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Ask Dr. Louis Gotthelf Your Own Question
Dr. Louis Gotthelf
Dr. Louis Gotthelf, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2438
Experience:  35 years owning a dog and cat veterinary practice. President of an animal emergency clinic
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my 1 year old cat got anemia about 2 months ago.

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hello... my 1 year old cat got anemia from about 2 months ago. she got a blood transfusion (1 pint) and recovered quickly. however, 2 weeks ago, she began with the same symptons. i took her to the vet, she has very low red blood cells and is fighting some sort of parasite. and i was advised then that she was positive for the kitty leukemia. the vet told me if she can beat the parasite, she may be able to live with leukemia. for the past ten days i've been giving her the lixotonic and the antibiotic doxycycline 2x a day. i went for her weekly b12 shot today and he also gave her a new drug alprozol (or something like that, i did not get the correct spelling) she began having a very bad reaction to this, struggling to breathe abd appeared drunk. i rushed her back to the vet where he is keeping her over nite with oxygen. he says it was just a bad reaction. i am nervous about this because i cannot get the correct name of the drug he gave her. he said it is supposed to kill the parasite in the red blood cells, which sounds good and all, but what if he gave her the wrong drug or too much? she's already week and stressed enough. can anyone help me with this drug information and what might have gone wrong? and is this going to take her back to not doing so well again ? she's made such good progress until this happend:(


Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Hi. I'm Dr. Gotthelf. I have been a vet for 33 years and I would like to use my experience to help you with your pet's medical problem.

Customer:

hello Dr. Gotthelf and thank you. my name is XXXXX XXXXX my sick kitty's name is Berry.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Unfortunately, Feline Leukemia virus often causes anemia in young kitties liek yours. The bone marrow is either suppressed by the virus or the re is a crowding out of the cells of the bone marrow where red blood cells are made. There are some newer drugs that can help, like EPOgen, which stimulates the bone marrow.

Customer:

well the vet gave me the lixotonic and the Doxycycline. he said what is making her ill is the parasite. by giving her this strong antibiotic, it could possibly kill the parasite and she could maybe live with the leukimia.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Repeated blood transfusions can helpo for a short period of time until the donated calls are destroyed. If there is no regeneration of the bone marrow cells, then the cat will remain anemic. With treatment for blood parasites, there is often a bone marrow response that can be measured by looking at a cell called a reticulocyte. These are cells that the bone marrow puts into the blood stream to develop into mature red blood cells. Without these cells, the cat probably will not recover.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

If you think that the doxycycine is making the cat sick, then ask your vet if your cat might have a brand new antibiotic called Pradofloxacin that will also kill the blood parasites.

Customer:

she seemed to be doing better. i brought her in for the b12 shot and he gave her some other medication that caused a severe reaction. have you heard of this before? i cant really get the name of the medication starts w/ an A and sounds like alprozol. she began struggling to breathe and now she is staying in his care for the night.

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Alprazolam is Xanax. I doubt that the vet would use that for a cat.

Customer:

thats what i thought. maybe i am spelling it wrong. but is there such a drug that would assist the red blood cells to fight a parasite and can such a reaction occur?

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

Cats can be extremely sensitive to many drugs. If you can tell me what parasite the cat has and the name of the drug, I can give you more help.

Customer:

its the mycoplasma bacteria

Customer:

Mycoplasma haemofelis

Dr. Louis Gotthelf :

The mycoplasma that causes feline infectious anemia is fairly easy to kill using doxycycline and prednisolone. Your vet probably chose not to use prednisolone because your cat is already immunosuppressed by the feline leukemia virus. Have they checked to make sure the Mycoplasma is gone? They need to do a reticulocyte count to see if this is a regenerative anemia or not. Usually the Mycoplasma is regenerative...when the blood parasite is not destroying the red blood cells, the bone marrow will replace the lost cells. If it is non-regenerative, the feline leukemia is doing something to the bone marrow and the red blood cells will not be replaced so the cat will continue becoming more anemic. That is a poor prognosis.

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