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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our cat Charlie is 9 years old and has always been a very friendly, talkative and active cat..... until just over a week ago.

He became very quiet and just wanted to sleep all the time...... basically he didn't want to be bothered with anything and wasn't that interested in eating or drinking. So off to the vet we went, they diagnosed a probable gastro intestinal infection (which he has had once before) and sent us home after some anti-inflamatory and anti-biotic shots.

The vet said that he should slowly improve over the following three days of anti-biotic tablet treatment..... however he has hardly changed.

He sleeps all the time and hardly moves around the house, he seems to be eating ok (but only when presented with food) but we haven't seen him drink anything (there are water pots all over the house for him), he has wee'd but no poo in the last three days (as far as we can tell..... we have two other cats using the same facilities).

I'm not convinced that the vet was correct with her diagnosis as previously he recovered within hours..... also this time he hasn't had a fever which I understand is common with gastro infections.... finally he only vomited once (before we went to the vet).

The most worrying thing to us is that his movements are so slow and laboured..... he finds it hard to jump up and down from our bed. He also seems to spend most of his time laying with his eyes wide open, finally he ends up sitting in uncomfortable looking positions (eg. often sitting with his head held up rather than relaxing completely).

As I said normally he would be running around and talking a lot so there is definately something not right...... do these symptoms ring any bells with anyone?

Please help..... two very worried cat lovers! :(
 

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In a cat this age, it could be any one of a hundred problems. Did you call your vet back when there was no improvement? Please seek a second opinion from another veterinarian immediately, preferably one who will do the necessary diagnostics before throwing drugs at him.

Good luck!
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
drjean said:
In a cat this age, it could be any one of a hundred problems. Did you call your vet back when there was no improvement? Please seek a second opinion from another veterinarian immediately, preferably one who will do the necessary diagnostics before throwing drugs at him.

Good luck!
Dr. Jean
Yes we went for a second opinion today as our normal vet doesn't do blood tests/investigations over the weekend.

The new vet (came highly recommended by the cats protection league) did most tests today...... urine fine (although small amount of protein was present), heart and breathing normal, temperature on the high side of normal, blood white cell count normal,...... kidney function normal with slightly raised enzyme, liver had one high and one low enzyme level.

The liver tests gave some concern as apparently the results are usually associated with viral infections...... so we were told to be prepared for it to be FIP or feline AIDS, the results for these tests won't be available until Monday/Tuesday.

Charlie is now in the pet hospital on a drip and will be having X-ray and Ultrasound scans to check for other possible causes for his condition.

We now have the horrific prospect that he has feline AIDS and we have two other cats that have been in close contact with him :cry:
 

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Hi,

first I want to excuse for my bad english, but I will try to help you and hope you will understand a little bit :? .

I don't know much about the kidney, but I know much of FIP. And this sounds not to be FIP! Perhaps your cat has FCoV antibodies. The presence of FCoV antibodies alone is NOT diagnostic of FIP, if the other parameters of the profile do not indicate a diagnosis of FIP.

I do have one question: Often, kidney diseases show the same clinical picture as FIP :? . It is extremly important to look at the blood test. In Germany we take a look at two values relating to kidney diseases: Urea and creatinin. The crea ist the most important value.

Because of my bad english please read this Website (english Website). It is a very, very good site if you want to know something about FIP.

But first some extracts of the Website:

Diagnosis of FIP – this section is intended for veterinary surgeons
FIP is a notoriously difficult condition to diagnose, many other conditions present with very similar clinical signs. Definitive diagnosis is only possible at post mortem, or occasionally by biopsy (though for accurate biopsy results one has to actually biopsy a visible pyogranulomatous lesion, which may necessitate laparotomy). Only 18% of samples sent to our laboratory for FIP diagnosis turn out to be FIP. Since cats with FIP are usually euthanased, it is absolutely vital that FIP is accurately differentiated from other, treatable, conditions.

In our laboratory at the University of Glasgow, we offer an FIP profile which confirms or rules out a diagnosis of FIP in over 90% of cases. The FIP profile consists of four parts: a feline coronavirus (FCoV) antibody titre, albumin:globulin (A:G) ratio on the effusion or plasma, alpha 1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) level and cytology or haematology.

FCoV antibody titre
The presence of antibodies indicates that the cat has been infected with FCoV, the cause of FIP. Any FCoV antibody titre can occur in cases of wet or effusive FIP, but most cats with FIP have extremely high antibody titres (1280 or greater). Antibody titres of 0 are unusual in FIP cases and are usually considered as indicating that the cat does not have FIP. (However, if other parameters suggest a diagnosis of FIP, despite having an antibody titre of 0, then this is the one situation where FCoV RNA detection (RT-PCR), performed on a sample of the effusion, is diagnostic of FIP. In these cats there is so much virus in the effusion that all the antibody is bound to it, and none is available to bind to virus in the test.)

Note: many healthy cats and cats with diseases other than FIP have FCoV antibodies. The presence of FCoV antibodies alone is NOT diagnostic of FIP, if the other parameters of the profile do not indicate a diagnosis of FIP.

Total protein in the effusion and albumin:globulin ratio (A:G)
The total protein concentration in the effusion of a cat with FIP is usually greater than 35 g/l and this usually consists of more globulin than albumin, pushing down the A:G ratio. An A:G of < 0.4 indicates FIP is quite likely; an A:G of >0.8 rules out FIP; A:G of between 0.4-0.8 - consider other parameters. The A:G of an effusion is one of the most useful tests to perform in practice for a quick indicator of whether or not a cat may have FIP and can be performed on a VetTest machine (divide the albumin by the globulin values).

AGP level
Alpha one acid glycoprotein (AGP) is an acute phase protein which has been shown to be very useful in distinguishing FIP from other clinically similar conditions. In FIP, AGP levels are usually greater than 1500 mg/ml. In normal cats, it’s up to 500 mg/ml. In cats with bacterial peritonitis or pleurisy the AGP is also raised, which is why cytology is also necessary to differentiate these conditions. In cardiomyopathy, non-infectious liver disease and tumours, which are the most common conditions mistaken for FIP, the AGP is normal.

Cytology
In effusive FIP, there are generally less than 3 x 10 9 nucleated cells per litre in the effusion and the cells are predominantly neutrophils and macrophages. In bacterial peritonitis and pleurisy, the white blood cell count in the effusion is much higher and the cytologist will usually see bacteria (if they are intracellular, this indicates that they were not simply contamination of the sample). Cytology of pleural effusions is useful for differentiation of thymic lymphosarcomas, since the predominant cell is the lymphocyte and they often appear malignant.

Summary
Thus, a cat with wet FIP should be FCoV seropositive, the total protein of the effusion must be over 35g/l and the albumin:globulin less than 0.4 (or at least less than 0.8), the AGP should be high (over 1500 micrograms/ml) and the cytology should reveal few nucleated cells which are mainly neutrophils and macrophages.

And here comes the link:

http://www.dr-addie.com

I wish you all the best for Charlie!

P.S.: The most cats which fall ill on FIP are younger than 4 years or older than 12 years ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well Charlie came out of the pet hospital yesterday and initially looked much better but almost as soon as we got him home he seemed to go back to the way he was before...... very lethargic, only eating tiny amounts, not drinking and having trouble walking.

The results of the FIP and AIDS tests were negative (found out today) but although good news I can't see how he will pull through this! :(

The vet now wonders if he may have a brain tumour which is upsetting his walking and thirst.

The poor little bugger doesn't seem to be in any pain but I'm worried that he'll be getting distressed by the situation...... he wee'd on our bed this morning which is the first time he's ever done that.

If he was in obvious pain I'd have him put to sleep without delay...... but this situation is a nightmare! :cry: Do we give him a few more days and trips to the vet to see if he improves or have him put down at home if he continues to go down hill? How do you know when he's had enough?
 

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I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. Unfortunately, no one can tell you when Charlie has had enough......you alone will have to make that decision, as hard as it is. I can imagine how frustrating it must be to not know what is wrong with him, have all his tests come back negative, and have him still be so sick. I think if it were me, I would give him a few more days....you never know, he may come around.......but if he seems to be going downhill, or is in pain, you may have to make one of the most awful (and loving) decisions a pet owner can make. Again, I am so sorry, and I will be keeping you and Charlie in my thoughts. *hugs*
 
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