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Thread: Can anybody tell me what caused this?

  1. #1

    Can anybody tell me what caused this?

    I was wondering if anybody else has had this happen to one of their cats or has heard about something similar. In June 2011 my cat, I.R. Kitty, began limping. We chalked it up to a jammed leg as she was always jumping on and off of stuff.

    A week later the limp wasn't any better and was in fact getting worse, so we took her to our vet. He told us it was an abscess, but one that probably wouldn't drain, and put her on amoxicillin.

    Two weeks later she wasn't any better and was now starting to 'hide' from us. So it was off to the vet again. This time he said it was an inflamed joint and would take a month or more to heal; and put her on more amoxicillin.

    By the second week of July I.R. could no longer walk and we decided to get a second opinion. So we took her to another vet that we had used on other occasions and he had always done a good job for us. He told us she had Feline Aids and would never get any better, so we should put her to sleep. She was still eating and alert, so we brought her home and decided that as soon as she stopped eating or acted like she was suffering we would have her put to sleep.

    By August she was relying on us to take her to the litter box and wash her off if she got anything on her. She was still eating, still alert, and still purring. So we decided to let her go on for a while longer.

    In November, I.R. took her first steps after being unable to since July. It was tough going at first, her legs didn't work quite right--but day after day she got stronger and now she's walking around the house, using the litter box on her own, and sitting on our laps again. She's still not the same old I.R., she has a very pronounced limp and can no longer jump on anything, but she's happy, and most important of all--she's alive.

    Has anyone got any ideas about what could have caused this to happen? Has anybody's cat or dog ever exhibited this kind of malady? Or was the second vet right and did Feline Aids cause this to happen?

  2. #2
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    First, and most important of all, congratulations on not listening to the two vets who sound like blithering idiots IMHO.

    Were any x-rays taken by either vet? Was there swelling, is that why the first vet first thought it was an abscess and then an inflamed joint? If he thought it was an inflamed joint, why put your cat on antibiotics rather than an anti-inflammatory? Did I.R. have a fever? As for feline AIDS, this is a very unfortunate term for FIV, and a true misnomer (except for it being an auto-immune disease.) The very great majority of cats with FIV live full, healthy and long lives. They are more prone to infections and take a little longer to get over them, more prone to stomatitis, and they seem to be more prone to cancer in their teens, but that's it.

    As for the limping and then partial recover after more than a year, I have no idea. An MRI when she was ill might have shown something. I have a foster cat called Challenge, only three years old , and I also thought his limping came from a mild sprain until it went on for weeks. X-rays were taken and nothing was seen. He was seen by three vets who said the only way we might know the true problem was through an MRI - which the shelter can't possibly afford. We've tried Cosequin which helped for a few months and then stopped. Now we are trying very low dose of Prednisilone. However, he has been nothing like as sick as I.R., it's just that sometimes he limps really badly and holds his leg up because he can't bear to put it to the ground and other times he acts as though he's never limped.

  3. #3
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    He told us she had Feline Aids and would never get any better, so we should put her to sleep


    Are you KIDDING ME??????

    I'd like to know HOW that vet came to the Feline Aids conclusion after only one visit, that is unless he did a blood test.

    I am SOOOO glad you didn't listen to that other vet. Boy, these vets sound like they're all over the map here.

    As long as she's eating and using the box, I'd definitely keep an eye on her. If it happens again, I'd get a third opinion, possibly with a specialist.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  4. #4
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    I agree with Moosmom and Lizzie. Support her with nutrition and get some tests and x-rays. Have you been to a vet since she started feeling better?

    I hope she continues to approve. You might want to interview some vets to gauge their responses. Those were idiots indeed. Sounds like they were in over their head and didn't want to admit it.
    Anne
    Meowmie to Mr. Spunky, Samwise, Lady Jane, Bob, Callie, Kimi, and foster Kentucky.


    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!



    RIP Emily (Oct 8, 2013), Rose (Sept 24, 2001), Maggie (Fall 2003)

  5. #5
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    My thought leans toward the possibility of Lyme's disease. Tho it is not as common in cats as in dogs, they can still get it, and without even going outside. Deer ticks can be brought into your home on another animals - or on you. And the fact that kitty had a good amount of antibiotics could have kept it at bay and kept it from progressing to a deadly level. My dog Sparky had Lyme's a couple of years ago, even tho both dogs get vaccinated yearly against it. But the vaccine is only 85% effective. He had all the symptoms of Lymes with the lameness, lethargy, lack of appetite, etc, so his vet tested him for it, and the test was negative and showed he didn't have it. So a couple of weeks later after babying what we thought was a sprain or pull, he was still no better, and doc had the insight to go ahead and treat him for Lymes anyway, with the 30 day antibiotic regimen - and it worked!!! So even tho he has yearly immunizations for it, and he tested negative - he still actually had it. He's fine now, with no lingering after effects.

    This could be kitty's problem - tho testing for it won't necessarily show anything, just as it didn't with Sparky. I'm hoping that I.R. Kitty~~~ that name ~~~ continues to improve.
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  6. #6
    First of all I want to thank all of you for your help. There was no fever--but there was a slight swelling around the joint of her right hind leg, and the swelling was warm to the touch. The first vet did take an x-ray and said there were no broken bones. The second vet did do bloodwork, or so he said, but he claimed he got the results back in less than 30 minutes. I always thought it took longer than that to run tests--but I might be wrong.

    Lyme disease didn't even occur to me, but it is a possibility as we do have deer ticks around here. I've had a few that were crawling on me that I've had to kill. We always put Frontline on our cats during the spring, summer and fall, but she still could have gotten bit by one.

    I.R. is doing great right now (knock wood), and no we haven't taken her back to the vet. I'm afraid it might stress her out too much. We've been tempted to take video of her and show that second vet--but with his attitude, he'd probably just tell us she's doomed.

    It's amazing how cats can come back from something this bad and realize they have to do things differently now. Since she can't jump onto my lap anymore, she tries to climb up the chair to where I'm sitting. She only gets started before I notice her and pick her up and put her on my lap.

    Again, thank you for your help.

  7. #7
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    I'd definitely get her tested. I never thought of that. But since she is exposed to them, never hurts to be on the safe side and, have peace of mind.

    Please keep us posted.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  8. #8
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    Good. Lord. Almighty. I am stunned, and so thankful you had the sense that you did to not have her PTS.

    Is there ANY way you misunderstood what they were saying? I am blown away by this.

    My first guess was an abscess. I would have her tested for Lyme's disease (though not sure she would still be with us if it were that, as I thought that was a bit more fast acting)...but, a full visit by a competent vet is in order.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoopdeedo View Post
    First of all I want to thank all of you for your help. There was no fever--but there was a slight swelling around the joint of her right hind leg, and the swelling was warm to the touch. The first vet did take an x-ray and said there were no broken bones. The second vet did do bloodwork, or so he said, but he claimed he got the results back in less than 30 minutes. I always thought it took longer than that to run tests--but I might be wrong.

    Again, thank you for your help.
    Doctors rely too much on those tests. Tests are not 100% accurate. And infections can become systemic. Please find a competent vet. and good luck and best wishes for I.R.Kitty. I like that name, too.
    Anne
    Meowmie to Mr. Spunky, Samwise, Lady Jane, Bob, Callie, Kimi, and foster Kentucky.


    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!



    RIP Emily (Oct 8, 2013), Rose (Sept 24, 2001), Maggie (Fall 2003)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoopdeedo View Post
    First of all I want to thank all of you for your help. There was no fever--but there was a slight swelling around the joint of her right hind leg, and the swelling was warm to the touch. The first vet did take an x-ray and said there were no broken bones. The second vet did do bloodwork, or so he said, but he claimed he got the results back in less than 30 minutes. I always thought it took longer than that to run tests--but I might be wrong.
    It depends on the test. At my vet, they can run a general blood test in-house. It will show blood counts basically - if the cat is anemic, if they have a high white cell count which could indicate infection, etc. And, of course, FIV/FeLV. Anyway, that test can show results in about half-an-hour. In that one small way, the second vet might have shown some sense.

    I didn't think of Lyme Disease, it wouldn't occur to me because I live in an area where we don't have to worry about it.

    While posting this, I just remembered my Seshat who fell from a high cat climber and landed badly. She jarred her back. I took her to the emergency vet where they didn't realize she had a problem with her back but bound up her foot because they thought she'd fractured a toe. It took a couple weeks of seeing her spasming in pain and yowling when she moved in a certain way for a third vet to tell me what was wrong with her. I remember that the condition did get worse for a while before it eased up, but it took months for her to be back to nearly normal and more than a year before she had no symptoms at all. This was a long time ago so no vet suggested pain medications, as they would today.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzie View Post

    Were any x-rays taken by either vet? Was there swelling, is that why the first vet first thought it was an abscess and then an inflamed joint? If he thought it was an inflamed joint, why put your cat on antibiotics rather than an anti-inflammatory?
    This is indeed very strange, even with my vestigial knowledge of vet. pharmacology! If the amoxicillin clearly wasn't improving the situation, there was either one heck of an infection or NO infection to begin with. I can't think of a logical reason to re-prescribe the same drug and dose if symptoms were worsening rather than improving.

    The heat around the swelling speaks immune reaction to me. I first thought it could be something to do with leakage of joint fluid provoking the inflammation. In my readings, I've heard of autoimmune-type diseases happening similarly in humans, and to some extent dogs, but never to the point that the animal gets as bad as I.R.Kitty. It does seem like a bit of a mystery.

    The FIV thing I really don't understand. As far as doing a 'quick' blood test, there's quite a few options; I'm assuming in this case the vet must have carried out something along the lines of an ELISA SNAP test. However, since you say there was no fever, and that she otherwise seemed well, I am really unsure as to how he validated his test result (as mrspunkysmom said, the tests are not gospel, and a diagnosis is a combination of observed clinical signs and test data). Unless he thought it was well into its 'silent' period by then, although I'm sure there would be obvious loss of condition by that time.

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  12. #12
    Hello again, I wanted to add this update. I went through my filing cabinet and found the receipts of I.R.'s vet visits from last year. Here is a list of the dates and the treatment:

    First visit to first vet: June 8, 2011. Treatment: Amoxidrops 30ml, Penicillin Procaine G per cc.

    Second visit to first vet: June 13, 2011. Treatment: Dexamethasone per ml.

    First visit to second vet: July 7, 2011. Treatment: Amoxidrops 20ml.

    Third visit to first vet: July 16, 2011. Treatment: Clavamox drops 15ml.

    I.R's still doing great, but she's got a new thing that she does that I suppose is a result of this happening to her. She only started doing this a couple of weeks ago. On her left side whenever we try to comb her or pet her near her back leg she has a spasm. She stretches out and gets stiff as a board and meows, but not like she's in pain, it sounds more as if she's confused. It stops after a few seconds and then she's back to normal. To avoid this from happening I try not to touch that spot, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Other than this new development she's still the same.

    Thanks everyone for your help.

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