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2 y.o. staggering, won't eat or drink - Page 2

post #31 of 57
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry to hear about Spot. Isn't it difficult when you don't have time to prepare yourself for their passing? It was so hard this morning because every morning she would be on the back of the chair in our bedroom when I woke up, calling to me to feed her wet food. Then she'd jump up on the counter and rub on me and poke me with her little nose. I'm sure this will get easier as time passes, but man, it sucks. A couple of the other cats seem a bit depressed this morning too, so I'm trying to not feed my emotions into them. I'm playing with them and keeping our routine as close to normal as possible.

Yes, they are going to do the necropsy. The lab tech said that we should start getting results back today sometime, but it'll be at least a week before the final report comes in. Her remains will be passed along to a bacteriologist, then a virologist, and so on, and as each one completes his tests, a preliminary report will be immediately faxed to the vet's office. Her chest xray didn't show any irregularities in and around her heart, but her spleen was enlarged a bit. Hopefully we'll know something soon. The vet said it if does turn out to be toxo he'll contact a toxo specialist when he returns from his conference Monday. Meanwhile, we're walking on eggshells watching every cat very carefully.
post #32 of 57
If it was FIP and it doesn't sound like it was and you have other cats, you needn't worry about the other cats catching it. FIP is not contagious as originally reported to be. Neither the wet or the dry.

It sounds like heart problems. I am so sorry you lost your kitten.
post #33 of 57
Oh I am so sorry I only just now saw your first post. My heart is breaking for you. God Bless you and your kitties.
post #34 of 57
I am so sorry....you did everything you could.
post #35 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy View Post
If it was FIP and it doesn't sound like it was and you have other cats, you needn't worry about the other cats catching it. FIP is not contagious as originally reported to be. Neither the wet or the dry.

It sounds like heart problems. I am so sorry you lost your kitten.
I've read a few posts on here mentioning heart trouble. Do heart problems frequently manifest in pneumonia and staggering as well? I didn't hear anything back today about necropsy results, and my senior alpha male is acting like he isn't feeling great. Hopefully he's just feeling a little icky from the frontline plus.

Thank you for the info on FIP - that makes me feel better, since that is one of the possibilities.
post #36 of 57
Cardiomyopathy can result in congestive heart failure, where fluid spills into the lungs. It can also cause saddle thrombosis, where a blood clot blocks some or all of the blood flow to the hind legs. These things can happen very rapidly. From what my vet told me, cardiomyopathy does not always show up on the x-rays since the walls thicken inward. Often, it is a congenital problem that doesn't show signs until it's very late in the game. My childhood cat, Alex, had a heart murmur for 12 years with no problems. One day he woke up and was fine, talking to my parents as always. Five minutes later, he was gone. With Spot, he started off with a fever the night before. I took him to the ER vet where they gave him fluids (which I now know was a bad idea for a cat in heart failure, but we didn't know what was going on at that point).

These sites have lots of information about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: http://members.aol.com/jchinitz/hcm/
http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/hyp-cardio.html

It is very hard when they leave us suddenly. It is hard on our remaining cats as well. They grieve in their own way. After Spot's passing, Willow became very loving and demanding of attention. After my mom's cat lost her best canine friend, she too became very demanding and more vocal. Trying to stick with the routine is good. Don't be too concerned about not showing them your pain. Our cats can be wonderful comforters in times like these.
post #37 of 57
Heart failure can lead to pneumonia. The staggering could be due to the cat having 'thrown a clot'--the weak heart pumps a blood clot into the major vein that feeds the cat's back legs, resulting in blockage and the incapacitation of the cat. While some have survived this it isn't for long, usually.
I am dreading the day I come home and find Gizmo in this condition.
post #38 of 57
Thread Starter 
Took my Thumbs kitty to the vet for his walking/jumping trouble. She couldn't figure out what was wrong, and she wants to wait until we get the final report from Morgan's labwork before making a definitive diagnosis. The preliminary necropsy results are indicating that it was FIP that took Morgan Wednesday. The vet said they've tried treating cats for it but have never successfully done so. Our other 12 - including Thumbs, who is 13, and 5 kittens 4 months old - have all been exposed. Now we are just waiting. Meanwhile I had her give Thumbs an injection of pain meds, but his gait is getting more unsteady. I can't bear the thought of not having him after our 12 1/2 years of sleeping together every night. The vet made it clear that FIP could be a death sentence for all of our feline family members, and I'm terrified right now. I hate not knowing, but I suppose we must prepare for the worst. Please keep us in your prayers!!!
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritedstef View Post
Took my Thumbs kitty to the vet for his walking/jumping trouble. She couldn't figure out what was wrong, and she wants to wait until we get the final report from Morgan's labwork before making a definitive diagnosis. The preliminary necropsy results are indicating that it was FIP that took Morgan Wednesday. The vet said they've tried treating cats for it but have never successfully done so. Our other 12 - including Thumbs, who is 13, and 5 kittens 4 months old - have all been exposed. Now we are just waiting. Meanwhile I had her give Thumbs an injection of pain meds, but his gait is getting more unsteady. I can't bear the thought of not having him after our 12 1/2 years of sleeping together every night. The vet made it clear that FIP could be a death sentence for all of our feline family members, and I'm terrified right now. I hate not knowing, but I suppose we must prepare for the worst. Please keep us in your prayers!!!
Oh my gosh hon, I have my fingers crossed for you and your babies! Do you know how long before you get the labwork back?
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritedstef View Post
The vet made it clear that FIP could be a death sentence for all of our feline family members, and I'm terrified right now. I hate not knowing, but I suppose we must prepare for the worst. Please keep us in your prayers!!!
stef, that just goes against just about everything I've ever read or been told about the disease. There's lots of info out there, and your vet is certainly more knowledgeable than I am, but read this...it might make you feel a bit better.

http://marvistavet.com/html/fip.html
post #41 of 57
I am sorry to hear Thumbs isn't any better
I know it sounds scary about the FIP but throughtout my lifetime with cats we have had 2 cats with FIP (about 20 yrs apart)...none of the other cats caught it. And the last one to have it Paulie, he was a sweetie and he would wash the kittens we had at the time before we found out he had FIP and they didn't get it. One of those kittens we kept and he lived for 10 yrs and passed from Renal Failure.
post #42 of 57
Just know you are in my thoughts and prayers as well as your sweet kitties.
post #43 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder View Post
stef, that just goes against just about everything I've ever read or been told about the disease. There's lots of info out there, and your vet is certainly more knowledgeable than I am, but read this...it might make you feel a bit better.

http://marvistavet.com/html/fip.html
That's what I haven't been able to understand.... Morgan didn't present with any respiratory or occular symptoms until the breathing difficulty and pneumonia presented. Thumbs is staggering and barely able to walk and now his 3rd eyelid won't retract and pupils are staying dilated, but he's not running a temp or showing any signs of a coronavirus. Whatever this is, it's attacking the central nervous system before anything else, as far as I can tell. The lab said the nodules in her lungs appear to have been from FIP, but is it possible that FIP was secondary to whatever is causing these other symptoms? It's a university veterinary lab, so I'd imagine they have access to the latest technology. Maybe they'll come back with something different, but meanwhile, the kitty that has meant so much to me for so many years can't walk to the food and water bowl and stumbles after walking about 6 inches. It's killing me to watch this, but what's even more painful is thinking that maybe it is something treatable, and it's not being treated.

I know several of you on here are experienced vet assistants and techs - has anyone seen anything like this? Any ideas? I still have Morgan's toxo meds (clindamycin) - I guess it wouldn't hurt to start it and see what happens.
post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritedstef View Post
That's what I haven't been able to understand.... Morgan didn't present with any respiratory or occular symptoms until the breathing difficulty and pneumonia presented. Thumbs is staggering and barely able to walk and now his 3rd eyelid won't retract and pupils are staying dilated, but he's not running a temp or showing any signs of a coronavirus. Whatever this is, it's attacking the central nervous system before anything else, as far as I can tell. The lab said the nodules in her lungs appear to have been from FIP, but is it possible that FIP was secondary to whatever is causing these other symptoms? It's a university veterinary lab, so I'd imagine they have access to the latest technology. Maybe they'll come back with something different, but meanwhile, the kitty that has meant so much to me for so many years can't walk to the food and water bowl and stumbles after walking about 6 inches. It's killing me to watch this, but what's even more painful is thinking that maybe it is something treatable, and it's not being treated.

I know several of you on here are experienced vet assistants and techs - has anyone seen anything like this? Any ideas? I still have Morgan's toxo meds (clindamycin) - I guess it wouldn't hurt to start it and see what happens.
I don't remember from the very beginning - are we SURE that there are no cleaning chemicals, plants, new soil in the plants, carpet cleaner, nail polish, soap in the bottom of the shower....?? So quickly together seems like almost a toxic thing...
post #45 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
I don't remember from the very beginning - are we SURE that there are no cleaning chemicals, plants, new soil in the plants, carpet cleaner, nail polish, soap in the bottom of the shower....?? So quickly together seems like almost a toxic thing...
Yep, we're totally sure. I don't use cleaning chemicals (either completely non-toxic or 32:1 water to bleach mixture for litter boxes), no plants in the house, haven't used any carpet cleaner, no nail polish, organic all-natural soap (although we all rinse the shower out after rinsing off soap), no medicine of any sort, no chocolate, no poisonous fruits or veggies.... I ran through the whole inventory of everything used in the last couple of months when Morgan started getting sick. Also, no chance of electrocution, which was something the vet mentioned.

With Thumbs, the more I read about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the more it sounds like that could be something to consider. Perhaps the timing is just completely coincidental?? He seems to have hind-leg paralysis setting in, versus the crazy all over the place limb-flailing that Morgan had. I dunno, I'm at a loss.
post #46 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritedstef View Post
Yep, we're totally sure. I don't use cleaning chemicals (either completely non-toxic or 32:1 water to bleach mixture for litter boxes), no plants in the house, haven't used any carpet cleaner, no nail polish, organic all-natural soap (although we all rinse the shower out after rinsing off soap), no medicine of any sort, no chocolate, no poisonous fruits or veggies.... I ran through the whole inventory of everything used in the last couple of months when Morgan started getting sick. Also, no chance of electrocution, which was something the vet mentioned.

With Thumbs, the more I read about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the more it sounds like that could be something to consider. Perhaps the timing is just completely coincidental?? He seems to have hind-leg paralysis setting in, versus the crazy all over the place limb-flailing that Morgan had. I dunno, I'm at a loss.
Well...shoot, I'm sorry. I guess if you have many kitties, maybe coincidence happens once in a while. But you must be so freaked out. I'll be thinking of you.
post #47 of 57
I have absolutely no advice. I can't imagine the strength it takes to deal with your kitten's illness so soon after the unexpected death of Morgan.

I hope your kitten gets better. Good luck.
post #48 of 57
I do hope that Thumbs will be fine, and that it is unrelated. I have read a few articles on FIP this week as my neighbours cat has been diagnosed with it - it is a mutation of the corona virus, so it is shed. Cats with a very healthy immune system will shrug it off, cats with a reasonably healthy immune system wont show any symptoms and it will stay dormant as a latent infection, so if they get stressed later in life it could develop, cats with a poor immune system could get dry FIP, as it will mutate very slowly, and cats with a very poor immune system will prob develop wet FIP, which mutates quickly. So I do disagree with your vets, yours could all have very healthy immune systems and shrug it off. The prob with symptoms is that every cat is different, but covers things like neurological, liver, kidney, build up of fluid, eyes, pyorexia, depression, poor fur condition etc The stats are very low for FIP though, 1-2% normallly, 5% for multicat households - my neighbour has had cats for over 20 years, and this is the first time she has dealt with FIP, I have dealt with it once in 4 years, but inc fosters, 29 cats and 5 kittens have been through here in that time. And Ginger lived through Tigger having FIP, despite the fact that FIP generally only affects the under 2's and over 10's - she was 5, he was 11. Sadly I dont have any links at home, they are at work.
post #49 of 57
I am so sorry to hear about Morgan. I lost a cat to FIP when I had 7 others in the house and never had a problem with any of them. Most cats will test positive for the corona virus that causes FIP, but few cats ever contract the full blown disease.

I have lost 2 cats to cardiomyopathy. The first was romping around and stopped at the food bowl for a nibble when he collapsed and died on the spot. The other became lame in his back legs from a thrombosis with no earlier warning. They didn't find the heart murmor until a month later. His major signs were lethargy, lost weight, dull coat and lameness in his back legs. Cardiomyopathy hits most often in male cats between 8 and 12. It is actually treatable but a very scary disease. I hope that whatever Thumbs has is treatable. I know it is unbearable to go thru this with 2 cats in such a short time.

I will be sending positive vibes your way for Thumbs to recover.
post #50 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I am so sorry to hear about Morgan. I lost a cat to FIP when I had 7 others in the house and never had a problem with any of them. Most cats will test positive for the corona virus that causes FIP, but few cats ever contract the full blown disease.

I have lost 2 cats to cardiomyopathy. The first was romping around and stopped at the food bowl for a nibble when he collapsed and died on the spot. The other became lame in his back legs from a thrombosis with no earlier warning. They didn't find the heart murmor until a month later. His major signs were lethargy, lost weight, dull coat and lameness in his back legs. Cardiomyopathy hits most often in male cats between 8 and 12. It is actually treatable but a very scary disease. I hope that whatever Thumbs has is treatable. I know it is unbearable to go thru this with 2 cats in such a short time.

I will be sending positive vibes your way for Thumbs to recover.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Your kitty who had lameness in his back legs - Once they found the heart murmur, how long was he with you?

Thumbs has been grumpy for a year or so, we've been attributing it to his aging and having younger cats around. His coat was always getting matted, despite my grooming, so we sheared him a couple of weeks ago. Again, we attributed that to getting a bit arthritic and not grooming himself, since we have them on very high quality premium foods. But now the lameness has set in.

The vet said his chest xray looked like "that of an older cat," that everything is kind of pushed forward because of the strange shape of his chest. When I asked about his heart, she said, "I THINK it looks OK, it's a little hard to tell."

I've decided that it's not what Morgan had, thankfully. His 3rd eyelid retracted and he's showing no breathing difficulty. Today he's not staggering so much as not wanting to use his hind legs. I don't know if the clindamycin helped at all or not, but I'm going to keep giving it to him, just in case. Meanwhile, from the experiences you all are sharing with me, perhaps he's a good candidate for an MRI of his heart? Has anyone had this done with their kitties? If so, what was the price range you faced? I don't care how much I need to spend on him, but I need to know if I should take out a loan before going for a procedure.
post #51 of 57
My cat had cardiomyopathy and had a saddle thrombosis which is when they throw a clot. I guess each case can be different but it wasn't a gradual thing with my cat. He was fine one minute then started breathing fast and his hind legs went out. He had no use of his hind legs. He was on the bed when it happened and he fell off the bed and dragged himself to the bathroom. I would maybe call the vet and see if he thinks this is a possibility because if it's a saddle thrombosis it needs to be treated asap. They can remove the clot surgically or use blood thinners. Sadly my cat didn't make it but his was really bad plus he sat in the vets office for half a day before they made a correct diagnosis. I hope everything works out okay with your kitty and it's nothing serious.
post #52 of 57
The heart imaging they usually do is called an echocardiogram--it's an ultrasound on the heart. When Spot's was done a little over a year ago, it was between $300 and $400. It is hard to tell whether the heart is okay via xrays because if it is thickening, the thickness expands inwards, shrinking the volume of blood that the heart can pump.
post #53 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyC View Post
My cat had cardiomyopathy and had a saddle thrombosis which is when they throw a clot. I guess each case can be different but it wasn't a gradual thing with my cat. He was fine one minute then started breathing fast and his hind legs went out. He had no use of his hind legs. He was on the bed when it happened and he fell off the bed and dragged himself to the bathroom. I would maybe call the vet and see if he thinks this is a possibility because if it's a saddle thrombosis it needs to be treated asap. They can remove the clot surgically or use blood thinners. Sadly my cat didn't make it but his was really bad plus he sat in the vets office for half a day before they made a correct diagnosis. I hope everything works out okay with your kitty and it's nothing serious.
Wow, that must have been frightening. So with cardiomyopathy is it usually total lameness? Thumbs is walking around like his back legs really hurt, but they are still functional today (more so than yesterday).
post #54 of 57
Yes, his back legs were virtually paralyzed. I believe what happens is the clot blocks blood flow to the hind legs. That's why you pretty much have to take immediate action. It broke my heart. I never had any idea he had any health problems. He was a big, healthy looking cat and my love bug. I still miss him so much.
post #55 of 57
Saddle thrombosis often causes complete paralysis, but not always. Sometimes, the clot will only partially block the blood flow. Are his legs cold to the touch? If so, I would consider it a medical emergency and get him in right away. There are other potential causes of lameness as well; these articles may help:
http://www.petplace.com/cats/lamenes...ats/page1.aspx
http://www.newmanveterinary.com/lameness.html
post #56 of 57
The only issue I ever had with a cat not being able to properly use his hind legs was due to diabetic neuropathy, which was initially misdiagnosed. Toby was not able to walk more than a few steps at a time and couldn't jump up at all. They actually end up walking on their hocks and there are other symptoms. I haven't had any experience with cardiomyopathy.

Hope he's doing better today.
post #57 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiritedstef View Post
Thank you for sharing your experience. Your kitty who had lameness in his back legs - Once they found the heart murmur, how long was he with you?

Thumbs has been grumpy for a year or so, we've been attributing it to his aging and having younger cats around. His coat was always getting matted, despite my grooming, so we sheared him a couple of weeks ago. Again, we attributed that to getting a bit arthritic and not grooming himself, since we have them on very high quality premium foods. But now the lameness has set in.
What was odd about my Tigger is that even though he lived peacefully with his littermate brother for his entire life, about a year before he passed, the 2 of them started fighting. He died a few days before his 9th birthday. Tigger was a feral cat who never once allowed me to medicate him - I have permanent scars from trying and I think I'm good at giving medicine. He had one person that he tolerated, which was me, but I could not pick him up - he had to jump in my lap on his terms only.

When they finally found the heart murmor and put the pieces together, the option was medication a few times each day. Since he was the type of cat that spent a good part of his day to himself, and when he saw anyone coming went into hiding, the only option to pill him was to take this proud feral boy, lock him in a cage so that I could have access to him, and force pills in him. We chose not to do the MRI as it would have overly stressed him out - he was feral. I weighed the quality of life to quantity of life and let the disease take him naturally. We put him out of pain as it progressed and before it went too far. I don't recall the entire timeline, but it was less than 2 months from onset of the lameness until we helped him cross. He never lost total use of his legs but it was obvious that it hurt him to walk.

Don't let my timeline scare you. If you catch it early enough, there are medications that can help them live for sometimes a long while. Thumbs is older, and while it makes it that much harder on you because you shared so much of your life with him, it also makes it easier because you know darn well that he's had a wonderful long life. There's a lot of information out there to read on the topic. Educate yourself and challenge the vet with your questions.

*hugs*
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