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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29824
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Sept. 18, my cat Eetee started ssing and crying while using

Customer Question

Sept. 18, my cat Eetee started hissing and crying while using the litter box. Was brought to one vet who said it was crystals blocking his urine. We were given some meds and pain relievers but they did not work. Brought to another vet and they catheterized him, draining his bladder. This vet said that he may have been stressed and showed signs he was licking his penis to the point of irritation. Cat came back home but was peeing all over the house. On top of that, our other usually calm cat, started really attacking him. We finally got him better and using the litter box but the other cat was still going after him. Eetee would hide a lot and started eating and drinking less. He always drank a lot of water. Back to the vet who gave him IV fluids and got him back to himself. The other cat was boarded, just to give him some stress free environment. This past Sat & Sun he did not eat or drink anything no matter what we tried. Yesterday he was just lethargic and walking like he had arthritis. Then he was walking like he was drunk. I took him to the emergency vet, who gave him a poor to grave prognosis. We decided to euthanize him, even though 2 weeks ago he seemed like a recovering healthy cat. He was only 3.5 years old. The last vet said his glucose was low and his red blood cell count was low. Would you have any clue what happened to my cat, from the information I gave you? The last vet said it could be diabetes or feline leukemia. My other vet said it was stress that started a series of events, that led to his demise. Any input would be greatly appreciated and may help with my grieving. Thanks in advance, Jim S
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

My condolences for your loss of Eetee. His litter box behavior did indicate idiopathic (unknown cause) cystitis in cats which we conjecture might be stress-induced. It's not unusual for a another cat to react in an aggressive manner to a cat returning from the vet. This may be due to pheromonal alterations (pheromones are chemicals that transmit information between members of the same species), anxiety or discomfort of the returning cat, or the response of one or more cats that remained in the home to some alteration in how the cat looks, acts, or smells upon its return. There may also be territorial and status issues that need to be re-established, even if the departure has been relatively short. Many of these problems are mild and will resolve themselves over time, particularly if there is enough space, perches, and hiding places for the cats to avoid interactions while they again "recognize" each other and re-establish a compatible relationship. This may take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks for some cats, while on rare occasions the problem may be sufficiently intense to require a formal reintroduction program of desensitization and counterconditioning in much the same way as a new cat is introduced into the household. Of course, this didn't help his stress which may have resulted in his urinary problem in the first place. His most recent malaise, however, wasn't likely to have been related to that problem unless the idiopathic cystitis resulted in a blockage in his urethra which then can cause renal failure. You mentioned that he had been catheterized but was he "blocked" at that time?

His anorexia and ataxia ("drunken sailor") were important signs but they're not pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. They could indicate the uremia of renal failure but also any number of serious metabolic disorders. A low blood glucose might simply indicate his anorexia. It's not an indication of diabetes which would elevate his blood glucose instead. His low red blood cell count (anemia) can indicate feline leukemia but also any (usually chronic and inflammatory) systemic disorder. The anemias of such disorders are most often nonregenerative; in other words, he would be unable to replace the red blood cells he lacked. Differentiating nonregenerative from regenerative anemias is important when searching for the cause of an anemia.

I regret that I can't be more specific for you. I'd be pleased to review the results of any diagnostics you could upload to our conversation. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.