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Sudden onset paralysis and subsequent death in feline
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Sudden onset paralysis and subsequent death in feline

The other  night my kitty got outside for the first time in the three-plus years she's been with us.  I was unaware that she'd gotten out but when I found a big dead mole on the floor by her escape route (a torn window screen), I tossed the mole outside and began calling her name.  I initially noticed the mole when I heard what sounded like a low gutteral growl coming from the ground-level window with the torn screen, so after calling her name a few times I looked out that same window and to my horror there she was, lying motionless just outside the window!  I ran out and picked her up and she was completely limp but warm; her eyes were wide open and her pupils dilated.  We rushed her to the emergency vet and although they tried to revive her, she died shortly after we arrived.  She made no sounds and remained motionless during the entire 25 minute drive to the ER.  She had no signs of external trauma and, except for pale gums, looked completely normal.  The vet thought perhaps she'd had a stroke, and I've read online of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as it relates to paralysis, but I can't help but think her death was a result of something that happened to her outside.  I know she was only out for an hour or two--long enough to kill that huge mole, bring it in the house and go out again.  Could the mole have had anything to do with it?  The vet doubted she'd ingested poison as the paralysis was too sudden and there were no signs of vomiting.  Snake bite was another thought that crossed my mind but we live in Western Pennsylvania and I don't think there are any very deadly snakes here.  Do you have any suggestions?
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First off, she jumped out of the window-how high up was it?  She could've landed wrong and broke her neck.  That makes the most sense to me!  Grant it, cats usually land on their feet, but NOT always.

Take care, I imagine you must be totally devastated by this!!  My heart goes out to you.

Hugs
Staci
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Thanks for commenting and for your kind words.  As I mentioned (though on re-reading my question I guess it wasn't clear) she escaped through a ground-floor window.
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Darn, I was hoping that would've explained it!!  I have no clue what could've caused your cat's death.  The only thing I can think of is a possible poisoning.  I've never heard of a poisonous mole.  I have had cats bring me these mole "gifts" in the past, and nothing has ever happened.  Unfortunately, the gifts have been brought in alive.  I'd rather have the dead "gifts" lol.

You should try the "ask a vet" forums also on medhelp-ask her what she thinks.  The vet seems very cool and really sweet.  I don't blame ya at all for wanting some kind of answer.  I promise you, the pain will ease with time.

Staci

PS-Sorry, I just reread your post and I did see you had said ground-level window,  oops.
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Thanks, Staci.  I'll ask the vet on Med Help as soon as I can.
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You're more than welcome! :D  I'll be watching for your thread when ya post!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Kitty -

It may not be the mole.  I had the very same thing with my 4 year old cat, Wesley.  I have been researching the internet trying to figure out what may have happened (I didn't want an autopsy done - it was just too hard for me to do).  

He came upstairs and went limp on the landing, eyes wide and limp as a cooked noodle.  He coughed twice when I  brought him downstairs to get him away from my other cat that was having a fit over him.

I feel as though I need to have an idea of what happened, but I can't find any disease that specifies complete paralysis like that.  I think he was gone in the first fifteen minutes but I drove around with him looking for help (not knowing that our emergency vets were between 25 and an hour away) for two hours knowing by then that he was long gone.

If you find anything out, please let me know.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for writing.  As I mentioned in my original writing, I too have looked and looked for information regarding my Sophie's sudden-onset paralysis and subsequent death but to no avail.  I am sorry you have experienced the distress of a similar loss.  If I do learn of a possible explanation for these symptoms I will gladly pass it on to you.  Again, I am very sorry for the loss of your dear Wesley.

Sincerely,
Lori
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Avatar_f_tn
My cat has been hit by sudden paralysis, maybe not as sudden as yours - started last Thursday, it's Sunday (July 4th) now, and it seems to have been progressing so that he cannot stand up anymore.  I've taken him to the vet, and one possibility is cryptococcosis, a fungal/yeast infection that may have spread to his brain.  He has a bump on his nose, and has suffered his whole life with respiratory problems.  Also, he's Siamese, and originally from Southern California, which makes the fungus a more likely suspect.

I don't know what's going to happen next.  It's so awful!  Will he snap out of it?  Will I just find him still?

So sorry for your losses.  Wanted to put forth one possibility...dunno how quickly this fungus acts once it hits the brain.

My cat has no other symptoms aside from some slight dehydration, probably from not getting to the water as often as he normally would.  Now, I'm forcing it on him as much as I can!

I'm scared that my story will have a sad ending as well.
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I am so sorry about your kitty.  It's hard enough to lose our sweet pets suddenly, doubly hard to lose them gradually, especially when they're suffering and we're unable to render aid.  Will keep you and kitty in my prayers.  God bless.
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OMG - my prayers are with you hun!  I hope and pray you will be able to find out what is happening and that he will recover!  Prayers headed to your babies way!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I also live in western pa, and until recently had 5 cats. I had been letting them out in my neighborhood like several of my other neighbors do. About two weeks ago I found a dead shrew( a tiny mole) that they had caught and "gifted" me. Last week I found another, half eaten. Now there is a nest of them on my property living in a hedge, so I'm pretty sure that's where they caught them. That being said, I know I never poisoned or baited these shrews.

Three days ago my oldest cat came home and spent the day inside. A couple of  hours later I noticed that he was acting weak and having a hard time walking. I tried to separate him and get him to eat after he started vomiting liquid. After a few hours he was unable to stand up. He started having seizures shortly after that. Hours later my neighbor informed me of another of my cats was trapped under a car. I retrieved the cat only to find it to was paralyzed and suffering from seizures. Shortly later they both passed.

Now I have the other three cats inside, and two of them were in since two days before this started. One of those two started showing signs of losing coordination in its legs.

I immediately bathed them and separate them in different rooms of the house. I was suspicious the the first two had come in contact with a toxin of some kind and had spread it. the last two cats seem to be fine at the moment but I am watching them closely. In the morning I am taking the sick one two the vet and hoping for some kind of good news.

While searching for answers I found this thread and your story is too similar to mine to be mere coincidence. Also, at first I looked up poisoning, and all these symptoms fit ingestion of arsenic, and other neurotoxins commonly used in pesticides. Onset can be sudden, as well as delayed.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also live in western pa, and until recently had 5 cats. I had been letting them out in my neighborhood like several of my other neighbors do. About two weeks ago I found a dead shrew( a tiny mole) that they had caught and "gifted" me. Last week I found another, half eaten. Now there is a nest of them on my property living in a hedge, so I'm pretty sure that's where they caught them. That being said, I know I never poisoned or baited these shrews.

Three days ago my oldest cat came home and spent the day inside. A couple of  hours later I noticed that he was acting weak and having a hard time walking. I tried to separate him and get him to eat after he started vomiting liquid. After a few hours he was unable to stand up. He started having seizures shortly after that. Hours later my neighbor informed me of another of my cats was trapped under a car. I retrieved the cat only to find it to was paralyzed and suffering from seizures. Shortly later they both passed.

Now I have the other three cats inside, and two of them were in since two days before this started. One of those two started showing signs of losing coordination in its legs.

I immediately bathed them and separate them in different rooms of the house. I was suspicious the the first two had come in contact with a toxin of some kind and had spread it. the last two cats seem to be fine at the moment but I am watching them closely. In the morning I am taking the sick one two the vet and hoping for some kind of good news.

While searching for answers I found this thread and your story is too similar to mine to be mere coincidence. Also, at first I looked up poisoning, and all these symptoms fit ingestion of arsenic, and other neurotoxins commonly used in pesticides. Onset can be sudden, as well as delayed.
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