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post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

Penny, my 7-month old female is not feeling well! I just found a a small worm exiting her anus. I think it's a round worm. here's the story:

She is always begging for food. We thought it was because she was a stray and has a thing about getting food. Thursday, she vomited 2 times. She's not done that before. Last night, she started sneezing, one right after the other. She kept me up with the sneezing it was so bad. She also crawled into bed with me; she's never done that before either. This morning she was fine, ate her food as usual, played with Bailey the new kitten for a bit then crashed in her bed. The problem, she hasn't left the bed since this morning. She's become quite lethargic, doesn't move, and her 3rd eyelid is showing. I tried to get her to eat, but she refuses food. So unlike her!

I'm afraid that she has a bad infestation of round worm and now her health is in serious jeopardy. I'm very worried for her. Is there anything I can do to help out until I find a vet that may be open tomorrow?

i don't understand, when she was "dewormed" a few months ago, wouldn't that take care of round worm? She does not have obvious signs of other parasites such as fleas.

I'm really in need of help here, I'm afraid she might die during the night.
post #2 of 34
Yikes.. why didnt you take her in sooner? It should never get to the point where you think they're going to die Can you find an emergency vet hospital?? She needs to be looked at ASAP!

Good luck and keep us posted!
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
I just found the worm a few moments ago.

honestly, she was perfectly fine ... no reasons to worry until earlier this evening when she wouldn't come out for her dinner.

A cat vomiting is not unusual, a few sneezes is not unusual. I thought perhaps she had come down with a URI until I found the worm just now.
post #4 of 34
7 months is very young. Your problem sound like it might be a virus. I hope I'm wrong. But a non eating cat is always a problem, no matter what. When did she poop and pee last? If you don't know the difference between one worm or another, don't guess.

Also, never deworm using home kits, always have a vet do it. Use the wrong med, or too much and kiss the kidneys or other body parts good bye.

Did you use any chemicals on her lately?? Get them off her. Cat collar, take it off...
Did you feed her bad food?

At the very minimum- keep kitty's temp at normal degree and keep her hydrated. Don't let her brain get overheated. Keep cold cloth on her head, and allow head to also breath, so as not to allow heat to stay in the head. If she has seizure, you might have to ice her head and body down. It's best to just see a vet, it might be nothing and you'll be happy, or it could be bad and if you wait, it might get worst.

Keep her away from other cats and in quiet and calm place, so she can rest. Watch her closely, let her know you are there.

Is the other cat new to the house? Are you sure it doesn't carry a virus. Was your cat given shots lately, if so call the doctor asap, and tell them. Your cat could be having an allergic reation.

Either way, if you know your cat pee'd and pooped lately, keep her hydrated. Make sure water is clean, I would buy purified or distilled water- not tap water(too many poisons like chlorine), dehydreation kills, and it don't have to.

You have to see a vet for your problem.
post #5 of 34
Your biggest clue is the appearance of the third eyelid. Your kitty needs to see a vet as health concerns are a real issue here. I would get her to an ER clinic now if she were mine. She has to many things working against her at this point and time. Roundworms can be persistant and sometimes more treatments are needed. Being lethargic, having the third eyelid and not eating are all signs to get off the computer and pick up the phone and call a vet.

Good Luck!
post #6 of 34
A cat that young shouldn't be let outside, or even go outside by self. Are you sure she didn't eat something? Is something stuck in her throat; is she breathing normally??

At 7 months, she should be eating all the time, she's a baby in need of constant available nutrition. At that age, some cats are still weaning. She may not be ready for the food you are feeding her, or might be allergic to it.

Feed her a quality baby kitten food, lots of water and if needed to get her eating kibble, a quality friskies soft food can be fed. Give her choices... Until you know what to do. You got to make sure she's eating right. Wet the hard food and hand feed her.

Don't think cause you saw one little worm, or most likely a tapeworm egg sack coming out of her pooper, that that is the end of your problem.

If she's as bad off as you made sound, then she should be checked.

As far as deworming goes; they sometimes come in a three series, in order to kill the offspring. So, the Vet might need to see her again in order to get all the worms etc.

Barfing that young might be hairballs, but she shouldn't be as inactive as you stated. When they won't play, it's a sure sign of something wrong.

Do some research on the web.
post #7 of 34
Good luck to your kitty. Keep her hydrated. Sneezing, could be a cat flu- or allergies. Or blocked cavity. But the third lid concerns me. She should be checked over.
post #8 of 34
My vet once prescribed only a single dose pill for deworming of my previous cat
post #9 of 34
At 7 months a kitten is not still weaning. By 7 months they have their full set of adult teeth, if she is not spayed she should not be outside until she gets spayed. It is still kitten season and she could be mated with at 7 months.

As for her not eating, kittens are just nibblers and they can actually go 12 hours without eating before something begins to happen to them but they shouldn't go that long.

Please just call your vet, wake him up, that is what they get paid for and tell him your concerns. If the cat is lethargic and showing the third eyelid you should be concerned. Take her temperature first, that will be one of the first things the vet will ask you to do.
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
I just got back from the ER Vet. Penny had a fever of 107. They iced her down, then bathed her in cold water and got her temp down to 103. The ER vet isn't for sure what the problem is at this point. They are keeping her overnight for IV fluids, and tests. I will call in the morning.

I am a responsible pet owner. My animals do not go outside without supervision. Except for the grasshopper I let Penny eat the other day, they are each fed a diet specific to their individual needs; they do not go hungry. Penny was spayed in June, so no one need worry about that. She sees her vet regularly for care of her missing eye. She was just there the other day and weighed 6 pounds. A one pound gain from the last time she was there.

Until today, Penny was a normal, active, playful kitten. She eats good, drinks good, and has good potty habits.
post #11 of 34
I am so sorry to hear the fever was so high but I am relieved you went to ER vet for assistance. Without knowing all the story about your cat, I try to cover all bases when a cat is in trouble. I am glad she is spayed, and I do hope that they find out what is causing the problem. Being that she was outside, she could have gotten into anything basically. I will say a prayer for her recovery tonight- try and get some rest now, she will need you in the morning.
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Good morning all,

I want to thank everyone for posting their thoughts and concerns. You are a sage, Hissy, and I love you, (all of you,) for giving your time and level-headed advice to this board. Please forgive my grumpiness; I was exasperated, nervous, frustrated, and extremely tired when I got home at 2:30 A.M..

I checked on Penny this morning. I am told she ate and drank about 7 a.m.. Otherwise, they don't know anything yet. Her WBC is 24.4, and her glucose is slightly high, everything else is normal. They have not been able to do a fecal, so a DX pending that. They weren't concerned about the glucose level because they felt it was elevated due to nervousness. They are supposed to call me after they test a fecal.

I have spent more time and money at the vets office in the last 2 months! Including last night's visit (which isn't over with yet,)I have spent $950 on animal care since May. That's a lot of money for a widowed, non-working, full-time college student, living on a tight budget! Let's hope and pray that this was just a 24-hr flu-bug thing and it's done and over with.

Again, thank you all for your ideas. I'll post as soon as I receive a DX and treatment plan.

P.S. After thinking through yesterday morning, Penny was outside for only a moment or so. She never left the deck. My neighbor was having a family reunion, and the activity from setting up made her nervous.
post #13 of 34
I hope Penny is continuing to improve. I may probably just turn out to be the diagnosis that makes all cat owners want to rip the hair out of their vet's head "fever of unknown origin!" At any rate, you did the right thing, you got her in to be seen and treated and I commend you for that. To many times I sit in frustration as someone whose cat is apparently quite ill spends precious moments typing away on the computer when they should be calling the vet!

Your vet will not be deworming Penny until she is stronger, for worm pills are just poison and the cat has to be in pretty good shape to handle it. While she is gone, take her litter pans and dump out all the old litter and soak the pans. Use Teresa's method of immersing them in vinegar first to loosen any hard residue, and then clean them with a bleach and water mixture. The room where Penny was last, give it a complete cleaning with bleach and water and open the windows and let it air dry. (just in case something is lurking) wash her cat bed if she has one.

Best of luck- and don't use Pine-sol or lysol to clean. Toxic to cats- so keep your cleaning ingredients simple.
post #14 of 34
I will be hoping and praying your kitty gets well soon.
post #15 of 34
I hope your kitty is better soon.
post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
Penny is home from the ER vet. They didn't have a whole lot to say other than take her to her own vet tomorrow morning.

They were not able to get a fecal sample, so I will get one today. They swabbed the rectum and anus, but came up clean. The vet didn't think the roundworm was too terribly intrusive.

I've cleaned out the isolation (laundry) room and bleached a litter box. I've washed her bed, however, it's one of those nesting beds that retains body heat -- not something she needs right now. I gave her a fresh cotton sheet for snuggling on, but hope she'll just lay on the cool tile floor. I'll let her decide which she prefers. I've given her fresh water with an ice cube, fresh chow, and several tablespoons of feline a/d canned. She scarfed down the a/d.

They did de-worm her, and she got an antibiotic injection, and was sent home with oral antibiotics.

She's certainly acting better, but she looks awful. poor thing. We'll make a trip to her vet tomorrow morning when I get home from my class.
post #17 of 34
I'm glad that Penny is doing better, and I hope that it's nothing serious...just a little flu bug or something. Good luck at the vet's tomorrow...keep us posted.
post #18 of 34
Wow that's a high fever, very scary. Congrats on being such a responsible owner. I hope she gets better soon!
post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry to say there's been no change. She ate pretty good when she got home. She's urinated several times, but no bowel movement. It felt like her temp was rising, so I wrapped an ice bottle in a dish towel and put it in her bed. She laid her head against it. Her head feels cooler now. She just doesn't move. She doesn't even look up when I go in her room to check on her.

Her rear end looks clean; no sign of parasite activity. She isn't vomiting, or sneezing, or anything. She just lays there all curled up in a tiny little ball. She doesn't even purr.

I'm really worried about her. I don't know what else I can do for her until we get to the vet in the morning.

It is so strange how she just laid down yesterday and basically never got up. Her blood chemistry was normal, heart and lungs sounded normal. Her WBC was 24 yesterday, 21 when they tested this morning. I understand 19 is normal.

Do you suppose she could have an intestinal blockage? I think I will ask the vet to do a full body x-ray.

I also wonder if this condition could be related to that missing eye of hers. She's been on antibiotics for several months now, I wonder if they depressed her immune system so bad that a slight cold set her off? Perhaps that infected eye socket is more infected than the vets thought? It's been cleaned out so many times, you'd think it would clear up by now. I'm not passive when it comes to asking questions, they just don't really know what to do to clear up that eye socket.

I would appreciate any and all ideas.

The other thing is that I'm out of money. The ER visit costed me $340.00. I anticipate tomorrow's visit to cost $50-$100 depending on whether they want to redo lab work.
post #20 of 34
check your PM's please!
post #21 of 34
Thread Starter 
Penny is spending the night at my vet's office, free of charge! I'm so lucky to have this man as her vet. He seems to have an above and beyond doctor/patient interest in her. It helps me knowing he thinks she's extraordinarily special (and the fact that he's quite handsome doesn't hurt. ) Too bad he's married...I digress...sorry.

She spent the night with a towel-wrapped ice pack in her bed; she slept with her head on it. Sweet thing! This morning there was little improvement in her condition. I gave her 1ml of Clavamox, she barely ate her a/d, refused water and treats. She did sit up, and she was holding her head up more. After class this morning, I took her to see Dr. Baes. He reviewed all the work from the A.E.C. He took her temp and it was 104.5. He said he felt a stool when he took her temp, so that's a good thing. His TX plan is sub-q, IV fluids, and antibiotic by injection. They put her in the incubator, but they didn't turn it on. I assume the incubator is in a quieter part of the ward, away from the other animals.

When I went back at 4:00 to pick her up, Dr. Baes said that they got her temp down to 103, but it shot back up to 104. He thinks the antibiotic by injection is the way to go. He wanted me to bring her in for sub-q tomorrow, and further IV therapy. I told him I was in class all day tomorrow from 9-4 and it wasn't possible for me to do that. I also told him that I have 2 exams this week, and worrying about her is consuming my mental energy. I asked him what his DX and prognosis was. He said that she has a bacterial/viral infection of unknown origin (sound familiar Hissy?), but her prognosis is very good. He said the best thing to do is let it run its course. I told him how much I've spent on her and that my money tree is done picked clean. This sweetheart of a vet is treating her at a reduced cost! I about bursted into tears (but I waited until I got in the car!)

Dr. Baes just called to say she used the litter box, though no stool yet. And she ate. He sounded very excited. Since the clinic is closed for the evening, I took advantage of his undivided attention and asked specific questions about parasite infestation (he doesn't think that's her problem here, though there's proof of it because I saw it first hand.) There is no concern of infecting my other cats, whew! It can't possibly be heart worm because she's not old enough -- it takes over a year for heartworm to do it's thing, Penny is only 7-8 months. FIP/FELV, etc., are all negative and she's been vaccinated as it is. The only thing abnormal about her blood work is that her WBC are slightly elevated.

So far, it's good news for the home team. I feel quite relieved that she's getting the proper medical attention by people who truly care about the welfare of their patients! I don't have to fuss over her for the next day or two, so I can get my studying done!
post #22 of 34
Your vet kicks a@@!
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sicy, and yes, my vet rocks!

Though I should be studying for my accounting exam tomorrow, I can't help but to do research regarding parasitic infestations in felines. While I was surfing, I stumbled across the CDC site, specifically West Nile Virus. It never occurred to me that dogs and cats, though rare, are suseptible to this virus. The site indicates that some infected cats exhibited mild, nonspecific symptoms during the first week after infection-for the most part only showing a slight fever and slight lethargy. The CDC reports that there are verified cases of domestic mammal infection in Michigan this year, but there are no confirmed cases in my county. WNV is spreading in Michigan, and I'm not that far from the hot spots. I know it's a reach, but I think I'll run it by the vet.
post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
I called Penny's vet, the handsome Doctor with the kind soul, this a.m. He said she ate more last night, and again this morning. Her temp is still at 103. He offered to keep her one more night and I thought that was a wonderful idea. It's best for her to continue IV therapy -- not only does it provide hydration, but it helps to keep her body temp down. After class this afternoon, I will visit and reassure her that she is indeed coming home.
post #25 of 34
It is a good idea with a cat who has this type of problem with high fevers to ask your vet to show you how to do sub cu fluids. Unless you have an aversion to needles, it is a procedure that can be done at home when needed and it is not that hard to do.

Your vet sounds wonderful! The problem with fevers is they could be caused by anything and everything. West Nile is a stretch, because it is not common (or hasn't been) in cats yet. The problem is that in order to find out what is causing the illness, all these tests have to be run and that is of course costing you money. Sometimes, after the last test has been run, you still don't know what is wrong! I would just take it one day at a time, take your cue from Penny and go from there.

Best of luck!
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
I just returned from visiting Miss. Penny. She looks much better. She was very glad to see me; she could hardly stand still. She sniffed my hair several times, and head-butted my nose a couple of times too. Her good eye looks bright again, and she keeps it wide open now. She nibbled at her a/d several times and used her litter pan while I was there. She purred. Haven't heard her purr in several days. She has a slight moist cough. And is weak and wobbly on her feet, but she's definately acting better. She showed an interest in her surroundings, looking out the cage door to see what was going on, and attempting to jump off the exam table.

I spoke to the vet for a few moments. Her temp is down to 102. He's giving her a mix of 2 anitbiotics by injection and wants her to continue receiving them for the next 5-6 days. He said he would show me how to do that when I pick her up tomorrow. I asked about the cough. He didn't think it was from fluid in the lungs, but that she could have a bit of pneumonia.
post #27 of 34
I'm glad she's feeling better
post #28 of 34
glad your cat is feeling better, if your kitty goes outside she or he should be wormed from the vet how ever often they say to keep this problem from happing, even inside cats can get worms. hope all stays well.
post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 
Dougbug, you're advice regarding de-worming is appreciated. What's ironic about this whole situation is that the vet isn't completely sure Penny's acute illness is caused by internal parasites. She's been de-wormed several times since my mother first found her, and again over the weekend by the ER vet. As Hissy pointed out, roundworm is persistent, but considering the number of times she's been treated, I am led to believe the parasite activity is minimal. We must remember that Penny is a special-needs stray, likely the off-spring of a feral. She was only 4wks when found; much too young to be away from her mother, what are the odds that she received all the antibodies she needed? She could easily have a number of non-specific immune disorders based on genetics alone. Additionally, she's been on an intensive course of anitbiotics for treatment of a necrotic eye since December. That alone could suppress her immune system. What might be a harmless virus or bacteria for an other wise healthy feline, could be a killer for her.

I could be way off base in my estimation of Penny's situation, if anyone thinks so, I would love to hear your ideas. I'm trying hard to understand everything about what is and what is not effecting Penny's good health.
post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
Judging from the number of hits (280) this post received. I'm going to go ahead and post the latest on Penny.

She's home from the vet today, temp is normal, WBC are normal. She is very slow and deliberate when moving about, probably from the sub-q tx she received just prior to coming home. The fluid has accumulated in her front left leg, which must set her off-balance. I'm sure she's feeling nauseated, as she turned her nose up at a/d can, kitten, and adult chow. What has turned her on is adult l/d dry, and Iams canned for kittens. She's eaten about half a can since 11:30 this morning. She did have a couple of small chunks of ham, which she asked for when I made myself a sandwich. She shows an interest in her surroundings; moving from door to door so she can watch the outside. She even jumped up into the box window above the kitchen sink.

The vet confirmed today that this is NOT a case of parasitic overload. He remains firm that she had a bacterial or viral infection. She will continue with oral antibiotics 3x daily, and High Cal to supplement her dietary needs. I suspect by Sunday that she'll be back to her normal self.
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