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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16216
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Found a 5-6week old kitten on May 9th with some infected

Customer Question

Found a 5-6week old kitten on May 9th with some infected wounds (there are several colonies in my neighborhood, so I deal with this often). I took him to a vet that the rescues use, they cleaned him up and he's been happy and getting healthy so he can be adopted... but he became Jaundiced and a bit cold last Thursday night. I followed guidelines online and his color and temp was much better the next morning and kept improving. He has been eating, drinking and playing normally, so I worked from home and kept a close watch.
On Sunday we got a huge heatwave, and I noticed he was sleeping a lot and warm to the touch... warmer than the other cats. I brought him to the vet first thing Monday and they did blood work but the vet never spoke to me. I called today and finally spoke to a different vet who said "I'm surprised the cat is alive with these numbers."
I asked what that meant and they said it's probably dying of FIV or FELV - so I rushed him back and we retested - it's still negative. The vet didn't explain anything, but said to just try some antibiotics and wait and see.I am schedule to leave town on Thursday and don't want to leave a dying cat with my cat sitter, or with a friend, so I'm not sure what to do...2 days on the antibiotic might not show much in the way of improvement - esp. to retest...I could admit him to a hospital, but he's still acting fine and eating/drinking/playing, and the stress might do more harm than good......plus he's meant to be placed with a rescue, and I'm not one - so funds are a (small) consideration.Can you please help me decipher the blood work, what possible causes might have this sort of reaction, what I can do that's supportive care (I've added boiled chicken and broth to his food to help with protein and fluids) and what I need to watch out for...?I need some more info so I can figure out if I should cancel my flight... I have been left with this sort of crisis a few too many times myself by others, and don't want to do it to someone else... and this vets office isn't very forthcoming.Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

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

Now I am grateful for the hematology you have attached, but do you have the other 3 pages so I can assess this fully for your wee one?

What treatments is he on just now?

Is he still jaundiced?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Oh - sorry - it should have loaded all of them.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

No worries, I just like to have a full picture since his signs do raise a few different concerns.

As well, do you know which antibiotic they started?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I was trying to hide my personal info and it didn't work the way I thought...
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Clavamox
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

I understand, but it looks like your grey blocks are covering those fine.

Let me have a wee read of it all and I will reply in full shortly.

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I am very concerned... this clinic is a high volume/low cost place and they make lots of mistakes... but it's great in a pinch or for simple tests - this is much more serious, so I should have gone somewhere else... and I've already spent close to $500 with them and have no answers.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Only put the blocks up because this is shared with the public, right?
He's about 2 1/2 ms and weighs 3.7lbs.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He has always had a gurgling belly but no worms to be seen... I asked the Dr today about fluke worms or an obstruction and he said "he'd be dead."
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Thank you,

Your blocks are totally fine since you are posting them online (though any attachments posted don’t tend to be accessible by the public). So, no worries that is just safe common sense.

Otherwise, I have to say that he is one poor wee lad.

We have a few striking findings on the bloods. First, this little lad is anemic (has a low red blood cell level). This could be due to blood loss, immune mediated haemolytic anemia (where the body attacks its own red blood cells; though uncommon in cats, secondary to infectious anemia (ie hemobartonella), or as an anemia of chronic inflammation. So, we may need to think about testing for that blood parasite or at least planning to treat with the Clavamox for a good few weeks (since it can help, and is safer for young cats then out treatment of choice).

Otherwise, it is the further pages hold more shocking findings on the bloods. All of his liver parameters are dramatically increased. This could be related to the anemia but it also raises concerns of liver damage (if he got into something toxic outside) or potentially due to a liver infection or partial blockage of the bile duct. We can also see liver shunts in young cats appear this way (though usually they will be mentally abnormal when fed high protein foods, so possible a wee bit lower on our list of concerns here for the moment). So, we’d need to think about liver supportive care (ie fluids, SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine), ursodiol, etc) +-/ an ultrasound to see what is going on with that organ.

Overall, he sounds to be very lucky to have you looking after him. It sounds like he is personally stable, but with such dramatic blood changes and those liver values all being quite severely high (even off the scale for some), I'd be concerned that we need to potentially have him seen by the other clinic before you do go away. That way we can get to the root of this and get him onto treatment so you don't have to fret about him decompensating while you are away.

Finally, just to note, in regards ***** ***** protein and fluid intake, we’d be best to use a calorie rich diet (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet) or supplement with a liquid diet (ie Clinicare, Catsure) or nutrient paste supplements (ie Nutrical). As well, even canned kitten food is good here since it is already high protein and 35% water.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I did get some more kitten wet for him tonight, and baby food + pedialyte. I have nutrical too from a similar story withat a very sick momma cat a while back.
If I can get the other foods without a prescription I will tomorrow... and/or I just need a decent clinic to run more tests, and not to the poor house :(
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hi again,

While they are referred to as "prescription diets," they do tend to be something we will give out without much bother. And if he was just seen by that clinic, they should be happy to dispense some without his needing to come back in and be seen. Otherwise, we'd be best to rule out Hemobartonella but you could speak to them about also dispensing liver supportive treatments and use those for the moment with a view to rechecking the bloods +/- an ultrasound in a few weeks since he is acting quite well in himself at the moment. That way you may be able to settle him with treatment to try to keep costs down.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok. I have some liver and kidney support stuff for my CRF cat so I'll start on that, and call around in the morning.
I have a friend who's a vet @ VCA, but they can be quite expensive and I don't like to ask her for favors... I rescue too many animals for that ;)
It all happened quite suddenly, so I'm hoping it goes as it came.
Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

I know, though with kittens we often see that (since they have such little body reserves to cope with such things). Still, that sounds like a good plan of action to try to give this wee one a chance.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
P.s
Many of the colony cats around here die from what looks like flea anemia and/worms. It wouldn't surprise me if Hemobartonella is rampant.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Goodness,

If they do appear to be dying of anemia, then Hemobartonella is quite a real concern for the colony. Especially if adults are doing so, since they tend to be less at risk of flea induced anemia as opposed to kittens.

Take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
adults too... but mostly kittens... it's a cat hoarders colony a few doors down from me... she feeds them but doesn't spay, neuter, vaccinate or provide medical in any way. Since moving here the neighborhood TNR efforts have fallen solely to me, and I've rescued/fixed as many as I can. But it's really overwhelming, emotionally and financially.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

That is a true shame.

It sounds like their lack of responsible care is making this an unfair challenge for you and is cruelty to these cats. So, if you have not already, you may need to report the hoarder, especially if cats are dying.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The city has been battling her for over 40 years... but somehow she's still going strong. I tried to take it in stride when I first moved here (I had just left the Animal Welfare sector actually) but very quickly realized I had to step up because no one else was.
It makes it even harder when I thought this boy had been saved from certain death weeks ago, come to find, like so many before him, he is fighting a mighty battle for his life.
Thanks for all your info. I'll do all I can to save him.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Though that is a real shame. Still, you are a star for doing all you can to help these poor cats she is victimizing with her poor treatment.

Best wishes for you and this little one,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )