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An ailing 16 month old Ragdoll kitty.

Posted by tracey_b (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 5, 11 at 15:33

What is wrong with Ellie?

I took her into the vet for a UTI in mid-August. She'd previously been to the vet in February and again in March for "idiopathic cystitis", which resolved itself each time in a few days. This time she did have infection present, so she was put on ABX--12 mg Zeniquin. Leading up to the UTI, she'd stopped playing and just seemed "depressed". In addition to the urine test, I asked the vet to do a blood panel on her to see if she was anemic because she is so much less active than her cousin is who is the same age.

Three days later, vet called to say she had some unusual readings, which he had run again just to make sure they were correct before speaking with me. Test revealed high protein (globulin). He ordered an electrophoresis which determined it was gamma globulin that was high. At that time, he said he wanted to increase her ABX to 25 mg, which we did---for 2 weeks. At the end of the 2 weeks, she was feeling better and even playing a little, but then she gradually went back the other way over September.

I know one of the possibilities is FIP, which is characterized by high gamma globulin, but the vet said she doesn't have any of the other symptoms (no fever, no fluids; she does have a good appetite), and it was strange that the ABX made her feel better (with FIP, I understand there is no getting better, only worse). He also tested for FeLV and FIV--both negative.

We've now put her back on the 25 mg Zeniquin (she's 7 days in on a 21-day treatment this time). She seems a bit better than when she started on it last week, and I know I have to give it time, but I'm just so worried about her.

Even though the first ABX in August got rid of the UTI (she stopped straining and hurting while urinating), she still goes more frequently than normal with smallish urine clumps (like when she had the cystitis--just not as "obsessive" with it). I keep thinking we have some kind of bladder involvement here. She also licks herself there a lot. I wonder if I should ask for an ultrasound?

I keep going back over her history for any clues.............

She was one of the most active little daredevils as a kitten as evidenced whenever we went to visit her before we brought her home (at age 12 weeks). She was neutered 2 days before we picked her up. Our first night with her (and her cousin, 2 weeks older), she played non-stop for 4 hours. We had her sequestered in a bedroom with the mattress on the floor so she couldn't jump much. But she just wouldn't calm down for the longest--I remember being worried that she'd have a heart attack. Finally, she crashed with her cousin, but it's like that was the last burst of energy she ever had. She'd play, but never like the other one, and she always seemed to want to rest more. I've often wondered if she did something to herself post-operative with that over-active first night with us. Or, maybe something happened in the surgery itself that could've involved the bladder?

Another thing--and I have no idea if this could be related--but her dark brown ears (she's a seal lynx point) started losing pigmentation several months ago. At first we joked that she'd been "marked" since it looked like crosses on both ears. I originally thought her cousin had gnawed the hair off her ears during grooming, but the hair is still there, just cream-colored instead of brown. It's in a "leaf veining" pattern. I couldn't find anything about this on the internet.

Something else--she's always been a listless sleeper. She flops around a lot when trying to sleep.

Well, that's all I can think of in terms of case-history. If it's FIP, I know she'll die, but cats usually don't last long after Dx. I'd think if this were it, she'd be getting worse. I'd hate it, but at this point, could accept that "it is what it is". My big worry is that it's something treatable and we're not helping her, but we just have to figure out what it is. It's this that has me worried the most--that I'm not doing all I can for her.

My vet wants to wait until we see what the full course of ABX does for her, but that'll be 2 loooong weeks more. I'm toying with asking for a referral to the Vet School to see if they have any ideas. Meanwhile, I'm coming here to see if any of you have come across anything like this.............

Any thoughts? Suggestions?
Thanks!
Tracey


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: An ailing 16 month old Ragdoll kitty.

Maybe Megan will check in on this thread, but I think your vet should be doing more tests to determine what's going on with your cat's bladder. One problem could be Feline Interstitial Cystitis but read the link below for other possible urinary problems.

If you don't have a cat specialty clinic in your area, I wouldn't hesitate to ask for a referral to a specialist or the Vet School. I don't think antibiotics are going to help her much if there's wasn't any proof of an infection.

Here is a link that might be useful: Urinary problems


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RE: An ailing 16 month old Ragdoll kitty.

Take her temperature at home at various times of the day. Although the "point" markings of some breeds fade as they age, the points are linked to body heat. The cooler portions of the body have more color. The hot spots are lighter. If she's losing color on her ears, she may be experiencing bouts of fever that haven't expressed themselves at the vet.

It IS possible that her spaying or her energy level post spaying managed to damage her bladder slightly. Although urine itself is sterile, it doesn't do the body any good when leaked into the abdominal cavity. This is something I'd want explored by ultrasound. That's a standard non-invasive test that can give you an idea if interstitial cystitis is also a contender.

Definitely ask for a referral to a cat only clinic or teaching university if either is nearby. Heck, don't even ask! Tell your vet that's what you're going to do and you will make sure he's kept informed of the tests and findings.


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RE: An ailing 16 month old Ragdoll kitty.

I thought I'd write an update since a lot has happened since I posted just the other day.

Studying Ellie's test results and everything online about it, the finger pointed directly at FIP. I'm guessing the "dry" variety since the doctor didn't see any fluid accumulation in Ellie. About the time I came to this sad conclusion, Anne-Marie read this post and emailed me directly, reminding me of the helpful Yahoo communities, of which they had an FIP group. Once there, I read an update by a woman named Karin whose kitty, Gracie, was diagnosed with dry FIP 26 months ago. She was enrolled in a Univ. of Tenn. study for a new drug, and today the kitty is free of FIP! Anyway, from her I got the contact information for the study director and the drug mfg.

Finally, I called my vet who admitted he thought it was FIP. Since he knows it to be a death sentence, he hadn't wanted to leave me with no hope, so he just said FIP could be one of the reasons for her test results. I was initially upset that he could've told me this a month ago, but if he had, I'd have probably accepted his prognosis (since I've read enough about FIP in the past on this board) and not gone searching on my own, which led me to the drug, a polyprenyl immunostimulant (PI).

Anyway, I've contacted the study leader and am trying to obtain the drug for my kitty. This evening, my vet contacted him also to see what was needed (by the way of further testing) to get her considered. It's a long-shot, I know--but it's the only one we have. My vet hadn't even heard of the study, much less the drug's potential. Heck, he obviously didn't even know much about FIP (which I guess is good--not many kitties around here having it hopefully).

Here's something about it:

"Recently, a new drug tested in three cats with the dry form of FIP demonstrated efficacy in prolonging life and alleviating signs.38 The drug, a polyprenyl immunostimulant, is an investigatory veterinary biologic that upregulates mRNA expression of T helper lymphocytes responsible for effective cell-mediated immunity. In this study, two cats with FIP were still alive two years after diagnosis, while one cat survived 14 months. Further studies are under way to assess this drug's potential for FIP treatment.38"

So, there IS hope for some kitties.....and my prayers are that there is hope for Ellie, too.

Tracey


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RE: An ailing 16 month old Ragdoll kitty.

Tracy,
I am so sorry to hear about your kitten. It is an awful desease, and unfortunatly commom in pure breeds. I too had an Egyptian Mau kitten that unfortunatly had to be put down because of wet FIP, now we are dealing with his brother(who we got at the same time) and the dry version of FIP. He is in his final stages. My kids are devastated, and unfortunatly refuse to let him go,even though it is the time, (pills, liquid medicines, injections for anemia, and fluids everynight). If you search my user name, you can read my story. We started using the probiotic drug Azidal for his kidneys last spring, it did help. Ask your vet, perhaps this may be good to start also. It can be purchased online. Unfortunatly, it was too late to start my cat on the new drug you are talking about.
FIP is a very taxing desease, for your cat and family, but if I had the chance and the means to start the new drug, and it would perhaps keep him longer and give him a better quality of the time he has left, I would not hesitate.
I wish you and your family the very best.


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RE: An ailing 16 month old Ragdoll kitty.

My heart still breaks when I read posts about FIP, cats and kittens Dx'd with it, and of course, for their loving and grieving owners. I have posted on other threads about our experience with this awful disease.

I am heartened to read about a promising treatment, and hope beyond hope that it pans out as a viable and reliable "cure."

tracy_b and abcmom, please know that you and your kitties are in my thoughts and prayers.


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RE: An ailing 16 month old Ragdoll kitty.

It does just break your heart, doesn't it? After our 21-yr-old CRF kitty, Casey, died just over 2 yrs ago, I thought we would enjoy several--if not many--years of young kitty play before having to deal with any health issues. My heart just aches for her.....and all the kitties and their people who are going through this.

I pray I can come back here and give a good report someday....and serve as hope for those that come after us in search of their own answers.

Tracey (and Ellie)


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RE: An ailing 16 month old Ragdoll kitty.

Tracey, I have Ragdolls too, what color is your baby? 17 is a pretty high age for a Ragdoll, and they are prone to heart disease.

I hope this helps, sorry not so much info, but sending you both fur-baby hugs and sandpaper-kisses.

Michelle


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doh!!!

I thought you said 17 years, not months. Sorry for the conclusion!


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