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Medical Mystery cat...  

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So my almost 6 year old neutered male cat, Hunter, has been sick for about three weeks now. It started with just diarrhea. When it did not go away, we took him to the vet and got a prescription for Metronidozol, which tasted disgusting and we could not really get him to take. After about a week, he did not improve and we got the medicine compounded into a gel, which he was more willing to take. When he still did not improve, we took him in again and had x-rays done. At that time he had a fever as well. There was nothing unusual in the x-rays, so we continued the medication and added Periactin because he was starting to eat less and less. We also gave him Fomodidine (I think?) for an upset stomach.

He then continued to not get any better. Yesterday, my husband and I came home to find that he had barely moved or eaten anything, his gums were very pale and he was dehydrated. He also had a fever. We took him to the vet yesterday and he was hospitalized.

Last night, two vets at the practice felt something like a mass in his abdomen, below the kidneys and a little smaller than one. This morning, they had two other vets in the practice check, and they both felt the same thing. They took x-rays and found what appears to be a mass in that area, below the kidneys and towards the back from where the liver is. THIS WAS NOT ON THE X-RAYS TAKEN A WEEK BEFORE! The liver also might be enlarged, but it is hard to tell from the x-ray.

Hunter has been there about 24 hours now. He is on an antibiotic drip. He continues to have diarrhea but is eating wet food and still has a fever.

He will have an ultrasound on Saturday (that is the earliest day, unfortunately). The vets think that it might be a mass and that the mass might be cancerous. In that case, we will also do an electreoforecis which would likely confirm the cancer diagnosis. For now, none of the vets can say what is wrong with him.

We are very concerned and stressed and scared. He is probably even more stressed and scared.

I would greatly appreciate any input about any of this... especially from anyone who has had such a "medical mystery" cat...
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
Things I forgot...

Throughout this, he has also lost about 15% of his weight.

Previous to this, we fed him Wellness food, wet in the evening and dry in the morning. He is an indoor only cat and has been so his entire life (as far as we know). We got him less than two years ago from the pound.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Now that I have read the lower threat about Ginger, who had FIP, this is starting to sound very similar...The vet mentioned FIP as a possible diagnosis and described it as "a terrible disease"... unfortunately, we were too focused on the possibility of cancer to really think about it... the more I think about this, the more worried I get
post #4 of 19
Sending major prayers and vibes that Hunter recovers quickly and also some calming prayers and vibes out to you Bless you for taking such good care of him - it is so rough on parents to see them go through all this, whether our little charges are pets or children I applaud all that you do for your precious Hunter
Hunter, get better very, very quickly - your family loves you and NEEDS you - you are their precious treasure
post #5 of 19
Oh no. This sounds terrible - that sort of terrible that just doesn't get better. (sorry to sound pessimistic, but I don't have a good feeling about this one)
I hope Hunter proves me wrong and the vets can get him well. In the meantime spend as much time with him as you can. As you said, he's probably scared and you will bring him some comfort. If there's a blanket of his at home or one of your (not too) dirty shirts, ask your vet if it would be ok to put that in with him.

post #6 of 19
I'm so sorry Hunter and you all are going through this rough time. I know it can be so hard and frustrating. I don't have any experience with FIP, but it still could be something else. For right now please try and stay positive that it can be fixed. My heart and prayers go out to you all.

Also, I agree with spending as much time with him as possible and bring something from home for him to have near him. It does help them. And have you tried maybe looking into another specialist in your area?
post #7 of 19
How is your sweet Hunter doing? I hope something can be done to save him. We lost Ginger last week to FIP so I understand the heartbreak and the torment that you feel when there isn't ANYTHING you can do to save your kitty. I hope your case is different.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for asking! I completely forgot that I posted here, amongst all the running around....

Turns out that Hunter had intestinal cancer... he was also anemic and we had a hard time getting him well enough for surgery. He did have the surgery yesterday and they removed 3/4 of his large intestine. He is recovering now, but his anemia isn't getting much better, and he might need a second blood transfusion, and possible more steroid therapy in the next few days. He is still in critical condition.

Tomorrow or the day after we should have the results of the biopsy and then we will know more about the type of cancer that it is. Next week we will take him to the oncologist to get him on Chemo. Thankfully, chemo in cats is supposedly not as bad as for people - largely painless the vet says.

Needless to say, we are incredibly stressed out, not least because this has cost about $3,000 so far - way more than we would have been willing to spend had you asked us outright! But, since he is our baby, and since he does seem to be fighting for his life, we want to give him every opportunity.

In any case, his prognosis will likely not be very good. We just hope to have him home, for six months or two years or however long we can, so that we can give him all the hugs and kisses and pets that we can before we have to say goodbye.

Again, thanks for your concern! I'm attaching a current picture of him, taken tonight. The crease to the right of his back paw is the large "hole" in his abdomen where his intestine used to be. Sorry for the low picture quality!
post #9 of 19
Aww... poor sweet boy. I'll keep him in my prayers. Godspeed little one!
post #10 of 19
So sorry to hear the news about Hunter. He is a sweet looking boy. Prayers for his recovery and time for you to spend with your little guy!
post #11 of 19
May Hunter have a speedy recovery. dashalovesyou sending you, your family and Hunter good vibes and hugs...You are his angel dashalovesyou .
post #12 of 19
for poor sweet hunter. Get all the love in that you can. Even those with "healthy" cats should keep in mind that there are no guarantees in life. We are all supporting you. Let us know more about Hunter's prognosis and recovery.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your concern and well wishes!!!

Hunter is now home since saturday. The biopsy indicated that he does not have cancer, which is a shocker to everyone. 3/4 of his colon was removed and he had terrible anemia and almost died several times. Now he is on steroids, which seem to be working!

He is improving, slowly but surely. Last night, his stitches opened up. The emergency vet said to put a band aid on it, which surprisingly worked. He had to have them stapled this morning and is now wearing a cone. He has also lost even more weight - he is now 7.8 lbs from almost 11 starting.

Since we have no idea what caused his illness, we have no idea what his prognosis is like. But for now he seems to be getting better slowly and we are hoping for the best. Last night, a huge bug flew in through the window and he leaped for it and got is so fast we never would have guessed he was ever sick! No matter what's wrong, Hunter lives up to his name

I am including a picture of his staples. His entire cut looks like this, all 6 inches of it. He seems to be some sort of weird cat-robot hybrid! I'm also including one of him playing with a toy the day he came home - that made us sooo happy!
post #14 of 19
He' s precious! I'm sorry for all that he and his human family are going through. That he's playing with a toy so soon after all that trauma says a lot. Poor baby. He'll be in my prayers.
post #15 of 19
That's so frustrating to not know what is causeing his illness. I'm glad to hear he's home and recovering. Sending more hugs to Hunter and you .
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well, here is the final update.

Hunter passed away last night.

He recovered fine from his surgery, but he got IMHA (immune anemia). We gave him steroids, but they didn't work. By yesterday afternoon, he was mostly gone.

We are very sad and miss him very much. I think he is happy to be in kitty heaven, because it was getting to be too much for him here.

Thank you for all your support!
post #17 of 19

I'm so very sorry about Hunter. No family could have done more for their kitty!
post #18 of 19
You should post to the Moderators to close this thread and continue your posting at our Rainbow Bridge thread. It can be very healing!
post #19 of 19
We express our deepest sympathy to you for your great loss.

Out of respect to you and Hunter, I will close this thread.
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