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post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am the Vet tech for a cat rescue. We have one foster home where several cats have had to be removed, one has died, and one is in ICU at the vet and on deaths door so we need answers! Many cats have gone to this foster home without incident however, within the past couple of months the same symtoms crop up in every cat that goes there. It all started with 2 -6 mos old siblings. Both went there and shortly after began vomiting. after having gone and checked both cats out seeing healthy, hydrated, good colour, good stool, cats I just kept in touch with the foster home and tried a bland diet and made sure they were well hydrated. Then I got a call that the one was nearly comatose, we rushed her to the vet but it was too late. Her brother who had had also been vomiting checked out fine at the vet and they released him. They had no idea what the cause of death was for his sibling. We checked out the house up and down before putting the next foster in and within a day a perfectly healthy cat was vomiting, we removed him to another foster home and he was fine after that. Again, we swept the house dumping all the plants (they were all cat friendly) and tried again, the next foster cat did not vomit so we thought plants had been the culprite. Not so, we recently put a mother and 2, 5 week old kittens in the home. Again I get a call that the mother had started vomiting. i went to pick her up two days later, checked her out and apparently she had stopped and looked completely fine. A week later she was fine but i ended up taking the mother and kittens to my home to nurse (mom didn;t have enough milk, too young) . i had her for a week and she was completely healthy. The kittens were now able to drink and eat on their own so I sent them back (my house is only for medical emergencies and special care). The next day I get a frantic call that the mother is vomiting and nearly comatose. i arrived to find a non-responsive cat who I thought was going to stop breathing at any moment. i took her to the emergency and she has been there for 3 days now. she was severely dehydrated due to the vomitting and had diaherria just oozing out of her. She is coming around but she still has only a 20% chance of survival. Both vet clinics thought Panleukapia but interestingly enough didn;t quarantine her. I told him based on the history of the foster home and the fact that none of the 26 other rescue cats and kittens that she came in with have shown no signs of illness (cat collector mass rescue) that distemper was highly unlikely. We've had them all for over 2 1/2 weeks, all the kittens are fine, I mean we'd have kittens dying left right and centre if it was distemper. I just don't get it. it adds up to poisoned for me and the other volunteers who know the case and history but we've torn the foster home apart trying to find what it could be (we provide fosters with quality food). We put the cat it, it vomits, we take it out, its fine. The two severe cases had an onset of a day. This poor cats babies are fine and meanwhile her liver is shutting down and she's got massive diaherria. I just feel that vets are too quick to say : panleukapia sometimes. Anyways, any hints as to what it maybe?We can;t use the foster home again but maybe knowing what she could have gotten into might help to help her condition.

Any insight might help
post #2 of 10
Hi Angela,

I'm just going to spew what comes from my mind... and I'm not an expert (far from it)... these are just my thoughts...

Cleaning products? What do they mop their floor with? Clean the cat bowls with? Clean the little pans with? Do they sprinkle any of the carpet freshener before they vaccuum? Have they changed cleaning products lately? Are they using something new to clean the toilet or the bathtub (or anything that kitty might be getting into)?

Do the cats have access to outside or the garage? If so, it is possible anti-freeze was spilled somewhere?

Flea treatment? Is the foster-parent giving flea baths with some new product?

Are there kids in the house that could be feeding chocolate or other dangerous human food to the cats? Is there candy left around (like in bowls) that they could be getting into? Left over Easter candy?

Something that got spilled? Maybe something that got spilled in a weird spot like under the bed or behind the couch?

Have they painted recently? Any painting supplies around? Any access to cabinets with chemicals?

Just my brain-spew... hope it helps and if not, I certainly hope you figure it out! I'll be watching for updates...
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, that's what we thought too. we checked for all of that and nothing! Cosmo is gorgeous!!

Actually, I remember when i first saw her over 2 weeks ago when they came in. She had two 1cm slashes on the bottom of her neck that were neatly healed over and of no concern other then how the heck did she get those!! Could have been a dog bite. in which case i wonder if she has blood poisoning but that doesn't explain all the other cats!!. I'm phoning the vet tomorrow so that they consider septic shock. The place where she came from was awful. It was a grandmother who had 26 cats, all related, all breeding. Seville has two 7 month old sisters, had an emergency c ssection and had stillborns b.c she was too small, her other one was much smaller so we opted to abort rather then risk losing her. Seville managed to give birth to her kittens. however, another cat had had kittens there and the dog haad eaten some of them. So sad!!! Surprisingly, other then the spays/neuters, some ear mites, and fleas, these guys are all alright.

thanks for your insight though!
post #4 of 10
Look outside the home as well, any new buildings going up or old ones being torn down. Factories nearby? Has the water been tested? God forbid but could there be a meth lab close by? Seems to be all the rage these days. If something is being fed to the cats it would have to be quick acting poison, nothing slow moving.

I did email a friend of mine who is extremely well-versed in emergency vet care about this, to see if she has any ideas.
post #5 of 10
Thanks Angela - Cosmo was a shelter rescue we adopted through a local rescue group...I have so much admiration for the work you do and the people who foster. Our experience bringing Cosmo into our home was awesome.

Well, good to know you looked into all that - didn't hurt to ask . It sure does sound like poisoning, but then again, like I said, I'm no expert. What a sad situation they came from

Hope you find an answer soon!
post #6 of 10
It sounds like maybe it's something they inhaled? Does the family have a carbon monoxide detector?


post #7 of 10
omg! I am glad to know you quit using the home... wow, i have no idea what could be wrong, i just wanted to say that i hope everything turns out okay!
best wishes
post #8 of 10
Ok someone in authority suggests that animal control be called and thoroughly investigate the home, the people who live there, and remove all the animals there at this time until a full investigation can be made. This can't just be done by the average citizen, and thankfully the home is no longer an option for other cats to go and stay there.

Good luck!
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your responses. All cats have been removed from the foster home but her own cat. Like a I said, we are in contact with her every week, and she has fostered for us for over 3 yrs now and has successfully brought up many kittens and cats who have found homes. Symtoms started just 3 months ago. I'm absolutely positive its not her, the cats do not go outside, and they are fed Wellness /Innova/ California natural supplied by us.She is contacting her landlord, getting carbon monoxide levels tested by the fire dept tomorrow, and luckily the Humane Society is around the block so a home check should be easy to get. Everyone wants to get down to the bottom of this so i"ll let you know what comes from it!

post #10 of 10
Good, I am glad everyone is eager to find and fix the problem! Let us know when you find out.

Thanks for keeping us posted!
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