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Tests? Do they seem legitimate?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Some of you may remember back in December we adopted Chip and Scottie. Chip has been sick since we got him and I guess most of his life. We had been taking him to Benfield where they were loading him up with pills: Prednisone, antibiotics, antiviral, to include 225MG human antiviral. For months nothing was working and so we stopped back in Feb.

Today my husband took him to see an internal specialist, low and behold the appointment happened to be with the same vet from Benfield (different hospital this visit) that I went off on and said I would never bring my cat back to see. So needless to say my husband asked to see the other vet and he recommended several blood tests. I just want a second opinion. I feel like this vet is doing the exact opposite of the other guy (which I am sure you will say is a good thing, since I was not happy with the last vet, right ). But I want to make sure the tests are legitimate and not just placation. The tests, which they narrowed down are costing us $450 (plus we have spent about $600 on other visits and meds from the other vet that never worked).

Anyways, they are doing a Feline Leukemia and HIV blood test (yes, he was tested for these as a kitten) and a culture test, where they send the mucus to a lab and see what happens, like fungus, bacteria or virus spreads. They also wanted to do the Herpes test, but decided since they had been “treating†him for that and it did not work that there was no point in it.

His symptoms: constant runny nose, congested breathing. He is very small, 7.1 lbs. Due to his breathing he does not eat much, nor does he really clean himself, so he smells. We do give him baths for his and our other cat also cleans him.

Anyone have any feedback on what this new vet is recommending? Sorry if I seem skeptical, it’s because I am.
post #2 of 21
I dont get mine the Leukemia Test because they tested Neg and never have been out. Has he been outside at all? If he has then I can see him having that test. Are those the only tests he is getting?
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
He is an indoor cat. But we did get him from a shelter at about 9 months old. We adopted him with his buddy Scottie and both were also raised together in a foster home. I can't imagine how he could have those things and Scottie be fine, in addition to them keeping him with other cats when he has a disease that can spread from cat to cat. Our cat Icarus was an outdoor cat until he was stolen in November and we got him back in February, he has a full physical when we got him back (with his broken leg) so I know he is fine.

Those are the only tests for now, they want to see what these come back as before they do additional tests. Do you have a recommendation on some tests we should have done?
post #4 of 21
Have his Kidneys been checked? Yoshi had a terrible smell and it was his Kidneys before he died.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
I think that might be in the blood tests. My husband called is a total health check and the nurse just told me some highlights. So I am sure that's in there. I won't know exactly until I look at the paperwork.

He stinks, but I think (hope) it's because he can't clean himslef, because he has trouble breathing as it is. He is very lethargic, yet cuddly and will play if we play with him. He just wont chase the other cats around.
post #6 of 21
What is making it hard to breathe? Yoshi smelled so bad and so did Stormy. both were from the Kidney.
post #7 of 21
You don't say what your feeding him but sometimes when you put soft food in the micro for maybe 5 seconds it softens it enough to bring out the smell of the food. Maybe try a different kind that smells stronger. Is there a holistic vet in your area? They may be a little more apt to put him on some supplements since he's not eating much.
post #8 of 21
The prices may be a little high, but the tests are reasonable. If he had been infected shortly before the original tests, it's possible that the results could have been negative while still having the disease now--sometimes there is an incubation period before the tests will show whether the infection is present. Since he is still having symptoms, it makes sense to redo the test. The mucus test will hopefully be able to determine whether there is a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection, and which medication will be most effective in treating it. Is he still on prednisone? If so, I'd talk to the vet about the best way to stop that--prednisone is an immune system suppressant, so it could be preventing his body from fighting off infection. It should not be stopped suddenly however, so it's important to figure out how to taper the kitty off of it if he's still taking it.
post #9 of 21
When one of my cats had some chronic episodes of health problems, the feline specialist I took him to did the leukemia test again even though I had kept him indoors. It was negative the second time also. She redid the test because he was only 7 weeks old when he had the first one ran.
post #10 of 21
A combo FeLV/FIV test shouldn't run more than $50 (many vets charge much less than that). So the balance of the $450 would be for the mucus culture, which does seem very high (IMO).

I don't think the tests are wrong. If a cat was exposed to FeLV, it can take a few months for it to show up on a test. FIV tests can be positive if the cat was ever vaccinated for the disease so understand that a positive result can be inconclusive.

Herpes tests are hit or miss. Some herpes cats are chronic and treating them will only control the symptoms, never cure the disease. Unless you do the test while the herpes virus is active, that test will come out negative. If your cat has the classic herpes symptoms, a vet will treat for that regardless of the test result. My Muddy has been treated for herpes for a few years now without any positive test result. We know he has it, just can't prove it.

I hope you can find the cause of his problems. It's so frustrating to treat them without knowing the cause.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Morning everyone,

Thank you for the replies. To answer your questions:
Mews2much, I think he is having trouble breathing because he is congested. I think he smells bad because he has to keep his mouth open which can cause bacteria and bad breath and he can’t breath enough to clean himself. It’s his breath mainly that stinks.

MNJULZ, we tried the soft food in the micro, even after a steam bath but he does not want to eat it. He only eats dry food. He does eat, I am just not sure how much, since we have two other cats with very health appetites it hard to tell.

Cloud Shade,
It’s good the know the tests are reasonable. Since we adopted him at 9months I am not too sure when the original tests were. After we adopted Chip and Scottie we too them both to Banfield for a physical. They started Chip on antibiotics and Scottie too incase he got something from Chip. Other then some small discharge from his eyes (we also got eye ointment) Scottie has been fine Chip did okay at first with the antibiotics but as we would limit the dose he would start to do worse. The last time he was on meds, he was on Azithromiyacin 250MG (for humans) .5 pill every day. My BIL was on the same pill for strep and was better after three days. Chip was on Azithro for 10 pills, so 20 dosages. At the same time he was on Famciclovir 250 MG and Prednisone 5 MG (of which my vet gave be 22 dosages and when I went back and saw him he told me Chip should have only taken like 14 pills, even though the bottle said to take until gone). So we was on all those pills at the same time!! So he has not been on Pred since February. But the vet never mentioned weaning him off of it, he just said to stop.

Denice, I guess better safe then sorry, right!

The last vet, the one I did not like, said they could do a Herpes test but it would not tell us much if anything. They had been treating him like he had herpes. The funny thing is he had some mouth sores and I read online that that is not a symptom of Herpes, so I am not sure what was going on.

Our other ctas vet told us they can drill into his sinus cavity and drain it then treat him with meds to see if that could get rid of it, but that is a last resort. So I will know more once the vet calls back.

How do I make a complaint against the vet that was over medicating Chip?
post #12 of 21
Well I filed a complaint once. We had a Vet say Coco had Lung Cancer and say her Heart was tilted and messed up. What happened is Cocos Asthma was very bad and she had a bad Cold. We had only moved here a few months before. We called alot of Vets that were good but they were all booked up. We found a Vet that could see her fast so we went. It turned out it was a very bad Vet. They have been shut down now. She also told me Coco didnt have long to live. So went to and got a 2nd opinion at the Vet we go to now. He said all he saw was Asthma and no Cancer. He took the Echo and her heart was fine too. We filed a complaint. Now we go to the best Vet in the area. Here is where we sent our complaint. I am not sure where you can send your complaint in your State. Look for a Vet Board. (
The owner of the bad Vet is in Jail too.
post #13 of 21
How are the gums? Do they seem inflamed and painful?
post #14 of 21
Take the mouth ulcers seriously in a young cat. Most cats with chronic mouth problems get them once they are a little bit older. When it happens before they are a year old, it usually indicates something quirky going on.

If its any consolation, my Oscar was the kitten that I thought would never thrive. He had digestive problems, mouth ulcers, chronic colds, and at a year old, only weighed about 7 pounds. By the time he hit 2 is kicked off his health problems and weighed in at 13 pounds. You just have to get some cats over their early problems.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Some vets are just horrid. I can't believe it!

Bonnie I will have to take a look at his gums. As for the ulcers, I have only seen one or two once. I really hope this new vet is good.

I called Banfield and asked them to fax me Chip's medical records and I am reading over the notes and they are not consistant with what I said or what they told me. I am going to mail them along with my complaint.

Mom, I hope my Chip is as lucky as your Oscar. I would love to see him healthy and active.
post #16 of 21
I am sending you a Pm.
post #17 of 21
I don't know what else to say but I'm so very sorry you haven't got the answers or help yet that you need so much. I hope your kittie gets healthy and stays that way
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
So maybe I am being a bit melodramatic, but I just got so pissed at the vet assistant.

Chip went in Monday and his blood work was supposed to be back Tuesday. My H gave them until the end of the day at called at 5:01pm and they were closed. So I called yesterday at 9:30am, the woman said the test were not there and she would call the lab and have them fax them. So I called at 12:30pm, she said they got the fax but the doctor was busy and only he can read the results so he would call us back at the end of the day. So at 3:30pm I called again, same answer. So my H called at 5:00pm, yep, closed.

So I called at 11:00am this morning, a new vet assistant said the tests were not in, I told her everything above and she said she would try to get the doctor to call me today. I said, no!! You will have him or someone else call me back by noon, that my cat is very sick and I am very stressed and they had told us they would call Tuesday and after numerous follow ups on our end they can't seem to return a simple phone call.

Ahhh, I am so mad!!! If they had a said a few days I would be patient, but they said Tuesday and now it's Thursday!

Sorry, I had to vent. I know vets are busy, but I need to know how my cat is, he has been so lethargic the past few days and seems to have lost more weight.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
While the test was not positive, the doctor said Chip has high levels of protein and Globulan which points to FIP. I have read on here how bad that is. He did say it's termial and said with Chip being 1 year old he may live for a few more months until he is about 2 years old.

I am so upset. I am at work crying, yet I really don't have all the info we need. Does anyone know what to expect??

Is this something most cats should be tested for at shelters before being adopted?
post #20 of 21
There is no definitive test for FIP. Do a search of the Health & Nutrition forums, seems there are a lot of cases of FIP lately.

I'm sorry.
post #21 of 21
They think my Yoshi had Dry Fip and he lasted 8 Months. he was given 6 Months to 2 Years. There really isnt a test for it that is that good. Can you get a 2nd opinion?
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