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Old 06-18-2010, 02:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wobbly/lethargic cat- suggestions

Hi,
Sorry this is long, but it's been a long miserable time. I have a black and white long haired cat named Daisy who is alittle over a year old. She has always been an extremely high energy, eat-everything-in-sight wild child. She is the cat bouncing off the walls. You can't eat dinner without her assisting or screaming at you from her crate. She is a major diva kitty.

About two monthes ago she started slowing down. Playing less, screaming at me less, but I kind of thought she was just growing up, calming down a bit. One night she slept on the computer through dinner. The rest of my cats, ok, but not Daisy. So I called the vet. They say nothing wrong with her, I'm just crazy.

A couple weeks later she was barely picking at her food, canned only. Took her to the vet again. This time they said she had worms that cats don't usually get, a strongyle they could not identify. She had 3 days of Panacur and a week of Metronidizole. Her appetite improved for a few days, then she just started laying around again.

Shortly after this I left home for two days, my mom watched the cats for me. When I came home Daisy would not use the litter box. She'd stand next to it, but would not get in. I can put her in it, and she jumps/claws/fights like a whorlwind until she gets out, then runs off to hide somewhere like I tried to drown her. I've never had a litter box issue with her before. Peeing and pooping. She's been going on my bed, on the counters, under the couch, etc. I have spent hours and days getting her back in the box, I have to pick her up, put her in the box, make her stay until she goes potty, then she runs into the kitchen and gets a treat. She will even come to me now and give me "the look" and if I don't immedietly take her right to the box then she will pee/poop on the floor in front of me. She still acts like the box is on fire though.

I've been doing this for about two weeks, and taking her out to my garage for the day so she isn't peeing in my bed. She won't use the litter box out there either, but she will dig in the dirt outside and go. Through all this she has never acting perky and just sleeps all day, her only activity is running away from the litter box.

So she went to a differant vet for another opinion (had to make the appointment a week ago). She is now slightly under-weight, sleeps 24/7, and is getting wobbly with her hind legs. Vet was not interested, said maybe the parasite was back and gave me wormer. Barely looked at her, said she looks fine. I even showed her the wobbly walking, acted like it was no big deal. I had to drive 1 1/2 hours down there, and pay $60 exam fee to hear she's just fine.

She is not fine, two monthes ago this was the whorlwind crazy cat who would climb me if she thought I had food. Now I can't hardly get her to eat and she can't hardly walk, much less jump/climb. Her back end slips out from under her on smooth floors, and wobbles on the carpet. When she gets off the couch she falls down.

So I'm going to take her to another differant vet tomarrow, and if she doesn't have an answer it's 1 1/2 hours to a differant vet specialist. I live in podunk-nowhere with moron vets but for goodness sake when the cat can't walk I'm not just a crazy owner!

Has anybody else had anything like this with a young cat? I've been searching the internet, and they talk about it with 13-15 y. o. cats who rapidly go downhill, or injured cats who are sudden. This has been building up for 2 monthes to this point. She can still walk, it's mainly apperant on slick surfaces or jumping up/down off the furniture, but at this rate I'm sure it will continue to get worse. Any ideas? We are going to the newest vet tomarrow so hopefully they know SOMETHING. Any ideas with the litter box either? I think they are related, but she shows such an extreme reaction, and at the same time willingly lets me take her and put her in the box to go potty. According to Moron #1 she didn't have a bladder issue (but I don't give that any weight since she didn't have ANY issues).

Thank you for reading though this sorry for the length!
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Old 06-18-2010, 02:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wobbly/lethargic cat- suggestions

I forgot to add, she also no longer talks to me. She used to talk non-stop, purr, yowl, screech, everything. She no longer purrs and her 'meow' is so soft you can't hardly hear it. That was the first thing to go, one of the first signs. She used to be an extremely vocal cat, about EVERYTHING.

She has never gone into heat either. She was just getting to the age I could spay her and I held off because she was acting so 'off' I was worried about the surgery. She's around a year now without even doing the butt arching or anything. And I don't want to get surgery until I know what is wrong with her, I'm worried it would make her way worse.
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Old 06-18-2010, 02:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wobbly/lethargic cat- suggestions

Yikes! This is scary. Poor kitty and poor you!
What have the vets done besides deworm her?
Have they run any blood and urine tests?
xrays?
Ultrasound?
If not, those would be my very next step. Pronto!
Something is wrong with this kitty and throwing dewormers at her is not, in my opinion, what a reputable vet would be doing.
Is she eating at all at this point? If not, you need to start assist feeding her. She must continue to get some food into her every day or you run the risk of even more serious problems. If I were you, unless you know very good things about this next vet, I'd skip it and go straight to the specialist.
It's not uncommon for a sick kitty to avoid the box so I wouldn't force it right now. Once she's feeling better, she'll probably go back to it.
Best of luck!
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Last edited by marie73; 10-24-2011 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wobbly/lethargic cat- suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by annie92499
Hi,
... Daisy would not use the litter box. She'd stand next to it, but would not get in. I can put her in it, and she jumps/claws/fights like a whorlwind until she gets out, then runs off to hide somewhere like I tried to drown her.
She's been going on my bed, on the counters, under the couch, etc. I have spent hours and days getting her back in the box, I have to pick her up, put her in the box, make her stay until she goes potty, then she runs into the kitchen and gets a treat. She will even come to me now and give me "the look" and if I don't immedietly take her right to the box then she will pee/poop on the floor in front of me.
She still acts like the box is on fire though.

...her only activity is running away from the litter box.

She is now slightly under-weight, sleeps 24/7, and is getting wobbly with her hind legs.

She is not fine, ...
Now I can't hardly get her to eat and she can't hardly walk, much less jump/climb. Her back end slips out from under her on smooth floors, and wobbles on the carpet. When she gets off the couch she falls down.

She can still walk, it's mainly apperant on slick surfaces or jumping up/down off the furniture, but at this rate I'm sure it will continue to get worse. Any ideas?
Any ideas with the litter box either? I think they are related, but she shows such an extreme reaction, and at the same time willingly lets me take her and put her in the box to go potty.
Wow.
First, Daisy needs the vet to pull blood for a work-up to determine if she has any infections going on.
Then they *must* do a urinalysis to determine if she is having UTI issues .... which from what you describe, appears to be a definite possibility.
Finally, ask them specifically about 'saddle thrombosis' or tumors or other issues with her spinal cord.

I am NOT sharing this to scare you, but I feel it is definitely something you want your vet to check out if the other things (infection, UTI, thrombosis) do not give the vet a definitive answer. What happened to our Reilly was NOT a common occurance and I think with her depressed manor that she would be much more likely to have an infection and/or pain rather than a painless tumor like our Rei had.
Reilly slowly and steadily worsened with motor control of his back legs. It began from when we first took him in as a 10mo old cat, but we thought he was 'clumsy'. By the time he was 4yrs old, I couldn't ignore his 'clumsiness'. Vet thought for sure it was diabetes, but his blood test came back negative for diabetes. Turns out he had a spinal tumor and it progressed faster as he aged. By age 7, he was almost completely non-mobile. He went from wobbley back legs, to his back legs hitting each other and interfering as he walked, to having a slight 'hesitation' when he lifted a back leg and before he could move it forward to set it down, to staggering sideways and sitting down suddenly after 10 steps, to staggering and sitting after 3 steps, to every step, to scooting along by pulling w/ his front claws in the carpet to drag his body because he couldn't control his back legs.


Here is info about UTI, which is what I think your Daisy is dealing with:
I wrote this some time ago as a response for someone else but the information remains relevant and lately I seem to be getting a LOT of use out of it. First get a UTI exam/sample for diagnosis and proceed from there with pursuing any behavioral or environment issues, but the UTI *must* be ruled out FIRST. If your cat(s) is/are male, just replace she/her with he/him.
I apologize if this sounds blunt, it isnít meant to be, it is simply the most expedient way for me to share all of the information you need to be informed.
=^..^=

Inapropriate Urination / UTI
The NUMBER ONE REASON CATS PEE INAPPROPRIATELY = Urinary Tract Inflamation. (UTI)
Diagnosis is with a vet checking a urine sample. There is no other way to diagnose this medical problem. Depending on diagnosis (infection, inflamation, crystals) treatment can include antibiotics, anti-inflamatories and/or a diet change to help get more moisture into their elimination systems.

Cats are naturally neat and tidy animals.
They *know* what a litterbox is for.
If a cat is *not* using their litterbox, they are trying to *tell you something* and you need to listen.

AFTER a veterinary visit and UTI has been eliminated as a problem, then you can move on to examining other areas:
Has the home been stressful for the cat? ...cats can develop UTIs due to stress...
Does the cat like the litterbox? ...open-tray, hooded, deep enough litter, large enough box...
Does the cat like the location of the litterbox? ...is it in a quiet area, low traffic and no sudden noises...
Does the cat like the litter used? ...some cats prefer different litters...
Does the cat approve of how clean the litterbox is kept for it? ...many cats will refuse to use 'dirty', and especially *smelly* litterboxes...
Are the litterboxes arranged in such a manner as they cannot become a trap? ... some multi cat households can have a problem with another cat either guarding the LBs or waiting to ambush a cat exiting a LB in an effort to play

Cats WANT to use a litterbox to hide their waste. If they are not, it is because there is some sort of problem and avoiding the litterbox is The Only Way for the cat to tell you It Is Having A Problem. If you and your family are annoyed at this behavior, imagine how *frustrating* and *painful* this is for your cat, who is trying to tell you in every way she has available to her: She Is Having A Problem...UTI's are painful and the kitty tries to find places to pee where maybe it *won't* be painful, like soft piles of clothes, bedding and rugs. When the pain *still* isn't going away by peeing on soft things, they start to pee on 'smooth' things like floors, tables, sinks, tubs, stoves and countertops. IMO, when a cat reaches the point of peeing on your countertops AND/OR peeing *right in front of you while looking you in the eyes* ... please don't get upset, the kitty is simply trying to tell you she has something wrong with her.

After medical treatment, diet can play a large role in helping to keep UTI's at bay; more moisture, as in a wet food or RAW diet. Even a better quality dry food and not feeding "McKittyCrack" (which is what I call grocery-store available catfoods) can help the kitty stay healthy. There are plenty of topics in the Health/Nutrition Forums to help you find a good catfood and/or diet for your kitty during and after treatment.

Good luck, we really *want* you to be able to help your kitty. Please let us know how things go...the information you share could help other people in similar situations, too.
heidi =^..^=
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wobbly/lethargic cat- suggestions

How infuriating! I can't tell you how many times over the decades I've taken cats to clueless vets who insisted nothing was wrong when clearly something was. I would so much rather a vet would admit that he didn't know what was wrong than try to convince me that nothing was wrong at all. Idiots!!!

OK, now that I have that out of my system, is there any way you can get Daisy to a university vet school clinic for evaluation? That's where you will find all of the veterinary specialists and specialized diagnostic equipment that will have the best chance of diagnosing and treating your cat. There are just so many possible diagnoses for her condition that you need to be in a place with multiple vets working in multiple specialties to make sure nothing is overlooked.

Poor Daisy and poor you. I hope you can find competent veterinary help soon.

Laurie
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you for the suggestions! My #1 vet is usually good, but refers me to the #2 vet for major things. So I was just flabbergasted when #2 vet says she is fine too!

#1 vet says no UTI because the antibiotics would have taken care of it, but I am wondering maybe a kidney infection or stones? He didn't do a urinalysis. Did take blood, but only double checked FIV/Felv/Heartworm test which was all Neg. again.

Usually she is on premium cat food, but she won't eat much of it. She picks a bit, but doesn't eat hardly anything. She only will eat Friskies canned (I KNOW what kind of crazy cat???) She was eating that when we got her, and I switched her to premium canned, but now only wants the Friskies canned again? She eats it decently, but still not like her usualy self. I give it to her because I'm scared she'll stop eating anything. Vet #2 says she is not unhealthy-skinny yet so I shouldn't be concerned. But she is small and lost a lot of weight compared to her usual chunky self, and in a short period of time.

She has an appointment with vet #3 today at 4:40 so I am going to ask for a urinalysis and blood test. They are a big vet clinic with 5 vets and they do my exotics and major-surgerys. I have like 8 vet clinic I go to big animal/small/specialist/exotics etc. So hopefully they will be able to figure it out. I have only met this vet twice but he has been awesome helping my grandma with her guinea pigs, and he has always listened when she told him something was truely wrong.
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Old 06-18-2010, 02:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wobbly/lethargic cat- suggestions

*fingers, toes-es, whiskers and noses crossed for you here*
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The vet was pretty much all bad news.

He believes this is all neurological. There are various causes in the 1) treatable with a lot of time 2) supportable but not curable and 3) quickly debilitating catigories. With #3 she will probably not live much longer, and so all my votes are against that one. When I told my mom I was hoping for liver/kidney problems she thought I was crazy.

He seemed to lean toward #2 option of momma cat got sick while she was pregnant and it damaged her cerebellum, which is in charge of balance/movement etc. This doesn't start showing until the kitten develops and gets older, but shows before the kitten is fully grown, pretty much at exactly her age. There is no knowing at which point it will stop getting worse, she may stay just how she is, or may continue until she can't walk.

At the exam he said his biggest worry was her ears, they twitch/wiggle constantly. She's always done that, as far as I can remember, and he says that is a sign of epilepsy and the cerebellum problem. She may be having mini-siezures. The ears are like a muscle tick she can't control. I wonder if she didn't have a seizure in the litter box and thats why she is so scared of them.

But on the hopeful side (kinda) it could be a liver/kidney malfunction has led to a build up of toxins, which would present with all these symptoms. Her kidneys are abnormally small. This is treatable with supportive drugs/diet/lifestyle but treatable. Also toxoplasmosis can cause brain/spinal cord lesions that also present like this, and that's treatable too.

The worst option (as far as I am conserned) is FIP, but he didn't seem to be as concerned about that. But it is completely untreatable and she will just continue to get worse quickly. Plus I have other cats who all live with her, so I worry about them now. He didn't think I needed to worry about everyone else getting it, and didn't seem too worried that's what was wrong but is testing for it. Or he was just trying to keep me from bawling hysterically in his office.

He did a complete blood work up, but I won't have the results till next week. They tested for all of the above plus a lot of other things. They gave her fluids (she is my furry water ballon now), and she is much perkier after that. He thinks the litter box thing is neurological, she can't control where/when she goes. She can come to me because she knows she has to go, but she may just be walking along and pee and not be able to control it. Tonight she fell and just started peeing before she could get back up. She peed all over herself, and was so upset about it. I know she would never do that if she had any control over it. So praying the bloodwork comes back kidney/liver problems or that she would atleast not get worse.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh boy, I am so sorry. This sounds much more serious than I thought.
*closes eyes to send thoughts/prayers*
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Did the vet do a urinalysis? I think that, plus an abdominal x-ray might be a good idea. A spinal tap is also a good diagnostic tool, especially for parasites which inhabit the central nervous system. My Chica went to a neurologist for a spinal tap.

This must be a terrible thing to go through. It could be so many things. I'll be hoping it's toxoplasmosis, because it's easy to cure. I once had a cat with toxo, who suffered for more than two months, with SEVEN different vets (including university specialists) who could give no definitive diagnosis. He would wet the bed while sleeping and he had one really bad seizure. I studied all the literature I could and went back to the unuiversity with a list of seven or eight more possibilities, one of which was toxo. Well, that's what it was, and he was promptly cured and back to health in less than two weeks. Phew!

Best wishes for Daisy, and for you for being such a good cat mom.
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