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Kitty very ill--renal failure, cardiac/respiratory arrest

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I’m an ICU nurse and feel helpless when it comes to our kittys. We have 2 cats who are strictly indoors, both 2 years old. Neither has ever been outside or sick. We took one to be neutered at the SPCA where he got an upper respiratory infection. Once home, our other cat (the one this message is about) got the sneezes and a runny nose about 4 days later. 2-3 days after that, he started drooling uncontrollably and we took him to the vet on Friday and was given antibiotics by mouth and told that the cat probably ate something toxic and sent home. He was lethargic and depressed looking and continued to drool copious amounts of saliva. Today (Monday) he was extremely lethargic and was having trouble walking. He had not eaten or drank all weekend eventhough we tried feeding him water with a dropper. We immediately called the vet and took him in. On the way, he stopped breathing and was given mouth-to-mouth. When we got to the vet he was immediately intubated to protect his airway and breath for him then his heart stopped. The vet gave him epinephrine IV and his heart restarted. They then began to hydrate him with Lactated Ringers IV solution. His temperature at this point was 93.4F. He had no pupillary response and no reflexes. He was given warmed IV fluids and placed on a heating pad. His lab work was as follows:
WBC 30
Hgb 12
Hct 32
K+ 3.4
BUN 214
Cr 4.2
Phos >16
Glucose 40
ALT normal
Amylase normal
Alk Phos normal

He was given Baytril antibiotic. His temp went up to 97.6. His pupils began to react though sluggish and his blink response gradually got better. Once they changed the IV fluid from LR to 5% Dextrose in water, he started moving in a combative way but still looked disoriented. He was extubated and was breathing on his own with lungs becoming a little congested. We transferred him to the overnight emergency animal hospital. On the way, he was thrashing in his cage with what looked like neurologic issues. Once there they resumed the IV hydration with normal saline at 25cc/hr due to his blood glucose level being 500. He urinated a little bit in his cage while laying down. 5 hours later his blood glucose is 200 but his temperature has gone down some so he was again put on a heating pad. He urinated a large amount, so his kidneys are starting to work again. He is less combative and looks a little better but not much, just more calm. We'll see how he is in the morning.

If anyone can shed some light on this or may know what would cause these symptoms so we can avoid our other cat getting sick or eating something in the house, we would greatly appreciate it.
post #2 of 5
Are you sure he didn't get the same illness as the first cat, and just got really really sick from it?
Go around your house and look for anything you would hide from a baby / toddler. Cleaning products, esp ones with phenol in them-- oddly enough, Carmex chapstick has phenol and other stuff does too-- should be way out of reach, people food out of reach, etc.
Are the cats allowed in the garage?
What kinds of houseplants do you have?
Then again, it could be an insect of some sort, and you won't be able to find it if the cat ate it.

Welcome to TCS, and I hope you solve your mystery. I'm sure that was a very scary experience for everyone!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply and concern. And yes, it was very scary. And he did get the same upper respiratory illness as Draven, so I think you're on the right track there. The vet thinks it's viral.

Last night at the animal hospital, Damien went into a coma, this morning looked very grim. But when we got him back to our regular vet, he started moving and urinated again, so his kidneys are still working. He started meowing some and flicking his tail. A few hours later the vet tech gave him some soft cat food on his finger and he licked it, which is an improvement. He also tried to take a few steps. We are still optimistic, but he is not out of the woods yet.

We looked all over the house for anything toxic he may have gotten into. I was even on my hands and knees to be at his level to see if I got a different perspective and nothing. We don't have a garage or houseplants. The vet doesn't seem to think it's an insect. Given his lab results, I'm inclining to think that he may have had a genetic predisposition making his kidneys weak even though he may not have shown signs of this, and with the massive infection and sepsis along with the dehydration may have taxed his kidneys a bit too much. I've cried my share today, didn't sleep last night. Still very worried. Thank you again for your reply. And any spiritual assistance from your end would definitely be appreciated.
post #4 of 5
I hope Damien is going to get all better!!
Have you talked with the vet about a prescription diet for cats with renal problems? That could help Damien avoid problems in the future. I'm so glad to hear that little Damien is doing better and may soon be all better.
Get well soon Damien!
I know if Zissou ever got that sick I would be a total wreck. All this hurry-up-and-wait must be terrible.

We'll pray for you!
And Zissou is sending special cat-to-cat vibes for Damien as well.
post #5 of 5
Poor baby! I wonder if he didnt catch something from the vet possibly? I sure hope he gets better soon. Sorry for your heartache, I know thats so tough watching him go thru that. (((HUGS)))
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