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tumor, arthritis??

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yoda, my 14 year old russian blue/siamese usually walks fine, sometimes limps, and lacks either strength or desire to jump on couch with the ease he had as recently as 4 weeks ago. Feline aids and lukemia test both negative. slight white cell count elevation, early stages of kidney disease. xrays negative except for a cloudy spot on lower vertebra, almost at base of tail. vet is stymied at this stage. his tail response to stimulation is good. his appetite and disposition are good. his relationship with my other cat is still good. his waking and sleeping habits do not seem to have changed. the only noticeable behavior difference is he stays inside and neither uses the cat door nor goes out when I open the door for him. his weight is holding on the light side at 9.6 pounds, but he was never very much heavier. vet prescribed meds for white blood cell elevation. What could be wrong? Does fuzzy spot indicate arthritis as it does in humans. Would a tumor do it?

Any information is greatfully appreciated.

Thank you, Marty
post #2 of 14
Yes, a tumor could be seen as a cloudy spot you describe. As I understand the vet did many tests, but has no clear cut answer? He dont know what it is?

Sometimes they must wait till it is worse to clearly see what the sickedness really is.
But I would suggest you to consult another good veterinarian for a second opinion. Why, perhaps best if both veterinarians talk with each other giving each other ideas...
Medication for the elevated white cells counts... What is it??

Yes, consult one more skilled veterinarian cant be wrong.

Good luck!
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you StefanZ.

He is taking a single 15 day course of Prednisone (5mg), and a single 7-8 day course of Clavamox drops (15ml). Second opinion is a good idea, but since current Vet is up front about not knowing what the problem is, she is taking
it one step at a time. She did notice a small kidney stone, but has ruled it out as a concern at this time as diabetes is not evident.

Something I did not mention is that while his hind legs are loosing functionality, his tail is still responsive. When I scratch the base of his tail his hips and tail would raise, but now his hips just sink immediately to the floor and the tail does not respond. Lightly stroking the tail's underside whips it into action. No pain response to any of it, though.

post #4 of 14

If he is in pain, and not feeling 'up to par' he might
not want to go out. Didi has arthritis and until I twigged to
the problem and began treatment (accupuncture worked great!)
he was not very suddenly inclined to not go out.

Now, I go out with him, so
he can walk, but feel safe and I can grab if a dog comes along
or something else...

Cats hide pain very well, and sometimes with cancers and
tumors they show very little to no signs. (We have
one who probably has something, but we've not found
anything testing her, so we've just decided to treat for
quality of life and pain if it arises and other medical issues
as they come up eg. kidneys etc...)

If it is arthritis, they should see that on the xrays...
a cloudy mass could be a tumor (maybe not dangerous,
just a benign lump) or a cyst. Either one could put
pressure on nerves and cause limping/pain.

If the vet can biopsy the mass... then you can find out
if it is cancerous... but, due to location, it may not
be possible to biopsy.

Definitely talk to more than one vet on this one!
I'll keep my fingers crossed this is only a cyst or
something minor...
post #5 of 14
I didnt / I dont understand the idea behing taking down the elevated white cells count. If he has infektion then it is only good he has elevated count I think...
In any case, it is a cortison and a antibioticum - preparat respecively. They surely dont do no harm and useful if it is arthrit. surely a good conservative treatment. But time is running IF it is a tumor. Hopefully possible to treat by surgery or someting else.

If it is possible to you, do consult another skilled veterinarian.

No disrespect to the first veterinarian. Once upon a time not so long ago it was seen as extra fine to let three skilled doctors have a "konsylium" = a together consultation...
post #6 of 14
Sorry to hear about your baby! Maybe someone more knowledgeable can weigh in on this, but my vet won't prescribe both a steroid and antibiotic at the same time - the steroid decreases the effects of the antibiotic and basically makes it worthless. Instead, he alters them as necessary. Something you might want to ask about.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
There are 4 of us on this thread now, and I will endeavor to keep up with everyone's input, and ask patience if I repeat, but before I begin, definitely YES, after Christmas I am going to get more vet opinions. 'til then:

The Prednisone is for Yoda's apetite, and his dose is now half. I misstated his prednisone treatment. It is 15 days because after day 5, his pill is given every other day. He's gaining weight and drinking water again. His stools are normal, and he is peeing regularly again. One other sign of normalcy is he does not sleep with me all night which he started doing not too, too long ago, before the medication started. He again usually splits before too long like he used to.

With arthritis, white blood cells are the disfiguring force if it is rheumatoid. If an infection, the anti-biotic will help especially since the weight loss probably meant he was weak from that, too. So, all things considered I am not too concerned about the inhibitory effect of the Prednisone on the anti-biotic. The Pred is once a day, and the anti biotic is twice a day, once 2 hours before the Pred, and once 12 hours later, which is another 10 hours until the next Pred dose. This regime is probably strong enough to knock out a minor infection and aid in diagnosis of non-infectious cause.

The suspicious spot on the negative is below the nerve trunks that go to his legs which explains why he can walk without a limp, but has trouble with anything more strenuous than a short chase with his companion cat. So, pain, no, but discomfort, and eventhough I feed him downstairs, I still find him upstairs hanging out with the other cat. He is definitely mobile and still wants to go out if I do. I suspect he cannot mange the cat door becase of the pain/discomfort/weakness. He does not appear to be nursing himself along as with an injury. Nor does my probing with my fingers, or the Vet's cause him to react.

I'll have to find out if Pred is an anti-inflamatory, also. That could shed some light, and with all your help I can talk more intelligently with the vets.

Thank you so much for your continued support and participation. I'll try to digitally record his condition and put it on my web site. You can better see what I'm talking about and have reference should any of your feline friends encounter the same.

post #8 of 14
Yes, cortison (Pred) is heavy antiinflammatory as I understand it.

Whatever it is, the medication seems to work as now. Good!.
post #9 of 14
Good news. If he has arthritis tho, the Pred will cause it to accelerate over time. Tho for short term it DOES relieve pain and inflamation. Get the mass
biopsied to be sure of what it is tho... it it is a cyst or something like that
it could be drained or surgically removed. That would make him feel much

Also, do try the accupuncture. Sounds crazy I know, but it definitely does

Massage might help some too, to help him retain muscle tone and mass.
Keep him walking - get him up 3 times a day to move around if he isn't
already. As with humans, moving is key to keeping the joints functional...

you can do the massage yr. self, and he might like it very much, LOL!

Best of luck and keep us posted!
post #10 of 14
I forgot to add, there is a condition caused by a certain bacterial infection that results in periods of limping on/off. I will research and post to you
when I have chance.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sorry it's been so long. Personal tumult raised it's serendipitous head, and I may not be clear, but here goes.

I thought the prednisone was working, and my 1st vet doubled the dose for 10 days, mainly on the strength of my testimony that the prednisone seemed to help. After 6 days of that, no improvement.

I checked with another vet, one I know to be pretty smart guy. His examination of the same x-ray makes him think Yoda has prolonged lumbo sacral instability. The biologic response is for those lower vertebra to fuse in an "attempt" to counter the instability, but the fusing process is pressuring the nerves that come out of the vertebra at that point and is causing what we call lower back pain. This makes sense given a deep bite he had 1.5 years ago in his hind paw indicating he might have stretched the ligaments then while trying to get away from the feral cat that had him by that paw. (A deep, deep wound which healed well with no infection)

The next step is an MRI and surgeon referral. He's not sure what they do for cats, but he knows dogs get a screw to do what the fusing process is "intended' to do.

In the meantime, he thinks the double dose of prednisone is too high, and wanted me to give Yoda 80mg of aspirin every 3rd day, instead, as his problem is pain, and not inflamation. So, I started him on his course yesterday, and I frankly cannot tell how it's working.

I do make a point of massaging his sacrum when he is near enough. Sometimes he digs it. Sometimes he's indifferent. I cured my lower back pain with yoga, but my sacrum was not fusing either. Oh well. That's where we stand.

post #12 of 14
Marty: I favor least intervention possible. Have you heard of
or tried animal chiropracting - I assure you there is such
and it does help alot!!

Its call Vet Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM). My vet does it
along with accupuncture for Diablo who had a simlar injury
(twice!) on his rear right leg...

could possibly help w/ alignment issues...

Best of luck and don't forget what I told you about
accupuncture for pain and Adequan for joint

Sending my and best vibes to you both
post #13 of 14
PS. Asprin will help - one good day every 3 tho. Not enough med to
help every day, but that's because cats cant take more than that due
to liver toxicity problems (they lack enzymes to break down anti inflams
and other drugs..)
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yoda seemed to respond reasonably well to aspirin, but only 1 of 3 days, and that good response was less and less lasting, and not as good over the course of 12 days (4 doses) Today was to be his 5th dose of aspirin, but his condition deteriorated to leaving my bed only to eat, and never joining me on couch because he just could not make it up. So, this morning I gave him the pred instead of the aspirin and within 3 hours he was making it back on the couch and generally spending more time off my bed.

I'm hip to acupuncture and will investigate, but now something else comes to mind that may be relevant.

His adopted sister, Whiner is almost 7, bigger, heavier by 3-5 pounds and strong enough to break every plastic hinged cat door replacement I install. She works at it. The get along well, often curled together when I am out. She totally respects his primo genitor place on my lap, next to me on the couch and on the bed, but they do have short hissy fights which last until she pounces on him with her weight and he wriggles free and scoots (yes, even with his current condition, he scoots!). Is it possible, he has a healable injury which their little spats constantly irritate and prevent from really healing. If so, how best to separate them? I thought of locking her out, but she has toppled cinderblocks and move firelogs to get back in. It is winter here, and if she does need to get in fast, I wouldn't want her trapped by the blocked entrance.

Marty for Yoda and Whiner
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