoon. Tonight i fed her plain chicken baby food mixed with water. She had a few globs of the Cat Cal this afternoon.No exposure to anything unusual that I'm aware of.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Her temp was ~104.1 a couple hours ago.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

First, the incident with the puppy slamming into her won’t be causing her current signs. Even a recent head trauma is less likely with that persisting fever. And it is that fever that is raising concerns of this being caused by an infectious agent like a virus (ie feline parvovirus, FIP), bacterial agent, protozoa (ie Toxoplasma – and likely why the original vet has put her on Clindamycin and why I do think its worth using even despite the Convenia), or parasitic. That said, to have progressive sight loss with this fever does raise worries that said infection is based in the brain – a meningitis. This is because it could cause all our systemic/body signs but also impair vision at the level of the brain or optic nerve without obvious eye changes.

In regards ***** ***** first we need to approach her symptomatically even as we work to pinpoint the root cause for her signs. If she isn’t eating and has had vomiting, then nausea is likely triggering this anorexia. Therefore, we’d want the local vet to put her onto a strong anti-nausea treatment (ie Zofran, Cerenia, Metoclopramide, etc) or at the very least an antacid (ie Pepcid, Zantac). Further to that and the high calorie diets (which are good), we may need them to start her on an appetite stimulant (ie Mirtazapine) to push her to eat for herself. And if there is any issue with her hydration just now (sticky gums, sunken eyes, skin tenting), we may need a second fluid treatment or even think about IV fluids. And if we can get her eating, then there would be scope to try Metacam (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that we do need to give with food) to try to reduce that fever.

Further to that, your vet can test for some of the above concerns via blood sample (usually more specialized tests then a general CBC though). Otherwise, you may wish to consider having her seen by a veterinary neurologist. This would be because if they confirm her signs are brain based in origin they will be able to do a spinal tap to test for the above agents.

Overall, her situation does sound very challenging. Still to have fever and blindness without changes to the eyeball itself raises major red flags of an infectious process in the brain. Therefore, we'd want to consider those symptomatic treatments to tackle her nausea and get her eating. But otherwise we need to give her immune system (since low white blood cells tells us that this is a fight its struggling with) a hand by pinpointing which issue is causing this for her and making sure we are treating it as effectively as possible.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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