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Dr Caroline
Dr Caroline, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 643
Experience:  20 yrs of cat dog practice, general practice, emergency, certified in veterinary acupuncture 2006
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my 12 year old Main Coon mix has suddenly gone off food, has

Customer Question

my 12 year old Main Coon mix has suddenly gone off food, has started walking in circles, trips on things, and steps in food, and now appears to have lost cognitive sight. She seems to navigate, but at times one wonders if that is only by memory and touch. Her eyes are partly dialeted and fixed, no response to movement. The condition may have started with what appeared as a viral URI a month ago. In retrospect, she has had a decline in normal activity for some time, subtile, but progressive. Can this be a form of FSE???
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

to better assist you , can you answer the following questions?

 

How long has she started this now?

is it looking the same as when it started?

Any concurrent illnesses?

Any change in water intake lately?

Any change in urination volume?

Any contact with any toxins?

Does she still has her URI?

Do you mean by FSE Feline Ischemic Encephalopathy?

 

Let me know, looking forward to assist you.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
1. First symptoms of general malaise, 7-10 months, serious symptoms like ataxia, 6-8 weeks
2. the symptoms are progressing
3. Possible URI about 6 weeks ago, treated with clavamox to deter pneumonia, questionable diagnosis,        symptoms have subsided
4. Has greatly reduced both water and food intake over the last two weeks, must be force fed at this time.
5. Urinary/fecal activity is reduced
6. no known toxin contact, generally indoor cat with some outdoor activity before the symptoms
7. FSE is the unlikely feline spongiform encelophapathy, I am aware of how unlikely this is, but am running out of options.   She started walking in circles, with some ataxia, two months ago, this week she has lost most of her visual cognition, that is, she can maneuver around the house and to a slight extent the enclosed courtyard, but stumbles on smaller things and often walks right through the feeding dishes. She doesn't recognize food or even milk (not sensitive to lactose) and will only lick the juices from food. Her pupils are 80% dilated and don't respond to light, and she has a blank stare. One can approach her eyes without reaction if there is no other sensory action like sound or heat. she has developed a "method" to find her preferred bed spot which involves a series of circles and pathways that have become regimented, perhaps identifying the route by memory and touch rather than sight.

the only other illness that comes to mind would be a form of Alzheimer's.... is that a possibility?

One other historical incident: at about two years of age, she encountered a rat poison called "real kill", which causes cerebral edema in the affected animal. The contact was not seen, but derived from conversation with a neighbor who had used it and by the attending ER Vet, and the president of the National Humane Society who called the substance "not my favorite poison". She had a bad couple of days... to say the least. I don't remember the active chemical but I think it is Bromethalin, a very toxic and persistant substance... (should be banned in my opinion)

Historical: about 11 years ago, one of our other cats developed almost identical symptoms. A guest inadvertently let her out of the house and she wandered blindly away (she had lost all senses, sight, hearing, and smell, but was otherwise happy with the daily hand feeding... just our way). We assume the animal urge to walk into the desert... she lived more than a year as a blind cat... (age 16 years)

hope this helps
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

the symptoms you are describing can be from many diseases:

Feline infectious peritonitis
Toxoplasmosis
Brain neoplasia

 

About FSE:

 

FSE has been documented in a few domestic cats in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Norway and in several big cats (puma, tiger and lion) in zoos in various European countries. It is thought that the disease was contracted by eating food containing animal brain tissue or bone marrow that was raw or insufficiently heated.

 

Clinical signs consist of behavioral changes (aggression, biting, scratching when stroked, hiding, vacant staring, excessive grooming, easily startled), cerebellar signs (ataxia, hypermetria, intention tremors of head), muscle tremors, pelvic limb ataxia or weakness).

 

A study was conducted to check for possible FSE in Europe on about a 100 cats with fatal neurological symptoms and the follwoing were found: neoplasia (21.8%), toxic-metabolic encephalopathy (18.2%), granulomatous encephalitis (15.5%), suppurative encephalitis (4.6%), trauma (3.6%), circulatory disorders (3.6%), degeneration (2.7%), nonsuppurative encephalitis (2.7%), and neuromuscular diseases (1.8%).

 

In your case, unfortunately, unless you are in Europe right now, other diagnostic tests would need to be perform to know for sure what is the problem. If all basic blood work, urine analysis, blood pressure, sinus radiographs, FeLV and FIV negative, an MRI and a SCF tap would be indicated. I know you mention a tight budget, if all else fails, you can discus with your primary care veterinarian to try some steroids, or treat for toxoplasmosis. Due to the progressive nature of the problem, a brain tumor is very high on my list. this will not be able to be cured unless you have surgery, or could be helped with radiotherapy. FIP cases all die, even if you try to treat.

it is sad to say, but you may have to think about putting him down. I am sorry.

 

Let me know if you have more questions, or need additional information.

if this helped answer your questions, do not forget to select the ACCEPT button.

 

 

Dr Caroline, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 643
Experience: 20 yrs of cat dog practice, general practice, emergency, certified in veterinary acupuncture 2006
Dr Caroline and 6 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thanks Dr. Caroline, we are off for a toxoplasmosis test.... keeping our fingers crossed

chuck and nan and Chelsea
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
one other thing fyi only: her blood and vitals tested 3 weeks ago were all normal with slightly elevated triglycerides.... renal and such all normal, thyroid normal....

thanks again
chuck
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

yes, blood work will be normal in some of those conditions. FIP and toxoplasmosis would likely have some elevated white blood cells, elevated protein.

 

Good luck, keep me posted.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi again,

will keep you posted , I have given you top feedback too, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX a pleasure meeting you and since your are not "local" we will make you our first source by email ..... jut be forewarned, we have 12 cats.... {:>))

btw, both protein and Albumin were a little high, 9.0 and 4.2 resp... all white normal except platelets low... glucose was also low, but that is not an accurate test I think and she was off her food...

how do ask for you specifically in the future?

chuck
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

12 kitties!

I have 3 and a dog :-)

 

Protein appears a little high, but I do not have the normal range in front of me. The albumin is a little high which could be from dehydration.

 

As to ask for me in the future:

You can send me a private message, then open the question with my name on it when I tell you I am online.

I am on pretty often, but know that I will be off for several days after feb 4th.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
that's easy enough, my wife just asked when you were moving to Julian <g>... that's in California too

our cats are all feral rescues (dropped off in the night, fire survivors, and just abandoned).... some quite interesting...

tryCustomercom for some info

chuck and nan and the brood
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I like Julian, it is beautiful, i've passed by several times.

we can't tell clients where we practice. But I should be around on line for a while :-)

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
looks like I missed the on line for today, but we just drew a sample for toxo titer, should know tomorrow, will start clindamycin 25mg today just in case...

if this works, we have you to thank.... and do anyway...

chuck and nan
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.
Keep me posted!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
most certainly will... found a couple of on line resources that describe almost 100% matching symptoms:

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/toxo.html

http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/Factsheets/pdfs/Toxoplasmosis.pdf

the second is pretty general but has a good couple of paragraphs on symptoms in cats and dogs on page 4

again, just fyi if you don't know them..

chuck
www.Customer.com
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi Chuck,

one you want to think about when you have a lot of cats around is FIP, it can attack the nervous system:

 

From the same site you found (I use that one a lot):

 

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fip.html

 

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=681

One of my favorite site.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hi Dr. Caroline,

first, we test all incoming cats for felv and fip before integrating them, good advice. We lost a feral "mama" cat years ago to fip.... don't want to do that again....

second and more important: Toxoplasmosis positive! 16 hours after first Clindamycin, she is eating and drinking. Our local vet was surprised and a bit upset that the "complete" chemistry had not been titered for toxo.... I bet that won't happen again...

third, how can I update my comments in your feedback file.... can't find it on this page...

lastly.... we owe you a lot, but let's try a getaway on us at one of our cabins for a start.... check the website..

this has become one of our favorite sites...

again, thanks

chuck and nan and the cattery


Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Wow,

impressive! Do not know how much she will come back to, but awesome job. You are great owners, you went for it, and tried to find out what was going on.

 

Good luck, and hang in there!

Dr Caroline, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 643
Experience: 20 yrs of cat dog practice, general practice, emergency, certified in veterinary acupuncture 2006
Dr Caroline and 6 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hi again Dr. Caroline,

this might constitute a different question, (if it does, just put up the flag) as it has to do with the use of clindamycin for toxoplasmosis and the suggested dosage...   the data sheets on the drug suggest from 5 to 10 mg per pound once daily depending on severity of the infection, my vet has prescribed only 25mg once daily for an 8 -10 pound cat.

Is this dosage possibly due to the questionable action of the drug, including the possibility of increased mortality (pubmed central, one experimental case) shown by some studies? caution is sometimes the best guide... and my main concern of course is the prognosis itself. Several discussions of toxoplasmosis have suggested full recovery, but after digging into the three common therapies, I am having some doubts... specifically, it appears that clindamycin therapy can induce altered forms of the disease which are usually fatal, like induced pneumonia and renal failure, often occurring sometime after the treatment is halted...

I don't ask you to speculate, but would like your thoughts here if you feel comfortable giving them... it is ok to tell me I am being too pessimistic or paranoid by the way... it happens in pet owners on a regular basis... {:>)) and while we aren't regular, we still are susceptible..

we will watch for the obvious, but are always open to additions of the subtile...

she continues to improve by the hour, which is almost hard to believe, so we have set some visual reference standards to help us .... btw, she has started eating normal food, just a little, both canned and dry, regaining the ability to chew.

thanks again, hope this finds you well, and this is not becoming a ramble... let me know...

chuck and nan


Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

I'll give you a short answer tonight, and will look it up more tomorrow.

did the test was IgG and IgM?

What is the weight of this little one?

 

Some people do have success in treating with 25 mg twice to 3 times daily. The thing with eh clindamycin, it tends to give diarrhea easily, and doing a low dose may be more helpful to decrease those side effects. the other drugs used to eradicate the toxo tends to have too many side effects o be used.

 

Treatment would be a minimum of 6 weeks, and probably in neurological disease you may be looking at 8-12 weeks. Prognosis is usually guarded in neurological symptoms.

 

The odds of complete recovery depends on the site and extent of the infection and how much residual scarring will result. Many cats do recover completely, some will retain residual deficits. Occasionally seizures occur as a long term complication but these can generally be controlled with anticonvulsants. Neurological form very hard to get rid of.

 

The Clindamycin does not eliminate the toxo, it does make it dormant, and relapses are possible.

 

I have not seen any reports of problems after treating with clindamycin on the veterinary boards. Did you get those datas form human toxo cases?

you can have pneumonia with toxoplasmosis, and i would not think kidney failure in cats with toxo.

 

Let me know where you took those datas from.

 

One thing if she is not responding, cryptococcus is another one to add to your list.

Let's see how she responds.

 

Let me know

Dr Caroline, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 643
Experience: 20 yrs of cat dog practice, general practice, emergency, certified in veterinary acupuncture 2006
Dr Caroline and 6 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi again,

the most notable study was a non-natural inducement of ocular toxo... so is not necessarily applicable to general infections, but other references (non specific) in passing in other articles indicate the questionable use of clindamycin HCl.. the pubmed paper is at:
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=163330&blobtype=pdf

the diarrhea, sometimes fatal, was suggested in another paper, lost the thread right now but will look for it..

I am going to suggest increasing the dose (again) to our vet based on your conclusion. Is there a source for your data that I might quote? likewise the duration which he has stated as ten days...

we are cautiously optimistic at this time, but are recognizing already the need for retraining some neural pathways... she is eating, but sometimes, most of the time, doesn't recognize food as such... obvious disconnect from both optic and olfactory senses... once she starts to chew, she seems ravenous...

re cryptococcus, some time ago she did have a series of lesions that might have been cryptococcal, but there is nothing now visible to suggest fungal infection.

I will check which titers were run on monday... she is about 8 pounds, maybe 10 (have no scale) her normal weight has been 12.5.

thanks again,

chuck
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi Chuck,

 

make sure you discuss the dose with your primary care veterinarian, they may have a reasons to keep it so low, and it might be from her general condition. You do not want to go too high since this medication, she will have to be on it a long time. i am sure your veterinarian will renew the prescription when needed.

 

Cats will improve dramatically within 24-48 hours. If her optical nerve is inflamed and she ha no permanent damage, you may see some improvements in one week from now.

Treatment is usually done up to 2 weeks after the disappearance of the symptoms. In her case it might be until you have no more improvements. Let your veterinarian discuss this with you. As for references, they come from various source, but I like to look on my veterinary boards and look at others experience (sometimes better then reading a book, they have a lot of specialist answering veterinarian's questions), Plumb's which is a medication bible for veterinarians, and the 5 minute veterinary consult canines and felines, Infectious diseases of the cat and the dog..

 

As for cryptococcus, they can have a single lesion not apparent.

Dr Caroline, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 643
Experience: 20 yrs of cat dog practice, general practice, emergency, certified in veterinary acupuncture 2006
Dr Caroline and 6 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thanks Dr. C,

I'll update in a few days.... just watching now, she has stabilized at about 20% normal for the last 12 hrs... eating at least, but cognition is not much improved..

again, the best of everything to you

chuck and nan
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hi Dr. C,
well, Chelsea has improved somewhat, but due to the clindamycin has developed diarrhea. Local vet gave something called Neopectate (1cc tid) that looks and smells like kepqectate... no info on my books on neo...

She is grooming a little more, eating a lot more, actually near normal with chewing and is generally better spirited. Her ocular response is much improved with good dilation and response to light and improved ability to follow moving objects. However, her thought processes are still muddied. She still steps in food plates, although once there can find the food and eat or drink.... a great improvement. I think the over-active bowels distress her a bit.

I would say she is at 30% or better today.... next comes dancing lessons...

thanks again, will update as things change..

chuck and nan




Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi Chuck, keep me posted!

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hi Caroline,   well, Chelsea continues to improve a little each day. Has regained much of her visual comprehension and is showing some curiosity rather than the blank stare. Her muscle tone is slightly improved and her balance seems much better than last week but she still trembles sometimes, like Parkinson's, uncontrollable. She purrs a little more often when picked up, and greatly enjoys close human contact for longer periods... sleeping on Nan's chest for instance... but only for an hour or so, still looks like a ADHD case much of the time... eating and processing pretty well but is still re-learning how to use her tongue... has regained some of the lost weight, but her right eye has a little discharge today, one of the early signs we noticed a month ago...

a question: local vet initially prescribed 10 days on 25mg clindamycin, but I think most web advisors and the data sheets say 3 or more weeks... we have a large supply of the liquid (had to buy from pharmacy, probably have 200 days worth) but it is all reconstituted... I recall a shorter shelf life for that.... your thoughts would be appreciated..   and, is it too early to get a recheck of the igg and igm?

second, is it advisable to continue the neopectate too? it seems to be controlling the stool quite well with 1ml tid.....?

still a little hopeful, still guarded about long term... hope all is well with you and yours...

chuck and nan


Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi Chuck,

Happy to hear Chelsea is still making progress.

As for the Clindamycin, I am not sure about the formulation you have, The one that comes formulated for dogs and cats, has a long shelf life and is not reconstituted. So , best is to see the expiration date written on the bottle (you should have one). If you do not see one, call the pharmacist. I would recommend treating with the Clindamycin up to 2 weeks after all improvements have ceased. If the Neopectate is helping the stools consistency, I think it is a good idea to continue it.

Dr Caroline, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 643
Experience: 20 yrs of cat dog practice, general practice, emergency, certified in veterinary acupuncture 2006
Dr Caroline and 6 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hi Dr. Caroline, sorry for the blank post , wrong button...

update on Chelsea, still improving slowly, but in bigger steps... ran up and down the stairs without too much trouble, not like a well cat, but better than nothing... also has learned how to scratch her ears with hind feet again, cleans and grooms more and is generally better all around. Still eating well, back on some hard food, and her fur has improved greatly.... guarded still, but a bit more hopeful. The ocular dysfunction appears mostly gone, recognizes even the other cats and has no trouble getting around day or night.. Has gained a bit more weight and muscle tone. I will continue Clindamycin and Neopectate as you suggested (local vet has come to agree with the suggestion).... we are still grateful for your awareness...

aside, took in another injured feral today... pretty beat up older tom (to be fixed soon) with a bad wrist... seems like a nice and gentle cat, just abandoned.... it is a crime now...

more as they happen, take care,

chuck and nan
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Awesome news!!!!Keep going. Thank you for the update.

 

Another kitty! Hope he does well. Yes, more people will abandon their animals due to the economy unfortunately.

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Caroline, a belated update... after 6 weeks of Clindamycin, Chelsea is showing very little clinical improvement so we have halted the drug... She is much happier about that, but is still pretty weak, sometimes we see a regression, but perhaps that is just our time on the job. Her appetite is still very small, probably due to the inactivity to some extent, and maybe the bad timing association with the drug that we accidentally induced. Hopefully, with a change in the routine we will see some weight gain.. still about 8 pounds, but more alert and a bit more active. Purrs more often, but stays mostly in her chosen bed. If we see a real regression, do you advise starting the drug again? or are we just pushing the river? We will start some outdoor walks, short by her choice usually, when the weather is better..

the injured cat is fully recovered, and a real gentle one.... can't say that about number 14 that just happened by... totally feral, frightened, we have him in a larger enclosure with hiding places... which is where he stays so far...he is now fixed, tested, vaccinated, and appears healthy, but we are a bit worried that he is like a Masai ..... captivity is fatal... so will watch carefully... perhaps released... really wild

thanks again, will send money ... {:>))

chuck and nan
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi Chuck,

 

nice to hear from you!

 

Sorry to hear that Chelsea is now on a plateau. But this is to expect with toxo. You treat and whatever is left as brain damage you will probably not recover. As regression, it is hard to know if there is a relapse or not. You can always put Chelsea back on the Clindamycin, run titers. AIDS patient positive for Toxo do relapse and will need medication again.

You may discuss with your primary care veterinarian putting Chelsea on Clindamycin when she relapses for 2 weeks. There also is a possibility something else is going on like a brain tumor too.

I would make sure she has a good quality of life. Brain damage could potentially improve the first 6 months, then that is the way she will stay. If there is no improvements at this stage, I do not expect much more improvements.

Feral cats, some do get more social, but most do not. Patience, patience.....

Good luck, and keep me posted.

 

 

Dr Caroline, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 643
Experience: 20 yrs of cat dog practice, general practice, emergency, certified in veterinary acupuncture 2006
Dr Caroline and 6 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thanks Caroline, as we expected, but here is some good news.

this morning she surprised me by cantering up the stairs, thru the bedroom and to a favorite water dish... drinking a lot, then not running but trotting down stairs to the box, and then around to the other cat's food dishes... bright eyed, recognized everything along the way, and finished by purring and washing her face... obviously, her appetite has improved....later, she ventured on her own into the courtyard and sunshine which makes me think that clindamycin might make the patient photosensitive... partially the reason she didn't venture far from her "bed" which is pretty sheltered and might be why dilation was unusually great even in daylight... just a thought... will keep you posted as usual... we are more optimistic today and, unless she regresses, her faculties are close enough to normal to be workable...

patience is the best advice for ferals... the last one took three months, two hours a night of one-on-one work.... but, he is now a real cuddle (Norwegian Forest Cat, at least mostly) the american bob tail is in his second year.... and while trusting, is not close to a lap cat... {:>)) the new one is coming around slowly....   our experience with true ferals (more than two generations) is that the effort is worth it...

sure glad you were/are there... I am putting a referral on our web site as soon as I figure a good way..

chuck and nan
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Dr. Caroline,
an overdue update on Chelsea. she continues slow slow improvement, is taking more supervised outdoor walks, and is gaining a little weight, but not enough. I think she is at the plateau that we will have to get used to. obviously suffered some brain damage and still has trouble with new situations. her attitude is improved a little.

new development: she is developing a hard small bump, feels like a bone growth, on her skull just behind the leading edge of her right ear... doesn't seem painful at all, but is increasing in size slowly. tumor? or something related to the T gondii..... there is the suggestion of a second one on her right lower jaw too, but it is not changing... thanks in advance...

chuck nanessence, and the cats: 14 and counting
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

long time, no news!

Glad to hear about Chelsea.

Is the lump under the skin or on the skin?

How big are they?

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yeah, too long... never got a reply re the blocked commune..... as to the lump, it seems firmly a part of the skull, like a spur, not a separate mass.... her body mass is so low that all bones are close to the surface right now... the larger bump is about 8x10 mm at the base and about 4 mm tall, the smaller one much smaller and hard to measure. today, the larger seems more rounded than yesterday, not as boney feeling, still attached to or a part of the skull ... that is, it doesn't move around with the skin.. neither appears to cause her any discomfort, even during vigorous examination..

the ferals are moving along, the old tom appears to have been a close companion to a little old lady... who died recently... he won't allow anyone to fall asleep in his room but will curl up next to us with his head in the palm of my hand... interesting. has become a very loyal person cat, but not at all friendly to other animals...   the very wild one is still very wild and may be released soon...

let me now if you need more

chuck and nan


Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi hard to tell what the lump could be. Might be able to do a fine needle biopsy. Should not be part of toxoplasmosis however, could have some fungus in there, or other type of organism. Crytptococcus could be possible (fungal). A fine needle aspirate, or surgical excision if the mass is too firm (might need radiographs) might be necessary!

Keep me posted!

 

 

 

Dr Caroline, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 643
Experience: 20 yrs of cat dog practice, general practice, emergency, certified in veterinary acupuncture 2006
Dr Caroline and 6 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
fungal is a possibility of course, we will let the local do some testing and get back to you... the "little ole lady's" cat had a scruffy patch under his chin which is gone now but might indicate something in the neighborhood...might do another titer too, just to be certain... will let you know what happens.. thanks again, hope all is well with you and yours...


Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for the kind words as usual Smile

Life is good here and the kittys are doing well.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Caroline,

Chelsea update.... the lumps appear to be calcification of some sort, local vet does not see other signs of tumor (lab work is ok) and physical exam appears to show the knobs firmly attached to the skull..
Her eye response in right eye normal, and transfers to the left causing both to dilate or constrict... however, the left eye only seems non responsive to light or movement... she is able to navigate familiar places pretty well, but has some difficulty in strange situations, does not run directly into things. She has gained a little appetite and weight (up a pound to 8...) but sometimes doesn't recognize food... Incontinent, perhaps due to sight to some extent... but most likely mental function is reduced..... she wanders a lot, probably looking for the exit sign.... only vocalizes when lost, hungry, or has just left a little note...

on the plus side, she still enjoys being held, will fall asleep (very deep) on Nan's chest or my lap, and sometimes purrs spontaneously when touched or petted... She appears in no pain or physical distress, but not being able to figure things out is obviously uncomfortable... We are happy to see her each morning and give as much time as we can... while we can... thanks again for all your support...

chuck and nan (posting a new question about another cat under separate cover...)

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Caroline,
just a brief Chelsea update, she just got off my chest after a nice massage ... on the same plateau, not much change since the last ... she is like a grumpy (sometimes) little old lady with infirmities. she has lost her way to the cat-box, but always announces her action with a series of vocalizations, and won't stop until we come clean up the spot... vision is almost gone, can still get around, but doesn't grasp large new areas very well, and sees no real detail. appetite is good, and digestion seems ok, with normal bowel and urine. However, she is still very frail, doesn't gain any weight, and has some quite stiff joints. the good news is that she seems without pain or discomfort except the frustration of being an invalid... she has developed a method of communicating that is working for all of us using gesture and voice. Maine Coons have their own language anyway, and this uses the almost human sounds they sometime make... unless one makes a mistake, then she growls fiercely and will bite if you don't pay attention... this action means either "I'm HUNGRY!!! " or "I'm about to pee on you".... {:>))

so we remain keepers, have 13 now, I think one of the ferals was actually someone's house cat and went home, haven't seen him since release from alteration.... the others are well and come and go during the day, "Studs" still hates cats and has his own room, even in the face of three Felaway plug ins.... they help, but this will be a long road...

just an update, hoping this finds you and yours very well and happy..

chuck, nan, and the zoo




Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 5 years ago.

Hi Chuck!

Nice to hear form you, Nancy and the zoo!

Hope you're all well. And looks like the old lady Chelsea has her way of communicating. She is smart!

Keep me posted,

Caroline

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
hi Caroline,
well, beyond our wildest, Chelsea is still with us, but tonight is likely the end... if not, we will probably put her down tomorrow. she has been a delight, and a wonder, down to less than 4 pounds, eating very little for 30 days or more, yet, even blind and feeble, she purrs when picked up, recognizes voices and touch, and thoroughly enjoys the life she has. It has been a great example of how tenacious life is, and how strong the will to live is, even in cats and animals... We have no idea how she is alive, her systems have shut down, but, until tonight, she has had no pain or discomfort other than the frustration of not being herself... I still don't understand the pathology of toxo, the lumps that grow under the skin are most likely isolated toxo nodules ? .... I think that one near her eye has finally put enough pressure on her brain to cause a problem... but, stubborn is an understatement... she still wants to take walks, feel the fresh air outside, and sleep in the sun... which she will seek by wandering through the room...
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and advice....
as always, chuck and nan, and the now 15 ferals...
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 4 years ago.

Hi Chuck,

thank you for the update, hard to tell what the nodules were about without a fine needle aspirate or biopsy.

I am sure your help maintained her as much as you possible.

She is quite a tough kitty, but all good things have an end, so ending her life at this point will be best as you decided.

Thank you for letting me help you and good luck with the whole gang!

Cheers,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Caroline,

thanks for responding... turns out, she was having a transient gas pain or the like, and greeted us with purrs again in the morning... so we are back to the hospice duties again... Our vet didn't think there was a reason to do any testing... (not the best, XXXXX XXXXX only)... and travel with her is difficult due to the incontinence... I suspect that one morning she won't awaken from the deep sleep, at least that seems to be how she wants it... our philosophy there is as long as she recognizes us and asks for touch, and is not in pain, she should stay around... we are up to it,

I'll keep you posted, thanks again.
chuck and nan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
well, Chelsea left us today, quietly in her deep sleep, just stopped breathing... no pain or struggle... she was certainly ready, although she tried to the end... was responsive a couple of hours earlier but didn't want any water .... you can be sure she is glad it's over... life with the others goes on, and she will live on in our memories... a great drop-in, we were fortunate to have 13 good years...

again, we owe you more than we can say...

chuck and nan, and the family, now 14, in Julian

ps, an early rehab we haven't seen in 2 years, another Maine Coon and buddy of Chelsea's, dropped by last night, maybe to say goodbye, who knows...
Expert:  Dr Caroline replied 4 years ago.

Don't make me cry now...

Hang in there with the rest of the gang.

I'll close this question after this.

Thank you for letting me help you with Chelsea.

Cheers,

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