The mystery of Oliver the cat
Oliver has a vet appointment at 11:30 on Friday to get a full blood panel done along with a fructose add on test and a urinalysis. I posted in a different thread about doxycycline but his condition is getting worse and I need to get to the bottom of it. I've been googling so much I'm dizzy! Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on what could be happening with him. Here is a list of what he has going on:
Oliver is about 11 and we've had him for over 9 years, (we found him homeless and adopted him)
He has always been slender but is a big boned cat and extremely long. He loves to eat and always has.
He has always had the herpes virus and it seems to lay dormant but he has a break out if he is stressed and then starts sneezing and gets hot to the touch and lethargic. I treat him and my other cats who have it with Lysine when this happens (500mg per day) for about a week and then everyone seems to do fine. We've had alot of realty showings in the past year while trying to sell our house so it meant lots of packing up of the cats and dogs to clear out for the realtor and every time it created an 'outbreak' because it was very stressful for them. And we just moved so needless to say, that too was hard on them.
A year and a half ago Oliver started coughing and so did his roomie George. George already has breathing issues (the vets think it's due to food allergies) so we got George to the vet and they did a PCR throat swab test on him and he was diagnosed with mycoplasma. No idea how he got it, they are all indoor cats (but they do have an outdoor enclosure). George and Oliver were prescribed Doxycycline. It worked but then the cough came back months later and the vet re-prescribed the doxy. And then the cough came back months later and we tried another drug (can't remember the name) but it didn't work. So I took both cats to a new vet in January of this year and they did another PCR test on both cats but this time a blood serum test and both tested negative for mycoplasma. But the vet sent us home with more doxy because it had worked in the past so it was worth another try we thought. They also had CBC blood tests done but no chemistry tests. The vet suggested we do that and stupidly I didn't have them run the full panel in an effort to save money (which would have only been an extra 60.00 per cat). And now I'm bringing Oliver to have it all done again which will be 250.00. My own fault. The vet also tested his thyroid in January and said it was normal.
Oliver is losing weight, voraciously hungry and drinking frequently and for minutes at a time. I've thought about congestive heart failure but one of the symptoms is loss of appetite so I don't think that's it.
I had thought it must be hyperthyroidism but the recent T4 test has ruled that out. So that could leave kidney issues and/or diabetes, neither of which are good. Or it could be parasites but I treated both Oliver and George (they share a litter box) with Strongid over a week ago and will retreat at two weeks time but I have not seen any evidence of worms in their box or on their bums or in any throw up. :p
I'm wondering if Oliver may have a food allergy that is causing the weight loss but it doesn't explain the excess drinking. And I was wondering if he might have Endocrine Pancreatic Insuffiency that can be treated with enzymes but cats with this almost always have sloppy poop and that is not the case for Oliver.
I had been trying to tie the cough to the weight loss but now I'm wondering if the two might be entirely separate illnesses. I didn't know this until tonight but I just read that one of the symptoms for herpes can be coughing so it could just be a chronic cough associated with that. Which brings me to my biggest fear, that I may have caused Oliver to have kidney problems by treating him 3 times with Doxycycline. :( And perhaps he didn't need it. The very first batch of doxy I got from the vet was a pale orange colour (tablets), almost beige. The next time they gave it to me, it was bright orange. I googled it and found that expired doxy will have a pale colour and learned that expired doxy can cause kidney problems. So I'm worried this may have happened but that would have been a year and a half ago. But since then he's received Doxy two more times and he's on it now. But I will stop those meds and talk to the vet about it on Friday.
So I'm just trying to solve this mystery and the bloodwork will likely tell us what is happening but if anyone else has some thoughts, that would be great. I'm so worried. :(
Ollie update- results came back
The vet called yesterday to say that Oliver is not diabetic but he is showing some renal insufficiency. His urine specific gravity was 1.011 but she said it should be around 1.045 and 1.050. I don't know alot about this so I'll have to do some online reading. I've had a cat who was diagnosed with this who seemed fine but it was picked up on some pre-dental bloodwork, otherwise we would not have known. She went on to live for many more years until she got progressively worse and stopped eating but she was 21. But this was 10 years ago so maybe there is more info to learn these days.
The vet said his BUN was slightly elevated and his creatinine was creeping up but still in a normal-ish range. His white blood cell count was normal but his monocytes were a little higher than should be indicating some 'inflammation' somewhere.
It seems so surprising that he could lose so much weight just from kidney issues. His hip points are sticking out and I can feel his spine. The vet felt that this could be the reason though and we can't seem to find any other reason. I'm supposed to limit his protein but it seems like a catch 22 because he needs to also gain weight. The vet said I should focus on a high quality protein and to give him some probiotics. I asked her about giving him Hills K/D for kidney issues and she said he wasn't there yet and didn't need that diet as of now.
I'm relieved that he does not have diabetes and relieved that he doesn't have serious renal problems yet but I'm still very worried about how skinny he is and he eats so much! She said that is one of the problems with kidney issues like this because the body doesn't use the protein the way it should.
Well, I'd better get researching here and find out what high quality proteins are out there so I can help get Oliver straightened out. I want to check out the CRF site felinecrf.com. It has quite a bit of info available.
Just wanted to post a quick update about Oliver. :)