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Cat with undiagnosed problem

About 6 months ago our 11 year old female cat started walking funny - we took her to the emergency vet who said her urine indicated she had a UTI so she got a shot of antibiotics.  A few weeks later,  she started limping, so we took her to a new vet and she was given another shot of antibiotics.    A few weeks later she stopped jumping on things (bed, cat tree etc) and was not acting herself - took her back to the vet but he couldn't find anything wrong.   In the months since then she has gone back to the vet numerous times - she has had a cyclical fever, limping off and on, bumps on her head (the vet thought these were warts), and a mass on her back which disappeared!  She has been on two oral antibiotics and is in a third now.  The vet has run blood work twice and found nothing unusual apart from a slightly elevated white blood cell count .  She has been tested for leukemia and that was negative.  No masses (apart from the One on her back that disappeared a few weeks after we found it - she was also on antibiotics at the time) and her lungs sound fine.

Any one know what this could be?  Our vet is stumped.  She has last weight since this all started and has never been sick before.  The recurring infections seem odd.
6 Responses
7052683 tn?1392938795
hi spade,

Well Spade your girl is 11 years old so she is a senior, and with that title comes a multitude of possible ailments. They could be separate from one another like arthritis (her not being able to jump ), or an infection (high white blood cell count and fever) or swollen lymph nodes , fungus sores (bumps on head), and the lump on her back (hopefully not a tumor) since it disappeared......they could also be all part of one specific disease. That is what we pay those high vet bills for---a definitive answer.

So taken separately could be as benign as arthritis or as serious as tumor.
If you cat is an outdoor cat could she have been bitten somewhere by another cat or spider??

I am assuming she has her regular yearly vet visits and that is why you say she has never been sick.  So if these things are something new perhaps your vet should test her thyroid. Hyperthyroidism is very common in elderly cats and present with many of the symptoms you describe, most notably weight loss  Could be a fungal infection like Histoplasmosis, or a systemic immune disorder.

I would say prior to you vet giving ANY antibiotics he should have had a definitive cause of infection. Just pumping animals up with antibiotics that are not disease specific is never a good idea, it is just the easy way out , and can do more harm than good.. I think vets prescribe the antibiotics for the owners satisfaction--like at least they are giving your cat something.  It is like giving a human antibiotics for something viral rather than bacterial. Like a general antibiotic for a urinary tract infection vs a strep throat. They require different meds, that is why cultures are done.

I guess I would suggest you get back to your vet and tell him you are just not satisfied with general antibiotics without having a definitive answer   and diagnosis. If he is stumped have him recommend a veterinary internist for further study. At least have him run a Thyroid test, hopefully that is the first test he ran., but then one never knows these days.

Please keep us posted ,as we all learn from each other here, so your answers may help someone else.
Thanks,
CML
Avatar universal
Thanks for your advice.  I don't know if thyroid was checked.

Our cat is an indoor only cat.  She has an older brother who bites her occasionally so we thought that may have caused an infection.  We are in MO and have a lot of ticks here so the other thought was she was bitten by a tick and developed an immune disorder - we never saw a tick on her but thy get brought in occasionally on our clothes.

Our vet didn't want to give her antibiotics last week but after her blood work came back he called us and suggested we try this and call back when she is finished.  Her appetite has increased since starting the antibiotics which is good.

Our vet consulted with a colleague and she was Also stumped.  He said if she doesn't get better he will refer us to the vet center at Columbia University as he wants to know what is going on as much as we do.
7052683 tn?1392938795
Funny you should mention Tick bite. There is a protozoan disease known to be transmitted by the Ixodid tick. First described in 1976 in Southwest Missouri. It is called Feline Cytauxzoon ." The Cytauxzoon organism attacks the red blood cells and those of the reticuloendothelial "
"Symptoms include high fever, anemia, jaundice,and dehydration"

This is a very serious disease , so I am sure hoping this is not what your baby has. Diagnosis is made by staining a blood smear.
Needless to say I have researched this info--I knew nothing of this tick until your post. Hopefully it is her thyroid and probably is not this tick, but you should still have the vet check for other bites. Spiders are pretty worrisome too. I just got bit by a brown recluse and it is taking forever to heal.

It is good to hear you really like your vet and he seems very diligent if he wants to refer you to Columbia--might be good advice.

Please keep me posted, K?

CML                               '
587315 tn?1333552783
I was also thinking along the lines of a possible tick bite, an infection that has NOT cleared up with the injection(I'm assuming the injection was Convenia), or a possible heart issue causing clots in the lower legs.  Has your cat been diagnosed with a heart murmur or the vet noticed an enlarged heart by xray?  If not, than it's probably not blood clots.

As for the antibiotic injection, IF it's Convenia, it's NOT meant to be used for anything other than abscessed and superficial skin infections.  You can check it out by following this link:  http://www.drugs.com/vet/convenia.html.  If there's an infection that is still going on, then I would get a repeat urine test and get an actual pill to treat.  I would refuse the Convenia.  Maybe, an ongoing infection can cause weakness in the legs.

Anyway, those are a few of my ideas.  Hope we've helped you some.

Best wishes to you!!
16833771 tn?1451833226
This is exactly what my cat is going though. My cat is 13 and has never been sick since last may she got a uti so i took her to banfield where they gave her the shot of antibotics instread of pills. But it didnt work so i had to go back and get the pills which i wanted in the first place. About 3 weeks later she started limping and now has a huge mass in stomach and i know it was because of that stupid shot. Always get the pills. Now its january and shes still alive but shes dieing slowly cause of cancer. The whole thing is the day i took her for the uti she had no problems they ran all kinds of tests and she was perfect. And a month after that shot she got cancer. I know the antibotics shot did it and it didnt even work.
1 Comments
yes you are likely right, so sorry for this diagnosis and kitty's illness, read the following thread. the injectible antibiotic is called convenia and its a dangerous drug!!!
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Cats/Just-Say-NO-To-Convenia-This-is-a-dangerous-drug/show/1865523
7052683 tn?1392938795
You need to take your cat to a Veterinary Teaching University in your city and let them give you a second opinion as to the cause of this mass. If it is the shot your vet should be reported to the Medical Board.
Please make sure she is not in severe pain, and if she is please be kind enough not to allow her to suffer if death is certain. The humane thing is what we hate the most , and that is humane euthanasia.
Please keep us posted.
CML
1 Comments
I agree with CML...please don't hang on just cuz its so bloody hard to let them go..cats hide their pain so well, its not always visible. poor baby
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