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Looking for viewpoints about Khan....might or might not be abnormal: Long post

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Okay... so Khan (our f3 Bengal) is exhibiting what *I* think may be something to consider.. and I *think* that we should have him tested for hyperthyroidism but I wanted to get some opinions from others, perhaps from someone who has experience with these "symptoms" (and I'll make a notation here that they may or may not be symptoms..I might just be paranoid)...

Background: Khan is between 2 and 3 years old. The first year and a half we spent trying to get him to eat. This consisted of trying all wet and dry brands on the market, to which he'd eat a few mouthfuls (or gulp it all down one day and turn his nose up at it the next).. it was a constant course in haphazard guessing to get him to eat (and this cat spent that first year and a half hungry).. finally we ended up feeding him Gerber's Graduates Turkey Sticks because it was the only thing he'd eat consistently, mixed with some crushed dry food (so as to stop him from being able to pick it out of the food.. which mostly worked). He still didn't eat very much of this, but he at least ate it consistently.

When we brought in Joyeux, she came on a raw diet. Khan basically knocked her out of the way and gobbled it all down like there was no tomorrow and then screamed for more... so now Khan is on a raw diet. Since this point in time, he has gone from an 10-11 pound cat to a 13-14 pound cat (mind you, he could still fill out some more).

I've been told that he eats an unusually large amount a day.. I don't have an exact measurement, but I fill up one of those sandwich baggies from Ziploc 3/4 of the way with raw when I prepare it, and when I dish it out to them, he gets one half of that bag, twice a day, and the other *FOUR* cats get the other half of that bag, divided up into two plates and mixed with one or two packets of wet food, twice a day. In the category of "other four" cats is one kitten who eats us out of house and home, and another Bengal who spends the day bouncing off the wall with the Tonk kitten.. one laid back domestic cat who is overweight, and one Mau who is perfectly porportioned and not hyper but definitely active most days.

Effectively, Khan is eating as much in one day as the other four cats put together. Now, he's is slightly heavier than all but Noel, who is only about a pound lighter. Joyeux is about 9 pounds, Pogue just weighed in at 6, and Bagheera is 8-9.. so, he is heavier, but he's no where near as active as Pogue and Joyeux, and they eat like fiends. Personally, I think he's eating an excessive amount of food. My sister doesn't think there's anything wrong with the amount he eats. She thinks there's no reason to have him tested for hyperthyroidism. Personally, imo, it's better to be safe than sorry.

He's also become slightly aggressive, but he's *always* engaged in hunting behavior when he's hungry. He's always been slightly aggressive toward the Mau, but now he's exhibiting it to his "buddies" Joyeux and Pogue, and he and Noel have been grappling for top cat position lately. This is a seperate issue, but I thought it might tie in. It might also be that he's just redirecting his anger at them.

Another symptom? He didn't recognize Joyeux on the stairs last night (in the spot that Noel usually frequents when it's time for Khan to accompany my sister to bed.. she plays gargoyle and sits there to intimidate him). When he got close enough, he recognized her and then it was all fine, but he didn't recognize her until he got to about three steps away. It was dark, so I don't know if it's an indication that his eyesight is getting bad, or how good their eyes are at night..

He does exhibit quite a few wild traits, so maybe the massive amounts of raw he's eating has to do with his undomesticated side..

I just thought I"d run it by some other people for their opinions.
post #2 of 14
Not trying to be alarmist but ... gerber sticks have BOTH ONION and Garlic ... have you had him tested for anemia???

Kandie ate the exact amount of raw after the newness wore off ( about 6 months for her)

Gigi my yorkie ate double the recommended without gaining ... Basically everyone is different

BUT A vet visit is in order ... the behaviors may signal a deficiency of something
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
He's been off the gerber sticks since December. He's my sister's cat. I tried to tell her not to feed him that, but it was sort of a choice between giving him something he'd eat, or letting him starve. Regardless, though, wouldn't symptoms from that have developed around the time that he was eating it and have shown up long before now?

He hasn't been tested for anemia, although back when he was overgrooming, they were talking about doing the tests for hyperthyroidism... he did subsequently stop overgrooming, though, and we haven't had a problem with it since.

He's also getting a supplement (WildTrax) in the raw, along with organ meats consistently, a variety of meats occasionally, the occasional egg yolk mixed in.. the biggest thing I worry about is calcium, although I do give yogurt, I'm still not happy with the formula. I'm investing in a grinder/chopper to do bones soon.

Is anemia in cats the same way as it is in humans, caused by a lack of iron?
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
He's been off the gerber sticks since December. He's my sister's cat. I tried to tell her not to feed him that, but it was sort of a choice between giving him something he'd eat, or letting him starve. Regardless, though, wouldn't symptoms from that have developed around the time that he was eating it and have shown up long before now?

He hasn't been tested for anemia, although back when he was overgrooming, they were talking about doing the tests for hyperthyroidism... he did subsequently stop overgrooming, though, and we haven't had a problem with it since.

He's also getting a supplement (WildTrax) in the raw, along with organ meats consistently, a variety of meats occasionally, the occasional egg yolk mixed in.. the biggest thing I worry about is calcium, although I do give yogurt, I'm still not happy with the formula. I'm investing in a grinder/chopper to do bones soon.

Is anemia in cats the same way as it is in humans, caused by a lack of iron?
I cant answer the iron question with any certainty but were all mammels and I would think it may manifest that way.. let me check that out..
post #5 of 14
post #6 of 14
Ferris was recently fouind to be borderline anemic, and it is not the same as iron deficiency in humans, according to my vet.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Ferris was recently fouind to be borderline anemic, and it is not the same as iron deficiency in humans, according to my vet.
Thank you ... did he say what it is in cats ???
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Okay, I called Gerber, they said that the onion and garlic in the turkey sticks is a very small amount, but who knows how that relates to cats.

He's also not showing any real signs of being sick. There's no vomiting, all pottying is normal. All water/food intake is normal (for him)... his activity level is normal, sleeping the same amount.. and just as an fyi, he's had all the standard tests and vaccines done. Indoor only...

I was just concerned mostly that it might be hyperthyroidism because of how much he eats, and the fact that he could still stand to gain weight, although, he's not exactly underweight.. I'd say he could put another pound on easily, perhaps two, and not be overweight. He's already about 13 pounds.

I'm not sure that his vision is "bad" or rather, not normal. My sister (Khan is hers).. seems to think that it might be, but the two situations that give her reason to think that this might be the case both potentially have other reasons that would be viable. The incident with him climbing the steps and not recognizing Joyeux (who, incidentally, he has been picking on and fighting with occasionally of late).. my sister thinks it is because he couldn't see her. Now, it was dark. There were no lights on, although it was by a window which sits under a tree in an area where there were no lights, so it *could* have shed some a bit of moonlight, but that would depend on how much moonlight there was last night. My sister seems to be under the impression that you can put a cat in a totally dark room with no light sources at all engaged, no windows, and the door shut, and it can see. IOW, creating an "underground" pitch black environment... and I keep telling her that while they have good night vision, it's not that good. My understanding of their night vision (from all that I've read about it) is that it's good, in fact, much better than humans, but basically they'll pretty defined shapes but perhaps not details of the shape they're seeing (but this would also depend on the amount of light)... if that's the case, then it makes sense that he saw a cat shape on the top of the steps, thought it was Noel (who, innocenctly enough at the time was perched on my feet in bed)... and didn't recognize Joyeux until he was either close enough to see her or close enough to scent her.

The other time she says might be affected by his vision is when we're engaging in play. I personally think that he sees just fine, he's catching the toy, he's just not playing as much, *BUT* the reason for this, I think, is because he's fighting with the other cats. All of them, to some degree or another. The one he particularly fights with (or chases, rather) is Bagheera and she's been taking an active role in playtime the last few days. Khan will also leave when Noel comes near (they have the worst relationship currently).. so it seems to me that it's more to do with the hierarchy currently than his inability to see, since he's staying on the "outskirts" of the play area, and only engaging sometimes, usually when it flies over his head.

Oh, well, she's putting him on the plan tomorrow, and this is all stuff that we can have him checked for on Saturday when Pogue goes for his checkup, I suppose.

I'm still looking at the anemia sites, though.. I don't think he's suffering from any bleeding, and while the garlic or onion might have done something, I am not really sure about the time frame on that since he had that back in December, and hasn't had it since.. anyone happen to know what the time frame for a reaction to it is?

He doesn't appear to have any of the listed symptoms: sleeping normal amounts, appetite is normal, breathing is normal, still grooming himself, activity levels are normal. I'll check his gums and ears tonight to see what color they are.

Just as an update, apparently WildTrax does have calcium in it, it's just not on the ingredients list as "calcium" but it is in the analysis, so I feel better about that.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Thank you ... did he say what it is in cats ???
The websites say it's usually from bleeding out, or diseases that affect the production of the red blood cells, or potentially from toxins.

Diseases that commonly cause it are FIV, I think FIP, FiLV, and something else. Parasites can cause it. IOW, apparently iron deficiency does show up but it's usually a secondary thing, the red blood cells are first.. at least that was my understanding of it. Those sites were pretty informative (even if I'm not retaining the info at the moment).

Thanks Sharky..
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
The websites say it's usually from bleeding out, or diseases that affect the production of the red blood cells, or potentially from toxins.

Diseases that commonly cause it are FIV, I think FIP, FiLV, and something else. Parasites can cause it. IOW, apparently iron deficiency does show up but it's usually a secondary thing, the red blood cells are first.. at least that was my understanding of it. Those sites were pretty informative (even if I'm not retaining the info at the moment).

Thanks Sharky..


He said he didn't know what was causing it, so I looked it up online and ran through the checklist, and I just have no idea.

I was told to bring Ferris in again in 30 days for another blood test. I laughed.

Considering the fact that I've just moved, and Ferris and Ginger are still somewhat traumatized by that, and considering the fact that I no longer have the ability to close off a room to catch Ferris in, and considering that I am living in a maze of boxes, there is no way possible that I can catch Ferris and bring him to the vet in any short period of time.

Trying to catch him to take him to the vet for more bloodwork would be even MORE traumatizing for Ferris AND myself. So I'm just not going to worry about it at the moment - I was told that his levels are on the bottom of the scale, so it may mean nothing. In addition, his energy level is really, really high, and he eats like the piglet that he is, so no worries, I refuse to panic over an iffy test (that cost me $150, by the way.)
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, they told me the thyroid test was about $40, done in house before my discount. He seems to exhibit more of the hyperthyroid signs than anemia, but I'm concerned about the vision thing... I'm going to need to put the other cats up and see how he plays. I know for a fact though, that they don't have vision as good as my sister thinks it is.. but try to tell her anything. She kept putting his food in her room at night.. and when he wasn't eating (keep in mind she blocks out all possible light to the point of covering up any electronics that even have a display light, and super heavy dark curtains on the windows..where there wouldn't be light even during the daytime)... when he wasn't eating at night, I was like well, duh, you dummy, he can't see anything. I said, they have to have a *little* light to see by..sheesh.

I'm going to have to do some research into exactly how much they can see in what kind of light.
post #12 of 14
If it will put your mind at ease, go ahead and have the thyroid test done--that sounds like a good price for it. Hyperthyroidism is extremely rare in younger cats, but peace of mind may be worth the price.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
It just seems to me like he's eating a ton.. I mean, all in all it could be absolutely nothing, but.. if it *is* hyperthyroidism, it could lead to other things if left untreated. So, I'm being paranoid again, prolly.
post #14 of 14
Another thing to consider is diabetes.

Anemia has several causes.
Inadequate production:
1. Dietary/absortion issues - iron, B12
2. Low production of RBCs
a. chemo/radiation
Loss of blood
1. trauma/surgery
2. abnormal clotting
Rapid distruction of RBCs
1. autoimmune disease
2. chemo/radiation treatments
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