2 weeks ago: my cat had dazed look, difficulty walking, no interest in food. Respiration and heart rates normal per ER vet. A big scream and off to another ER vet: dx: crystals, even though cat urinated on him. Vet admintered valium and phenoxybenzamine.
The next day, my regular vet ran blood tests and x-rays and surprised that he was still sedated, administered fluids to flush the drugs out of his system but had to stop at 50cc, when my cat screamed. He recommended that I see an internal medicine specialist at the first emergency vet. No diagnosis.
5 days later: eyes fine, unable to jump onto his scratching post unless compensating with his front paws or he’d fall onto his side, poor appetite, and compulsively grooming the rectal area. Another doctor at my regular vet's office; thought neurological could be the cause because he had poor anal tone. When she tapped on his "knee joints" with the rubber hammer device, his response was normal.
2 weeks since 1st onset: He stopped excessively grooming a few days after the last visit to the vet, uninterested in playing, won’t jump onto his scratching post, appetite has improved, but is far less than the insatiable appetite he had. If I put food on a spoon, he'll eat more if I put canned food on a spoon and feed him. He refused the dry food until ~ 2-3 days ago.
Hx: SPCA rescue, had been abandoned at 4 weeks old. He has IBD and asthma, controlled with omegaderm on his food once a day until asthma flare up 2 months ago (unknown cause). Was on 5mg prednisolone for 2 weeks prior to me coming home to his drastic change.
Replaced cord covers today after noticing they were chewed up a little more. His gums where checked 2 weeks ago and appeared normal. Could he have gotten a "jolt" from chewing on cords, not enough to have visible burns, but enough to cause other alterations?
A bite to an electical cord could cause mouth burns, seizures, heart arrhythmias and acute respiratory distress due to fluid in the lungs. Without evidence of mouth burns, I would find it hard to believe that your cat's persistent symptoms are due to biting an electrical cord, they are more consistent with a primary neurological disease such as brain inflammation, infection, or tumor. The low calcium is also hard to explain, since the most common causes would be toxins such as antifreeze or lily poisoning (causing kidney failure), severe intestinal disease causing nutrient malabsorption, certain drugs such as those to treat cancer or seizures or Fleet enemas, an all meat diet with no mineral supplements, or milk fever (in a lactating cat), and nothing in the history (except the IBD history) or other labwork supports any of these possibilities. The low calcium may be lab error and should be repeated. With the history of "asthma" I also wondered about feline heartworm disease, which in addition to respiratory signs can also cause chronic vomiting and occasional neurological symptoms. I recommend evaluation by a veterinary internist or neurologist (www.acvim.org).
Kimberly Coyner, DVM DACVD
Follow up exam with vet today. Max lost 1 pound in 1 1/2 weeks, most likely from eating less calories. His anal tone returned to normal. Vet doesn't think it's neurological, but metabolic. Repeated blood test with special feline pancreatic lipase test for pancreatitis. He ran up the stairs upon returning home. He's still not jumping onto his scratching post, but will onto my lap when I am on a chair or couch. He jumps down fine too.
He was already evaluated by an internist 2 weeks ago. She is the one who ran the ultrasounds, and x-rays. There was a professional radiologist report from these images.
Glad to hear he is doing well. Hopefully the previously low calcium has also resolved. Feline heartworm causes cough which can mimic asthma, as well as occasional neurological disease, so if respiratory or neurologic symptoms persist, a heartworm test may be helpful.
Kimberly Coyner DVM DACVD
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