Mystery anemia - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2005, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Mystery anemia

One of my 20 yr. old cats has been losing weight so I brought him in for blood work. All the tests came back normal except it showed him anemic. We wormed him as I'd had others get anemic from hookworms so I thought I'd give that a try first. After 2 weeks he kept declining. I brought him back in today and his anemia is worse, but he's negative for feluk/aids, overactive thyroid, no fever and all the other tests are normal. He's lost 2 lbs. in 2 weeks. He's down 5 lbs. in the last 6 months. We think it could be cancer, but here is my question. Let me back up, I realize now that he had an upper respiratory episode going on that I didn't know about. You know how well they hide stuff. Anyway, I'm wondering if the anemia could be caused by him not eating enough. I didn't have a chance to ask my vet this question this afternoon so I thought I'd ask you and see if anyone out there has any experience with anemia.

The vet gave him a short acting steroid injection, a B complex injuection and little fluid under the skin, just to perk him up. I have him on Clavamox 2X a day. He did eat a little when he came home from the vet.

He's not acting ill, just weak. He still wants to be held and looks like he feels OK other than being weak.

Any comments you have will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 08:08 AM
 
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I hope this information will be helpful to you:

http://maxshouse.com/anemia_in_the_cat.htm
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks

Thanks for the site. I'll give yall an update on Sampson to let you know if he's still improving. After the treatments yesterday he was feeling really good.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 09:41 PM
 
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His advanced age, combined with a sudden, rapid weight loss could be indicative of a mass...(could be bleeding slowly internally )...might be too small to be obvious on palpation.

What about renal failure? That's common in older cats & low Hgb is a marker of renal failure... Were BUN & Creatinine levels done?

Typically Hgb would not be affected by URTI....WBC counts would be higher though.

One thing that troubles me though....Why would your DVM administer a steroid to an ailing cat with an URTI??? Steroids inhibit immunity & could exacerbate a bacterial infection!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses. Sampson did have all blood work done. His kidneys, liver, etc are all functioning normally. Negative for Feluk/Aids and overactive thyroid.

The reason for the steroid was to stimulate his appetitie and make him feel like eating and it is. The vet, not really sure what was going on thought, like I, it could be cancer. We figured if he didn't respond to the steroid then we'd know it was something very serious. However, it appears he he responding. He's real weak right now from the anemia. He's also taking Clavamox twice a day for any infection we don't know about.

As of today he's feeling a little better. He's always only ate dry food. Never let wet touch his lips. He would occasionally eat some cooked turkey and chicken. So I bought some Sarah Lee turkey and he's going to town on it. I also bought a bag of EVO and he's eating that also.

I suppose it's possible that he does have a mass even though he appears to be feeling better. If he continues to eat and seem like he's feeling OK, I'll bring him in next week to get rechecked and weighed to see if he's putting any weight back on.

He does not appear to be in pain. He comes when called and loves to talk and be hugged and kissed. So he's responding well at this time.

I guess time will tell. I will keep all of you posted and thanks again for your comments and ideas.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2005, 12:57 AM
 
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Is it common practice to use steroids as an appetite stimulant? IMHO the risks of serious side effects out number the benefits. (immunosupression, osteomalcia & stress fractures, & Diabetes)...for long term use...or is this just a one time thing?

Diazepam or Valium is a super appetite stimulant...( great palliative care agent too )...high doses can cause respiratory depression ( or death )...also it's a Controlled Substance here in Canada, prone to being abused so there may be restrictions in the U.S. governing it's use...Has anyone tried this?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2005, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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The cortisone also gives him an overall feeling of well being which in turn gets him to eat. He's only on it for a short time in reducing doses. Like I said we are trying this because we know if he doesn't respond to this then it is most probably a mass, i.e., cancer.

I've tried valium as an appetitie stimulant and it made the cats drunk, but hungry. Hated the way it made them drunk so I don't like to use valium for that reason.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2005, 09:08 AM
 
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Yeah, I know what you mean about the "drunk" effect...albeit it's a happy drunk LOL. But eventually that will equalize...sometimes it's necessary to titrate the dose.

Well, I'm glad that you're getting good results anyway... my heart goes out to you & I wish you all the best!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
 
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Update on Sampson, the guy with the anemia. He is doing very well, eating everything in sight. He has started some very strange behaviors since becoming ill. For the 16 years I've had him he would never eat can food. He only ate dry. Now he wants can food and boiled turkey. I'm thrilled to death. Also, he now decided he wants to be an inside cat which is also fine with us. We've always wanted him to come in, but he preferred to live in the yard.

I don't think he has cancer, I could be wrong. However, my thought is if he had cancer he wouldn't be improving as he is.

Thanks to all of you for your concern and I'll keep you posted on his progress.
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