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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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I am a guardian of a friendly neighborhood cat who has a problem.He

Customer Question

I am a guardian of a friendly neighborhood cat who has a problem.
He is only about 3-5 years old. Suddenly he disappeared for 2 days, then I found him lethargic and not eating or drinking.
I took him to a local vet for blood work and to be checked. He had a high fever, 104, and high white blood cell count, but no abcess or evidence of injury.
Vet wanted to keep him hospitalized for antibiotics and hydration for 2 days - nearly $2000!
I requested out patient care, and have successfully given antibiotics for 4 days. He is eating and drinking on his own when coaxed with tasty food. (About half of normal appetite.) He is urinating and vet said there is no blockage.
The problem is that he is barely walking. His rear paws are cool, not warm like the front paws, but not cold. He very slowly walks, just to get to a new place to lie down. He complains at being lifted, but cannot move well enough to get away.
His ability to walk seems to be getting slightly worse, although the appetite has improved. He is able to relieve himself, scratches to make a hole and covers his feces.
I cannot go the route of thousands of dollars in diagnostics, only to be told he will not likely recover. I already suspect that and may need to do the humane thing because this life of semi paralysis is not a quality life.
His condition has been as described for one week in total. (He disappeared 7 days ago, and I have been caring for him for the last 5 days.)
Do you have any ideas of what his condition could be? How long could this last and when would one know if he will improve or not?
I really appreciate any advice beyond taking him back to the vet. I will need to find someone to care for him for the next 4 days starting tomorrow, because I will be out of town. (Very bad timing.) Please respond as soon as possible.
Cara Pine
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Terri replied 2 years ago.
Hi Cara,
Bless you for being so kind to Jazbo! You are AWESOME!
Please tell me more about him:
Did he have any ticks or fleas on him?
Any wounds or sores?
Has there been any improvement since he is taking clavamox?
Do you know his current temp?
Did the vet check for an ear or dental infection?
Were xrays of his back and neck done?
What food is he eating?
After your reply please give me a few minutes to type detailed answer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Some fleas but gave him flea treatment.
no wounds or sores.
no improvement after Clavamox.
no xrays done.
some wet food, and dry kibble as well.
Ear and dental not sure.
He is eating and drinking well now, but not walking well at all.
Back somewhat arched.
Complains at being moved but not sore in any particular spot.
Expert:  Terri replied 2 years ago.
Dear Cara,
Thanks so much for your very helpful reply.
Here are the things I would check for:
A middle ear infection that disturbs the equilibrium and causes disorientation and walking difficulty:
A disc or vertebra injury:
Tick paralysis:
All these are treatable. In the meantime he should be started on anti-imflamatory medication to relieve swelling.
Please let me know what is found and how he is doing. I think you are wonderful for caring for and about him.
Love and prayers,