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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Cat
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Experience:  I have over 20 years experience in small animal and emergency veterinary medicine.
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I have a rescue male Birman, 5 years of age, many issues, ...

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I have a rescue male Birman, 5 years of age, many issues, dental surgeries, treatments, but now he keeps getting a reaccuring eye infection, sneezing, he has been on: neomycin& Polymyxin B Sulfates, Bacitracin Zinc & Hydrocortisone ointment in both eyes for 7 days, second round of this and "Clavamox" amoxicilloin etc. for 2 weeks. I am concerned about long time effects of meds? Should I be And is there anything I can do to prevent this from reaccuring? Will this shorten his life span? He was also treated for Bartonella. Daily and yearly scaling and removal of teeth from gingivitis. For this I use Biotene water additive, oral jel and toothpaste. All of this and it is still a battle. Will he be O.K.?I was told he has:toxoplasmosis..I have a kitten two?? What now?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 years ago.

Hi Sara14 -

I am going to assume that this kitty has been tested for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus. If not, it certainly should be. And depending on it's history of contact with other cats, it possibly should have been retested a second time after it has been in your home for a month of so.

Most of the time when cats get recurrent upper respiratory infections, it is because they have being caused by a herpes virus. Because it is a virus, it will not respond to antibiotics. The virus becomes dormant in many infected cats and then becomes active periodically, especially during periods of stress. These cats can be treated with topical eye anti-viral medications during flare up which may be more effective than the eye ointment you are using. Also, giving them lysine (this is an amino acid product that is usually available over-the-counter) orally also has been shown to decrease viral replication. so this is often recommended as a long term supplement to use when Herpes is suspected.

Using Clavamox periodically for an upper respiratory infection isn't likely to create any problems, but while it will help if there are any secondary bacterial infections, it really isn't very effective against most organisms that cause upper respiratory infections in cats.

Two other organisms that can casue upper respiratory infection in cats (besides the herpes virus) are Chlamydia and Mycoplasma. Both of these can be treated more effectively with an antibiotic called doxyccyline rather than Clavamox.

It is really hard to say whether this will decrease his life span. As a general rule, viruses can suppress an anima's immune system, making then more susceptible to other illness, but I don't know if any studies that have looked at this specifically.

How was the toxoplasma diagnosed (blood or fecal test) and has any treatment been given for it?

Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1376
Experience: I have over 20 years experience in small animal and emergency veterinary medicine.
Dr. B. and 5 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Dr. B.'s Post: Dear Dr. B Thank you so much for your help. He was given a blood test to determine this. The 7 month old kitten has now been tested, but I don't have the results yet, and the docs have not started treatment yet, pending the kittens results.But he all of sudden went from having an eye flare-up to bleeding behind his retina, hypertension, I left him at the hospital and now he is all back to normal. BP is normal etc. Could the stress of the new kitten have caused this? I am away alot and I thought this would be good for him, and they really do love each other, or at least it seems that way most of the time. I got her from a breeder friend so I know(hope) all would be well, because he has been sick since I rescued him..I am into thousands!! Well that is what you do. Thanks again, I will share anything you say with my docs.
Bless you!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Dr. B.'s Post: Dear Dr. B Thank you so much for your help. He was given a blood test to determine this. The 7 month old kitten has now been tested, but I don't have the results yet, and the docs have not started treatment yet, pending the kittens results.But he all of sudden went from having an eye flare-up to bleeding behind his retina, hypertension, I left him at the hospital and now he is all back to normal. BP is normal etc. Could the stress of the new kitten have caused this? I am away alot and I thought this would be good for him, and they really do love each other, or at least it seems that way most of the time. I got her from a breeder friend so I know(hope) all would be well, because he has been sick since I rescued him..I am into thousands!! Well that is what you do. Thanks again, I will share anything you say with my docs.
Bless you!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Dr. B.'s Post: Dear Dr. B Thank you so much for your help. He was given a blood test to determine this. The 7 month old kitten has now been tested, but I don't have the results yet, and the docs have not started treatment yet, pending the kittens results.But he all of sudden went from having an eye flare-up to bleeding behind his retina, hypertension, I left him at the hospital and now he is all back to normal. BP is normal etc. Could the stress of the new kitten have caused this? I am away alot and I thought this would be good for him, and they really do love each other, or at least it seems that way most of the time. I got her from a breeder friend so I know(hope) all would be well, because he has been sick since I rescued him..I am into thousands!! Well that is what you do. Thanks again, I will share anything you say with my docs.
Bless you!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 years ago.

HiCustomer

If he came from a breeder, he definitely should have the feline leukemia and immunodeficiency tests done and repeated a second time after being away from the breeder's home for a while. Even a good breeder often has cats in and out of their cattery and there is always a chance that something could be transmitted. I can't imagine your vet would have overlooked this as a possibility, but it is an important thing to be clear about.

If the Toxoplasmosis was diagnosed with a blood test, this just means that they have been exposed to the organisms, not that they have an active infection, so your kitty may not necessarily need to be treated for this. The blood tests just detects antibodies against the organism, so it doesn't really mean they have the infection at that time.

Hypertension in cats is most commonly associated with either kidney disease or hyperthyroidism (increased thyroid function). Although your kitty is young for both of these conditions, if your vet hasn't checked for them, it may be a good idea to have this done, but it is likely that your vet has already ran those tests.

I do think addition of the new kitty could cause a flare up of the herpes virus, but I am not sure if it would be enough to cause the retinal bleeding and hypertension. Hopefully this will stay quiet, but if either of these problems recur, they probably should be exploref further.

Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1376
Experience: I have over 20 years experience in small animal and emergency veterinary medicine.
Dr. B. and 5 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
DR B.
Thank you YOU ARE THE BEST! As u surmised, they have done a billion test.. so we are good! I would give up the kitten if I had to just to make him better! He is my guy! Just the sweetest cat!
Thanks again! Customer
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 years ago.

You are very welcome:) Let me know if you have other questions.

Thanks for using Just Answer!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi again DR. B.. I guess my other question would be,should I consider returning the kitten? I have had her for about 3 months now and I love her too.. but he comes first. Also I have been giving him Duralactin 1ml.2 x's a day with food, would the lysine be O.K. with that? And do you think getting pet insurance is worth it? Do you suggest any particular plan? O.K> there are a few questions in there..I know.. I will gladly pay the extra so here we go!
Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!! Customer
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 years ago.

HICustomer-

If you think the cats are getting along at this point, then I don't think it would be necessary to get rid of the kitten. Any change in daily routines can be source of stress to a cat, so if you really think the older cat is enjoying being around the kitten, it probably is fine to keep her

There is actually a product that combines Duralactin with lysine - it is called Duralatin Feline L-Lysine Gel. If this is what you are giving, then your cat is already getting the extra lysine. If you are on straight Duralactin, then ask your vet about switching over.

Regarding pet insurance, I have only researched this fairly superficially, but my general opinion is that is a good idea for large and giant breed dogs where even the routine medications is much more expensive just because of their size, while for anything else, it may not be worth it. For your older kitty, I think they probably wouldn't insure against any of his ongoing problems at this point , so I seriously doubt if it would be worth it for him, although you could certainly ask. For the kitten, I would say just read the fine print before deciding. Sometimes only certain things such as routine care are covered, or sometimes routine care things are excluded. You just have to read every last word. I think that if it was overall just a really great idea, it would have caught on like wildfire, so I think that chances are it benefits the insurance companies a lot more than it benefits the owners in the long run as a general rule. I haven't had a lot of experience with any single insurance company, I occasionally come across an owner who has pet insurance and they bring a form to sign. Most of the time, they still have to pay the clinic, and the medical insurance reimburses them.

Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1376
Experience: I have over 20 years experience in small animal and emergency veterinary medicine.
Dr. B. and 5 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Dr.B!
Thanks again for your input, and expertise, I have a feeling I will be contacting as we go along with my older guy! Your help and concern have been such a comfort to me. Thank you doesn't seem enough, but I can see that you love what you do... you have been a God send to me.. I wish you nothing but the best, XXXXX XXXXX helped me more than you know!
Keep up the fantastic work!
Fondly, Customer(Vi)
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 years ago.

Hi Sariai14 -

You are very welcome. I am delighted that the information has been helpful to you, and that you have found Just Answer to be such a useful service. We will be here for you if you need any help in the future.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Dr. B!
It is me again. Same cat different issue. Max has been given 3 Free T4 Blood test and on: Methimazole pills, which he could not tolerate and now is on his 4th round of Methimazole Transdermal 5 mg, 2 full rotations 2x's a day. His levels are satill out of wack and I want to ask: Would it seem at this time better to go ahead with the radioative ye to kill the thyroid. These blood test are painful and he was just awful on Friday, screeching, turning purlpe, it took 5 hyperdermic needles to get enough blood. Between the cost of the test: over $100.00 , but more so his discomfort.. I have tried to imprees upon the docs that I would rather go through the radoactive process, it would seem more humane. I understand the hesitation on their part he is only now 6 years of age and what if it grows back?? It is a bit of a dilemma, trying to decide which will be better for him overall. He has been on so much medication, this can't be good for his kidney's and his blood pressure which has been elevated.
Thanks Dr. B! You have been wonderful to us in the past!
Looking forward to your input,
Fondly, XXXXX and Max
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 years ago.

Hi Vi Guglielmi -

Great to hear from you again! I'm glad to hear that Max is doing pretty well.

I would definitely be considering the radioactive Iodine treatment in this kitty. It is so much better to have a permanent cure than a chronic condition that requires ongoing medication. With the radioactive iodine treatment, the radioactive chemical is picked up from the blood stream by the hyperactive thyroid gland, so we really don't worry about the thyroid gland "growing back" so to speak. We are not really "killing the thyroid" - just the part of the thyroid that is producing too much of the hormones - and most cats will have normal thyroid function after the procedure. Occasionally there will be a kitty that will require a second treatment, but this is by far the exception rather than the rule.

The only reason to not do it would be if there is kidney disease present in the kitty. If we are concerned about kidney function in a hyperthyroid cat, we do the trial methimazole treatment to see what happens to the kidneys when the thyroid goes back to normal, so that if we see deterioration in the kidney function, we can change the dose of the methimazole if needed. Since this is a relatively young cat, hopefully his kidneys are fine and he would be an excellent canidate for the radioactive thyroid procedure.

I'm not sure why your vet seems to be resistant to this idea, but I think the best way to handle the situation would be to have a consultation with the vet who is doing the procedure (usually involves referal to a specialty practice) and get their opinion about risks and benefits for your particular kitty, and then make your decision from there. I totally agree with you that for some cats, the stress of the blood draws can definitely be a big deal and having to do this a few times a year for the rest of his life certainly makes me want to find some other alternative for this kitty.

I hope this answers your question. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1376
Experience: I have over 20 years experience in small animal and emergency veterinary medicine.
Dr. B. and 5 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you Dr. B! You are just the best! You confirm what is in my heart for my little guy! I don't know how to convey how very precious your years of expertise, kindness, and empathy mean to people like me. Thank you again for clearly helping me discuss this with my primary doc's!
Bless you!
Vi and Max send there warmest thanks!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 years ago.

Hi Vi -

Max sure was lucky to get adopted by you from the rescue organization. You have gone above and beyond in giving him a great home!

I'm really glad you find my answers helpful. I would appreciate it if you would click the Accept button so I am compensated for my time on Just Answer.

I'm signing off for the night, and work my regular job tomorrow but will check in tomorrow evening to see if you have any other questions. Thanks for using Just Answer!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Dr. B.. oh I do agree with you, everyone says I'm crazy, but if you go into an adoption with a "price tag" only, well we expect and hope for the best, XXXXX XXXXX have happened to our pets which we do not have answers for.. I knew he could be "costly", but I love him and it my job to care for him as long as I can.. so be it. I just wanted to ask you or tell you that I did hit the accept button and so when I did it now it said it would be a second charge, so you should have received notification of my payment after my question. Please if not let me know and I will gladly find out what is wrong. I would not want to risk you not getting reimbursed! I will wait to hear from you! Have a great evening!
Fondly,
Vi
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 6 years ago.

Hi Vi -

I know what you mean - sometimes the pets that need us the most are the ones that also give us the most in your lives.

For some reason it does not apper that the payment has gone through from my end. The last payment from you was on October 30, 2007. Hmmm - seems to be a bug in the system. I will send the moderators a note attached to this question so they can check things out. I don't want you to get charged twice so let them check things out before you do anything else. They will probably send you an email to let you know what is going on. Thanks for letting me know.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
DR.B,
Hi I don't know if you are still on this site, if you are can you let me know? I trust your opinion more than anyone I know.. you have helped me so much with my cat Max in the past. Thanks and would love to know if u are still with Just Answer!
Fondly,
Vi Guglielmi
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 years ago.

Hi Vi -

I am still around - Is there something I can help you with?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Dr. B,
So happy you are still there. Max my 7 yr. old has mega-colon. Very chronic in and out of the hospital. This has been on-going for about 6 months or so. Is on increased amounts of "Cisapride" 20mg. and 1/8 tsp. Miralax. I also give him vaseline for hairball control because he had a blockedge with a large hairball in his intestines, won't take laxatone. Now over the weekend he started again with the leakage from his rear end and I increased the Cisapride to 30 mg. and he went a little. I guess I don't I don't know what else to do for him. My docs are afraid to increase the Cisapride too much more. He weighs alot now 14 lbs. since his thyroid was removed. Any suggestions? This prognosis doesn't sound promising.
Thanks so much,

Vi Guglielmi
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 years ago.

Hi Vi -

 

Bless your heart for hanging in there with Max!. Megacolon situations can be so frustrating to deal with.

 

First, if he is currently constipated, he may very need an enema at this point. I'm sure you are probably familiar with this if you have been dealing with it for six months already. Our medical treatments are more geared toward preventing constipation from occurring, but once it has occurred, an enema is the only way to get him cleaned out.

 

I have had by far the best success in these cats using lactulose long term to control the firmness of the stool. This is a medication that you can get from your vet or it can also be gotten from a human pharmacy with a prescription from your vet. It is a liquid and I don't think it tastes very good, so I hope Max will take it okay. It can be given 2 - 3 times a day and the dose will need to be fine-tuned so you get soft stools that are able to pass. This will likely need to be used continuously long term to prevent episodes. I have seen many owners think that everything is going okay so they stop the lactulose and pretty soon end up back in the hospital for another episode.

 

Hydration can also play a big role in managing these cats, so you may to have your vet show you have to give subcutaneous fluids to Max at home, so we can make sure he is not forming harder stools simply as a result of some mild dehydration issues. This is a really easy thing to do, so just let your vet know you are interested in this.

 

Lastly, megacolons can be dealt with surgically as well. The procedure is to remove the affected part of the large intestine. There are significant risks to this procedure (infection, internal suture breakdown, narrowing of the intestinal tract) and is best performed as a last resort and by someone who has much experience with this surgery. If you decide to pursue this, I would try to have the surgery done by a board certified veterinary surgeon rather than a general practitioner if at all possible.

 

It sounds like Max probably needs to go get an enema at your vet rather than just starting him on the lactulose as the lactulose will not make the hard stools that already stuck in the colon any softer at this point.

 

Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1376
Experience: I have over 20 years experience in small animal and emergency veterinary medicine.
Dr. B. and 5 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

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Dr. B.
Dr. B.
Veterinarian
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I have over 20 years experience in small animal and emergency veterinary medicine.