Mystery illness

instantkarma

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Hi everyone,

Good tidings to all. It's been a scary week with a mystery illness plaguing one of our babies and I am seeking some guidance from others who have possibly experienced something similar or have any advice to give.

On Monday of this week, my partner had messaged me at lunch to note that our 2-year-old kitty wasn't interested in eating her lunch (we space out their meals with small bites throughout the day). This has happened before on occasion and resolved quickly so we didn't think much of it, particularly as she later ate a Churu snack with no problem. But by the time I got home, it was clear that something was very wrong. She didn't want to play (she always wants to play when I get home), didn't want to eat anything at all, she felt very warm to the touch, and she had peed a large amount outside of her litter box (she has never done this).

She was admitted to ICU at the emergency vet around midnight on Monday and we just picked her up today. To try and summarize the best I can, here were their findings:
1. They admitted her due to her fever being 105.7 and her white blood cell count being quite elevated.
2. With fluids and antibiotic treatment, her fever started to go down and the last temp reading yesterday had her at 103.1.
3. They ran a full blood panel and they said everything was normal. No kidney issues, no liver issues, urinalysis was fine, etc.
4. They ran X-rays and found what they called "oddities" on the X-ray so they said they needed to do an ultrasound for further analysis.
5. The ultrasound results completely baffled them and they had no conclusive findings or a diagnosis. They said we had 3 options: 1) they could do exploratory surgery to try and examine the cysts/lesions; 2) they could just keep doing antibiotics for a few more days and see if everything got better; 3) we could just take her home and do oral antibiotics. At this point, we honestly just wanted to get her home due to the fact that she had not eaten for them and they said they were having a hard time dealing with her (she is the sweetest cat and never had any issues with her regular vet). We were worried about her just being so stressed at this point and we preferred following up with our primary vet for further analysis of whatever is going on in her abdomen. So, we do have a follow up appointment on Friday with her regular vet. She was sent home with oral antibiotics, pain medicine and anti-inflammatories.

The ultrasound results stated the following:
"Her radiographs showed some strange structures above her colon (retroperiteoneal space). She had an ultrasound performed which confirmed the presence of disseminated cystic like lesions - unfortunately the cause is unknown. They could be benign cysts, lymph nodes, cancer, or areas of infection."

They sent off some additional bloodwork they said was a "fever of unknown origin" panel but we are waiting on the results. All of this information has been sent to her regular vet for the appointment on Friday, but I am just feeling scared and helpless at this point. She's home but she's not herself, still quite subdued and lethargic. She doesn't appear to be feverish anymore, but the emergency vet said they also had not taken her temperature in a while because she was "angry" with them.

I know no one here can diagnose anything, just wondering if anyone has encountered anything like this. I can't imagine what the "strange structures" could be near her colon and we're so worried. My biggest fear right now of course is cancer, or possibly FIP. I keep thinking FIP simply because I know it is such a hard disease to diagnose and can present with such unusual symptoms.

The scariest thing about all of this as well is that our baby was absolutely fine up through Sunday. Nothing in her behavior was unusual, everything was completely fine. Suddenly on Monday, she goes downhill.

If anyone has any thoughts or possibly any suggestions of follow up questions I should ask of our primary vet on Friday, it is so very much appreciated. I am also worried about our other cat because we don't know if what's going on is infectious or not.

Wishing you all the best and thank you for reading this scared and rambling post.
 

silent meowlook

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Did they tell you the results of the CBC? Has she been spayed? What is her vaccine status? Did they do an FELV/FIV Test? Is she indoor only?
 
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instantkarma

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The only oddity they mentioned on her CBC was the elevated white blood cells.
She is spayed, up to date on all vaccines. Her FeLV/FIV tests were both negative. She is indoor only.
Since last night now she is almost completely back to her normal self. She seems to now feel fine except we know there is something going on internally with these structures/lesions/cysts in her abdomen.
 

silent meowlook

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Ok. Glad she is feeling better. I think a follow up with a board certified internal medicine Veterinarian is in order. I say this because ultrasound can be very objective with the knowledge and experience of the Veterinarian preforming it. You need a Specialist with decades of experience and years of additional education, who does 8 ultrasounds a day, as opposed to a Veterinarian who maybe does 8 a week. Those are made up numbers but I am sure you know what I mean.

I hope your regular Veterinarian is able to shed some light on what is going on or refer you to a specialist.

Be sure to get copies of the records and lab work as well as your ultrasound report.

Do you know which white blood cells were elevated?
 

fionasmom

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What they said......not only will you save money in the long run as an experienced internist will be able to diagnose this very quickly, but it will save your poor cat more stress. This does not suggest that you do not have a good vet, just that you need a specialist.

As for the objectivity of an ultrasound which is read by a regular vet, there is cause for concern. One of my cats sees a cardiologist, the result of having the regular vet do an ultrasound. Cardiologist told me in no uncertain terms that she completely disagreed with the original reading.
 
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