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RE: Cat in serious condition

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  • Judy
    Hi everyone, My name is Judy and I have some questions regarding a stray that my husband and I took in last year. When this cat first began coming to our
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 29, 2003
      Hi everyone,

      My name is Judy and I have some questions regarding a stray that my
      husband and I took in last year.

      When this cat first began coming to our house, we noticed how
      emaciated he was (5 lbs). We assumed that it was because he was
      starving, so
      despite having three dogs, we took him in. We took him to our vet to
      have him checked last year. The vet told
      us that he had renal failure and a urinary tract infection. He did a
      blood panel and checked his stool for parasites and urine samples.
      The urine samples said his creatinine level was at 3. We started him
      on an antibiotic for the UTI and the KD diet. The UTI would come and
      go over the next few months and he was treated off and on for it.
      His
      creatinine level stayed at 3 despite the diet switch.

      Just recently, we found out from neighbors that this had been there
      cat that ran away and that he must be at least 14 years old. This
      past week, He started to drool with some blood in it and his chin
      began to swell.
      We took him back to the vet who took a look at the lump and said it
      was cancer...without a biopsy. She also said the cat is
      hyperthyroid,
      something they hadn't previously tested for. She said she could feel
      the thyroid slipping. She also said he is in heart failure with a
      heart murmur because his chest had filled with fluid... but she
      didn't think we should bother to try and treat him. We insisted she
      try. She tapped his chest Friday to drain the fluid to help his
      breathing.

      She drew blood to test his T-4 which came back at 2.5 - normal. His
      creatinine level was at 2.0. She said that in an emaciated cat, to
      be
      accurate, you need to multiply that level by 3 so he would really in
      essence be at 6.0 instead of 2.0. Is that true? She also said that
      he
      must not be hyperthryoid if his T-4 is normal. But he has so many of
      the symptoms that it doesnt make sense: He eats ravenously, drinks
      constantly, has severe weight and muscle loss, frequent urination,
      racing heart rate, etc...can a cat have a normal T-4 and still be
      hyperthyroid?

      So we don't know what else to do. She's giving him two
      medications for his heart: enalapril and diltiazem. She said that
      although all of his symptoms indicate hyper-t, she diagnosed him
      with chronic heart disease. She did though think it was worth trying
      to treat the thyoid so she gave us methimazole. For his mouth, she
      gave us an antibiotic to reduce the swelling and inflammation in his
      gums.

      Is there anything else I should ask them to do for testing? I'm
      thoroughly confused at this point and open to any ideas and
      suggestions. He's still bathing himself and eating 4-5 times a day.
      He's able to walk up and down stairs and jump on furniture.

      Thanks,
      Judy
    • Jonathan Rosenberg
      In an earlier message, Judy [mailto:judy@tomjudy.com] said ... ... It was so kind of you to care for this poor guy. ... and ... Hmmm .... It is not possible
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 29, 2003
        In an earlier message, Judy [mailto:judy@...] said ...

        > My name is Judy and I have some questions regarding a stray that my
        > husband and I took in last year.

        > When this cat first began coming to our house, we noticed how
        > emaciated he was (5 lbs). We assumed that it was because he was
        > . . .

        It was so kind of you to care for this poor guy.

        > Just recently, we found out from neighbors that this had been there
        > cat that ran away and that he must be at least 14 years old. This
        > past week, He started to drool with some blood in it and his chin
        > began to swell. We took him back to the vet who took a look at the lump
        and
        > said it was cancer...without a biopsy.

        Hmmm .... It is not possible to diagnose cancer without a biopsy. Some vets
        can make an educated guess, but it's still only a guess.

        > She also said the cat is hyperthyroid, something they hadn't previously
        tested for. She said
        > she could feel the thyroid slipping.

        I have no idea what "thyroid slipping" means. Has anyone else heard of
        this?

        > She also said he is in heart failure with a
        > heart murmur because his chest had filled with fluid... but she
        > didn't think we should bother to try and treat him. We insisted she
        > try. She tapped his chest Friday to drain the fluid to help his
        > breathing.

        I gotta tell you, I'm not liking this vet. Without a definitive diagnosis
        of the lump or his heart, I don't see how one could say what this vet said.
        I'm glad you followed your heart.

        > She drew blood to test his T-4 which came back at 2.5 - normal.

        So much for her diagnosis.

        > His creatinine level was at 2.0. She said that in an emaciated cat, to
        > be accurate, you need to multiply that level by 3 so he would really in
        > essence be at 6.0 instead of 2.0. Is that true?

        I'm not an expert on CRF, but I have never heard of this. This sounds
        whacky to me.

        > She also said that he must not be hyperthryoid if his T-4 is normal. But
        he has so many of
        > the symptoms that it doesnt make sense: He eats ravenously, drinks
        > constantly, has severe weight and muscle loss, frequent urination,
        > racing heart rate, etc...can a cat have a normal T-4 and still be
        > hyperthyroid?

        This is possible. There is an other test ("free T-4", I believe) that can
        be used to find out if this is the case.

        > So we don't know what else to do. She's giving him two
        > medications for his heart: enalapril and diltiazem. She said that
        > although all of his symptoms indicate hyper-t, she diagnosed him
        > with chronic heart disease. She did though think it was worth trying
        > to treat the thyoid so she gave us methimazole. For his mouth, she
        > gave us an antibiotic to reduce the swelling and inflammation in his
        > gums.

        > Is there anything else I should ask them to do for testing? I'm
        > thoroughly confused at this point and open to any ideas and
        > suggestions. He's still bathing himself and eating 4-5 times a day.
        > He's able to walk up and down stairs and jump on furniture.

        I would get this cat to another vet ASAP. Find someone who will be more
        aggressive in making definitive diagnoses & will work with you. I wouldn't
        hesitate on this -- the sooner you find out what is happening with his jaw &
        heart, the better. A trip to a feline cardiologist would be a good idea,
        also. A competent vet would suggest this.

        Please let us know how your boy does.

        > Thanks,
        > Judy

        --
        Jonathan Rosenberg
        President & Founder, Tabby's Place
        http://www.tabbysplace.org/
      • Catherine Browning
        Hi Judy, Firstly, I have to repeat what others have said ... you are an ANGEL to take this poor cat on. Now I don t know how feline medicine relates to human
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 1, 2003
          Hi Judy,

          Firstly, I have to repeat what others have said ... you are an ANGEL to take this poor cat on.

          Now I don't know how feline medicine relates to human medicine, but I'm just posting this for what it's worth.

          You said:

          "... he has so many of the symptoms that it doesnt make sense: He eats ravenously, drinks constantly, has severe weight and muscle loss, frequent urination, racing heart rate, etc...can a cat have a normal T-4 and still be hyperthyroid? "

          This describes to an absolute T my closest high-school friend when she was an undiagnosed diabetic. These are ALL of the symptoms she had, every last one of them. So my question is ... has his urine been checked for ketones / have his blood sugar levels been checked?

          Found a website at http://www.felinediabetes.com/ so you might want to check this out.

          Hope this helps,

          Catherine and the fearsome five
          http://OzFree.it-net.com.au
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