I have posted before about my cats, but recently had something quite tragic happen and I am hoping someone can give me some direction. We adopted 2 kittens from the humane society in October 2008, one was a Siamese named Dinah. She came spayed and had all up-to-date shots, at the time she was about 9 months old. She was always very mellow and seemed very prissy as she would not jump my toddler gates to go to the bathroom. Since she had always been like this (including thin and just layed in a basket of blankets all day long) I never really thought anything of it. As of recently we decided to give her to my mom who really wanted an indoor cat and really liked Dinah - with all the problems we were having with our other 3 it seemed to be the best decision.
My mom took the cat to the vet who said Dinah was severely malnourished, had tapeworms and fleas. None of my other cats have any of these problems, and it wasn't that we didn't feed her - again, wouldn't jump the gates until my son had a nap and they were open. But she had gained weight since we got her so never thought anything of her being thin. Some cats just are. Well, tonight I received a call from my mom telling me that Dinah had died. They were giving her wormer and put her on a high calorie diet but she said that since New Years they noticed she didn't shut her eyes, ever, even when she slept. After she told me this, I started thinking and thought I hadn't really ever saw her do that either. My mom's sister told her there was a cat disease where the cat becomes unable to close their eyes and then dies.
I am first wondering if anyone knows of this disease, if it actually exists or not. Second, the name of it and if they know if it is contagious to other cats and / or humans. Any information would be most helpful. Thanks!
I've had cats my whole life, and have never heard of any cat disease that causes the cat's eyes to stay open.
The cat did give some warning signs that things weren't normal with her. It should have raised a red flag that the cat slept all the time, very thin, and was probably too weak to jump the gate. It's really not a good idea to assume that these symptoms are normal. It's best to bring the cat to the vet just to make sure.
My first thought is a rare strain of calcivirus that can cause system wide organ failure. Sleeping with the eyes open (it's actually only one set of the eyelids, the secondary set is closed) is a potential sign of poor health,.
You list some other signs; malnourishment, a lack of activity and desire to jump (calcivirus commonly presents with arthritis and joint swelling) also suggest this disease.
But it is possible that your cat simply just succumbed to the tapeworms. Left untreated, they can cause most of the symptoms you list. The discomfort from the attack on the internal organs can easily cause your cat to not wish to jump and play,or eat, for that matter.
I'm sorry for your loss. I hope others will see this message and take note of the somewhat unusal eye symptom you mentioned and know to get their cat checked.
I appreciate the response. I know that not jumping gates is not necessarily a good thing, but I took good care of her, I don't want someone thinking that. Its just she seemed like such a prissy cat, like I would picture a Siamese to be stubborn enough to refuse to jump my gates. I never got to really see if it was a matter of couldn't because she just waited until they were open to leave the room. My cat Bruce sleeps a lot so I didn't think anything of her doing the same. Well, if what you are referring to is rare then it is unlikely to have been given to my other cats. They are being treated for the worms so I am not too concerned about that. Thanks for the responses!
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