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cats - non regenerative anemia

Posted by miw-bast (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 13, 08 at 14:53

My 10 month old cat was diagnosed on Friday with severe non regenerative anemia, though a cause has not yet been found. Feline leukemia and FIV tests have already come back negative and she is fully vaccinated. She returns to the vet on Monday morning for further tests and a blood transfusion.

Because I'm not overly confidant about my vet, and his repeated comment that "this is the most exciting thing to happen in my career, such a young cat suffering so severly from anemia" is not in the least reassuring or comforting, I thought I'd see if anyone else has had a cat experience this type of anemia.....or if anyone knows likely causes? I want to ensure I know all the possibilities to make sure she is tested for everything so this can be dealt with.

My thanks!

Tina


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Could your cat have eaten any food containing onion or onion extract? That can cause severe, life threatening anemia.


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Sometimes toddler baby food has onion in it.

Sounds like your vet needs a talking to, also.


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

There are lots of causes of non-regenerative anemia, some better than others.

Generally speaking, it can be chronic blood loss (GI parasites are common among younger cats, as are toxins such as rodenticides), decreased production (bone marrow disease, kidney disease), and destruction (immune-mediated disease, RBC parasites, Heinz body anemia such as from onions, portosystemic shunts) although destruction is usually associated with regenerative anemia.

Many causes would also have other clin path abnormalities such as with Cytauxzoon you'd see increased liver enzymes, with kidney disease you'd see increased BUN and creatinine. So other lab results help rule out certain things. Also the clinical signs could be different depending on what the cause of the anemia was, such as diarrhea and/or vomiting with GI parasites, perhaps petechia or ecchymoses with rodenticide poisoning.

Glad she's FeLV and FIV negative- those would be really bad diseases to have.

A bone marrow aspirate or biopsy might be useful in seeing if the non-regeneration is really just pre-regenerative (temporary overwhelming of bone marrow) or truly non-regenerative. It may also hint at the cause. In a young cat a congenital problem can't be ruled out either, though you would have expected to see it earlier.

It may be a long diagnostic journey for you and your cat. I hope you find the answers and more importantly the treatment that works. Please keep us posted.


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Many thanks for all of your responses! I will ensure I add everything to my list to speak to the vet about. As said, the cat is leukemia and FIV negative. She has no vomitting, diarrhea or fever. She is still eating and drinking, and even washing, though her RBC was at 1.32 rather than between 5 and 9 on Monday night.....presumably it's even lower now as the marrow isn't working? A transfusion and marrow biopsy are on the cards and I will ensure that she is tested for everything possible!

I have read that a possibility could be poor nutrition, but not sure what would be considered "poor". The cat is fed on a vet recommended diet, however she "went off" the moist food about 2 weeks ago (eats a little bit every couple days). We leave the dry kitten food (also vet recommended) out all the time, and it needs refilling every day, however, after the vet visit on Friday (to which we took both of our cats) I wonder if she is actually eating any of it......the older cat has gained 1.2kg in 9 months and has never had a weight issue before.....so maybe kitten isn't getting any. Also, the sick cat (10 months old) is the size and weight of a 5 month old kitten.....poor nutrition?

Your opinions would be very helpful to me.....I am at a loss what to do besides trust our vet....and I simply don't feel I CAN trust him.

Thank you! I will keep you all posted as to her condition!

Tina


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Just an update, our little cat (Mouse) was rushed to the vet's on Tuesday afternoon as her breathing became quite difficult. At that time her RBC was 5.9% rather than 25 to 35%. She had a blood transfusion late Tuesday night which helped her alot and got her RBC up to 15.8%, and then had bone marrow aspiration on Wednesday morning. We're still awaiting results of the bone marrow biopsy, and hope to have these by tomorrow (Friday) or Monday. Don't seem to be feeling so distrustful of the vet now, he is doing all he can and it was his own cat that was the blood donor. He thinks it's likely something genetic, don't want to think about the prognosis till we know though.

Currently, Mouse is at home, with a little more energy and eating really well! Will keep posting as new information comes to light.


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Hi All!

Just a quick update on how Mouse is feeling. As many of you know, she had non-regenerative anemia which started a few weeks ago. Her Hematocrit was at 6.3 at that time (normal range is 25 to 35) and it got lower quickly and 4 days later it was at 5.9 and was affecting her breathing and heart and she was very ill. My vet's cat, Harry (the life-saver!), kindly donated blood for an emergency blood transfusion and that raised Mouse's levels to 14, and gave her some energy for about a week. She had a bone marrow biopsy which has come back inconclusive now and has been retested for FeLV (She's already tested negative twice, but they wanted to do it again) we are awaiting those results still!

Last week when we saw the vet, Mouse's Hematocrit was back down to 8.4 and he said the transfusion was running out now and that the steroids she had been on for 2 weeks could take another 3 weeks to work, so we were running against the clock! He also said that once they started to work it could take a long time for her Hematocrit to raise again to a safe level.

Today, we went back to have her stitches out from the bone marrow biopsy, and while we were there the vet decided to check her hematocrit again because she's been eating non-stop and has more energy. The vet thinks she is a MIRACLE KITTY, because though her hematocrit was only 8.4 a week ago......TODAY it was up to 24.4!!! That's almost normal range!!!

So, we're still waiting for the final FeLV tests, and hopefully those will be negative, and it looks like she will be on steroids long-term.

But for the moment, she is feeling well and wanting to eat and play all the time.......nevermind sleep, she's done enough of that the past weeks! Fingers crossed that she continues to improve and that all 5 of her HUGE shaved bits grow back again!

Tina


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Hey Tina... I found your posting because I was searching around the web for causes of nonregenerative anemia. My cat, Hollis, who is 5 years old was just diagnosed with it and after lots of tests, etc., they are still not quite sure what the cause is. He's had two transfusions so his PCV is up to 20 right now. We're waiting for the definitive test result from the bone marrow biopsy they took yesterday, but it probably won't come until Monday or Tuesday. Anyway, I was just wondering how Mouse was doing and if you knew anymore about the cause. Any insight you can give would be fantastic because both of our cases sound extremely similar.

thanks so much for your help, sue


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Hi there, my 11 yr. old cat has a low hct (23.2)absolute reticulocyte was very low 17920 and he diagnosed with Non-regenerating anema. Flv tests negative. He is on Clavimox for an abcessed tooth. His Vet says that she doubts this is causing the anemia. He is hiding in closet, but has a good appetite. All other CBC, thyroid and Ua results were normal. She also did a full body xray (nothing showed up)...She is perplexed and so am I. He is scheduled for dental cleaning and possible extraction on Tues. He just seems very weak and lethargic. He was on a round of Clavimox for a possible upper resp. issue that was a few weeks ago and was resolved. (Vet didn't see bad tooth at that time) Rbc's 4.48,HGB 7.o Lymphosites 8, monocytes 5 BUN 40 all other results normal. He is indoors only but has fleas (gift from doggie we babysat)
I need help trying to figure out what to look for next..does anyone out there have any clues as to what might be making my cat so sick. His appetite is really good so I wonder how bad could his tooth be? Could this be causing his anemia? He is still hiding seems he needs to be in a dark quiet place. He gets very stressed following vet visits but he was there two days ago. Thank you so much for your input....CC
Edited by kevinsmom123 on July 4 2008 at 4:55pm


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Hi all,
I'm glad that there are so many postings on this issue. My 1 year old cat was diagnosed as anemic three months ago, and after I got him a blood transfusion, his PCV levels shot straight up and he was in the 32% range. However, just last week he became anemic again and I had him get another transfusion just yesterday. The vets still don't know what's wrong with him. All the tests for the leuko-viruses and parasites have come back negative and if there was something wrong with his bone marrow the first time, he wouldn't have recovered after the first incident...I'm at a loss.

If no one minds me asking...how much approximately does it cost to get his bone marrow checked out? I've spent A LOT of money these past few months...and I'm still paying off my student loans :(
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Hi Ali. Did your cat maintain his PCV after the transfusion? It's one thing to accept the transfusion, but another entirely to maintain PCV once the transfusion has expired. Just trying to find out if he truly recovered and started producing and maintaining his own RBCs.

There are 2 ways to test bone marrow, but if your cat truly recovered and was maintaining his RBCs between incidents, then I would not do either one. The first is a bone marrow aspirate. It can be done with heavy sedation or under general anesthesia, and involves sticking a large-bore needle into the bone marrow. A bone marrow biopsy is always under general anesthesia and is essentially the same, only the sample is MUCH bigger and you use different equipment. Both procedures are hit or miss as far as getting a useful sample, assuming the person doing the procedures hits the bone marrow at all. You have a better chance of getting useful information with the biopsy, but it is more expensive and complicated to do. The costs vary tremendously and depend on a lot of things, but I would venture a couple hundred for each one. Sometimes people get both samples while the patient is under general anesthesia and submit the aspirate first and see if that is helpful, and if not then submit the biopsy. This saves the patient from having to go under GA again to get a biopsy, which also save you money from another hospitalization and GA procedure. Doing the procedures together probably saves $100 or so over doing them separately.

But you're right, if your cat recovered and maintained his PCV between incidents, it is no use doing the bone marrow procedures. If he was not tested between incidents, then you may want to consider the bone marrow aspirate/biopsy, because he may have been getting slowly anemic over time. Cats don't generally show sign of anemia until their PCV gets *really* low, so he could have been slowly getting worse since the first incident.


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Hi Meghane,
Thanks for your thorough response. Ever since the first transfusion, I've been going back to my vet for blood tests, and overtime, not only did he maintain his PCV after the transfusion, but it went up to an above-average level...I think he was at 33% at one point.

This time, however, his blood levels have dropped after the transfusion and I'm afraid things aren't looking good...


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

My 15 mo old cat was just diagnosed with severe anemia and the usual viral and parasite tests are negative. His hematocrit has gone from 10 to 7 in 5 days, he is lethargic and stopped eating. he is undergoing a transfusion at this time. There is a ques of whether it is regenerative or nonregenerative and I realize the next step is a bone marrow biopsy but he has been thru so much I don't know if there is any point if the treatment would be the same? He is on Prednisone and Doxycycline and I thought the next step would be serial blood counts and an analysis of his red blood cells? I feel like I am losing him and I feel helpless! My once active, ornery kitty who required an occ "timeout" is so weak it breaks my heart. Does anyone have any suggestions?


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Hi, i like to follow up all the cats having this anaemia as my cat maine coon 4 years old has the same problem! very anaemic with pcv less than 9 and needs transfusion. FLV -ve, no cause found. Now on injection to stimulate red blood cell production ans steroids, very little response two weeks down the line:( Vets says is auto-immune but thats just a guess....
Can anyone help...


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Please let me know how's your cat doing and the outcome, very grateful!!!


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

usually a CBC sent to the lab will show signs of regenerative anemia if it's auto-immune, and maybe even spherocytes and target cells.. as well as auto agglutination. but whatever the cause, can be a tough treatment. One transfusion will likely not be enough, but if the steroids at least stop the progress, maybe things will be OK. Bone marrow analysis is often useful in diagnosing the cause... but not 100%. I have had several cats that tested neg for Felv (leukemia virus), but turned out they did have it in their bone marrow... just never tested positive for it... hope that's not the case!


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Thanks for the reply.much appreciated. Its 4 weeks now n my cat managed to maintain PCV at around 20-21. She received total three shots of vincristine which support to stimulate bone marrow, prednisolone depo, immunoregulin n silver colloids. Ya pretty much everything we can throw at her. I m still not sure if auto-immune related...:( today also started iron n vit b supplement. Anyone have any expetience with this treatment?


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Thanks for the reply.much appreciated. Its 4 weeks now n my cat managed to maintain PCV at around 20-21. She received total three shots of vincristine which support to stimulate bone marrow, prednisolone depo, immunoregulin n silver colloids. Ya pretty much everything we can throw at her. I m still not sure if auto-immune related...:( today also started iron n vit b supplement. Anyone have any expetience with this treatment?


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Hi everyone,
My heart breaks for everyone on here. I recently went through a similar experience with my cat boots. When I first took him to the vet his PVC was at 10%. With the help of prednilisone he managed to get up to 25% but would not budge from there. We also tried doxycycline and cyclosporine. He remained at 25% with pale mucous membranes over a period of 7 months. He was neg for any bacterial or viral causes. We decided on wheening him off the prednilisone to see if he would maintain 25%. He was doing fine on it every other day and then In a matter of a week he spiraled downward. I started giving it to him twice a day again but he stopped eating and his fluid intake was minimal. He did not use the litter box in two days. I heard him cry out and had his mouth open and my heart stopped. I ended up having to put him down, the worst experience of my life. I am still so torn on whether it was the right thing to do but I did not want him to stuffer. Unfortunately, intense searching ie bone marrow samples just weren't feasible since I am a student (I wish more then anything I could have). I guess I am still looking for answers and curious to know what the cause of everyone else's cases are?


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

if your cat responded to pred, likely it was a regenerative anemia, not a non-regenerative anemia (or else he would not have responded). Most cases like this are lumped into the 'auto-immune hemolytic anemic category, even if no obvious hemolysis is taking place. Many respond to pred and other chemo drugs (like Azothioprine, cyclosporine etc.). Some do not. Many get better (a PCV is nearly normal for a cat so that is actually an excellent response.. 29% is a low end normal for any cat). Any time we get a cat over 20% we are happy. Most of the cats need to stay on pred for life, which is what we always recommend... termination of therapy usually results in a relapse, so we do not recommend ever stopping the pred. Fortunately most cats do not react badly to pred and I have had hundreds of feline patients (for whatever reasons) on pred for many years with very few side effects (certainly better than dying). But not all cases go so well, and some tragically either do not respond or some relapse despite continued therapy. We still do not know why these cases occur or even exactly why dogs and cats get this in the first place (from what I understand humans commonly get this, too, with similar results).


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

I was searching for info on kitty anemia - mine is now 13 mos old. Just found out she is severely anemic. We were given the option of steroids and supplements or a blood transfusion. Hubby doesn't want to spend a lot of $ so we are considering the steroids but wondering if anyone can give prognosis. All other tests came back neg. I read a thread that was related to rodent poisoning and wonder if this could be cause. We went away in August for 2 weeks and found kitty was locked in basement. Hubby thinks she ate a rodent and we often have traps set as they are common in this area. Didn't mention it to vet yet but just wondering what others think of this. Kitty is eating constantly, and is moving around - though, she doesn't like it when kids pick her up. Her rapid heartbeat has me concerned and I feel like we are running out of time. Welcoming thoughts here.

Here is a link that might be useful: RE: cats - non regenerative anemia


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

I was searching for info on kitty anemia - mine is now 13 mos old. Just found out she is severely anemic. We were given the option of steroids and supplements or a blood transfusion. Hubby doesn't want to spend a lot of $ so we are considering the steroids but wondering if anyone can give prognosis. All other tests came back neg. I read a thread that was related to rodent poisoning and wonder if this could be cause. We went away in August for 2 weeks and found kitty was locked in basement. Hubby thinks she ate a rodent and we often have traps set as they are common in this area. Didn't mention it to vet yet but just wondering what others think of this. Kitty is eating constantly, and is moving around - though, she doesn't like it when kids pick her up. Her rapid heartbeat has me concerned and I feel like we are running out of time. Welcoming thoughts here.

Here is a link that might be useful: RE: cats - non regenerative anemia


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

I'm glad to find this thread! 2 months ago my 3 year old cat showed low red blood cells. Xrays, blood tests, smears, all came up negative. He went on prednisone and responded well, in a month his levels were normal. When we tried to wean him off, now on a low dose, his level is dropping again. Has this happened to anyone else? Anyone know what the problem could be? He is scheduled for bone marrow biopsy and ultrasound soon, but on not sure what to do. Is the biopsy painful? He's tested negative for felv, but my vet said it might be in the marrow. Thanks for any help!


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

I'm glad to find this thread! 2 months ago my 3 year old cat showed low red blood cells. Xrays, blood tests, smears, all came up negative. He went on prednisone and responded well, in a month his levels were normal. When we tried to wean him off, now on a low dose, his level is dropping again. Has this happened to anyone else? Anyone know what the problem could be? He is scheduled for bone marrow biopsy and ultrasound soon, but on not sure what to do. Is the biopsy painful? He's tested negative for felv, but my vet said it might be in the marrow. Thanks for any help!


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

My 7 year old female cat has been diagnosed with severe anemia. She has had blood tests and xrays.
She is being treated now with doxycycline, prednisolone syrup and a vitamin/mineral supplement. I am feeding her critical care can food through a syringe.
I have been treating her for six days (check-up tomorrow). It is impossible to get her to take the prednisolone. I use a syringe but she gags and I'm not really sure how much she is actually taking in.
Can anyone recommend a way to get her to take the prednisolone?


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Aloha,
I am answering my own question.
Vet gave me prednisolone tablets that are teeny tiny. I wish she had given me that first instead of the syrup. Had no problem administering. Hope this helps someone.


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

My 7 month old anemic kitten was diagnosed on January 28,2014 with non regenerative PRCA (Pure Red Cell Aplasia).
We joined this forum in hopes to help others that may be experiencing something similar with their kitty, and offer any information, support, or advice we can.

About my kitten:

On January 28, the world changed for my 7 month old kitten, Nialah. She wouldn't lift her head when I called her name and I knew something was terribly wrong. The vet attending her care told me she needed an emergency blood transfusion to save her life. Her red blood cell count at the time was at 5 percent. A normal healthy cat's levels are 50. The doctor said she would be dead in less than two hours if I didn't go forward with the transfusion. The news was devastating. I decided to go forward with the transfusion, as I simply could not justify putting her down nor live with that decision. She had her first transfusion that night. She was started on prednisolone medication. I was able to bring her home the following Friday afternoon. I was overjoyed, but unfortunately she took another turn for the worse, and went back in care at the vet. This resulted in two more blood transfusions over a very short period of time, and a stay at the hospital for approximately 2 weeks. On February 4, 2014 Nialah almost died. I was at the hospital until 1am that morning trying to decide what to do. They had called me that evening to come in right away as they didn't think she would make it through the night. I decided to trust my gut, and told the vet I didn't want to put her down. I felt that I had fought and done everything I could for her at that time, and decided she would have to fight that night if she could. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. Miraculously, Nialah fought her way through that evening, and her medication started to work the next morning. Since then, it has been a battle to get her back to health, but she is slowly improving while doing a cha-cha with her red blood cell levels. She has a rare immune disorder called PURE RED CELL APLASIA (PRCA).

We have done 3 blood transfusions. She is responding well now to her medications. I hope I can help someone else out there that may be experiencing this with their kitty.


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

My daughter's cat has also been diagnosed with non regenerative anemia, and it also appears as if her immune system is attacking the red blood cells which are produced. My question is this: has anyone ever compiled a list of questions about diet, shots, exposures, etc. to try to find a common thread in all these cases? Would you be willing to respond to such a questionnaire?


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

Hi there pjaygray, I am sorry to hear about your daughters cat. Is the cat doing ok? I would be willing to answer a questionnaire. Please keep us posted.


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RE: cats - non regenerative anemia

hi all
been reading your posts and feel a little worried now as my 2yr old female has been in the vets 3 days now and i don't think its looking good she is really anaemic and she had test done, she was negative on her FIV which is a good thing but her RBC was 4.
just waiting to here from the vets as they want to speak to me so i think its going to be a blood transfusion as she mentioned it as a last resort but thingers crossed!


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