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post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Our cat Abigail is about two years old. She was diagnosed with Hemobartonellosis in mid December. She was very anemic and jaundiced at the time. She has tested negative for FIV and FeLeuk and in February visited an internist who confirmed the Hemobartonella diagnosis. She also had a sonogram which revealed no obvious problems in the abdomen.

The problem is that 2 1/2 months since the original diagnosis, she is not improving. Her PCV is 19, and her weight is under 7 lbs. When we adopted her last year, she weighed over 8 lbs.

We have switched her to any food that she will eat, including the dreaded Fancy Feast. All other numbers look fine, but we will run another set next weekend.

We are at a loss, and the vet is now researching other possibilities, thinking that the hemobartonella might be secondary to another problem. We just don't know what that problem might be.

Any and all ideas welcomed.

Michael, Nancy, Pouncer, Arly(GA) and Abigail
post #2 of 7
The only thing that comes to mind is FIP. Which is really untestable. The titers can come back and say she has it, but does not mean she has a severe case of it.
post #3 of 7
I don't have any good ideas. But maybe you can get a second opinion from another vet? You may even want to ask you vet to refer you to a specialist in your area.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
We have an appointment to see the internist on Friday for a bone marrow aspiration. This is the guy who actually confirmed the hemobartonella diagnosis.

I spoke to the vet yesterday with the results of the blood tests, and the results were not very positive. They indicate that in addition to being anemic, the anemia appears to be a non-regenerative anemia. Likely suspects are FeLeuk and FIV, with FeLeuk the prime suspect. The bone marrow test will confirm if we are fighting one of these, and my gut tells me that they will.

We lost Arly less than 15 months ago, so losing Abigail would be devastating for both Nancy and myself, as well as for Pouncer. Just the possibility is causing me a great deal of stress. I honestly do not know if I can deal with this. It is too overwhelming for me right now.

Michael, Nancy, Pouncer, Arly(GA) and Abigail
post #5 of 7
Oh my... I know exactly what you're going through. Since November our 11 year old Maine Coon mix has been slowly declining, starting with his coat turning dry and matted to a weakness in his voice. We started noticing weight loss in late December. We finally got him to the vet in mid-January, and there began the series of tests that ran for 4 weeks. George had gone from nearly 18 pounds to 11, with severe muscle deterioration. His drinking, eating, litter habits, everything else was normal -- as were all of his tests except for his red blood cell count. That has been hovering around the 20-23% mark... he has non-regenerative anemia.

Our vet also recommended a bone marrow biopsy; he is completely puzzled and insists his prognosis is "extremely guarded" at the moment. He has ruled out FIP, FIV, FeLV, and numerous other possibilities. He is hesitantly leaning toward cancer in the bone marrow now. Unfortunately we can't afford the $225 right now for the biopsy, and are watching our baby wither away to skin and bones. He is barely able to walk now and can't make it to the litter box.

One of his initial symptoms was diarrhea, which lasted until I finally got the bright idea to try giving him Kitten Chow (formulated with higher proteins, thought it might help keep him going). For the first time since November his stools are solid and he seems to be improving -- very very minor improvements in alertness, coat and weight.

I'm waiting anxiously to see what your turnout at the vet was, to see what may be wrong with my Big Boy. My fingers are crossed... my heart is with you.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
In our case, the bone marrow aspiration showed nothing. She was negative on all of the tests, but the vets are saying FeLeuk, so we have begun treatments. There are a couple of other possibilities that we will check out this week, but FeLeuk is the leading suspect right now.

You should see if you can work out a payment plan with your vet for the tests. If not, organizations such as IMOM (http://www.imom.org) may be able to help.

We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers and will light a candle for him tonight.

Michael, Nancy, Pouncer, Arly(GA) and Abigail
post #7 of 7
Hello, I just thought that maybe this might help you. I have a long haired tabby who is also very anemic. He was tested twice for feline leukemia, but tested negative both times. The vet was baffled, originally she had thought it was cancer, but after having over half of his bowel removed she did a biopsy and now has realized it is a fungal infection called histoplasmosis. It also attcks the red blood cells and causes the bone marrow to"sleep". This is not a very common condition, and occours in mostly out door dogs and cats, but my little fella is afraid of the outside, so we think he picked it up via potting soil that was infected. I hope this sparks a little hope for you and that is something that you and your vet can look into together. It can be fatal if it is not picked up, but if it is caught it is treatable, the vet assures me. If you want more info
let me know I have a few web sites, for this and the symptoms are diarrhea and anemia, vomiting, loss if appetite etc. It is detectable with a stain. Let me know how it goes.

P.S. try feeding him liver, boil it in some water and then blend it up with the same water you boiled it in, and give it to your cat, liver is very high in iron and may help, we also started giving Tango lactose free milk, he loves it and it is high in vitamins, his red blood cell count went from 17 to 20 over the week-end. It may not work for you but it is an idea.

[Edited by Tango on 03-26-2001 at 11:30 AM]
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