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Ambiguous symptoms..

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
..are always difficult to describe, but I'll do my best:

Dudley hasn't been himself the past few days. He's been sort of..twitchy, like he's itching, which is causing him to clean quite aggressively. Let me mention at this point that he's always been prone to itching, and was diagnosed with Flea Allergy Dermatitis a few years ago. Flea preventative meds are always given on time every month, and those seem to control the FAD these days. At any rate, I haven't found any signs of skin irritation recently.

On top of that, he seems unable to settle, and distracted, and just unhappy in general. Although his appetite is fine, he won't come out of hiding to eat without coercion.

Given that there doesn't seem to be anything serious/urgent wrong, I'm reluctant to fork out what I can't afford for the vet.

In light of the above, does anyone have any leads..? Anything would be appreciated, hurts me to see him anything other than his happy self

Oh, I should also mention that he suffers from HCM..not sure if that has any bearing on things.

Thanks.
post #2 of 15
What is HCM?

I would look for any change in his environment, whether that be new food, new litter, or less obvious things like you changed your laundry detergent, bought a new rug or new blanket/bedding. Does he go outside and is he getting some place where they are using new garden chemicals? If he is itching and doesn't have fleas, could be an allergy to something new in his environment. Cats with severe flea allergies are often allergic to other things. I had a dog that was allergic to my wool rug and it took me a long time to discover that (thru trial and error of eliminating things from the environment).

If you can't rule out any of the above, the best that a vet can do is a skin scrape to look for parasites in his skin.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
HCM >> http://members.aol.com/jchinitz/hcm/

And thanks for the suggestions. I had thought about allergies, and, given that his heart is weak, that's a possibility. Just can't think of anything at all that might've changed in his environment lately...

Quote:
I had a dog that was allergic to my wool rug and it took me a long time to discover that
If you don't mind my asking, were your dog's symptoms at all similar to what I described, obvious itching aside? I know it's a bit vague.. :\\
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flob View Post
HCM >> http://members.aol.com/jchinitz/hcm/

And thanks for the suggestions. I had thought about allergies, and, given that his heart is weak, that's a possibility. Just can't think of anything at all that might've changed in his environment lately...



If you don't mind my asking, were your dog's symptoms at all similar to what I described, obvious itching aside? I know it's a bit vague.. :\\
My dog had FAP really bad and there were times that even Frontline/Advantage wouldn't help him. His skin would break out into pustules and we had a special shampoo for him. When he had flare ups, he would nibble/suck on his skin unless we stopped him. With the rug, the allergy signs happened over the winter when there were no fleas so knew that it had to be something else. But it was the same general reaction as he had with FAP.

Thanks for the link to HCM. Is he on medications by chance and could he be developing a reaction to those meds? I've not had an animal react to meds this way but I personally have. After 2 weeks on a med, I developed an allergic reaction to it and it felt like the inside of me was itching. I became extremely agitated until it worked out of my system.

Now if the heart disease is changing its nature right now, that could make him unsettled, as he won't know why he is feeling that way. I had a cat with HCM and you could tell that he was unsettled about it, but he never attacked his skin like it was itching. He just became edgy and hid a lot, but he was also a semi-feral cat.
post #5 of 15
By unsettled...could you mean kind of panicky,like he can't get comfortable? If that is what you mean...his meds may need adjusting or it could be fluid in his lungs. I'm just guessing as I've not had a cat with HCM....but my late husband had it. He would also have episodes of severe itching due to reactions of his meds and their effects on his liver. Just a thought...
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Momofmany - Your poor dog Happily, Dud's FAD is fairly mild, and he's only had the one initial outbreak.

With regards to the HCM, he is indeed on a very low (the lowest possible) dose of Furosemide, but he's been on that same dosage for over a year now..seems a bit odd that he'd suddenly develop an allergic reaction, no..? Was your own cat having treatment for his HCM and, if so, how did he cope with it?


taterbug - That's exactly what I mean. You could be right about the stress on his lungs/heart due to the weather, but he doesn't usually get as itchy and agitated when that's the case, not to mention the fact that he had a recent vet check-up on the HCM, and was given the all clear. It's the agitation and skittishness that's worrying me more than anything else.


Thanks both, for bringing up a good point about the meds; I'll try and keep a closer eye.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flob View Post
With regards to the HCM, he is indeed on a very low (the lowest possible) dose of Furosemide, but he's been on that same dosage for over a year now..seems a bit odd that he'd suddenly develop an allergic reaction, no..? Was your own cat having treatment for his HCM and, if so, how did he cope with it?
I took penicillin for about 20 years before I developed a reaction to it. It's not probable but it is possible.

My cat with HCM was mostly feral. He left scars when I would do things as simple as putting him in a carrier. Unfortunately by the time he was diagnosed, he had already lost partial movement in his hind legs due to a thrombosis. His condition really couldn't be turned around, and medicating him would involve leaving him at the vets 24x7. It wasn't fair to do that to him. We just tried to make his life stress free and let him go when it was obvious that he was in pain.
post #8 of 15
It is unusal to have a reaction to the first dose of a medication - though it can happen with some meds due to a cross-allergy potential (if you react to one, you will possibly react to certain other ones).
Usually you take the first dose and do fine. It's the second, fifth or hundredth dose of a med that can cause a reaction.
I took penicillin without any reaction until I reached my 40s. Now I can't take it or several related meds.
post #9 of 15
I don't know how possible this is, but after reading the link on HCM.. I was wondering if itchy skin could be a symptom considering that when blood flow is altered, sometimes your skin can become itchy, or have an odd feel akin to itchiness? Don't know how plausible that is.
post #10 of 15
Furosemide is a diuretic...it prevents the lungs from filling with fluid! Whenever my husband had his "panic attacks",it was because of fluid collecting in his lungs making him feel like he was drowning. I would definitely make a vet appt. and if he starts acting more "panicky", rush him to the ER vet. He may be going into full blown congestive heart failure!
post #11 of 15
One question...have you noticed an increase or decrease in his urine output since he started acting this way? You treally have to keep an eye on it when they take furosemide. It can tell the vet quite a bit about their condition and their dosage needs.
post #12 of 15
How old is he?

It could be a reaction to the meds or mild seizures/feline hyperesthesia. It could be a single flea that got past the meds and bit the kitty. It's just so hard to know without a vet visit to rule out problems. I would at least call the vet and describe the symptoms. They can ask more pertinent questions and tell you how urgent it is.
post #13 of 15
Just wondering about Dudley...any updates?
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Eek, lots to catch up on Thanks for all your concern.

Update: Dudley had seemed to be feeling a bit better over the past day or two, but this evening he's back to being skittish, and on top of that, he seems to have stopped using the litter tray to do his business.. Obviously something is upsetting him, as he's usually a very hygienic cat.

cloud_shade
- You might be onto something with the Feline hyperesthesia. I looked it up, and there are a lot of similarities between FH symptoms and those that Dud is displaying (dilated pupils, tail twitching, scared and depressed, staring into space, dashing off aimlessly), and he fits the high risk age band (he's 3 years old right now). Thanks a lot for bringing that to my attention.

taterbug - Thanks for sticking with me on this. Aside from the fact that he's stopped using the litter to do his business, as I mentioned, I haven't noticed a significant change in his urinating habits, though it's a bit hard to tell, since he's not the only cat in the house. As for the fluid on the lungs, I don't think it's that serious at the moment. There was fluid on his lungs when he was originally diagnosed, and he was a lot more reserved when that was the case.

CatsAreBetter - That was my initial thinking, and he's displayed similar itching symptoms before, but not accompanied by such restlessness and distractedness..

Momofmany, Mom of 4 - Interesting to know about the delayed meds reaction, and I'll definitely keep that in mind. Thanks.

Think I'll have to give the vet a call if he isn't feeling any better by tomorrow, and hope that a visit isn't required.. Will try to update if anything new comes up.
post #15 of 15
Good luck and keep us updated!
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