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Toxoplasmosis or a brain tumor?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
We are devastated. My 10 yr old cat was fine up until this morning. I was immediately worried because he was showing these symptoms:
- Compulsive walking and walking in circles as if possessed.
- Pressing the head against hard surfaces.
- not quite mood swings but grooming while taking breaks from eating (not manic grooming).
- looking and walking as if intoxicated & not responding to visual or auditory things.

Took him to our vet right away & we are trying to treat him with antibiotics ... the vet thinks it could be toxoplasmosis or a tumor.

Has anyone experienced this?
post #2 of 24
no suggestions - just & that it's something easily treatable!
post #3 of 24
I’m so sorry you have to consider such serious possibilities. This is indeed devastating.
I’d like to ask you, has kitty been on some kind of medication that could damage the inner ear?
Also, has your vet considered other possibilities, for instance vestibular disease, and vestibular disease associated with the fungal disease cryptococcosis? If not, please be sure these possibilities don’t get overlooked.

Info:
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retri...98612X00900615

Quote:
Abstract
Peripheral vestibular disease referable to otitis media/interna was the main reason for presentation in three cats with cryptococcosis. In two cats, Cryptococcus neoformans var neoformans was isolated from the tympanic bulla. In the remaining cat, otitis media/interna was considered to be secondary to occlusion of the auditory tube by a nasopharyngeal granuloma associated with a C neoformans var gattii infection. This report emphasises the importance of maintaining an index of suspicion for a fungal aetiology in cats with signs of otitis media/interna, particularly in countries with a high prevalence of cryptococcosis. The presence of C neoformans may be overlooked with potentially fatal consequences where only standard methods for bacterial isolation are used to examine samples obtained from the middle ear.

Info about toxoplasmosis from AVMA:
http://www.avma.org/careforanimals/a...ethealth.asp#6

Quote:
How do cats become infected with Toxoplasma?
Although cats can be infected by the same means as humans, the most likely sources of toxoplasmosis in cats is from eating mice, birds, and other small animals that are infected with the Toxoplasma parasite. For indoor cats, the most likely source is uncooked meat scraps. When a cat is exposed to Toxoplasma parasites through the consumption of infected meat or tissues, the cat can eventually excrete millions of Toxoplasma oocysts in its feces each day. This release of oocysts can continue for up to two weeks. Oocysts in feces become infectious (reach Stage F) after one to two days. Since most cats do not leave feces on their fur for two days, it is unlikely that humans become infected from direct contact with cats themselves. Because cats usually exhibit no signs of illness while passing oocysts, it is difficult to determine when a particular cat's feces may be infectious to people or other mammals. Most adult cats will not pass oocysts eve year. Although the majority of infected infants show no symptoms of toxoplasmosis at birth, many are likely to develop signs of infection later in life. Loss of vision, mental retardation, loss of hearing, and death in severe cases, are the symptoms of toxoplasmosis in congenitally infected children. Ideally, women who are in frequent contact with cats should be serologically tested for Toxoplasma gondii before becoming pregnant, because, if they are already seropositive, they are not at risk of asymptoms of toxoplasmosis, there have been cases in cats associating toxoplasmosis with pneumonia, liver damage, and loss of vision. Why some cats show symptoms and other cats do not is not known. Concurrent infection with other diseases (feline leukemia, feline AIDS) can aggravate toxoplasmosis in cats. Treatment can be effective if the disease is diagnosed early. A blood test for Toxoplasma antibodies helps in diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in sick cats.
To help prevent Toxoplasma infection in cats, follow these steps:
•\tKeep cats indoors and do not allow them to hunt rodents and birds.
•\tFeed cats only cooked meat or processed food from commercial sources.
At present there is no vaccine for toxoplasmosis in cats. Efforts are, however, underway to market a vaccine to prevent Toxoplasma oocyst shedding by cats.

More info, including meds required for treatment:
http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/toxo.html

I pray that your kitty doesn’t have a brain tumor. In any case, please, talk to your vet about a referral to a specialist as soon as possible.

An article that might be helpful to you:
http://www.cvm.uiuc.edu/petcolumns/s...e_pf.cfm?id=98
post #4 of 24
After much thinking about this I would just like to add that the compulsive walking and not responding to visual or auditory things are the two most worrisome signs and they can indeed be seen with a brain tumor. And that’s why I’d like to urge you to get kitty to a specialist without delay. The specialist can also do the tests that confirm or rule out toxoplasmosis, fungal disease, etc. Please, don’t wait with this.
I’m sending many prayers for your kitty.
post #5 of 24
My Maggie was diagnosed with Idiopathic Vestibular Disease when she was less than a year old. She walked in circles compulsively (only one direction), fell down frequently, and had very noticeable nystagmus (rapid side to side movement of the eyes.) I took her to my vet and was told the same things you were told. It could be anything from vestibular disease to brain tumor. She was put on antibiotics (in case it was a toxoplasmosis ear infection) and I watched her for several days. Within a couple of days she was completely better, the nystagmus took a little longer to resolve, but was gone within 2 weeks. Sometimes there will be a residual head tilt or slight nystagmus, but Maggie has no residual symptoms, besides a very slight nystagmus when she's terrified of something. We never really figured out what caused it (idiopathic) but it did go away fairly quickly. Hope your baby starts to feel better soon!

Pookie & the girls
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply, no he has not been on any medication at all.... ever. He has been totally healthy. The inner ear looked fine too. As for vestibular disease, he has shown no head tilt. On thr positive side Piki has singnificantly improved overnight!!!!
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet View Post
After much thinking about this I would just like to add that the compulsive walking and not responding to visual or auditory things are the two most worrisome signs and they can indeed be seen with a brain tumor. And that’s why I’d like to urge you to get kitty to a specialist without delay. The specialist can also do the tests that confirm or rule out toxoplasmosis, fungal disease, etc. Please, don’t wait with this.
I’m sending many prayers for your kitty.
Unfortunately we cannot afford going to a specialist .... and thankfully Piki is doing much better. He is walking normally, tail is up, and his eyes are looking normal, coherent* He just has not gone to the litter box.. as dar as we can see.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piki View Post
Unfortunately we cannot afford going to a specialist .... and thankfully Piki is doing much better. He is walking normally, tail is up, and his eyes are looking normal, coherent* He just has not gone to the litter box.. as dar as we can see.
This is wonderful news! Maggie improved drastically within a day or two also. It just took her eyes a little longer to stop the nystagmus. She still gets tiny quivers of her eyes when she's scared out of her little mind!

Hugs to you and your baby Piki!
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
My Maggie was diagnosed with Idiopathic Vestibular Disease when she was less than a year old. She walked in circles compulsively (only one direction), fell down frequently, and had very noticeable nystagmus (rapid side to side movement of the eyes.) I took her to my vet and was told the same things you were told. It could be anything from vestibular disease to brain tumor. She was put on antibiotics (in case it was a toxoplasmosis ear infection) and I watched her for several days. Within a couple of days she was completely better, the nystagmus took a little longer to resolve, but was gone within 2 weeks. Sometimes there will be a residual head tilt or slight nystagmus, but Maggie has no residual symptoms, besides a very slight nystagmus when she's terrified of something. We never really figured out what caused it (idiopathic) but it did go away fairly quickly. Hope your baby starts to feel better soon!

Pookie & the girls
Thank you, he was walking to the right, in circles compulsively ... did not fall down and no rapid side to side movement of the eyes. On a positiver note, he is looking much better and acting as himself. I can only pray this will be the same for Piki!! You have given us hope.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
This is wonderful news! Maggie improved drastically within a day or two also. It just took her eyes a little longer to stop the nystagmus. She still gets tiny quivers of her eyes when she's scared out of her little mind!

Hugs to you and your baby Piki!
Thank you again, this is our first cat and I actually rescued him when he was only a kitten, he was part of a litter born closeby. I noticed him crossing our back yard in 1998 on a beautiful June afternoon and offered him milk & water. The second I laid eyes on him I knew he was going to be ours. He has been bothing short of a godsend for my retired mother & we have grown extremely attached to him.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piki View Post
Thank you, he was walking to the right, in circles compulsively ... did not fall down and no rapid side to side movement of the eyes. On a positiver note, he is looking much better and acting as himself. I can only pray this will be the same for Piki!! You have given us hope.
Update: Piki is almost back to 80% perfect health.. at least he is behaving like so. The official blood test results come back this week.
post #12 of 24
I sure hope his Blood Tests will be good.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I sure hope his Blood Tests will be good.
Thanks, we espcet the results in a few days. Piki is almost 100% .... but we are still very concerned as you can imagine.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I sure hope his Blood Tests will be good.
Yup, thank goodness all is fine, and Piki is almost back to normal except that he is not as receptive or happy about being touched & brushed. I am keeping a watchful eye on him. he also spooks more easily at the simplest things. I hear this is common after and during such illness.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
My Maggie was diagnosed with Idiopathic Vestibular Disease when she was less than a year old. She walked in circles compulsively (only one direction), fell down frequently, and had very noticeable nystagmus (rapid side to side movement of the eyes.) I took her to my vet and was told the same things you were told. It could be anything from vestibular disease to brain tumor. She was put on antibiotics (in case it was a toxoplasmosis ear infection) and I watched her for several days. Within a couple of days she was completely better, the nystagmus took a little longer to resolve, but was gone within 2 weeks. Sometimes there will be a residual head tilt or slight nystagmus, but Maggie has no residual symptoms, besides a very slight nystagmus when she's terrified of something. We never really figured out what caused it (idiopathic) but it did go away fairly quickly. Hope your baby starts to feel better soon!

Pookie & the girls
VERY BAD NEWS, Piki was getting better up until yesterday. This morning, just about to be on my way to work I noticed he was pacing aimlessly, not totally there. This time not in tight right circles but more to the left, following the entire perimeter of the living room. This was at 9am, it is now 7:45pm. He is in his room, not looking good at all. But not as bas as he was. Any ideas?
post #16 of 24
I wish they could help him.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I wish they could help him.
I am really confused, he just came downstairs to have a snack, and was looking ok, but not quite there, it seems he is up and down ... this is really eating away at me.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I wish they could help him.
It is 1:21pm and Piki has been slowing deteriorating. I took him to the vet earlier & the vet suggested we put him to sleep, as it is most like a brain tumor. He has regressed do badly that he cannot stand up on his own. I beleive he ate his last snack of tuna, albeit laying down... and we would like for him to pass at home. *****The story at the vet was surreal***** I signed the papers to have him euthanised, ands the vet was unable to successfully administer the drug to his vein, we tried on the 2nd leg and again the vein collapsed..... right then i turned back ans took him home hoping he would bounce back. the vet says he has less than 5% .
post #19 of 24
So sorry you are losing him. I was hoping he would get better.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
So sorry you are losing him. I was hoping he would get better.
Thank you. Life really can suck sometimes. We are here one moment and the next you are gone.
post #21 of 24
I'm so sorry. Words can't possibly express how sorry I am.

((((((((((HUGS))))))))))
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet View Post
I'm so sorry. Words can't possibly express how sorry I am.

((((((((((HUGS))))))))))
sending & for you, Piki & your family...
if you're sure it's "the time", tell him it's ok to go. sometimes they hang on for us, sweet babies. since you already made that hardest of decisions, just tell him. maybe he's just waiting for your permission to leave.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
sending & for you, Piki & your family...
if you're sure it's "the time", tell him it's ok to go. sometimes they hang on for us, sweet babies. since you already made that hardest of decisions, just tell him. maybe he's just waiting for your permission to leave.
MUCH Appreciated, he is resting in peace. He was unable to even get up of his side and lost all bodily funtions yesterday afternoon.
post #24 of 24
I am so very, very sorry. You and Piki are in my thoughts and prayers.
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