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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been getting stuff packed to move out of my house, and my parents agreed to watch my cats for a while, since they have extra rooms. I don't trust any of the real estate agents to not accidentally let one of my cats out while showing my house to potential buyers.

Well... it appears the stress of me packing things, and relocating my cats to my parents house may have caused something that Mohan (Big Mo) was a carrier of to manifest itself and do so fairly quickly. He's been a bit sluggish for the past couple weeks, and I thought it was more due to the meds he was on...Clomipramine (sp?). So I've been weaning him off of that (he's completely off now)... but it wasn't the meds :(

Once at my parents house his condition went from just being a little lethargic to scary. I weighed him a little over month ago and he was 18lbs, which is normal for him. He's a very big (not fat) cat. I weighed him a couple weeks ago and he was 16 1/2 lbs. His weight fluctuates between 16 and 18, so I thought nothing of it.

I weighed him yesterday when visiting him and my other cats, and he weighed 14 lbs... not good. His temperature was 103.6 also. I called the vet right away and scheduled an appointment for the next morning. We tried to get him to eat some wet cat food, and his appetite seems to be still somewhat there, but not nearly what it usually is. He ate a little of the food.

He was given water throughout the night to keep him hydrated, and then taken to the vet earlier this morning. His red blood cell count is VERY low from what the Vet said. I don't know what the exact numbers are yet, but already there is talk of a transfusion possibly being needed. The Vet is thinking that it might be a blood parasite from a tick or something like that. He's an indoor only cat and never ever goes outside, so it must have been something I carried in somehow. In fact the last time he snuck outside was over 2 years ago, when I didn't live in this farmland/forest area...and he just licked the sidewalk a bit then was carried back inside (he likes licking cement... I'm not sure why... ).

The vet is keeping him hydrated and sending off a blood sample to a pathologist for more testing.

I'm sitting here hating myself and unable to sleep due to me putting him through the stress of moving...since stress could have caused something like a blood parasite to go nuts inside his little body.

I don't even know for sure it's the blood parasite yet... I've done a lot of googling for haemobartonella and other blood parasites, and honestly I'm really scared I didn't get him to the vet soon enough. I thought the lethargy might just be from the meds he was on...

Has anyone had any experiences with something like haemobartonella?

Here are are a couple pictures of Big Mo (one with one of my other cats, Midna), and one from when he was tiny with his sister (Penelope..or P-Nut). He's part Siamese and I guess part tabby. We found him, along with his 3 siblings and his mother living in some bushes near a condo I owned years ago. I kept P-Nut and Mohan. They were all very sick with intestinal parasites that took a long time to get rid of..but they all recovered eventually. We found great homes for the other two kittens and the mother pretty quickly...and they are really happy cats. All 4 of them are very big cats, like their Mom. P-Nut is 16lbs, Mo was 18.

I'm so worried about him and feel horrible about not realizing something was wrong earlier, and that it wasn't just the meds he was on making him tired :(

Any info about haemobartonella or other blood parasites, the treatment, and what others have gone through would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening.





 

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Discussion Starter #2
Spoke with the vet early this morning and his red blood cell count was about the same (12%). A couple hours later I got a call from the vet that things weren't looking so good so they wanted to start a transfusion. He was breathing rapidly and the vet said they needed to do a transfusion. Of course I told the vet to do whatever she can... One of the people who works down at the vets office was nice enough to have her cat be the donor cat for Mo.

Still no news on what actually he has yet, as the pathologist hasn't gotten back to the vet yet with what he found.

As of right now Big Mo is going through a transfusion to try to keep him with us until we know what treatment he needs.
 

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Hang in there, Mo! I'm afraid I know nothing about blood parasites, bit I certainly hope he pulls through ok
 

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Prayers for Big Mo. What a handsome man. I hope things turn around for him. Im so sorry this is happening. I have no experience with a blood parasite. Scary.
 

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best wishes for big Mo he really is a handsome lil man really hope he can pull through this xxxxx

try not to beat your self up you took him to the vet as soon as you knew it was not the meds & you have done all you could for him xxxx hugs for you xxxx
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the kind thoughts and prayers.

The results came back from the pathologist and they didn't see a parasite, but that is sort of inconclusive, since the parasite can sometimes be difficult to see or not even show up in the first test (or the second, or third..etc). So there are still a lot of unknowns about what's actually going on.

The transfusion went OK it sounds like, and so far he hasn't had a negative reaction to it. They have him in a little oxygen thing to help him get more oxygen since he was having breathing difficulties before they started the transfusion. The vet is doing everything she can to help him out and I'm so so grateful for her effort and for the vet technician who brought their own cat to be the donor for his transfusion.

Tomorrow morning I'll be driving down into town to visit Mo and talk to the vet about how he's doing. They started him on prednisone today which is probably a good thing since it'll stop the immune system from attacking his red blood cells hopefully. He's still on the antibiotics as well, and has been put on an IV to get some nutrients in his body since he is not eating or drinking.

I can't help but think that the stress I've put him through lately with packing stuff up to sell my house, and relocating him to my parents for a bit with my other cats while I moved contributed to this. He was such a healthy happy cat...and this all got so bad so suddenly.

I'm hoping tomorrow morning his red blood cell count will be going up on its own... I'm really hoping for some good news, even if it's just a little good news. I don't want to lose him :( He'll be turning 5 this July, and had such a rough beginning to his life being born out in the bushes after his pregnant mother was dumped. They were all so sick, and it's a miracle that him, his siblings and his mother all survived after months of treatment and meds... It just doesn't seem like it should be his time yet.

Hopefully I'll be able to post some good news tomorrow morning and things will be looking up. Rough day today though for him, that's for sure :(
 

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really pleased he made it through the transfusion bless him he must feel so awful & so must you there is nothing worse than inconclusive news I really feel for you & will be thinking of you & big Mo until I read any new news from you

come on big Mo you have already proved you are a strong little fighter, you can beat this my darling we are all sending you positive thoughts to get well soon xxxxxxxx
 

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The past day and a half has gone pretty well for Mo. After the transfusion his red blood cell percentage was at 18%. By yesterday morning it was down to 15% again though. The prednisone hadn't kicked in yet. His temperature had gone down to normal though which was a good sign, and he was sitting up washing himself and using the litter box again.

I visited him yesterday, and he was fairly weak, but was rolling around on the table, purring, and rubbing his face against everything in the vets office. I think he's lost a bit more weight, since his skin no longer looks like it fits him. If I had to guess I'd guess he's around 12-13lbs now. Which for him is way way too skinny. He looks healthy at about 16-18lbs. At his current weight his sides towards the back are sunken in quite a bit.

It was very encouraging to see him though acting like he was feeling quite a bit better. Before they gave him the transfusion it sounds like he wasn't moving anymore, nor did he even react to them putting the needle in. He's also eating on his own again which is great. I didn't visit him too long yesterday since I didn't want him to be off his IVs and stuff for very long.

This morning I got a great call from the vet that's working there today. She said his red blood cell percentage went up from 15% to 17% over night, so that's a great sign! The prednisone must be kicking in. Hopefully that means he wont have to have another transfusion.

They still aren't sure what exactly it is that's causing this in him, but the main focus was to get him stable so he didn't pass away while they hunted down the cause. It could be if it was a parasite or an infection that the anti-biotics have knocked it out so I may never know for sure what caused it. As long as he gets better that's OK.

Hopefully his red blood cell percentage will continue going up, even when he's eventually taken off the prednisone. I'm sure he'll be on the prednisone for a while, but when he is able to be taken off that'll tell us for sure whether or not he's done with this illness.
 

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It sounds like he is doing better. He has been so sick it may take quite awhile for him to get all of his strength back. I hope he continues to improve. I am keeping him in my thoughts and prayers.
 

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Just now seeing this. Prayers for Big Mo that he continues to rebound. He looks a lot like my big guy Otis. Lynx Point, blue eyes and those neat markings.
Come on Mo, you can beat this!
 

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Headbutts and purrs for Big Mo as he fights through this illness. You are doing so much to help him get over it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Sorry for the lack of update lately. I got really bad news yesterday though.

His red blood cell count went back down again, so they did more tests to see if they could find a parasite, and had no luck. His white blood cell count also is now very low. His temperature also went back up to 104.

Two days ago they decided they needed to do a test on his bone marrow to see if it's not producing new cells like it should be. By yesterday his red blood cell count was back down to 13-14.

The test results came back that he has bone marrow cancer :( They are not yet sure if he has the white blood cell leukemia or red blood cell leukemia. The lab was saying it's most likely the red blood cell leukemia though, and he may also have the white blood cell leukemia too. Horrible news... The red blood cell leukemia is much much less likely that they'll be able to treat it. And if it is the red blood cell type, the treatment may only give him another 3 months.

He started his first dose of Leukeran yesterday. He's being kept on the prednisone, and antibiotics while he's going through chemo. The vet did think this was worth doing since he is a young cat (4yrs old, turning 5 in July), and cats handle chemo much much better than people do I guess.

He's feeling a little better today, and his temp is back down to normal at least. So it's back to just waiting and seeing how he does this weekend. He may need another transfusion if the chemo drug (which is a bone marrow suppressant) drops his red blood cell count to dangerous levels again. The vet said he may get worse before they start seeing an improvement on this drug.

Has anyone here had a cat with red blood cell leukemia before or leukemia that wasn't brought on by the FeLV virus? I honestly couldn't find a lot of information on the red blood cell leukemia out there, and almost any mention of leukemia and cats pops up info about FeLV instead.

I'm heading out to visit him again in a few minutes, and the vet did say if he responds well to the treatment he might be able to come home next week. I really hope it goes well. It's been nothing but bad news lately though :(
 

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all my prayers to you and Mo. i don't know enough about all the different kinds of cancers out there, but my sister-in-law's 4 year old female kitty was also diagnosed with cancer almost 3 months ago. i know i don't have to tell you how stressful it was and how much sleep she lost and how many tear she shed in the very beginning especially. it is still a struggle from week to week for her. she and her boyfriend do have another cat at home, too, who is so far healthy. but their baby with cancer has been getting chemo every monday and they've been trying several different treatments. some weeks are good and some not so good. but there have been very happy times again on and off with Baby acting completely normal and playful and loving again. they have given her appetite stimulants and nausea medicine when she needs it and her weight has gone back up and down a few times depending on how she's responding to treatment. the treatment is supposed to last for 20 weeks and i believe they are around week 12 now. they are just trying to give Baby as many good days as possible right now. i'm so sorry again about this terrible news. we are thinking of you both.
 

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Mohan (Big Mo) passed away this morning at about 9:10am most likely due to a blood clot in the lungs. I can't believe he's gone :( He was only 4 and would be 5 this July. It looked like the chemo might be helping a little with his white blood cell count anyway since that went back up to normal. There was hope that maybe he'd be able to go home in a couple days and be medicated here.

I got a call at 8:30 today that he was having difficulty breathing, so I left work and went to the vet right away so I could be with him. They did everything they could to save him... it doesn't seem like it should've been his time yet... he was so young :( I can't really type anything else right now...
 
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