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Flowerbelle had Lung Worm!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, VERY interesting news!!!!!!!!!!

Her vet called yesterday morning - he said he was thinking about her this weekend (we'd called Friday worried about her wheezing, coughing and sneezing still). He read an article about Lung Worm over the weekend in one of his medical journals - and then when he got into the office yesterday he checked the local health alerts and found there was an alert for Warren County (where we live) that a feral mom and six kittens were found with lung worm. He said though we're up in Suffolk County, he'd like us to bring her in for another exam. He said her original fecal smear loked exactly like the picture in the article. Lung worm has a longer life cycle than round worm and they reproduce at an INCREDIBLE rate.

I pointed out that they might be up in Suffolk - but we live in and Flowerbelle was found in Warren!

It turns out we don't have to worry about the other cats because to transmit Lung Worm it HAS to go through a host (like a snail or slug). Fortunatey, we don't have snails and slugs in our home.

Anyway, we took her in to see him today - and there were no live worms, but there was larvae in her stool. He gave her a shot of I-don't-remember what it was called , but it works against lung worm. We have to take her back in two weeks for another one.

But an infestation that bad definitely left scarring - so she will always be prone to wheezing. He estimates her lungs are at about 60%, and that though this will improve, they'll never get back to 100%.

For now, when she gets too excited and plays long enough that she starts wheezing, we have to isolate her to get her to calm down.

...and she's definitely feeling better. There's almost no more sneezing, so the URI has almost completely cleared up.

But... that means she has been zinging around like a madwoman - especially playing with Tuxedo.

But it is SO WONDERFUL to know what happened - and to know that though there will be some lifetime scars and lung capacity problems, she is just fine.

BTW - this was the first case of lung worm that vet practice has seen in its 20 years of being in business.

I LOVE OUR NEW VET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #2 of 18
Sounds like your new vet is excellent. It is good to know what the problem was with her. Sending prayers for Flowerbelle's quick recovery.
post #3 of 18
It must be a relief to finally have an answer to your questions. Give Flowerbelle a snuggle and a scritch from me, and hugs to you.
post #4 of 18
Prayers and good thoughts coming little Flowerbelles way from me and Patches and Tiger.
post #5 of 18
It is always great when you find out why an animal was so ill. At least then you know how to tackle things and what you need to do as concerned fur parents. Now that she is diagnosis I am sure she will be feeling great in a very little span of time! She is lucky to have you, Gary and that wonderful vet in her life!
post #6 of 18
Laurie- I'm glad you found out what was wrong with FlowerBelle. Hugs to you and Gary at this time

I can't remember if you have told us this before but are you keeping her?

Ps. I gotta love your new vet as well, He sounds like ours!
post #7 of 18
Woo hoo for the diagnosis!! That little Flowerbelle is going to be one tough cookie all her life. Lung worm sounds really nasty!!

Bogart has had reduced respiratory functions since he was about 8-10 weeks old (the vet thought it was rhino virus). It hasn't slowed him a bit over the years, just have to be extra cautious when a URI hits your household - you start them on antibiotics even when viral based to prevent opportunistic bacterial infections.
post #8 of 18
Wow! I'm so glad that you've found a good vet, who really cares enough to research, & keeps your little Flowerbelle in mind.

Poor thing, she's been through so much in her short little life! I'm so glad she's improving, and the mystery is solved!
post #9 of 18
So glad your vet is on the ball and receptive to new ideas and does research. Good for you for finding such a treasure. I haven't heard of lung worm, but I am glad they found it before more damage was done.
post #10 of 18
that is wonderful news!! to actually know what you are battling and seeing her get better is a small miracle. she may not ever be 100% but thats okay. I am so happy for Flowerbelle Laurie!
post #11 of 18
I'm glad you finally got some answers and your vet is so efficient! Hopefully Flowerbelle is on the road to recovery now.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I know! I so love this vet!!!! I'm so so sorry that our "learning" about the short-comings of our old vets came at Flowerbelle's expense, but when stuff like this happens it so reinforces my belief that everything happens for a reason.

Gary deserves all the credit. When we first brought her home he heard that coughing - and it did sound just like that "round worm" cough our other cats had. But he really wanted a second opinion, so....

And Sam, I did mention it somewhere (who knows where at this point!) but yes, we're keeping her!!!!!!

BTW - Vet says her eye looks great. There were six or seven little ulcerations he was worried about. All but one are gone. He is SURE she's in no pain from her eye.

Also, a quick question here. Is there any way she could be deaf but hear certain frequencies? If we make a kind of "chk chk chk chk" noise with our toungue at the side of our teeth - she wakes up! And there's a couple of ping pong ball toys we have that have some kind of something in them so they rattle a little bit - and when we pick those up and shake them, she'll turn her head.

But I can sit here and almost SCREAM her name and she won't wake up (I'm scared to actually scream it because I don't want to scare the other cats, LOL!). But she definitely does not react to the vaccuum or TV or outside noises.... it's strange.

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
And MA, I'm surprised you haven't heard of it! Apparently it is rare - I guess rarer than I thought!
post #14 of 18
Laurie, I'm SO happy you know what it is!! Your new vet sounds amazing.
post #15 of 18
Lung worms ? WOW I never heard of that one . My goodness you sure went through a lot lately with Flowerbell , bless your heart . I am sure glad the vet found it in a early stage to tread . You know my white angora/mix Snowball is hard of hearing too and also has I think through that a very laud meow . Some noise he can hear better then the other one's , hmmmm funny .
post #16 of 18
I'm so happy you now know what's been ailing little Flowerbelle! Your new vet sounds terrific, I'm glad you have him to take care of your furbabies. Hope she's makes the best recovery from it that she can.
post #17 of 18
I am glad that little Flowerbelle is all better now
post #18 of 18
OMG Laurie, I am so glad that your new vet found the problem and that he was thinking of sweet little Flowerbelle!

Lung worm, that is an interesting diagnosis, but I am glad that he caught it! Whew!

I am so glad that you guys are keeping Flowerbelle, you are such kitty angels!
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