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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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We have a brother and sister Abyssinian (8 years old). Unfortunately,

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We have a brother and sister Abyssinian (8 years old). Unfortunately, about a month ago the male cat started to not eat, he became lethargic and unstable on his feet. We took him to our vet and after blood work was done the following was ruled out....feline leukemia, HIV, and cancer. He did have a low white and red cell count and a slight fever. The vet thought it might be auto immune or FIP (dry form). They started him on a regimen of prednisolone 5mg (3x a day) and baytril 22.7 mg.(1x a day). The vet gave him a 1/4 tablet of mirtazapine (15 mg) at the office on Wednesday, it has not stimulated his appetite and they also gave him subcutaneous fluids at the office. He has lost 1 lb. in weight in last 3 weeks. The past 6 days he is not eating, except for a small amount of wet food. Last night he started vomiting what looked like coffee grounds. The medicine does not appear to be helping him but providing him more stress (4 pills a day is a lot). Should we stop his medication for fear of internal bleeding? Do you have any suggestions of anything else we can do for him? We would welcome your advice. Thank you.

Hello,I am so sorry to hear Taz is having some trouble I would love to help I just have a few additional questions.Each answer is typed individually so please allow me a few minutes after your reply.

There are a few things here that are very concerning and do warrant a visit to the ER.

 

 

 

My first concern is the vomiting of the coffee ground like substance. This is most often due to bleeding in the digestive tract and this is a common side effect to oral steroids such as prednisolone. Of course bleeding can be due to other things such as a tumor or foreign body but I would be highly suspicious of the steroid.If x rays have not been done of the abdomen they may recommend this.

 

My next concern would be that he is still not eating.

Cats can not go for more then 2-3 days without eating or with decreased eating before it begins to cause problems with the liver. When they do not eat the body burns fat, the problem with cats is that it can not process this fat and a condition call hepatic lipidosis develops.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_hepatic_lipidosis.html

 

 

 

If possible I would suggest getting him in to the ER today to address the possible bleeding. If he does not start eating they may have to place a feeding tube to prevent serious problems with the liver.

If you can get him in today you may want to skip the steroid until you make sure this is not the problem and give Pepcid AC 1/4 of a 10 mg tablet every 12 hours to help settle the stomach and provide some protection from additional ulcers.

 

 

 

I hope this helps and he feels better soon. Please reply back if you have additional questions and I will be happy to continue.

Candy

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Are we just comforting him until he dies at this point? Our vet has not actually diagnosed his aliment but they strongly suspect it is F.I.P. Would you agree or disagree? If he has dry form F.I.P. is there any hope?

These signs could be consistent with FIP,however it is difficult to rule out cancer just by a blood test and other viruses such as feline distemper can also cause this problem. If FIP then the outcome would not be favorable. I wish I could say for sure what this is and what the possible outcome would be but that is just not possible at this point. If ultrasound or x rays were not done then that would be recommended to see if there are any problems such as a blockage, something that has perforated the digestive tract or any signs of enlarged internal lymph nodes which could indicate cancer.

I would how ever still have him seen as the bleeding that is evident by the coffee ground like vomit needs to be addressed if this is the cause continuing with the current medications will make the problem worse. The low red cell counts can also indicate internal bleeding

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Both cats were vaccinated for feline distemper as kittens. FVR-CP. What is prognosis for having cancer? Also, our vet mentioned his auto immune disease, his body killing his red blood cells. Vet said they could try a shot of something (can't remember) to shock his system. What can you tell me about auto immune?

Prognosis for cancer would depend what type and where is it and if it has spread to other organs, there is no generic time line.

Autoimmune is not just one things so again this would depend on what your vet though was going on. If they think this is something such as Immune mediated hemolytic anemia then the treatment would be steroids to suppress the over active immune system and in more sever cases medications such as cyclosporine may be needed to further suppress the immune system.

 

 

Below is additional information on this

http://www.petplace.com/cats/immune-mediated-hemolytic-anemia-in-cats-imha/page1.aspx

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If the "shot" shocks his immune system, what does that really do to him? I think it is a strong steroid shot?


 


I really appreciate your time today. We are very upset with our baby boy and we were looking for a second opinion of his condition. I understand you cannot actual diagnose him, but you have given us some other things to think about. I hate to think this, but I realize that a tough decision may have to be made soon, for his sake. We have a hard time seeing him suffer, and I don't prescribe to the thought of doing things to him for my sake. I may ask another question, but It would be the last one. Thank you for your advice.

I completely understand I know how hard it is to have a sick pet with no real diagnosis, in my opinion that makes it harder since it just increases the feeling of why.

By shocking the system that would depend on what he was giving and how much, what they may be trying to do is shock the immune system to force it to stop destroying the red cells allowing the bone marrow to start producing them. If you knew the name of the drug I could give a better answer for this.

As hard as this is for you I command you for thinking of his pain, suffering and quality of life above the heartache it will bring you.

Please ask as many questions as you need that is why I am here

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do think that the shot is made to shock his immune system and make more red blood cells, but since F.I.P. (if that is what he has) tricks the immune system into spreading the virus, because it gets into their blood cells and multiplies, wouldn't the shot just spread the virus and make it worse? Because when the new red blood cells are made, wouldn't the virus just spread into them and make the virus worse?

Once they have FIP they have it and it is not going to be more or less in the system due to the steroids. The disease is spread in the white cells not the red Basically what I am saying is even with increasing red cell production we are not going to produce healthy happy red cells that will go unaffected by the disease does that make sense? The goal is to increase red cells which the body needs to supply oxygen to organs and tissues

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