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Anemic cat - vet is puzzled - I need help

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello, my name is Sherry. I have a 10 month old Havana Brown kitty who is very sick. On Tuesday, my local vet did bloodwork and his red cell count was very low - the FelV/FIV test was again negative. So, he was placed on 1ml once a day of Lixotinic and 1.5 ml twice a day of Doxycycline. Tuesday evening he ate fairly well. However, since Wednesday, I've been force feeding him Science Diet A/D food (about 3 to 4 syringes full) about 3 times a day. I'm taking him back in this morning to the vet in hopes they can get him some nutrition.

He has been on several antibiotics over the last few months - mainly Clavamox - for a constant eye drainage and because he has not been very active.

If there is anyone out there that has any suggestions, please let me know.

Thank you so much for your time.
post #2 of 22
What is the A/D in Science Diet A/D? Is this a wet food that you're able to put it in a syringe? What size syringe? How much does your kitten weigh?

I've been researching cat food recently trying to find the best for my kitties. I've never used Science Diet, but it doesn't look like the highest quality compared to a lot of others.

If the anemia is caused by a dietary deficiency, you need to be feeding something that has a higher percentage of meat in the ingredients. You might try baby food, which will be nearly 100% meat (check the ingredients). That's not good for the long term because cats need some additional nutrients not found in people food, but it may get him started back on the road to recovery.

According to my medical information for people, penicillin-related antibiotics--which includes clavamox--can cause anemia. I'm thinking it could have the same effect in cats. Could you ask your vet about prescibing a different class of antibiotic?
post #3 of 22
I have a kitten that was severly anemic, and they gave him a blood transfusion
post #4 of 22
Can they do a Blood Transfusion? It saved two f my cats. Can they fo a test to see if its Fia. Coco had that and she had so many tests before they found out it was that. My Meeko had another type of Anemia. You need to find out what kind of Anemia your cat has. They both had the A/D also and Clavamox. Meeko was three months at the time and Coco 9 .5 years old. You might need to change Antibiotics.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
What is the A/D in Science Diet A/D?
Hill's A/D is a high calorie, high nutrient, prescription food for use in sick or elderly cats that will not eat. I would not advise the OP to change to anything else while her cat is that sick.

Anaemia to this extent is unlikely to be caused by diet - it's far more likely to be an immune disorder or tick-borne infection, I would ask the vet about blood transfusions. Steroids can also be used as an immune suppressent if it turns out to be auto-immune.

Good luck at the vet and vibes for your kitty
post #6 of 22
A possible side effect of antibiotics, especially long term or frequent usage, is depression of the bone marrow. The bone marrow is responsible for producing red blood cells, platlets and many of the white blood cells. The antibiotics can cause the bone marrow not to produce one or more of the cells. It can be temporary or permanent.

A virus or bacterial infection can cause decreased production of the RBCs.

To make red blood cells, the body needs iron, proteins and a variety of vitamins. Lack of absortion of the nutrients or a porr diet that lacks these nutrients can cause a derease in production of red blood cells.

Loss of red blood cells can also cause anemia. This can be due to injury (bleeding) or an autoimmune response.

How low is low? I used to work for a hematologist. We had lots of panicked patients come to us with "low" blood counts. Turns out most of them were borderline low and that was a normal number for them. We also had some truly low patients that required extensive testing to identify the cause and treat correctly.
If the low lab values are truly low, you may want to think about a specialist. Any vet schools in your area?
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
What is the A/D in Science Diet A/D? Is this a wet food that you're able to put it in a syringe? What size syringe? How much does your kitten weigh?

I've been researching cat food recently trying to find the best for my kitties. I've never used Science Diet, but it doesn't look like the highest quality compared to a lot of others.
Science diet A/D saved my cats life. My vet gave my cat A/D to jump start her when she was having terrible stomach upset and stopped eating. She didn't have to stay on that diet after she started eating again.

They give A/D diet to cats who are sick and need the calories. It's a prescription diet. The vet is obviously giving the OP's cat A/D for a reason and I wouldn't advice her any other way.
post #8 of 22
I would stay on the A/D. Coco and Meeko had that food when they were anemic.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by abbycats View Post
They give A/D diet to cats who are sick and need the calories. It's a prescription diet.
That must be why I couldn't find it in the list of cat food products on the Science Diet website. I didn't realize it was something the vet would have given her.

aerobocat, has the vet been able to find out any more about what might be causing the anemiza?
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for all your information. Baci has already been on several different antibiotics - and extensive treatment for Herpes to include Lysine in the gel formula. The vet feels it is a blood disease - but he can not pin point what is the exact cause. I'm taking him in again this morning for a re-check and to get the catheter out if the vet feels it can be removed. I would think living anything in for any period of time could be a source of infection. Baci has diarrhea this morning which concerns me also. He has not been on any antibiotics since this past weekend - so maybe they are getting out of his system - which could be one of the problems anyway. I'm thinking the antibiotics are not only killing the bad stuff but are killing the good germs as well.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
post #11 of 22
That's one of the problems with antibioics; they kill the bad and the good bacteria. Ask your vet about feeding Baci yogurt or pumpkin to help with the diarrhea. Also, you might want to ask for something to help replenish the good bacteria that's being killed off. FortiFlora is a supplement that helps bring stability to the intestinal tract after long courses of antibiotics. Someone here may have some ideas as to how you can help naturally with supplements or herbs. I know that when my doctor prescribes an antibiotic for me, he also tells me to take acidophilus, but I don't know if kitties can have that.

You might also want to ask your vet to consult with either a teaching vet hospital/clinic or your state's veterinary school.
post #12 of 22
Can you have them test for fia alao. Coco had so many tests before they found out it was fia. There are so many types of Anemia. They have some books at the health food store on herbs for cats. i almost bought th book last week. I can thre and see what it sayd for anemia. My Vet did tell me to fed them liver when they had anemia. and Coco had Pet Tinic or something like that. I can not remember the name. It was some viatamin. Lucy kept needed blood tansfusions every few months until the day she died. She would get very anemic but she was never tested for fia which coco ot three week after lucy died. I hoe your cat feels better.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much again to everyone. I wanted to post the bloodwork results for everyone to view - just in case someone out there has had the same puzzling problem. Here goes: WBC 3.68, LYM .53, GR% 80.5, RBC 2.05, HGB 3.7, HCT 12.61, MCV 61, MCH 17.9, MCHC 29.1, RdWc 19, PLT 48, MPV 15.8, PDwC 44.6, ALB 3.1, ALP 36, ALT 158, AMY 1800, TBIL .9, BUN 26, CA 9.4, PHOS 3.9, CRE 1.0, GLU 124, NA 145, K+ 3.1, TP 10.6 and GLOB 7.5. There are a couple of items that I can't make out- something right below GRA which was 2.97, there's something that ends in "Y" which was 14.3 where the normal range is 20 - 55 - and then something else that was at 5.2 and the normal range is 1 - 3 - maybe this is not anything of major importance. The vet wants to start him back on Dexycycline, continue with the Lixotinic and he is adding some liquid prednisone. He (the vet) still feels that it is more than likely a parasite causing this.

Any help you can send my way is appreciated. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on - and looking at the sites you have suggested.
post #14 of 22
I am going to look at Coco and Meekos numbers when they were Anemic and see if your cat has the same numbers. I wish my husband had not thrown out Stripe and Lucys numbers. Has the Cat been tested for Fia. It can come from fleas and ticks. Alot of vets miss that test.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
I forgot to ask about that - he's been tested for so many things and everything has been negative. Is this FIA test something new or is it something that most vets would be familiar with??
post #16 of 22
I do not think most vets know about it because the Er told me to have Coco pts and they had ran so mnay tests. Then I went to my Vet and they found the problem with that test. Her gluclose was 329 at the time. Coco had the test in Sept of 2001.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by aerobocat View Post
...Is this FIA test something new or is it something that most vets would be familiar with??
Feline Infectious Anemia link

aerobocat-
I'm sorry I missed your PM today.....were you able to check out that Yahoo Anemia group? That's where those numbers need to be posted...and, make sure you pot the normal ranges for all.

Doxycycline and prednisone was the combination used in that other case I mentioned. One thing...rather than prednisone, prednisolone should be used in cats. Prednisone is an inactive form that must be actively transformed into prednisolone, an active metabolite. There are some species such as cats who are thought to be deficient in this tranformation. This is out of the North American Companion Animal Formulary: "Use prednisolone for cats; prednisone may not be effective."
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
The vet has actually put him on pediapred - so is that different? He seems better this morning and he is still eating (a little) on his own. I'm hoping he is nearing a turning point. If he can only get over this rough patch, I think we have a shot at saving him.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by aerobocat View Post
The vet has actually put him on pediapred - so is that different?...
Apparently not...this seems to be one of the "human" versions - in liquid form, for kids. You can read up on it at this link at this link. At the bottom of that page you'll find several other references.

A few thoughts for you. Because I've had to deal with anemia in an FeLV+ cat, I know the anxiety that this brings to you. I also learned a few things while on that journey...the need to watch the cat "like a hawk" for any signs of "crashing", the speed at which that can occur, the ability to be able to respond very quickly with competent Vet care (today, for me that would mean having made contact with an after-hours emergency service; ensuring that the ER had a copy of the Vet file; ensuring to take a hard copy of any new paperwork in the Vet file home with me...) Today, I also know that, if I had ANY doubts/uneasiness about my Vet's ability to manage it or to aggressively treat it, I would have no hesitation to obtain a "second opinion". Also, having now learned about the existence of condition-specific online support groups, I would have established a presence there, so as to be able to draw on that pre-prepared resource if it were needed quickly.

Have you spoken with your vet about FIA?
post #20 of 22
I hope he gets better.
BLAISE is right I have seen a cat go from ok with Anemia then she died.
You need to watch him and he small sign he is worse go to the vet fast.
Lucy was messed up from a shot she had a bad reaction to and would get sick very sudden. Three weeks before Lucy died she got ouside then she died on the way to Er. She was very Anemic. She would sleep with Coco and was close with her. The reason I am teling you this is because Lucy might have had Fia and passed it to Coco but she never was tested. After we found out Coco had it the vet said to have all the other cats tested. We did and they were ok. Meekos anemia was not fia and Stripes was from Crf. There are alot of types. I am looking for the paperwork so I can tell you what Coco and Meeko were treated with. I do not know where it is because we moved. I know she had something called Pet Tinic or something like that. There also were procrit shots with some of them. i will try to help you as much as I can.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Baci is trying to eat a little on his own now; however, I'm still force-feeding him the Science Diet A/D food to offset what he doesn't eat. Is this a good sign that he doesn't have FIP? I'm hoping this is a turning point and wanted to ask all of you what you think. If it was FIP, would he even try eating on his own at this point????

I appreciate all your comments and suggestions.
post #22 of 22
They think my Yoshi had Fip and he did eat on his own. it was never proved he had it though. He did have kidney stones though that could not be removed.
What else does that vet say it can be?
I found my files from when Stripe and lucy had blood transfusions but Coco and Meekos files are missing. There are so many types of Anemia though.
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