Need advice: cat lost appetite, fever, no diagnosis

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sierramist

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Today's update: nothing remarkable. Her fever went back up this morning, then down again after more Onsior, then up again now.

We hear that she's only eating a very little bit, but perked up when her fever was down, was vocal like normal. The CBC pathology results came back and showed nothing of concern in her cells.

The plan is to keep her at the vet's another night on fluids and meds, see where her fever is in the morning, and possibly switch over to steroids as a bit of a hail mary. It makes me nervous but we'll see, the vet says she's had to do this plenty of times before. If that doesn't work we'll likely be referred to an internal medicine specialist by the end of the week. :confused:

I'm hoping that the antibiotics kick in and she's improving tomorrow. Ugh, still so very strange!
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. I’m sorry your cat is still not well. You might want that referral before the steroids. Also, there could be an obstruction in the intestines that didn’t show on X-ray and might be able to be seen on ultrasound.
 
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sierramist

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I still have some concerns around FIP. I'm no expert on it, but the symptoms do seem to fit?

She doesn't have any fluid in her abdomen, so it would have to be the dry version, right? From what our vet said, you normally test the fluid to confirm, so how do you ever really know if a cat has it? I've tried to read some articles on this and still don't quite understand.

Really hesitant to go down a hole researching because it will freak me out, but I also want to make sure we aren't missing anything vital. I'll bring it up again tomorrow morning, along with ultrasound. I also heard there's a Fever of Unknown Origin panel that can be done?

Will she remain stable while at the vets with supportive care? I'm terribly worried, especially during the overnight hours.
 

Antonio65

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I still have some concerns around FIP. I'm no expert on it, but the symptoms do seem to fit?
FIP is a nasty and devilish disease and can show up with different symptoms, even neurological symptoms.
Fever, a diminished appetite, loss of weight, diarrhea, poor looking coat, sunken eys can be some of them.
A swollen abdomen or a troubled breathing can be others. Also, a poor balance or difficulty at walking, or other neurological signs can be observed.

She doesn't have any fluid in her abdomen, so it would have to be the dry version, right? From what our vet said, you normally test the fluid to confirm, so how do you ever really know if a cat has it? I've tried to read some articles on this and still don't quite understand.
In my experiences (a few ones), one of the main tests for confirm FIP is the protein electrophoresis, as explained above, along with a test to measure the levels of SAA (Serum Amyloid A) and Serum Haptoglobin.
These were what my vets were looking at when I had a cat with FIP and what they kept looking at during the very long course of therapy.
This was a former feral cat that I took to a local shelter and that I took care of last year.

Really hesitant to go down a hole researching because it will freak me out, but I also want to make sure we aren't missing anything vital.
I would like to know what it is if it were my cat, it's the only way to understand what can be done.
 
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sierramist

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Thanks everyone. Unfortunately we still don't have any positive news today.

Got an update from the vet earlier and she still has a fever, around 104. She's only eating a small bit of Churu and acts like she wants kibble but feels understandably bad. They've had her on nausea meds and appetite stimulants as well.

We're holding off on steroids until we get more answers and stop the Onsior temporarily in case we need to switch treatment. Going to go ahead with more testing, including a Fever of Unknown Origin panel (not sure why they didn't do this days ago), and see about getting her transferred to a specialist in a larger city (at least two hours away, ugh) for more diagnostic support and probably an ultrasound so we can figure out what we are dealing with. Three doctors at my local vet have looked at her but they are more limited when it comes to cases like these.

I've asked for all her lab results to be sent to me as well, so when I get those I will post.

By the way, if you look in my history you'll see we already support one of our other cats with specialists similarly for his advanced heart disease (he's very stable right now, thank goodness). That was just a year ago, and now we're starting again with something else. It's distressing. I don't know why these extreme illnesses seem to find our babies, but I'm very upset.
 

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Anybody in your house have COVID lately? Might be a long shot but my cat had fever of unknown origin, all labs and tests including X-rays were normal. He wouldn’t eat, was shivering, etc. He stayed over at ER, (cost me over $2500 for them to say “we don’t know”).
Only thing I can think of is my son had Covid right before this all started. Cat was better in a couple days.
My vet said a covid test is hard on a cat and the supportive care is the same, so they don’t typically test for it.
 

daftcat75

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I had covid four years ago and my cat didn't get it, though I had her on my lap and would kiss her everyday. I don't think that cats can easily get it.
Cats don't easily get it. You're correct there. But it's not unheard of. Now how you're going to get that swab up her nose, that's another matter. I'm not sure if there is an easier way to test yet.

(Betty was a constant presence on or near my chest and face when I had Covid a year or two ago. 😽🥰)
 

daftcat75

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A vet once told me that a cat could be tested with a swab in their throat or in their... behind...
I don't know if it really works.
Can they do a blood antigen test with cats? I remember that’s how my dentist was doing tests for patients in the early days. I got a finger prick test a couple of times before the vaccine was available.
 

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Can they do a blood antigen test with cats? I remember that’s how my dentist was doing tests for patients in the early days. I got a finger prick test a couple of times before the vaccine was available.
My vet kinda made it sound like the stress of the test on the cat wasn’t worth it. Because even if it were positive they’d do the same supportive care. My kitty was also given fluids and Onsior.
I just thought it was an idea worth considering if someone in the house had in fact been sick recently.
 
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sierramist

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Anybody in your house have COVID lately? Might be a long shot but my cat had fever of unknown origin, all labs and tests including X-rays were normal.
No, neither of us have been sick (well, unless you count me who was just diagnosed with cancer). My husband and I work from home, rarely have visitors, and all our cats are indoor so I’m 99% certain this wasn’t from an outside source.

As for an update, I drove her to a Blue Pearl two hours away and admitted her for supportive care and a ton more tests including fresh bloodwork and additional xrays. So far we may be seeing some enlarged lymph nodes, she’s become slightly anemic, and white blood cell count and eos is now high, I think. Still not wanting to eat so tonight they also put in a feeding tube which breaks my heart.

Tomorrow she’ll get an ultrasound from a great internist that will hopefully reveal something. We are waiting for a lot of tests to return results, including one for FIP.

This is all too overwhelming and I’m exhausted. We’re spending more than we can afford and that adds to the stress. Are fundraisers allowed here? I don’t know how we’ll get through all this without one, but we can’t give up on our little princess.
 

BeccaCat

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No, neither of us have been sick (well, unless you count me who was just diagnosed with cancer). My husband and I work from home, rarely have visitors, and all our cats are indoor so I’m 99% certain this wasn’t from an outside source.

As for an update, I drove her to a Blue Pearl two hours away and admitted her for supportive care and a ton more tests including fresh bloodwork and additional xrays. So far we may be seeing some enlarged lymph nodes, she’s become slightly anemic, and white blood cell count and eos is now high, I think. Still not wanting to eat so tonight they also put in a feeding tube which breaks my heart.

Tomorrow she’ll get an ultrasound from a great internist that will hopefully reveal something. We are waiting for a lot of tests to return results, including one for FIP.

This is all too overwhelming and I’m exhausted. We’re spending more than we can afford and that adds to the stress. Are fundraisers allowed here? I don’t know how we’ll get through all this without one, but we can’t give up on our little princess.
Oh my soul I am so sorry to hear about all you are going through. And your sweet girl! The cost of veterinary care is so very stressful. We spent over $7000 trying to save our 2 year old Tonkinese. Thankfully family was able to help out as well. I hope the internist is able to give you some answers and that she can recover quickly, sweet baby.
I don’t know if they allow fundraisers here. Maybe a go fund me that you could put a link to? Hopefully a moderator will see this and give you advice.
I’m saying a prayer for your kitty 💗💗💗
 

fionasmom

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One fundraiser is allowed to be posted in our SOS forum to an organization like GoFundMe.
 
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sierramist

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Whew, okay. So many more updates. They started her on Doxycycline today, temp still around 105. Ultrasound showed nothing remarkable. Her anemia has gotten worse and they believe her to have IMHA like her body is overreacting to something.

They're giving her a partial blood transfusion today because her hematocrit is 22% and steadily dropping.

The tests of the Fever of Unknown Origin panel ALL came back negative.

From here the vets are leaning more towards cancer (lymphoma) and they are wanting to do tissue samples. I'll talk to the internist tomorrow. But FIP is still slightly on the table. I think we're going to try to push the FIP drug and see what happens.
 

Antonio65

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I have lost a few cats to IMHA, only one survived. I don't know if we were too late for the others.
The one who survived went through a very long therapy with cortisone and frequent blood checks.
 
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sierramist

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Has she ever had fleas?
No fleas since being in our care, but she was originally found as a stray kitten so possibly way back then.

It sounds like she responded well to her blood transfusion last night. Still has a fever this morning, back up to 106. FIP med is on the way if we want to try it. Not sure if we should do other testing, try steroids or what. Very overwhelmed.
 
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