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catzanddogz
catzanddogz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 221
Experience:  I am a Veterinarian and a pet owner. I have practiced cat and dog clinical medicine for over 25 years.
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I am looking for an interpretation of blood results - high

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I am looking for an interpretation of blood results - high lymphocytes, low amylase and low albumin. All the vet said was to stop giving the cat fish cat food.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  catzanddogz replied 10 months ago.
Hello, I am Dr. Andrea and I will try to answer your questions.

We do commonly monitor bloodwork in older cats, especially is they are getting medication, like long-acting steroids (Depo Medrol). Asthma is typically treated with these types of steroids, although some cats take an oral form of steroids by mouth. Others are given inhalers to use, similar to what people with asthma use if are symptomatic.

It would be better if she didn't need the injections every 8 weeks but if they are helpful - that may be the easiest form of treatment. Steroids can have side effects and your vet is most likely monitoring the blood for signs of diabetes, kidney or liver disease to make sure it's ok to continue the Depo injections.

Has she had chest x-rays taken?

Has she ever taken oral prednisone (steroid) medication?

As far as the blood results go:

Low Amylase is not usually correlated with disease.

Low Albumin can be worrisome unless her values are just below normal. This protein is made by the liver and if levels are low, could indicate some disease causing protein loss (gastrointestinal disease, kidney disease). If this was the case, you would expect her kidney values to be abnormal, or there to be weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

Elevated lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) would be significant if the values are very high or getting higher over time.

I am assuming that her other values were normal on the blood tests. Is this correct? If blood values are a little abnormal, sometimes we will just repeat the test again in a few weeks to make sure the values aren't continuing to change.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Julie's values for Albumin are 4.2 on a scale of 2.5 to 3.9 (high). Her Amylase is 1540 on a scale of 100 to 1200. Platelet count is 109(low) on 200 to 500. Lymphocytes are 400(low) on a scale of 1200 to 8000.

Expert:  catzanddogz replied 10 months ago.
Ok, then - your post said low Albumin, low Amylase and High Lymphocytes, but these values are the opposites - sorry!!!!

Therefore let me change my answers:

She has a high albumin - which is nothing to worry about.

She has a high Amylase - this is a very non-specific enzyme in cats and the value usually doesn't correlate with any significant disease, whether it is high, low or in the normal range. Eventually we'll probably stop testing for this value for that reason. We used to think it correlated with pancreatic conditions but don't anymore.

Her Platelet count might be in-accurately low because it is very hard to get an accurate platelet count in cats, their platelets tend to clump together and therefore can't be counted accurately - often you may see the interpretation of platelet count written as "adequate" for that matter.

The low lymphocytes may be due to the stress of the visit to the vet's office and giving blood - this is a value that I would probably monitor every 3 months or so.

I hope that is helpful! Now that I have the actual numbers!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Thank you for the clarification. So I guess the blood work really does not give us any clues as to her coughing fits ?? The cough is dry,more like she is trying to pass a hair ball but never does. Her sides seem to harden as she tries to expell whatever it is. Also thereafter she seems to stand versus laying down. Is there another test we should try ?

Expert:  catzanddogz replied 10 months ago.
Does the Depo injection help the coughing?

Asthma is common in cats - it is hard to get a definitive diagnosis. We usually do chest x-rays when they are having coughing problems and look for changes common with asthma. We sometimes check them for heartworms also - run a combination of a heartworm antibody and antigen test. Heartworms are rare in cats and the blood test could give you a false negative result. It is treated just like asthma with steroids.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Yes the depo shot means that she will not have a coughing fit for several weeks. Although now the distance between shots is getting shorter. I think when we started, Julie would only get one shot every 3 months. Now it is about 8 weeks, but she just had some bad episodes and we were going away so she got a shot within 4 weeks.


 


It is almost like she needs someone to do a Heimlich maneuver on her when she coughs/chokes.

Expert:  catzanddogz replied 10 months ago.
I have heard mixed reviews on whether something like acupuncture can help cats with asthma. I do always recommend that they not be exposed to cigarette smoke, dust (use dust-free litter if you can find it), and if it is hot and humid - to use air conditioning. These are things that could make any respiratory condition worse.

If things are getting worse - you might want to have some new x-rays taken.

You can also ask your vet about giving bronchodilators, such as terbutaline along with cortisone. You might want to keep some oral prednisone pills at home so if she has a flare-up you can start some medication before you get in for another injection.

I've treated many cats with asthma and the Depo injections do sometimes need to be given every 2-3 months.
Expert:  catzanddogz replied 10 months ago.
I am going to bed now! We can talk more tomorrow sometime if you have more questions. I hope Julie feels better soon after the most recent shot.
catzanddogz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 221
Experience: I am a Veterinarian and a pet owner. I have practiced cat and dog clinical medicine for over 25 years.
catzanddogz and 7 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  catzanddogz replied 10 months ago.
Hi Pam,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Julie. How is everything going?

catzanddogz
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Doing fine, as usual two weeks after the shot. Also have a pred pill on hand just in case ( though how to get it into her after a coughing fit??).


 


We discussed the bronchodilators. One vet wanted to give us a script for it. Our other did not - said it was tough on the heart. So for now we don't have one.


 


We are now limiting her to non-fish products and she seems to be ok with that. For a treat she gets fish food.


 


Thanks for asking !!

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