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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28538
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My four year old cat,, is completely asymptomatic, but I

Customer Question

My four year old cat, Marcus, is completely asymptomatic, but I decided to run basic bloodwork with his annual exam just because I am working at a vet clinic again so it's easy to do. It came back with significantly high total protein and globulin (according to the vet, I don't actually have a copy yet so i don't know specific numbers). She says the most likely candidates (if it isn't a fluke, he gets extremely fractious at the vet and I know stress can affect cats a great deal) are FIP or cancer, but I was just wondering if anyone has any more insight, since from my limited reading on FIP in the clinic textbooks, it seems like something that should have affected him either younger or older, not now, and four seems a bit young for cancer. Some background on marcus - he was a bottle fed kitten someone found by the side of the road, I got him when he was approximately two weeks old and he has been indoors ever since. I have had probably ten cats and kittens come in and out of my life since I got him, and he's been exposed to about probably ten others at friends' houses, etc. He had foreign body surgery when he was 9 months old and at that time his total protein was 5.0 . He has not had any issues since then other than very occasional vomiting, and he has had two courses or panacur over the years when i have brought new cats in and started seeing issues. Marcus is my baby, I would appreciate any info. Right now the plan is to do an x ray early next week along with electrophoresis to look for further signs, and repeat bloodwork in a month to make sure it wasn't just a fluke.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I understand your concern. I would very much like to review all of Marcus's test results, please. Can you uplowad a copy of his test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy of the results at home. You could scan into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or by using an external app such as or It's important to note that neither FIP nor a cancer is likely to leave a cat asymptomatic.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will get copies at work tomorrow, I just didn't get time today...i had to put a catheter in a heatstroke dog ten minutes after my scheduled shift ended, then there was all the cleaning...and the vet still had the bloodwork in her hand last i checked
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I understand. I depend upon techs like you. Thank goodness for you. I'll watch for your next post. Please stay in this conversation rather than opening up a new question.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here is the bloodwork
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you! A globulin of 6.9 is considered severe but we need to see if it's reproducible. I would repeat testing in a couple of weeks prior to electrophoresis. If it persists both a polyclonal hyperglobulinemia such as is found with FIP and a monoclonal hyperglobulinemia as can be found with multiple myeloma need to be considered. In many cases, a monoclonal hyperglobulinemia remains idiopathic which just might be the case with Marcus because he's otherwise normal.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The only other thing I noticed was the note that smudge cells were that something to be concerned about?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Smudge cells represent dying WBCs. It's normal to see an occasional cell. It's likely to be an artifact of slide preparation - applying too much pressure to the slide. Less commonly, it's an indicator of leukemia but there's no supportive evidence of leukemia in Marcus's CBC.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Christine,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin