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Thread: The mystery of Oliver the cat

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    British Columbia

    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.

    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.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Waltham, MA, USA
    A food allergy wouldn't, by itself, cause the loss of weight or the excess drinking, it would only cause weight loss if he stopped eating because of it. I, a human with food allergies, can attest to that. I have had food allergies that caused vomiting, diarrhea and anaphylactic type reactions - mine run the gamut, depending on which substance it is I ingest. Yes, when I stop eating entirely for a couple days, I am sure I lose a bit of weight, but nothing long-term like he seems to be experiencing.

    I am glad you have a vet appointment set up, if they are not able to give you answers, of course, ask for a recommendation for someone else.
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Delaware, USA - The First State/Diamond State - home of The Blue Hens
    Hopefully you can get some answers on this next vet visit.

    When Myndi was first diagnosed with "aging kidney issues" - not kidney failure, she was drinking huge amounts of water, her appetite was still good, but she was losing weight. After she went on the K/D low protein dog food, she was pretty much back to normal. All of that transpired about 3 years ago and she continues to do good on that maintenance diet.

    Of course another thing comes to mind - diabetes. I had 2 Lhasas years ago that were diabetic and did fairly well on insulin - tho one better than the other who was a real nightmare to try to regulate. I also had a Siamese cat with it many years before those dogs, but was diagnosed much too late to do anything about it.

    Sparky had congestive heart failure, but didn't drink large amounts of water until he was put on a diuretic - and that boy never lost his appetite until close to the very end. Of course the cough was there, but no meds ever got rid of that.

    I think it sounds more like a kidney issue, but the coughing has me stumped.....
    Wolfy ~ Fuzzbutt #3
    My little dog ~ a heartbeat at my feet

    Sparky the Fuzzbutt - PT's DOTD 8/3/2010
    RIP 2/28/1999~10/9/2012
    Myndi the Fuzzbutt - Mom's DOTD - Everyday
    RIP 1/24/1996~8/9/2013
    Ellie - Mom to the Fuzzbuttz

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
    To know just when the hands will stop - on what day, or what hour.
    Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will -
    Don't wait until tomorrow - the hands may then be still.
    ~~~~true author unknown~~~~

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I hope you get to the bottom of this mystery and Oliver gets better soon. I have no ideas or suggestions. I just wanted to comment on how beautiful Oliver and George are. George reminds me of my RB guy, Taz. Such big handsome guys you have there!
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    British Columbia
    Thanks for the responses.

    I took Oliver to the vet this morning (and George rode along in the cage with him for moral support). The vet asked me to take away his litter box first thing this morning because she wanted him to have a full bladder. When we got to the clinic they rolled him onto his back and used a needle to get some urine out but at the same time poor Ollie started peeing. It was kind of a race for the vet to collect urine with the syringe before Ollie peed it all out! They also drew some blood to send off to the lab and results are supposed to be in on Saturday. I'm praying it's something we can manage and that he will have a good long time ahead with us. George needs him too. George was a semi-feral cat when we adopted him. He was going to be euthanized because no home could be found for him so we offered to take him. We adore hm and he is such a character but for some reason, he hates every single one of our other cats but he LOVES Oliver. He dislikes the other cats so much that he attacks them very aggressively and we have to keep him separate from them for their safety. But with us and with Oliver, he is a sweetheart. Oliver mixes with everybody and likes to visit with all our cats but he spends the majority of his time with his buddy George. So I'm also praying that all will be well because I don't want George to have to be alone without a feline companion.

    Karen, thanks for the info. It's good to know more about allergies. I'm sorry to hear that you are dealing with them. Sounds like I can rule it out for a cause for losing weight because he is still eating many meals a day and quite hungry.

    Pomtzu, if Oliver has kidney issues, I hope that like your dog, it will be 'kidney ageing' related issues and not kidney failure. I found your post really encouraging. I remember feeding my RB cat Jade Hills K/D dry kibble and she loved it. She too had kidney issues but not failure when first diagnosed. She was diagnosed at about 17 years old and lived until 21. The last 2 years I had to give her sub-q fluids once a week to keep her hydrated and it made a big difference along with the K/D food.

    Taz Zoee, thanks for that. I think they are very handsome too with their stripes and spots. I think George might be part bengal. Both cats were tossed away by somebody- don't know how anyone wouldn't want them, they are wondeful and we are so blessed to have them in our family. I'll post a funny photo of George below playing with his catnip mouse.

    I'll post an update about Ollie once I have one. Thanks again for your responses.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Sending you all our prayers and good wishes for Oliver, and for George too, that they will both be with you (and with each other) for a long time.

    My Sydney had kidney disease, and he kept going for years with subcutaneous fluid and kidney prescription diet food (Purina NF was the one he liked best).

    {{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}} and ~~~~~~~PURRS~~~~~~~ and ,
    Pat and cats
    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.

    -- Terry Pratchett (19482015), Sourcery


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