Cat

Have Cat Questions? Ask a Cat Vet Online.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Cat

Salkin, We spoke on November 19th about my male, 3-year old

Customer Question
Hi Dr. Salkin, We spoke...
Hi Dr. Salkin, We spoke on November 19th about my male, 3-year old American Shorthair, Shelby who has a low WBC and Neutrophil count. The labs done on 11/19/15 revealed a WB of 3.7 (Lab ranges: 3.9 to 19.0 K/uL) and Neutrophil level was 1765 (Lab ranges:
2620-15170/uL). The Labs were repeated 11/25/15 and his WBC count is now 3.5 and the Neutrophils: 1593. Both have decreased further. Dr. Quel, our vet, called and said she spoke with an internist and he recommended waiting one more month, re-checking the bloods
and if they are still low, send him to a specialist for a bone marrow biopsy and scanning. They would appear to be looking for a tumor.... He is eating well and happy, but he is meowing with great frequency and it isn't a playful meow. Last night to comfort
him, I picked him up, as I do and kissed him. I then tilted him back in my arms, he let out a howl as if in pain and bit my ear. He did not mean any harm, but clearly something was painful when I touched him. I'm worried, of course, but also don't want my
cat to suffer or linger for our selfish desire to have him with us. If it is cancer, isn't everything just palliative? Thanks Dr. Salkin, I welcome your insight and advice.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Cat
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Cat Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
11/29/2015
Cat Vet: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 31,752
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified

Thank you for the update. Yes, myeloproliferative disease (bone marrow disease/cancer crowding out normal cell producing precursor cells) must be considered although we do see rare autoimmune disease affecting just the white blood cell line. Hence, the need for a biopsy to better understand what's going on. A cancer is treated with chemotherapeutic agents. An autoimmune disease, however, is treated with immunosuppressive agents. The prognosis for a cancer is very poor but can be good-guarded for autoimmune diseases.

Yes, his vocalizing and reaction to handling does suggest pain. I understand your concern at this time. It's not unreasonable to see how prednisone affects Shelby. That steroid can increase the WBC and act as an immunosuppressive agent.

Ask Your Own Cat Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Thank you for your reply. If we go ahead and get him on Prednisone, that would be done now before a consideration of the bone biopsy correct? And if the WBC/Neutrophils increase, would that be an indicator of it not being cancer and more likely an autoimmune disease? The costs involved in the diagnostics are unknown to us at the moment, but that too is of concern in the long run.
Cat Vet: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

You're welcome. A bone marrow biopsy should be performed prior to prednisone administration. I mentioned the prednisone if you elected to waive the biopsy. Yes, an increase in WBC is more likely if cancer weren't present. Be sure to ask for written estimate prior to anything being done. This kind of work can become pricey fast.

Ask Your Own Cat Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
If he has the bone marrow biopsy, and it is cancer, we will not put him through this. Isn't the probability higher that this is indeed cancer as opposed to the autoimmune disease?
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I think I'm opting for the Prednisone...if the WBC goes up, what then? Prednisone indefinitely?
Cat Vet: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

Yes, cancer is more likely than autoimmune disease but perhaps the WBC is depressed due to an unknown virus instead of either of those possibilities. If that were the case, prednisone might be contraindicated - at least at an immunosuppressive dose which could worsen a viral infection. There are a lot of ifs and buts when we treat presumptively but if the alternative is doing nothing or euthanasia, I'm all for seeing how it affects Shelby. If you saw a nice response to prednisone, the dose is tapered as far down as possible while a reasonable WBC is seen.

Ask Your Own Cat Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Last question, any idea, ball park what the cost of a bone biopsy is? Is a scan required as well post biopsy.
Thanks Dr. Salkin for everything.
Cat Vet: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

I regret that I can't know what you'd be charged. $1000 including the pathologist report? A scan=abdominal ultrasound? X-ray? Such imaging is performed in a search for a focus of disorder and guided by other symptoms that might be present. For example, an increased respiratory rate might peak my interest in X-raying his chest and gastrointestinal symptoms might peak my interest in ultrasounding his abdomen. It's my pleasure. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

Ask Your Own Cat Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I was happy to pay again today and grateful for your time. If the testing is in the 1,000.00 or so range, we will go ahead and do it to see what's going on. At least if it is cancer, and we choose to not put him through this, we will know our decision was made for the right reason. We will be heartbroken regardless.
Cat Vet: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

I understand. Please keep me posted.

Ask Your Own Cat Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I will. Happy holidays Dr. Salkin!
Cat Vet: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

I appreciate it! Happy holidays to you and Shelby too!

Ask Your Own Cat Question
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 31,752
31,752 Satisfied Customers
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!!

LuciaRincon, Georgia

I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others.

KarenJackson Heights, NY

You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again!

Jack's MomTuscon, AZ

The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful.

TracyGrayson, LA

My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on!

DebbieUSA

I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there.

Alice H.Jacksonville, Fl.

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Terri

Terri

Feline Healthcare Expert

21,715 satisfied customers

Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Cat Veterinarian

997 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ

Cher

Cher

Feline Specialist

11,105 satisfied customers

Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience

Lori

Lori

Feline Healthcare

3,326 satisfied customers

16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments

Micki

Micki

Expert in cat behavior and health

3,153 satisfied customers

Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.

Candy R.

Candy R.

Veterinary Technician

3,151 satisfied customers

Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer

Theresa

Theresa

A Voice for your Pet

2,125 satisfied customers

19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician

< Previous | Next >

Related Cat Questions
Has nasal pharyngeal polyp and I live in Laurel MD. I need
Has nasal pharyngeal polyp and I live in Laurel MD. I need to find a doctor that can do that procedure and s ventral bulla osteotomy si it doesn't come back. How much does this run? … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
31,752 satisfied customers
My cat is 17 years old. She has been losing weight and has
My cat is 17 years old. She has been losing weight and has become jaundice. I took her to the vet and she had high liver enzyme levels. She was hospitalized for treatment a week ago. Alt is n at 841(i… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
31,752 satisfied customers
I have been feeding an outdoor cat for several months and he
I have been feeding an outdoor cat for several months and he has been affectionate and allows petting but stays outside. He came up a few days ago with an open throat wound which looks like it was cau… read more
Terri
Terri
Feline Healthcare Expert
Private
21,715 satisfied customers
Took my 13 yr old cat in for peeing outside the box and
Took my 13 yr old cat in for peeing outside the box and increased thrust. She is a bit difficult so they sedated her for bloodwork....results of bloodwork basically normal but looked like slightly ele… read more
Terri
Terri
Feline Healthcare Expert
Private
21,715 satisfied customers
My cat is hiding and won't move. In just one day he has
My cat is hiding and won't move. In just one day he has gotten larger, like he is bloated. I try to pick him up and he crys. Has labored brearhing. … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,162 satisfied customers
A few days ago I noticed my cats fur looked oily and she had
A few days ago I noticed my cats fur looked oily and she had dandruff. Then it seemed fine. Today it's back and she is sneezing licking her lips and sitting crunched like something hurts … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
31,752 satisfied customers
My cat is 2 years old and I started her on Prozac about 2
My cat is 2 years old and I started her on Prozac about 2 weeks ago because she is so anxious, hides when people come over, jumps at the slightest sounds etc. She got constipated so for about the last… read more
Terri
Terri
Feline Healthcare Expert
Private
21,715 satisfied customers
He started losing weight but eating normally sorft food and
He started losing weight but eating normally sorft food and dry food. He is 10 years old. Very skinny can feel all his bones, rubs his bones. He has also started laying on heat vents where warm air co… read more
Dr. Nicole
Dr. Nicole
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
399 satisfied customers
My cat is going bald on her left side, she has not got fleas
My cat is going bald on her left side, she has not got fleas as I check her all the time. And she is not scratch she is lacking it out. … read more
Terri
Terri
Feline Healthcare Expert
Private
21,715 satisfied customers
I got a Persian kitten for my birthday, the poor thing has
I got a Persian kitten for my birthday, the poor thing has ringworm on its tail. what can I use to speed the healing process … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,162 satisfied customers
I found a little blob of ointment that fell on the floor and
I found a little blob of ointment that fell on the floor and I am worried that my cats may have walked on it. They have both been fine, but the smell of the ointment is strong, and I am worried. Ingre… read more
Terri
Terri
Feline Healthcare Expert
Private
21,715 satisfied customers
My cat had part of his ear turn off today and it looks very
My cat had part of his ear turn off today and it looks very rare and bloody still. He likes to roll around in the dirt so I want to bandage it and keep him inside. Just looking for the best way to wra… read more
Joan
Joan
Private
355 satisfied customers
He was fine and then all the sudden he started walking
He was fine and then all the sudden he started walking funny, wobbly and one foot looked very slightly twisty … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
9,162 satisfied customers
Excessive licking and rubbing.. my cat is 14 and had issues
Excessive licking and rubbing.. my cat is 14 and had issues all her life, she was born and raised in LA and now we live in Australia, her condition has followed her. She licks her belly bald and gives… read more
Terri
Terri
Feline Healthcare Expert
Private
21,715 satisfied customers
My cat is not eating and he threw up a reddish liquid. No my
My cat is not eating and he threw up a reddish brown liquid. … read more
Dr. Christina
Dr. Christina
Small Animal Veterinary Internist
389 satisfied customers
He was bit by something. He is bleeding and he had an
He is bleeding and he had an abscess but it's opened … read more
Joan
Joan
Private
355 satisfied customers
My 16 year old cat cry's when he drinks hasn't eaten his
My 16 year old cat cry's when he drinks hasn't eaten his crunchies in a few days but will eat some wet foo … read more
Dr. John
Dr. John
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
5,049 satisfied customers
Can't afford vet cat will not put pressure on front paw how
hi can't afford vet cat will not put pressure on front paw how can i tell if its broken … read more
Terri
Terri
Feline Healthcare Expert
Private
21,715 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x