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Challenge for the group

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
As most of you know I've been dealing with Tiger's kidney problem. Well, like that's not enough, I have another weird sickness going around and I thought I pass it to you and see what your experience/and or thoughts are.

Over the last 6 months I've had 4 of my yard cats and 1 house scat come down with a strange illness. The symptoms are all identical and thankfully everyone has recovered. However my vet doesn't have an explanation and I know that they are contracting something from the soil or maybre in the food I'm feeding them. I mention the food because I found out that Tiger the kidney failure girl had E-Coli in her urine. The vet doesn't have an explanation. The tap was done with a sterile needle.

Tiger was living in the yard when she became ill with the kidney failure and I have 5 other cats whose symptoms have been, terrible mouth order, raging fever 104-105, lethargic (of course), and a little thing they do with their mouth like they are licking their lips a bit, but haven't any reason to do so (make sense). Also, all of these cats test negative for feluk/FIV.

Anyway, just yesterday my Mickey, 7 mo old baby, who is usually running, running and running with his brother Mouse, just layed around. By last night I knew something was wrong and sure enough when I picked him up he was very hot. This morning I brought him to the vet and he had 104 temperature. The vet did find hookworms in his stool, but I don't know that hookworms would cause that high fever. I'm always dealing with the hookworm thing because of the fact that they live in the yard and there' dirt that they lay in, play in, eat, etc.

Cats, being cats, like to drink the rain water or runoff water from the dirt. Everytime I see them doing that I chase them becaue I know they are dong nothing but ingesting nasty bacteria. But then again, my one inside cat had the same illness and he never goes outside. So I'm really stumped. Since e-coli was found in Tiger's urine I'm wondering if there is something they are getting from the food I'm feeding them. I feed them a variety of premium foods, wet and dry.

I am in the process of beginning a new relationship with another veterinary hospital. My current vets, one who is in it strictly for the money and the other, who bless her heart, is inexperienced, are not doing what I think needs to be done with my pets. They are short of diagnosis and I don't like that. Here I have 6 cats with the same illness and no explanation as to what it is. We treat them with antibiotics and they think it's toxoplasmosis, but not certain. The new vet I'm seeing is very knowledgable and very thorough. I'm hoping he can give me some definitive answers. Another thing, all the cats affected are under the age of 2 yrs. I don't know if that is pertinent or not.

Let me know if this is anything any of you have experienced. Look forward to hearing from you.

post #2 of 9
I don't have any experience with this, but maybe there is something in your regular water supply which isn't harming you, but does affect your cats since they are so much smaller??????
post #3 of 9
Hmmm...this is just a wild thought, because I really know very little about this...but E Coli can cause kidney failure in people. Have you asked your vet about a possible E Coli outbreak? This may be really out there, but I know I would probably be calling my vet and asking.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
I spoke to the new vet about how the E-Coli got in Tiger's urine and he said it could have entered through her vagina when she sat down in the yard.

I told him about the other cats that I've had getting this mysterious fever, foul smealing breath, and he thinks this is due to the fact that I have so many cats. He said they at one time or another have been exposed to different viruses, especially FIP. I did have one of my cats die suddenly from FIP a couple of years ago. He was sick one day, diagnosed 3 days later and then dead one day later. There was no way to test the other cats so I have just been holding my breath. But what he said makes sense because it's just young cats who come down with these symptoms and then they get well. Mickey has already recovered from his symptoms with the antibiotic treatment. The way the vet explains it is they are exposed and the ones who are getting ill are actually fighting off the virus. Thank God they recover.

Anyway, there's really nothing I can do to prevent this. The only thing I can do is watch everyone closely and ensure they are treated should they get ill.

Thanks for sharing.

post #5 of 9
The whole E.Coli thing is not considered a feline desease, it is passed from either eating something that carries it OR food that has come in contact with feces. At any rate it is doubtfull that your kitty got it from just sitting on the grass.

The rest of what you describe sounds alot like (note, i'm not saying it is) the calici virus. If this is the case, then you have been very lucky as it can spread like wildfire. If it happens again, check insides of their mouths, as heavy salivation is caused by blisters inside. The only way to effectively stop the spread is to isolate the ones that are sick until treatment is complete. The problem is that it takes about 3 days (give or take) for it to manifest itself so that one notices it, by then, there's no telling how many others have been infected. You just have to wait it out and continue to isolate.

I'm very surprised that your vet didn't mention this.

Given the information that you've been told, I would definatly find another vet. I think sometimes we put to much faith in vets and trust what they say. The good part is that all the information anyone needs to verify what you're being told is available on the net.

Trust..... but verify.

Anyway, Im glad it all worked out.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Dear Ken:

Thanks for your reply to my post re: e-coli and strange illness my cats are getting.

As for the E-coli I suspect it come in through food my cat ate. Is it possible it was in a cat food I fed her? My cats are not fed table food or any type of people food so if it came through food it was through cat food. The cat with the e-coli only eats A/d can and kit n kaboodle dry.

By the way, are you a vet or something? As for you saying I should find another vet, I think I'll hold off on that just yet. I just acquired him. He hasn't even seen the animal in question, he and I were just talking over the phone about him. Mickey was treated by my other vet. I have faith in this new vet as he is the top vet in the area. Believe me if he doesn't do the job well I'll find someone else. I don't stick with any vet who doesn't know what they are doing. That's why I've changed so many times. They screw up, I move on!

As for the other illness my cats are coming down with. They don't get ulcers or sores in their mouths or throats, that's the first thing we check for. Is calici one of the routine virus' cats are vaccinated for? All of my cats are fully immunized.

My cat Mickey who was sick is fine now. Whatever it is, it goes away within 3 days of treatment with antibiotics and the animal is back to normal.

If another comes down with this mysterious illness I'm going to inquire about more extensive tests, cultures, so we can get to the bottom of this.

Thanks again, look forward to hearing from you again.

post #7 of 9
After reading this whole thread, There would be no way to tell exactly what virus or bacteria may be going around. With cats, there are so many different upper respitory infections that they pass along, it's hard to say. Even with all the expensive tests the vets have to offer for the primary illness's, sometimes you can only guess. With a multiple cat household all of the infections are easily passed around. There are some cats who will never show a sign of illness, but are carriers and can give it to other cats. There have even been cases of bacteria's that are somewhat unknown. In these cases, most vets will try different antibiotics until they find one that works.
As for the vaccinations, they really are essential, however they aren't 100%. There are also several strains of Calici and the vaccine can't cover all of them. The vaccine will protect the cats who have had them for years better than those who have only had a few. They are also designed to lesson the symtoms, but the cats can still get it.
If there's a problem with an upper respitory outbreak, the best way to try and beat the whole thing is to seperate everyone into groups. If you put them into groups of 5 or 10, putting the ones with all the same symtoms together and treating them for as many days as recomended, you can usually stop what's going around.
post #8 of 9

Didn't mean to ignore your question...

I am not a vet... I'm a something

The Mrs and I have done lots of rescue work, lots of fostering and breeding (as You know), When we first started doing all this stuff, I knew nothing. Fortunatly, being well aquainted with the art of internet searches, information is fingertips away. That started because I learned a long time ago, that Vets don't know everything or have every answer, even though they'd like you to think they do. So while the information superhighway is fraught with mis-information, if you go to the right places, then find the answers. Now couple that with the fact that we have experienced alot of health issues ourselves over the years, and we have the added benifit of having a geneticist as a friend who does feline research for some of the largest universities in the nation, we have learned a couple of things. I am by NO means an expert, if I was then I'd be a vet (which is the plan as soon as I retire), but I do know where to find answer provided I can ask the questions...

Besides, Sandie is much more well versed in this than I.....

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Dear Ken:

You're right that not all vets know everything. That's why I try to consult with 2 or 3. And thank God for the internet or else I wouldn't have known just how sick my little Tiger was with CRF. I took the initiative to get her hospitalized at the start and thank goodness I did or she might not be here right now.
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